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Jesus Praying

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Prayer

I was talking to a friend of mine and it is always good talking with this friend. He lives far away but I will occasionally give this guy a call or he will give me a call and we just talk.
And its great. We catch up, we find out what is going on in each others lives and we just kind of talk. It’s great.
I have another friend of mine who I talk to on the phone pretty regularly. And we talk about the most boring inane stuff. I mean he will call me after he drops his kids off from school and tell me about how he is late for work and how he is speeding and how he just missed the turn that the GPS told him to turn on.
It’s kind of weird. We hang out even though we are 1000 miles away from each other we talk on the phone and just hang out.
I feel pretty lucky to have a couple of guys that I can do that with. Just people to talk to. Just talking, communicating.
And I think about these conversations and I think about communicating and I think about our relationship with the Lord when we talk about prayer, when we talk about praying.
And I think that all of us, as Christians would say that we want a good prayer life. We want a fulfilling time of communicating with God but many of us just don’t get what we want out of our prayer time. If there is any prayer time at all.
And if we can learn anything about prayer then we can look at the prayer life of Jesus because Jesus was the ultimate example of what prayer looks like.
We see Him in prayer a lot.
We read about him talking with God in private and we read about him saying his prayers out loud so that others can hear what he is telling his Father.
Jesus desires to spend time with His Father and even though He is always with His Father he treats prayer with the utmost importance.
There is a tremendous amount of power that is connected to the prayers of God’s people. Incredible power.
Prayer is simply communication with God. It is speaking to God, and listening to God.
Prayer is in a sense a submission to the Lord. It is a posture that reminds us of just who we are before God.
It is said that:

Prayer moves the hand that moves the world!1042

And that..

Prayer is the only omnipotence God grants to us.1043

When we look at prayer we can look at the life of Jesus.
You see, if we get a sense of what prayer really is. What it really is would probably change things when it comes to our life.
Because when you pray, whether you realize it or not, whether you feel it or not you get an audience with God. Hello! You get to have God listen to you.
This week Rachel and I had to meet with the principle at the kids school. Don’t worry, they didn’t do anything bad. But we had something that we wanted to talk to the person in charge. I wanted to go to the top, the number 1. I didn’t want to mess around.
As a Christian, you get to go right to the top. You go to the One in Charge! You go into the very presence of God. And that means something!
And so
And if we look at the life of Jesus and study His prayer habits, we can learn something. We learn..
1. Prayer is First
Martin Luther is quoted to saying that

“I have so much to do that I must spend the first three hours of each day in prayer” (Martin Luther).1029

