Summary: If our prayer is ever going to be effective we must learn to pray like Jesus prayed.

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April 17, 2011

Morning Worship

Text: Luke 22:39-46

Subject: Prayer

Title: Praying Like Jesus

I want to share with you once again this week on the subject of prayer. Last week we saw the 1) the purpose of prayer… 2) the pattern for prayer… 3) persistence in prayer… 4) the power of prayer. This week we will focus on how we should pray. We want to pray like Jesus prayed.

When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy he once remarked to his mother, "Momma, you can't be good without praying." "How do you know, Robert?" she asked. "Because I've tried!" he answered. This brings to mind a story about another little fellow -- one who had been sent to his room because he had been bad. A short time later he came out and said to his mother, "I've been thinking about what I did and I said a prayer." "That's fine," she said, "if you ask God to make you good, He will help you." "Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me be good," replied the boy. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."

Our Daily Bread, June 15.

Today is Palm Sunday. This is the day that the church celebrates as the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by King Jesus… The coming week would be a week of teaching, confrontation and ultimately of trial and suffering for Jesus. But probably the most important thing we can get from this last week of Jesus’ earthly life is that He ended it with prayer. In John Chapter 17, after Jesus has celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples we see the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in scripture. From there we see Jesus going once again to the Mount of Olives – particularly the Garden of Gethsemane – where He takes his inner circle of friends with Him for a final time of prayer. And this time of prayer is His preparation for the hours of trial and punishment that lie ahead. Jesus prayer was never reactive, but was always proactive. He took care of problems before they arose.

That is why the church needs to learn how to pray like Jesus prayed.

Read Luke 22:39-46

Lord, Open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

I. YOU SHOULD MAKE PRAYER A HABIT (v 39) 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. Two things I want you to see here. First, Jesus went out as usual… Jesus had a habit of prayer. You know I read articles about prayer and I’ve read books about prayer. We have done a whole series of sermons and bible studies about prayer. Some say that you should give God the first part of your day – before you start anything else you need to pray. Others say that it is better to stop at the end of your day and give God thanks and praise for the things that happened that day and to ask Him to help you make corrections for the next day. The truth is that not everyone is a morning person and not everyone is able to focus after a day of work when the troubles of the day are on their minds. Does it really matter when you pray? What matters most is that you do pray. The truth is that you should begin your day with prayer. It doesn’t have to be a prolonged period of prayer. I start my day with my devotional, scripture reading and then a time of prayer. I don’t get up at 5:00 AM to do it. I am normally over at church from 8:00 to 9:00 each morning. That is why some of you try to call me during that time and I most often don’t answer my phone. Then each night as I lay down to go to sleep I pray – many times going to sleep while praying. Is that it then? Are we done with prayer? How often should we talk to God in prayer? 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18. "17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. God wants us to make praying to Him a regular habit. This doesn't mean we will pray without a pause all day every day. It simply means we must not cease making prayer a habit. This is the way it is with me. Many times at night I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. What do I do? Sometimes I get up and pray or read. Sometimes I lie in bed and pray in tongues. But I pray. Each week we draw a new Christmas card from our Christmas card stash and we pray for that family for a whole week at every meal. I pray before board meetings. I pray before church services. I pray for those who are on my prayer list and for those who the Lord will lay on my heart. I just pray – and I still consider myself to be lacking in my prayer life – I want to do better. We must develop the habit of prayer. Secondly, What Jesus was doing in His prayer life caused His disciples to want to emulate Him. Remember last week? “Lord, teach us to pray…” Jesus prayed at His baptism and heaven opened up… Jesus, on a continuing basis, prayed and saw results. 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. When you pray the way that Jesus prayed you will foster an attitude of prayer in those around you. How important is your prayer. Consider this, God will not do anything on earth concerning His will until it is set in motion by the prayer of a believing saint. The book of Revelation in chapter 8 compares your prayer to the smoke from the altar of incense rising up to God. 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Your prayer pleases Him. Make it a habit.

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