John 5:19-20; Matthew 14:22-23; Luke 6:12-13, 9:28; Matthew 26:36-39; John 11:41-44; Luke 5:15-16; & Mark 1:35-39
Pastor Steve departed from Genesis for a message on prayer. He opened with John 5:19, where Jesus said he can only do what He sees the Father doing. Preaching about purpose and following with Jesus did, he then looked at Matthew 14:22-23, where right after feeding the 5,000 Christ withdrew to the mountains by himself to pray.
“Ever wonder why the Son of the living God was praying so much when you’re getting by on so little?” Steve asked. “In Luke 6:12-14, Jesus prayed all night, again on a mountain, before choosing His 12 disciples.”
He also cited Luke 9:28, where Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the Mount of Transfiguration, and the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-39). Sorrowful and falling on His face, Jesus asked the Father to take the cup of suffering from Him. In John 11:41-44, Jesus prayed to raise Lazarus from the dead. Steve noted that Jesus said He was only praying out loud for the people’s benefit because He knew the Father heard Him.
He said we should note three things about the way Jesus prayed:
- Most of the time He was alone
- He did it at length
- He prayed before ministry and after ministry
“I have prayed a long time to be able to say I prayed a long time,” Steve said. “I’ve fasted and prayed, and also praised God (just) to be able to say I did. That’s religion. Jesus prayed all night for a reason. You don’t have to repeat vain words because Jesus demonstrated you can pray all night because you need to.”
After that, he posed several questions: Why do I stop praying? Why do I take my foot off the gas pedal? Why do I only pray in times of crisis? Then he pointed out that prayer and a relationship with God are the same thing. When you and I seek a relationship with God, we have to keep on praying. If we take a serious look at Scripture, it’s shocking to see the frequency of Jesus’ prayer life.
Steve wrapped up with two more passages, starting with Luke 5:15-16, which describes Jesus withdrawing to pray amid great crowds gathering to hear Him. This tells us this kind of prayer was a regular practice, not the religious shows of the Pharisees. This kind of prayer can help us overcome anxiety, stress, and lack of sleep.
He also mentioned Mark 1:35-37, where Jesus rose early to pray. It’s interesting to note that Jesus was never nervous or upset because He relied on prayer for strength and divine insight: “I want to encourage you to go before the Lord and say, ‘I need You.’”