Prayer is our connection to God. It is our power source if you will. And when we begin to recognize that our prayers and our attitude towards prayer will show it.
Jesus has specific times that he sets aside for prayer. He makes sure that He gets alone with His Father to praise Him, to share His feelings, and to ask for requests.
Jesus knew about this and it was his habit to spend even the first moments of the day in prayer, uninterrupted prayer.
Mark 1:35–38 ESV
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
Mark 1:35-38
Jesus prays first and he prays alone.. Just Him and God. This is one aspect of prayer. Jesus saw the importance of getting away, alone with God.
Look at the first verse there, In verse 35 there it says that Jesus departed. That means that He got away. He had to get away so that he could be alone with the Father.
He was so alone that people were looking for Him.. Peter and the other guys were searching for Jesus, but apparently Jesus knew a pretty good hiding spot and he went to it because He understood how important it was. I know that we just talked about this a couple of weeks ago but it is no less important now.
People were looking for Him.. Peter and the other guys were searching for Jesus, but apparently Jesus knew a pretty good hiding spot and he went to it because He understood how important it was. I know that we just talked about this a couple of weeks ago but it is no less important now. We need to get away and we need to get alone and we need to make prayer a priority.
We need to get away and we need to get alone and we need to make prayer a priority because life has too many distractions. There were too many distractions for Jesus and they didn’t have (in our world) anything to distract him. No phones, no tv, nothing like that.
Jesus knew that there were distractions, and so he knew the secret to effective prayer was to get away.
How many of us have been unsuccessful in our own prayer life because of the distractions that mount against us?
But we need to understand that we have got to make prayer first. Make prayer first. Before you do anything, pray. It puts you in your rightful place before God. Recognizing it. Pray first.
Cause there is a battle for you and your life.
Have you ever been trying to spend some time with the Lord? And then all of a sudden the phone rings? All of a sudden you get a ding on your phone that tells you that you received an email?
The kids start to act up. Maybe now the dog wants to play and shows up with a ball in her mouth.
I am not making this stuff up. You know that when you try to get alone with the Lord seems to be the times that every distraction under the sun seems to rise up against you.
The enemy does not want you to pray! The enemy will do anything he can to keep you from praying to God. He will because even the enemy knows that prayer IS so important. So we have to make it first.
Even when it feels like your prayers only exist in your head they don’t.
Don’t put music on while you pray. Not music with lyrics anyway because you end up singing along and your prayer time isn’t prayer time anymore.
If you must put ear plugs in. Seriously! Maybe run a fan next to you to drown out the outside noise but treat prayer like what it is, an appointment for you alone with the Creator of the Universe. You know how in the Drs. office there are signs that say to please turn off your cell phones?
Doesn’t God deserve your undivided attention while you are with Him? Set a timer for however long you decide to pray.
Its really important because:
Prayer points us to God
The disciples noticed Jesus’ prayer life and asked him how to pray.
The Lords Prayer
Matthew 6:9–13 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
2. Prayer points us to God.
Look at how Jesus describes prayer. It is all about the Father, all about the Father’s wishes. All about the Fathers power. Its a great method for prayer.
You can’t go wrong when your prayers are centered on God, on God’s will, on God’s power and on God’s wishes. You can’t go wrong.
When we look at the prayers of Jesus we hear Him lift up the Father. We see that when He asks for something for Himself that he is still glorifying God in the midst of it.
Look at how Jesus teaches about what prayer is. It is focused on God first.
Our Father in heaven. That is saying something right there.
God wants a relationship with you and He wants you to pray to him. Talk with Him like a Father that loves you. You have access, you are adopted, you are accepted into the kingdom of God. And he wants to spend time with you.
And its awesome because the second line of that sentence says “in heaven”. the KJV says “who art in Heaven”.
So even though God is like a daddy (the kind of daddy you are supposed to have) and loves you like a daughter or a son, He is still reigning supreme over the universe. He is still number one and He still deserves your respect. That is why he then says
Holy is your name, or hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Putting God where God belongs. Above all. His will.
And then the prayer refers to the kingdom. This is so important because we need to realize that the Kingdom of God is usually thought of as a future event. And it is.
But the kingdom of God is also in a sense a present reality. The Kingdom of God has been set up and we are praying that God takes action. God you are the ruler supreme and we look to you to move, God. We look for you to make this or that happen.
So the whole of this prayer has been to God, to glorify himself, to recognize God as the absolute power. Now Jesus turns to
God has a will, he has a plan, and as a Christian we should be praying prayers of submission to that plan even when it doesn’t involve us receiving anything out of it.
God’s plan, not mine.
And i have to tell you that I am just as guilty as everyone else when my prayers consist of mostly me complaining and my situation. Or me whining about what’s going on or what’s not going on.
I find that when my prayers are focused on me that there isn’t much power behind those prayers. But when my prayers focus on God and on God’s will and on me carrying out Gods will, then something changes, something shifts.
And sometimes that can be a difficult concept. Sometimes its really hard to let go and let God’s plan rule. Really hard.
Because it’s difficult when we aren’t in control. And when that happens we find out another truth about prayer:
And when that happens we find another characteristic about prayer:
3. Sometimes prayer is a battle.
Sometimes we have no other course but to pray, and that prayer is a battle. Sometimes you have done everything you can in your power and there is nothing left to do, you just have to pray.
You have exhausted all your efforts and there is literally nothing left you can do.
Speaker Story. I may have told you this story before but there was a time when I had a really awesome sound system in my little Honda CRX Loved that car. And I had some great speakers in there.
One day I had to take my car to the dealership where they did some work on the car but when I got the car back I noticed that one of my speakers was sounding distorted. The speaker was blown. Don’t know if you every heard of that before but it was a big deal cause I didn’t have a ton of money and I had saved for these incredible speakers and now it was messed up.
I called the manager and told him and his reply was that it couldn’t have happened because they have a policy that they don’t allow anyone to listen to the car stereo’s in the shop to prevent such an incident.
I asked him to find out from the tech. Of course he came back and said that the guy didn’t do it and that there wasn’t anything they could do for me.
I was pretty mad. Here I am, a twenty something guy who is really upset over this speaker thing. They wont do anything for me. And I was upset and angry and I really didn’t know what to do.
The thought occurred to me that I hadn’t prayed about this. I know, I know. Prayer. But I was desperate here and I said to God. “God, I have been wronged here and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t do anything about it. Lord, I pray that you would help me get over it.
The next day I get a call from the manager. He apologized to me and said that the tech fessed up and did blow the speaker and that they would replace it. Praise God Right? That was an incredible answer to prayer. For me it was. I had to let it go. Sometimes battling and waring in prayer means to let it go.
Sometimes battling in prayer means really battling.
And it can be a battle that is fought alone or with others.
There is an incredible story about Jesus battling on His knees.
After the passover meal, the night He was arrested Jesus went out to pray.
The word agonia which is a word for fear, sheer fear that an competitor at the games would feel right before the event. Or a soldier as he walked into battle.
Luke 22:39–46 ESV
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Jesus prays with friends (in agony) a desperate prayer. Barclay points out that Jesus was only 33 and no one wants to die when they are 33.
Because this is what is going on. Jesus is so tormented that he is sweating drops of blood. The capillaries in his face are breaking due to the stress of the moment.
The word agony is used. That word agonia which is a word for fear, sheer fear that an competitor at the games would feel right before the event. Or a soldier as he stared to walk into battle.
The word agonia which is a word for fear, sheer fear that an competitor at the games would feel right before the event. Or a soldier as he walked into battle
Make no mistake Jesus is battling in prayer. No, He isn’t worried about a blown speaker. No, He is praying about His very life. He is praying because He knows what He is about to face. He is praying because there is no one else that He wants to talk to other than His Heavenly Father.
He has a Heavenly Father to go to. He can pour everything out to the Father. And he is honest with God. “Father let this cup pass from me.” Meaning, If there is any other way God. If there is any way to do this differently I am open to suggestions.
But then Jesus follows with that most appropriate phrase, Thy Will Be Done. Your Will Be Done Father. You know what is best, even when I have to go through torture.
Even when we have to go through difficulties, THy Will Be DOne. Thy WIll Be Done.
That is our answer. And I know that you are praying for things. I know that there are concerns, very important concerns. Are you willing to say to God in the midst of your torment, in the midst of your disappointment, in the middle of the storms in your life are you willing to say, “Thy Will Be Done”?
Its a powerful powerful thing to release ourselves and our situations over to God. Very Powerful. And you may not even feel it, but it is happening. When you pray, stuff happens.
Jesus’ Prayer the night he was arrested The High Priestly Prayer in
Prayers of thanks
The Gospel of Luke Your Will Be Done (Luke 22:39–46)

