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Monday: The Prayer Life of Jesus — 25 Comments

  1. More than a handful of books have been written on prayer and much said otherwise in pulpits and elsewhere. Yet prayer does not seem to work as advertised or deliver nearly as much as promised.

    For example there are many professed Christians in Babylon who pray to be led in the path of truth, but remain in Babylon (Revelation 14:8). In response to their earnest prayer should we not expect the Holy Spirit to lead them out of Babylon? As well when there are major questions or divided opinions in the church and the various parties represented pray, but continue to hold firm to their positions of sharp differences afterwards were their prayers effective?

    While praying may make some feel better not all prayers get the Lord’s attention, even when accompanied by tears and olive oil and supported by the ‘special team’ (Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 14:11, 12) A sincere and submissive spirit is needful by those who approach the throne of grace (Matthew 6:10).

    Jesus did not take his will to the Father simply to have it endorsed, and He did not presume to have the answer before asking for guidance or help (Luke 22:42). Those who are absolutely sure of themselves before asking will likely be of the same opinion after asking. Some distrust of self provides room for the Spirit to work and inform.

    As well the Father’s will is sometimes greater than our expectation. The saints might be preoccupied with getting the resolution to a doctrinal or policy question while the Lord is trying to develop patience and improve other character traits in His people. So the answer hoped for does not come, but God does something better in his wisdom. He may send messengers to preach to those in Babylon instead of a miraculous revelation or he may allow disagreements to persist in the church to reveal defects of character.

    Prayer may not be measured by our expectations, but God's will. Jehovah is at least a step ahead of His people. Prayer is effective when the Lord’s will is supreme. This requires humility.

    • I appreciate your point that "he may allow disagreements to persist in the church to reveal defects of character." In respect to one ongoing disagreement, there have been not only differences in theology (including the standards by which we interpret Scripture), but in willingness to wait for due process, in willingness to respect the prior decisions of those in higher authority, and in apparent concern for the unity of the world church. God has been appealed to for help in the whole process. But just as in the great controversy as a whole, it seems to me that He is just as concerned about the characters of the participants as in the positions they take along the way. We know that a shaking will come. I wonder how much this issue will be a part of that process.

      • John,
        Thanks for your customary solid comments, including when they are not the popular sentiment. Continue to make yourself available to the Holy Spirit.

        A very troubling thing is how difficult it is to get fellow believers to see or acknowledge what you have said. The rightness of position seems to trump all.

        O how sad it would be that we should come to the judgment and find that we were right, but not righteous!

      • John, both you and Hugh have said some important things which I have had to think about. To me the answer doesn't seem to be in discarding one thing over another but realizing that both are needed. Jesus relied on scripture and we have seen problems in the past when it was set aside for what was thought to be the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In my opinion doctrines give guidance to practice. Practice doesn't come out of thin air but by every word from God that was written for our admonition. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJV).

        If we have the teaching wrong then I can see no way for practice to end up correct. If we reject what God has said in His word then what guarantee do we have that we will follow any other means coming from Him? This is something that the Jews were faced with as the parable goes:
        Abraham said to him,`They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said,`No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him,`If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' (Lk. 16:29-31 NKJV)
        So to me we need both the Spirit and the Word and if we reject one or the other then essentially we have rejected both because they agree with one another.

    • And then again Hugh maybe God is big enough to take care of everything that is not wrapped in sin but in faith no matter how trivial.

  2. Miracles always happen everyday. Pray. God said call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33 :3

  3. tears are prayers too,pray without ceasing,,,GOD always hear what we pray,and the HOLY SPIRIT will be with us,guiding us to be more effective in prayers,,,,miracles do happen through prayers,,,,,

  4. Hi Hugh, I agree prayer is not what many people think it is. It is not an "open sesame", it is not rubbing a magical lamp to get an all powerful gene to do our bidding. In fact Prayer never works, Prayer cannot work!
    Prayer is like a cell phone, a means of sending and receiving messages between people. If my daughter phones me to tell me she needs some money, and I electronically send her some money - does anyone believe it was the phone that solved her problem?

