Praying like Jesus

Photo credit: www.ligonier.org

It’s been too long since my last post and for that I apologise.

Let’s quickly re-cap where we are. A few weeks ago I raised the notion of loving and trusting God with our “all” as the Bible repeatedly exhorts.

How do we do that, I asked?

Follow the one who came as our example: Jesus.

Taking instruction from Dann Spader’s excellent workbook: “Walking as Jesus Walked” we identified the 6 elements to intimacy with the Father, which you can find here.

Last time we explored the significance of child-like dependency  and now let’s address prayer.

There is so much we can talk about on the topic of prayer but I wanted to highlight only a couple of aspects in today’s post.

Regularity

“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” (Corrie ten Boom)

More significantly Scripture tells us that Jesus prayed often:

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

In studying the gospels we see Jesus regularly leaving others so He could have fellowship with the Father.  At the Garden of Gethsemane we even get a glimpse of Jesus in prayer. Here we see Him wrestle with His humanness. Who in their right mind would hand themselves over to the authorities for an offense they didn’t commit? Not to mention an excruciating death as punishment.

We’re told He sweated blood. It was that intense, physically.

So He did what He’d done all of His life: relied on His Father who had never let Him down.

So I encourage you to make a habit of spending time with the Father in prayer.

Sometimes, well often, we can get overly religious about our prayer times. I’m a person that likes routine so getting up each morning works for me. For others, it might be in the car driving to work, or college, or before you go to bed at night. It might be escaping to the bush, or sitting on a park bench, or walking along a deserted beach whilst walking your dog.

What’s best for you is what works for you. Don’t think just because your pastor has his prayer time walking along the beach, means you’ve got to.

Try some different things. You’ll find a place and a time that’s just right for you.

Short Prayers

When we look at how Jesus prayed, I’m struck by how short His prayers were.

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46)

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

The disciples never asked Jesus to show them how do perform miracles. He simply commanded them to do it. They didn’t ask Jesus to teach them how to preach or teach.

But they did ask Him to teach them how to pray.

His response: The Lord’s prayer.

Less than 60 words.

Don’t think we need eloquent or lengthy prayers. Follow Jesus example. Short, simple and gutsy.

“Father, thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for answering them. Show each of us how to pray. Help us to listen for your still, small voice. Amen”

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