For about a week now I have been considering watching a sermon by Paul Washer on prayer but I always seemed to be led to a different sermon when I had time to sit down and watch. Until today that is. After an awesome school day (praise the Lord, I cherish the days there is no wailing and gnashing of teeth over long division, fractions or writing) my son wanted to play a new learning game he found so I said sure and realized I had a couple hours till time to cook supper. So I looked the sermon up, grabbed an ice water and notebook then spent the next 50 minutes taking notes and rubbing my sore toes. It was meant for me to watch it right then, I had been asking God to lead me in how to be more dedicated in my prayer time. It amazes me how good he is to always be there for us, to never leave us. Tonight we’re going to talk about prayer, specifically praying like Jesus did, praying alone – just us and God!
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. Luke 5:16
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. Matthew 14:23
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. Matthew 26:36
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Luke 22:41
And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. Mark 6:46
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Luke 6:12-13
In all the above verses we see Jesus going off alone to pray, often in the wilderness or mountains. I always found this striking in a sense but had never really thought much of it till today. Why does he go off alone to pray? Seriously, I always kinda wondered why Jesus, the Son of God, God humbled and made man had to pray. For it does seem he needed to, not necessarily that God required it but that in his soul Jesus needed that time with the Father – to rest, strengthen, restore him to continue with the Father’s work here on earth.
From the very beginning of his ministry we see Jesus in complete submission to his Father, fully allowing himself to be led of the Holy Spirit, to seek the will of his Father in heaven. Even though Jesus is God, he is also fully man, the Son of God, Christ. As such he fully lived as man while he was here on earth, he knew exactly what he was here for – to live a sinless life in order to become the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind if they believe in him and ask him to accept them, forgive them and cleanse them of their sins. As a perfect example for all of us his brothers and sisters he showed us how we are to live our lives – from our interactions with one another to our relationship with God the Father. He prayed, often, sincerely, earnestly, with power and supplication, with real need and intercession. He prayed for strength with power seeking God’s strength in his body bound by it’s human limitations. He prayed for believers and non-believers teaching us by his example to love and pray for our enemies. He teaches us to pray for the Father’s will to be done, he gives us a stellar example of how we ought to seek our Father’s will.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:5-15
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:1-13
I posted my two favorite accounts of that lovely yet power filled prayer Jesus taught us to pray. It is the first prayer I taught my son after the simple grace for the table, I also teach it to my toddlers along with all the history contained in the Bible. What other book has all to offer: a love story on multiple levels – both between individual men, God and his chosen people and Christ and his bride to name just a few, action and adventure to rival any modern book or film, wisdom and truth, prophecy and hope. How to pray is one of the nuggets of wisdom included in this epic book.
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:22-26
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Luke 18:1
I will close with a call to seek God’s will, his strength, and to completely put your faith and trust in him seeking him continually in earnest prayer, seeking with all you are to serve God better than you ever thought possible. Remember he is not dead, he is merely waiting till the exact moment when his great plan has been accomplished, the last soul saved and then he will send His Son back to claim his kingdom, to conquer the prince of this world and all his minions. I am including the sermon I watched today for your viewing if you’d like, I highly recommend it to help us grow in our walk daily with the Lord.