Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray By His Example

Jesus is our teacher. We follow his curriculum. We do that by studying the gospels to learn to follow Jesus from Jesus himself. When we do that we see that prayer was an extremely important part of their (and our) walk.

As with most things Jesus taught on prayer in two main ways: his example and his verbal instruction. This article will focus on Jesus’ example in prayer.

Jesus showed them by example in the following verses:

Mark 1:35 – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Jesus went out early to a solitary place to pray. Pray first thing in the morning. God first.

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

We learn that Jesus prayed “often” and in “solitary places.” Teaching his disciples that prayer is something to do regularly.

Matthew 14:23 – “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,”

Between feeding the 5000 and walking on the water Jesus leaves the crowds and then sends his disciples off in the boat so he can pray by himself on a mountainside. Why a mountainside? I imagine to find some alone space.

Luke 6:12 – “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

Jesus didn’t just pray in the mornings. Here, Jesus prayed all night.

Luke 22:41-44 – “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Jesus prays in the garden before his arrest. This shows us the need to pray leading up to difficult circumstances.

Luke 23:34 – “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”

Jesus prays from the cross on two occasions. This shows us not only the need to pray leading up to difficulty but the need to pray during difficulty.

Jesus prays from the cross on two occasions. This shows us not only the need to pray leading up to difficulty but the need to pray during difficulty.

Jesus shows us that we need a regular habit or discipline of prayer. You see that in his morning prayer. You also see that in Judaism with their hours of prayer. Jesus would have most likely engaged in those daily prayers on set hours as an observant Jew. We need regular prayer discipline: In the morning, at meals, in the evening.

We also need prayers that arise out of situations and circumstances. When things get tough, we pray. When good news comes our way, we pray. The only way to do this well is for God to be on our minds more consistently. If we don’t think of God in a relational way then we won’t think to talk to him about things as they arise.

Let’s be in prayer regularly. This is a huge part of following Jesus. Pray that God will help you be a better disciple/follower. Pray that God will open your ears and heart and mind when you study the Bible daily.

Prayer is going to be key to any discipling movement gaining traction. Please pray God will help this take hold in our congregations.

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