Jesus and Prayer

Written by Katherine J. Kehler

spiritualgrowth_jesusprayerSome years ago, I read a book in which the author mentioned doing a study on Jesus and prayer. I thought to myself, “I’ve never done that. If I am a follower of Christ, I should know what He says about prayer.” So for the next five months, I read and reread the gospels to discover for myself the prayer life of Jesus and what He says about prayer.

The following is the outline of what I learned. This is a Bible study on Jesus and prayer taken from the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Jesus invites us to communicate with Him

A. What Jesus says

  • Jesus says, “Come” (Matthew 11:28-30).
    Remember when you were a child in elementary school and there was that certain someone you really wanted to be friends with. Then one day they said to you, “Come, sit with me.” And you thought, “They like me!” Likewise, Jesus our friend invites us to come and sit with him.
  • Jesus says, “Listen” (Luke 10:38-42).

“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”-Andrew Murray

“It is only when we know that we are powerless that we are prepared to listen to Jesus Christ and to do what He says.”-Oswald Chambers

B. We should come as children

I watch my grandchildren and their relationship with my daughters and sons-in-law. The children love to be with their parents. They are totally dependent upon their parents for their needs. They have no inhibitions about asking for anything they want or need. When their parents are away for a while, they are overjoyed to see them again. They trust them, have complete confidence in them – and are not afraid of them.

Read:

  • Matthew 18:3
  • Luke 18:15-17
  • Mark 10:15

“A child is never shy before his mother, and a child of God is conscious of his worthiness, namely, his entire dependence.”- Oswald Chambers.

C. Jesus is eager to listen and answer our requests

In Christ’s teaching on prayer, our Lord never once referred to unanswered prayer. My four year old granddaughter, Tabitha, prayed one night, “Dear God, please give us a good day tomorrow so Grandpa and I don’t have to fish in the rain.” The next morning, as soon as she was awake, she ran to the door, to see if God had answered her prayer. In our “adult” praying, we should be just as eager to see if He has answered our prayers.

Read:

  • Matthew 7:7-11
  • John 16:24b
  • Luke 18:7&8

D. House of prayer?

You are the temple of God. Are you known as a person who prays? As a temple of God, are you declaring His praises?

Read:

  • Matthew 21:13
  • Mark 11:17
  • Luke 19:46
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
  • 1 Peter 2:5 and 9

The prayer habits of Jesus

“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.” -Charles Stanley

A. Personal prayer

  • He took time alone with the Father.
    Read:

    • Mark 1:35
    • Mark 6:46
  • His reason for spending time with the Father was to discover God’s will for His life. Why do you pray?
    Read:

    • John 8:26b,28 and 29

B. Public prayer

  • He publicly thanked God for food.
    Read:

    • Mark 8:6,7
    • John 6:11, 23
    • Mark 14:22
  • Do you thank God for your food when you are in a restaurant? Jesus prayed publicly for the benefit of the people, that they would believe God.
    Read:

    • John 11:41-43

C. Prayer in a small group

Initiating prayer in a small group (family, friends etc) provides opportunities to teach them how to pray. Vonette Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, says she learned to pray in a group of college and career people. Their prayers and God’s answers to their prayers, stimulated her to want to know God in a deeper way.

Read:

  • Luke 11:1
  • Luke 9:18

D. He prayed for his disciples

The greatest gift we can give to others is our prayers. When we pray for others the same qualities that Jesus prayed for, we know we’re praying in the will of God.

Read:

  • Luke 22:32
  • John 17
  • John 14:16

E. He prayed for unbelievers

Read:

  • Luke 23:34

F. He has power over sickness, death, weather and demons

“Learn to worship God as the God who does wonders, who wishes to prove in you that He can do something supernatural and divine.” -Andrew Murray

Read:

  • Mark 1:23-27
  • Mark 1:40-42
  • Mark 4:36-40
  • Mark 5:35-42

Jesus’ posture during prayer

In my study of the gospels, I didn’t find one reference where Jesus folded His hands or bowed His head when He prayed. He had open and free communication with the Father. Most of the time he looked up, not down.

A. Looking toward heaven

Read:

  • Matthew 14:19
  • John 11:41

B. Sitting

Read:

  • Mathew 26:26

C. Prostrate (lying face downwards)

Read:

  • Matthew 26:39

D. On the cross (when in deepest agony)

Read:

  • Matthew 27:46

E. Hands raised in a blessing

Read:

  • Luke 24:51

Do you practice using various positions when you pray? Wherever you are, lift up your eyes to God. There is no need to be in a specific place to pray, such as a church. Pray wherever you are.