    "Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend."

    Prayer is the means to enable us to develop a relationship with the LORD, to get to know and understand the character of God, to surrender our will to His will and yes to tell Him all about our lives, the good and the bad.
    This communicating with Him will result in our characters being changed to be like His character. Our focus in life will be on our eternal destiny. In the context of this relationship we will bring our issues, desire, wants and needs to Him, and He will guide, protect and provide as He has promised in His way and at His time. Because we trust that He knows best and has our eternal interests at heart we will pray "thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven", "not my will but thy will be done".

    Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual 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. Steps to Christ pg 11

  5. Our prayer life should also be very strong like jesus,being the son of God he prayed always in every areas of his life, no matter d situation we find oursekves we suld not relent but hold on to jesus through Prayer.

  6. i am of the opinion that when we pray miracles happen. Mathew 7 vs 7 said we should ask, seek and knock. if Jesus prayed, then we need nobody to tell us that prayer should be an important aspect of our christian life, especially when we are to take important decisions concerning our life. the christian life should be surrounded with prayer.

  7. We are to "pray without ceasing" Prayer is to be a way of life we are to be continually in an attitude of prayer. we are to set our minds constantly on the things above.

  8. The lesson says, ”Jesus prayed in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46). This is perhaps the most important prayer in the history of salvation." And I agree, to me it was the turning point of the great controversy and the one thing that so dramatically showed the difference between Satan's philosophy and that of Heaven.

    Even so, there are some interesting aspects of that prayer that caught my attention, namely the fact that Jesus prayed that prayer at least two times and perhaps more. The struggle He was experiencing was intense to the point that it finally collapsed Him into a withered ball of sweat that needed the attention of an angel. We are told that man alone could not have made the decision He made, for that kind of decision can only be done through the power of God.

    I think sometimes we fail to see the humanity of Jesus. We tend to put a halo around His head and say that everything was done with divine perfection to the point that we make Him all God and no man. We forget that He ate and slept and had difficult decisions to make just as we do. He felt what we feel and struggled with the things we struggle with, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15 NKJV).

    Long ago He chose to put Himself on the side of humanity and willingly condescended to the level of man (Phil 2) because He loved His creation too much to just let it die. In doing that He became man with all its frailty and tabernacled with us (Mat 1:23). That is why He is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5), one who is on our side.

    • As a follower of Christ we need to follow His footsteps and when we say we know Jesus then prayer is something we will enjoy doing time and again to strengthen our relationship with Jesus but we many times rob ourselves of prayer time due to businesses of this world. Let's always remember that this word is passing away soon. We should hold on to Jesus who will give us eternal life and this my Christian friends can only be achieved through serious prayer life styles.

    • Once you experience the impacts of prayer, you will realize that you cannot live without it. Try it now!!

  9. I believe n prayer as well but see the effectiveness of our prayers to be directly linked to the involvement of our relationship to God

  10. prayer is very vital in christian life, it always keep your thoughts and your heart very Close to God and it free you from the bondage sin...i was ascribe in depress,sorrow,teror, fear, doubts and sometimes I thought am going to die in my sin which makes me sad all the time...but when I come to know the promises of God to the sinner, I prayer to my Father in heaven, Jesus came and spoke comfort words to me...He took the loaded sin which was breaking my neck into his blood and I am free now!!!My dear brother's and sister's in the Lord, never stop praying till we meet our Lord Jesus Christ in the air.

  11. Thru prayer my whole life has been a miracle. I have learned to pray with a sincere heart. On a number of ocasions God has answered my prayers imediately, i have seen God's favour all my life and it causes me to pray more & for others. Prayer should be compared to our breathe. Without it we are dead spiritualy & physicaly.

  12. I have learnt that prayer is important in every aspect of my life, in problem and prosperity, it is needed every time.

  13. [Moderator note: Please do not write in all capitals.]

