Summary: To be inspired to follow Jesus in prayer.
Prayer – the Lord Jesus’ style
By Andrew Chan, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC
Ever wonder the way Jesus prayed?
This outline of this sermon is inspired from reading a little book I got a long time ago in a second hand book store. It is called Sense and Nonsense about Prayer. I trust that you will be inspired as I was to keep plugging away in praying to the One who loves us all and gave Himself for us!
Dallas Willard in The Spirit of the Disciplines (1988,p.9) reminded me that it is important to be really prepared as Christ was. He did not just overnight become the Messiah and Savior of the world. And he was not a merely a one hit wonder, but He powerfully and lovingly ministered with a depth of spiritual power, insight and love that has no parallel. Willard wrote this:
Asking ourselves “What would Jesus do?” when suddenly in the face of an important situation is not adequate discipline or preparation to enable one to live as he lived. It no doubt will do some good and is certainly better than nothing at all, but that act alone is not sufficient to see us boldly and confidently through a crisis, and we could easily find ourselves driven to despair over the powerless tension it will put us through.
And I agree with Willard’s assertion that we need to learn from Christ then His secret:
The secret of the easy yoke, then is to learn from Christ how to live total lives, how to invest all our time and our energies of mind and body as he did. We must follow his preparations, the disciplines for life in God’s rule that enabled him to receive His Father’s constant and effective support while doing His will.
As we know Jesus calls his followers to a life of prayer. We see him teach it with his life and instruction.
Let’s learn tonight from Him. (Lk.11:1-13). Interesting it is not the request of disicples to say: "teach us how to pray"... but to pray. I.e. to pray passionately, in intimacy to Abba, to pray differently from mere rote, with personal relationship in view. It seems to me that the disciples know how to pray - i.e. the mechanics of it. They have probably been taught several models of prayer in the synagogues and have seen others but when they saw Jesus pray to God it seems different. They look at Jesus the way he was praying and it inspired them to say "Lord teach us to pray" not how to, but to pray like Him. But too often when we come to this text, we get the idea from soem preachers as they take apart the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11 that it is all about a formula, i.e. back to the meachanics. But if we look at what Jesus taught it was not that at all. It is about a relationship, a bold one, with a Heavenly Father that cares much more than the best model of a dad you can dream of. I use to think if my dad is like the father on old tv series Little House on the Prairie, it’ll be wonderful. But we ain’t see nuthing yet, with our Heavenly Father, for He loves to give and in our text, it tells He wants to give the best. Let’s now look at Jesus’ lifestyle of prayer through Scripture and examine with me how He conducted a prayer life and How the Father related to Him while He was earthbound like us...
1. The way His ministry COMMENCED.
While everyone else was being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. THEN AS HE PRAYED, the sky opened up, and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.” Lk.3:21-22 (CEV)
I love the way the Father blesses Jesus as He prays even before His big time hit and was rolling. What a picture of intimacy and blessing! What a connection! What a fellowship Jesus must have with the Father – a proud Papa “my own dear son and I am pleased with you.” May we too sense this strongly in our relationship with God that we feel His love and acceptance and how proud He is that we are called the children of God. Read I John 3:1-3 (NKJV):
1Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.