Think through what prayer really is: fallen sinful beings, worthy of death, are able, instantly, to have direct communication with the Creator of the universe-our Holy God.
Also, when God in Christ clothed Himself in human flesh, accepting humanity’s limitations, He, too, sensed the necessity of prayer. Though not standing before the Father in the same position that we as fallen sinners are, Jesus as a human still saw the necessity for prayer.
Read Matthew 14:22-23; Matt 26:36; Mark 1:35-37; Luke 5:15-16; Luke 6:12-13. What characterized Jesus’ personal prayer life? Describe the circumstances that surrounded Jesus’ praying. What lessons can we glean from the particulars of Christ’s prayer life such as frequency, location, and timing?
Christ certainly modeled the prayer life that He enjoined on His disciples. Mornings, evenings, after preaching, before preaching, whenever possible-Jesus prayed. Gardens, mountains, solitary places, wherever distractions subsided-Jesus prayed. Separated from the Father’s presence spatially, Jesus united with the Father through prayer spiritually. Christ’s spiritual lifeblood came coursing through the spiritual artery of prayer. Should Christ’s modern followers-weakened by sinful tendencies, choked by worldly cares, frustrated by failures-settle for something less than Jesus’ prayer life?
Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.-Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 93.
Read Mark 11:22-26, Luke 11:13, John 14:12-14. How are we to understand the promises written here about prayer? How have you experienced what Jesus said here? At the same time, how have you learned to cope when things you have prayed for haven’t come as you have hoped?