Summary: Jesus prayed to discover God's will.
A. JESUS’ PRAYER INTENSITY
1. He didn’t consider prayer a light thing. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
2. Jesus went through terrible struggles when He became our sin. “He begged God, ‘If Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me’” (Luke 22:42).
3. His agony resulted in hemorrhaging through his forehead. “And His sweat was like drops of blood” (v. 44, ELT).
4. Various types of prayer describe Him. “Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Heb. 5:7).
c. Strong crying
5. Jesus did not pray to change God’s will. Rather He prayed to discover God’s will. “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Prayer is self-surrender.
6. Jesus responded to extreme pressure with prayer. If we can’t find God’s will in good times, how will we find it in difficult times?
7. God wants us to coordinate His plans through our prayer. “As workers together with God” (2 Cor. 6:1).
B. JESUS’ PRAYER OF GRATITUDE
1. When Jesus was rejected by humans, he was thankful. “I thank Thee O Father. . . Thou has hid these things from the wise (in their own eyes)” (Matt. 11:25).
2. Before feeding the multitude. “He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks” (Matt. 15:36). The miracle of multiplied food grew out of thanksgiving.
3. Before the Lord’s Table. “He took the cup and gave thanks” (Matt. 26:27). Jesus thanked the Father before His suffering and death. “Jesus . . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).
4. We should give thanks because God is good, while we do not think everything is good, i.e., our hurt and pain. “All things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
5. Jesus’ bold thankfulness goes hand in hand with powerful works. “They took away the stone from the place where the dead lay . . . Father, I thank thee that Thou heard Me” (John 11:41-42).
6. The poison of ingratitude stops our prayer of thanksgiving.
C. JESUS’ PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
1. Intercessory prayer is for someone specific other than ourselves.
2. Herbert Lockyer in All the Prayers of the Bible said three things characterize intercession:
a. A sincere desire for the best interest of others.
b. Utmost confidence in God’s promises to answer.
c. Be ready to do the thing for which you request for others
3. Jesus’ longest recoded prayer (John 17) has three petitions: (1) verses 1-5, Jesus prays for Himself, (2) verses 6-19 for His disciples, (3) for all believers, verses 20-25.
4. Jesus has two basic petitions for HIMSELF (17:1-5). First, “Glorify thou Me . . . with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (v. 5). It’s acceptable to ask for God’s blessing when our motives are pure. Second, “that He (the Father) should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him” (v. 2). Jesus wants His earthly mission completed.
5. Jesus has five petitions for His DISCIPLES (17:6-19).
a. Jesus asks for their security, “Keep through thine own name these whom thou has given me” (v. 17).
b. Jesus asks for their unity in a broken world to glorify the Father. “That they may be one” (v. 11).
c. Jesus asks for their spiritual fulfillment. “That they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (v. 13).
d. Jesus asks for deliverance from satan’s influence. “Keep them from the evil one” (v. 15, ELT).
e. Jesus asks for their spiritual growth. “Sanctify them through thy truth” (v. 17).
6. Jesus has five petitions for FUTURE BELIEVERS (17:20-26).
a. Jesus asks for all believers to reflect the unity of the Godhead. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee” (v. 21).
b. Jesus asks that believer’s unity would result in soul winning. “That they would may believe that thou hast sent me” (v. 21).
c. Jesus asks that believers should grow in grace and knowledge. “That they may be perfect in one” (v. 23).
d. Jesus asks that the world realize the Father’s love. “That the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them” (v. 23).
e. Jesus asks that believers be united with Him physically in the future. “I will that thy also, when thou hast given to me, be with me where I am” (v. 24).
(1) Our future physical life with Jesus is based on our present spiritual life with Him. “God has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).