  14. Prayer is a struggle for me in this aspect. We pray for protection of loved ones AND accidents as well as murderous acts occur. Some are spared in genocide accidents and mass killings and others not. Does anyone really think those lost and their families prayed less ermestly or were "less committed Christians" or "loved God less"? God loves each of His children more than we do our children so do I understand some to be implying that the prayers offered for individuals "allow" God or "cause" God to provide extra protection?

    I have had to rethink prayer after personal tragedies. To me it is simply communication with a friend and I do not expect Him to protect my family or solve a myriad of problems. He is there to share my pain and my joys as a friend would though He understands me better than any friend. Talking to Him helps me get through the situations of life like sharing with my wife does. He can provide comfort and instruction, but don't expect Him to intervene any more or any less than He would in a given situation. We don't make Him more aware or love the person prayed for more.

    This world is still Satan's and if God prevented all tragedy the results of the rebellion against God will not be evident. God could intervene to prevent all tragedy and never did. In my opinion, He doesn't act that way because we pray. He always has the "end game" in mind and intervenes only to fulfill His purposes which I do not think are very often influenced by our petitions. The Bible has a few instances of this and they are few for a reason. I cannot extrapolate that if we only prayed harder (more fervently) or were closer to God or followed Him more nearly the prayers would be answered. Getheseme should answer that conclusively.

    I talk with Him and trust that His understanding and love for me and all His creation is infinitely wiser than my understanding.

    I do not disparage those who see answers to prayers every day, but suggest we see the answers we wish to see and our vision is influenced by our belief. I likewise thank God when good things happen that I want though I no longer believe my prayers "caused" the outcome.

    I sincerely apologize if I have offended any of you or have raised questions that you wished were better left unspoken.

  15. Hi Doug. Please do not discount the importance and effectiveness of prayer simply because some of yours or others’ were not answered in the way that was hoped for. While God doesn't make clear to us yet why human suffering is allowed, He does make clear that prayer matters to Him (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:6). Are we to disobey God's command to pray without ceasing simply because He fails to grant us our every wish? Are you suggesting that Jesus' prayers at Gethsemane demonstrate the ineffectiveness of prayer?

    Satan does not rule the world, Jesus does (see e.g., Matthew 28:18; 1 Chronicles 29:11). Satan has always blamed God for the evil, pain and suffering that Satan himself caused. If you believe Satan's lies about God, then your prayers probably are a waste of time (1 Pet. 3:12; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-2).

    I believe all prayers are answered. They are just not all answered with "yes." Many prayers are answered in ways we can't even understand but clearly God has the prerogative to say "no" or "wait" to our prayers does He not? A faithful prayer life will reveal to you that God does hear and answer prayers and yes, prayer can result in God changing things (James 5:16). Often, what He changes is us 🙂 

  16. Also the prayer life of Jesus was in this way:
    1. Christ had a place of prayer-Lk5:16, wilderness, Lk11:1-was praying in a certain place, Lk6:12-prayed in the mountain..
    2. Christ had a prayer time-mark 1:35, earlier in the morning, after every ministry also matt 14:13..
    3. Christ had a prayer band(prayer partners)-Lk9:28-He took peter,John and James and went up to (their prayer place) into a mountain to pray--recorded many times
    4. Christ for others-Lk22:32-but i have prayed for thee.., also prayed for us Jn17:9, and still is for praying for us-Heb5:14-16
    5. Christ prayed 'out' His prayers-praying out meaning not in total silence but speaking as to someone, its recommended to avoid having a wondering mind..suitable if you have a place of prayer like Jesus..LK11:1, His disciples heard Him how He prayed and asked Him to teach them the same way as inspiration puts it. you can try this it works so much.
    6. Christ prayed while kneeling-Lk22:41-..kneeled down and prayed..many people who came to Jesus for healing and other problems fell on their knees as they requested of their needs. why?, also in the old testament many people are recoded kneeling in prayer, including the beloved Daniel in chapter 6.. why?..its not a rule but there is power in kneeling. try and see.
    those but a few we can name; but the question lands on you: will you want to identify with Jesus this way or not? or this will be later? why not today? be blessed.


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