Summary: Jesus had much to do in ministry but spent time in prayer before, during and after.
A. JESUS’ PRAYER WAS FOUNDATIONAL
1. Jesus had much to do in ministry but spent time in prayer before, during and after.
2. Jesus had pressure from the crowds, satanic opposition, the Pharisees and the agenda of His disciples, but He prayed.
3. Prayer took priority over doing.
4. “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). Never a man prayed like Jesus.
You can do much after you pray,
But you accomplish nothing spiritually without prayer.
5. Would it make any difference to you if there was no such thing as prayer?
B. PRAYER AT THE BEGINNING OF MINISTRY
1. Prayer reflected His relationship with the Father. “Jesus Himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended . . .You are My beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with You” (Luke 3:21-22).
2. Jesus prayed long before being baptized. He lived prayer and died in prayer.
“What a man is alone with God, that is what he is. “Nothing more, nothing less” ~Robert Murray McCheyne
C. PLACE AND POSTURE
1. He taught to pray alone in the “closet” (Matt. 6:5-6). “Jesus awoke long before daybreak, and went out alone . . . to pray” (Mark 1:35, NLT).
2. He prayed standing at the tomb of Lazarus, “Jesus lifted His eyes . . . Father I thank thee that Thou hearest Me” (Jn. 11:41).
3. He prayed kneeling. “Kneeling down, and prayed” (Lu. 22:41).
4. He prayed lying down. “He fell on his face and prayed” (Matt. 26:39).
5. Posture is secondary to heart condition. “Bent knees do not merit answers, but bent knees reflect a humble heart.”
D. PRAYER COMES FIRST
1. Prayed before choosing 12 apostles. He went out in a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Lu. 6:12).
2. Before feeding the 5,000. “Jesus took the loaves and when He had given thanks” (Jn. 6:11).
3. Before raising Lazarus. “Father, thank you for hearing me” (Jn. 17:41, NLT)
4. Before healing. “Great multitudes came together to hear . . . and be healed . . . He withdrew Himself . . . and prayed” (Lu. 5:15-16).
5. Before walking on water. “Jesus made His disciples get into the boat . . . He went up into the hills to pray . . . Jesus came to them walking on the water” (Matt. 14:22-25, NLT).
E. JESUS PRAYED IN PUBLIC
1. Jesus thanked God before feeding the 5,000. “And looking up to heaven, He blessed and brake the loaves” (Matt. 14:19).
2. Jesus blessed the elements at the Last Supper. “Jesus took bread and blessed it” (Matt. 26:26).
3. His public prayers were brief. When speaking, Jesus broke into prayer, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever” (Matt. 11:25, NLT). Does this suggest our private prayers are to be detailed and lengthy?
F. JESUS PRAYS FOR PEOPLE
1. For a disciple. “Simon, satan has asked . . . to sift you as wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you” (Lu. 22:31, NLT).
2. For children. “He took the children into His arms, and placed His hands on their heads, and blessed them” (Mk. 10:16).
3. As our intercessor in heaven today. “Seeing He ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7:25).
G. JESUS WAS THANKFUL IN PRAYER
1. Jesus was thankful that His sermon was effective. “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes’” (Matt. 11:25, NKJV).
2. Jesus gave thanks before distributing the 7 loaves and 2 fishes. “And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude” (Matt. 15:36, NKJV).
a. Why? Because God supplies all things. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (Js. 1:17).
b. Later commanded in scripture. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
3. A church worker brought a food basket to a poor widow. She responded, “What took you so long?” Ungrateful. If we don’t give God thanks, we are ungrateful.
4. Jesus gave thanks for the death he faced. “Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’” (Matt. 26:27-28).
5. Jesus was thankful for a miracle before it happened. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me” (John 11:41-42).