Jesus commands us to pray

“The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing; but it is the chief thing. The great people of earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer, nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time to pray.” S.D. Gordon

A. To not yield to temptation

We are told to pray that we won’t yield to temptation, but it is evident that prayer helps us not to fall into temptation.

“God will never tell us to do something that gratifies the flesh.” – Charles Stanley

Read:

  • Mark 14:38
  • Luke 22:40,46

B. That during the end time, our flight would not occur on the Sabbath or winter, and that we might escape.

Read:

  • Luke 21:36
  • Matthew 24:20
  • Mark 13:18, 19

C. For God’s Kingdom to come

“Of course, God’s will must be the primary object of our prayers… and we must recognize prayer as an instrument of God’s will. Therefore, we pray that God’s will may be done throughout the world… and in intercessory prayer we bring people… from around the world… into the presence of God.” – Dietrich Bonhofer

Read:

  • Matthew 6:10a

D. For God’s will on earth

Read:

  • Matthew 6:10b

E. For our daily bread

Read:

  • Matthew 6:11

F. For forgiveness of our sins

Read:

  • Matthew 6:12

G. Guidance away from temptation; deliverance from the evil one

Read:

  • Matthew 6:13

H. Laborers for the harvest

“Pursuing prayer is prayer on a mission. It is diligent, fervent, constant, persevering, determined and convinced.” – David Bryant

Read:

  • Matthew 9: 37,38
  • Luke 10:2

Jesus taught His disciples to pray

A. Recognizing where God is and who He is.

“If Bible Christianity is to survive the present world upheaval, we shall need to have a fresh revelation of the greatness and the beauty of Jesus … He alone can raise our cold hearts to rapture and restore again the art of true worship.” -A.W. Tozer.

Read:

  • Matthew 6:9

B. Yielding their personal wills to God’s; right heart attitude.

Read:

  • Matthew 6:10

C. Our daily needs.

Read:

  • Mathew 6:11

D. Focus on our attitude toward others.

Paul Billheimer in his book, Don’t Waste Your Sorrows, suggests the measure we are able to forgive those who wrong us is an indication to what extent agape love is being developed in us.

Read:

  • Matthew 6:12

E. Recognition of God’s power over the evil one.

“God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil…”- E.M. Bounds.


Jesus’ principles of prayer

“The point to remember is that all our circumstances are in the hands of God. The purpose of prayer is to reveal the presence of God, equally present at all times and in every condition.”- Oswald Chambers

A. Have faith in God

“It matters little what form of prayer we adopt… or how many words we use. What matters is the faith which lays hold on God, knowing that He knows our needs before we even ask Him. That is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty.”- Dietrich Bonhofer

Read:

  • Mark 11:22-24

B. Ask and keep asking

Read:

  • Luke 11:9-10.

C. Ask in Jesus’ name

The company or organization you work for gives you status; your husband/wife gives you acceptability; your family gives you credibility. But only Jesus’ name gives you access to the Father.

Read:

  • John 14:13, 14
  • John 16:23b

D. Abide (remain) in Jesus

Read:

  • John 15:7

E. Bear fruit

“Prayer, for Jesus Christ, formed the brackets in which He accomplished His earthly work. It fortified Him with wisdom and power before action occurred, and it renewed, refreshed, and revived Him when His human strength was exhausted. On the front end He prayed for fruit, in the middle He bore fruit, and afterwards, He thanked God for fruit.”-Dan Hayes.

Read:

  • John 15:16

F. Be Godly and do His will

Read:

  • John 9:31

G. Forgive

Read:

  • Mark 11:25

H. He judges hypocrites, but listens to a humble heart

Read:

  • Luke 20:46,47
  • Luke 18:10-14
  • Matthew 6:5-7

Conclusion

  1. What did you learn from this study on JESUS AND PRAYER?
  2. How will your prayer life change as the result of this study?

God bless you as prayer becomes an ever increasing priority in your life.

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13 Responses to “Jesus and Prayer”

  • victor says:

    Here is an example: “Dear God, Thank you for my family; that my Dad is doing better and will soon be out of the hospital and thank you for helping me make it on to the varsity volleyball team.”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Lord I also pray for Rudolph. Let him discover You every day as He reads his Bible. Let Him feel Your moment-by-moment leading in his life and give him the courage to obey. Let him see the good gifts from Your hand and give him words of thanks and praise in response. Let him be a testimony to the transforming power of Your Son Jesus and use him as a light to shine the way for his wife and children. Amen.