That is the way it was with Jesus. He went into Gethsemane in the dark; he came out in the light—because he had talked with God. He went into Gethsemane in an agony; he came out with the victory won and with peace in his soul—because he had talked with God.

Sometimes that prayer is HELP! Help!
Finally I didn’t want to pass this up. Sometimes prayers are saying Thanks. I don’t like using too many personal illustrations but this fits too well. I used to go to Campus Crusade for Christ, a college ministry at UD.
I had a friend years ago, when I was 18-19. After the club on thursday night we all went to play volleyball. My friend Karl fell and hurt his knee and dislocated it.
It was very scary. 3 or 4 cars of college students are flying up 95 on our way to the hospital and as we are driving we decided we would pray. We were praying man. I don’t even know how it started but I know that I was praying as hard as I could if you can pray hard.
And about half way up 95 I got the very distinct impression that I believe came from God that said. You don’t need to ask me to heal Karl anymore, now I want you to thank me.
And I spent the rest of the ride thanking God for something that hadn’t even happened.
We got to the hospital and when we did we found him and we asked him how he was and he told us that his knee just popped back into place before the Dr saw him.
It doesn’t always happen like that. As a matter of fact, it rarely happens like that. But I know that when we look at the life of Jesus that we take his example of prayer and we do it.
Remember that we can talk to God. And God knows us so He’s not impressed with big words, or being long winded. God is impressed with hearts.
Our prayer life is our lifeline to God. How much are you praying? I mean with your heart? Your soul pouring out to God? Do you know He iistens? Do you know he cares?
Paul in says this about prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 ESV
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
He is saying Pray! Pray, take the example of Jesus and pray.
I would challenge you this week. What is your prayer life like? I pray that God will remind you of this first thing in the morning on Monday morning and every day in the week to say before you even put a foot on the floor, God I give my life to YOU today. I live for you today God.
Give me strength to accomplish what you have for me to do today.
This is so foundational and so fundamental for us as Christ followers. This is how we have a relationship with God the Father!
Pray
Maybe you have something you need prayer for . I would love to have the opportunity to pray for you right here and right now. You have a God who loves you and wants to provide for you. And He may provide for you the way you want Him to, or He may provide for you the way He wants you to. Would anyone come up today to pray God’s will be done in their life today?
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