The Gospel records of Jesus’ prayers and the instructions given by Him to us about praying provide a model for the priority of prayer in our personal life, home, and daily walk. Our Lord was focused on one thing—getting God’s work done that He was sent to do (Jn. 5:17; 9:4). He actively involved Himself in the Father’s kingdom agenda by learning the Father’s heart and mind through prayer (3:16; Mk. 8:34-38, 10:45). This often involved misunderstanding and suffering (Jn. 7:1-9). Even in the midst of this, Jesus had joy and desired His disciples have joy in their tribulations in this present evil age (15:11). Jesus learned through His sufferings by offering up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to His Father who was able to save Him from death (Heb. 5:7; Lk. 22:39-46). As His servants, we are not greater than our Lord (Jn.15:20). We will experience the same as we obey God’s agenda in getting His work done on the earth (Mt. 6:10; Eph. 2:10).
How did Jesus find out what the Father’s agenda was? Through prayer! From Luke’s gospel, we see this in Jesus’ selection of the twelve and in His announcement to them about the Father’s agenda concerning His suffering and resurrection the third day. These key events in Jesus’ life were preceded by His prayer relationship with the Father (Lk. 6:12, 9:18-22). In fact, in the upper room discourse Jesus makes it very plain about His prayer relationship with the Father. It was the Father initiating and doing the works through the Son.
How else could Jesus have known to obey God’s agenda except through His vital daily relationship in prayer with His Father? This daily emphasis about Jesus’ prayer relationship can be observed in His instructions to His disciples about prayer for their daily bread (Mt. 6:9-15). Jesus desired for His followers to enjoy an abundant prayer life as He did. John records Jesus’ upper room discourse invitations for an abundant prayer life in 14:13-14 and 16:23-24.
Father, I know that You desire for me to enjoy an abundant prayer life as Jesus did, otherwise You would not have given so much instruction to Your people about how to commune with You! Help me to know Your mind and heart and to have a deep desire to pray without ceasing! Thank You for allowing me to have full access to Your throne room through Jesus!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 18, Praying with God’s Heart and Mind by Joel Wilson). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise Jesus as your King and husband, the bridegroom of the church (Eph. 5:25-27). Give thanks for his power to wash you and make you clean and holy, radiant and without stain or wrinkle. Confess any impure thoughts you may have had this week. Commit yourself to purifying yourself “from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Cor. 7:1). Ask God to help you think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Phil. 4:8).
Pray for pastors who work with couples experiencing marital problems. Ask God to give them the wisdom to counsel effectively and the strength to bear this heavy burden.
“They who have steeped their soul in prayer can every anguish calmly bear.” —Richard M. Milnes
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