Jesus and Prayer
Ever wonder what Jesus might have said to the Father when He went off by Himself to pray?
There aren’t many such times documented in scripture, but those that indicate Jesus that was with the Father sometimes for hours. Just imagine the radiance of Jesus’s face following these periods of uninterrupted time with His Father. Most likely, the praise would have been exuberant!
And Jesus probably shared His enthusiasm about their mission and asked for guidance in handling the difficult situations he encountered in the course of His work.
But surely, all this was followed by a time of silence and a period of simply resting in the presence of His Father. Jesus’ work was difficult and He drew His strength from the Father.
We may not know what took place in these times of fellowship with the Father, or even how often they happened, but we do know that when Jesus prayed publicly His words were succinct and purposeful.
The longest of Jesus’ prayers is recorded in John 17, immediately before He went to the cross. This lengthy prayer serves as an example of prayer is a conversation between us and our Heavenly Father.
Prayer isn’t simply a “how to”
In addition to actual examples of Biblical prayer, the scriptures contain numerous teachings on how we should—or should not—pray as well.
Visit any Christian bookstore and you will find countless ‘how-to’ books. Reality is, we need to look no farther than the Bible to learn about prayer. In the Psalms, David demonstrates complete honesty as he praises, cries out, seeks revenge and more. In his prayers, Daniel confesses his sins and the sins of Israel, showing us our need to confess and be heartbroken over our sin.
John the Baptist is full of praise for the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Each of these men prayed fervently and persistently because they knew their Father intimately—in the same way, that Jesus did. Intimacy with the Father is the prerequisite to prayer. Listening is the key.
Prayer becomes a two-way conversation where we learn to listen more than talk. This doesn’t mean that the tone is casual; when we pray, we are in the presence of our Creator and we are awed by Him. At the same time, we are comfortable in His presence, safe and very real.
Our prayers do not have to be long and eloquent, and they are not for show; if we are well-studied in the Bible, its words will flow from our lips as we praise Him and offer our petitions for ourselves and for others. By example, Jesus teaches that there is a time when we need to get away from the world and be with the Father. It is during these times that we can rest and be strengthened for the tasks that lie ahead.