  • I want to feel the holein sprit workin on me I don’t want to go back to where I came from I want to love The Lord more an more day by day I pray that The Lord will keep my wife an kids with me as I go to no him more so please god I pray that u put the love back in my wife an kids for me an keep me save in u more an more I pray an I want u all to pray for my home wife an kids an ask god to move who aver it is pullin away my wife an kids away from me thank u

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Anonymous, glad that this article was of help to you. It is so wonderful to hear how zealous you are in seeking to read your Bible and the desire to connect to God through prayer. I would like to share with you an additional article that I believe will be of great help to you. It is called “Are You Experiencing The Spirit-filled life” It is through the power of God’s Spirit within you that will aid you in your Bible reading time. Also, are you connected to a local church where you can hear and listen to the word of God? This is another great way God speaks to our hearts in the things He wants us to learn, know, and grow in.

    http://powertochange.com/experience/spiritual-growth/spiritfilledlife/

    Are you aware that we have Mentors that can connect with you via email for free and encourage and guide you into a deeper understanding of God’s Word? If you would like to connect with one here is a link to request a Mentor.

    http://powertochange.com/experience/talk-to-a-mentor/

    At this time I would like to pray for you:

    Father God, I pray on behalf of Anonymous who desires to know you more. Holy Spirit I ask that You would open the eyes of Anonymous’s heart so more understanding and revelation of God’s word will come forth. I ask that You would place good people into Anonymous’s life that will be a help and encouragement as Anonymous grows in the way of the Lord. I thank You, God, for the wonderful works that You have started to do in Anonymous’s heart and life…we trust that You will carry such marvelous work on to completion. I Jesus’ name, Amen

  • anonymous says:

    This has helped me a ton! Thanks for taking time to do such a great job. I want to learn prayer. please pray for me that i should grow in spirituality by trusting on him more. I have a BIBLE but i find it difficult to understand the spiritual depths in it. I made a commitment to God that I will read his word and pray earnestly from now on. please pray from me.
    Thanks in Advance!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Sathish, I hope you chemistry exam went well yesterday. I know this is a day late for that but we know that God is not bound by time like we are so even if I pray today for your exam yesterday God is able to answer this prayer in His perfect time.

    Heavenly Father, You are the Mighty Creator of all things. You have created all the elements that fill our universe, you have established the laws by which those elements interact and You are the one who has created us with the intellect to know and understand those laws. I pray for Sathish studies right now. I pray that You would help Sathish to understand all the material, and to be diligent in the study of all the course work. I pray that You would help Sathish with the chemistry exam yesterday, to recall all of the information that was studied and to be able to communicate the concepts clearly. I pray for Sathish’s other courses as well that You would guide Sathish’s efforts to learn the course material and to be able to perform well in the tests of that knowledge. Amen.

    Let us know how things go for you Sathish. Be sure to thank God for His help!

  • sathish says:

    Good morning . I am name is sathish . I am studying engineering I year
    I sem is going on ..
    Can u do onehelp for me..
    Pls pray for me.. To get pass mark in all subject ..
    Today chemistry exam

  • B. Miller Brenda says:

    I so agree that this is a tremendous way to prepare my heart for Christ, by meditating on how Jesus presented Himself to His Father. Truly, there is no greater Model for prayer than the Saviour! Thank you for all your comments, and God bless you for this study, Katherine.

  • sharon says:

    Thank you for this Bible study! I was looking for a ‘unique’ Advent study for myself for this year. Something apart from the Sunday School pageant stories we revive each year. Studying Jesus’ messages regarding prayer seems like just the way to anticipate and celebrate his life during December.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    I love to pray to my Father all day. I love to seek His goodness. He is my everything in this life that he has given to me. I humbly bow down to His mercy and grace. In fact i have a title to my ministry that say: “Daily Walk With My Lord” and I believe it. I love to soak in prayer with my sister or by myself. I love to let God do whatever He wants to do with me.

  • LISY says:

    Very good msg about prayer. But as you mentioned, we must pray whole heartedly every time irrespective of the place and time. Praise to Lord Jesus. Amen

  • Peter says:

    WHEN WE PRAY ALWAYS GIVE THANKS. REGARDLESS OF WHAT SITUATION.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow i never knew about this just fantastic i might do it myself. Thanks!

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