For the past several weeks I’ve been thinking about prayer. I did the Thursday Live! vlog about prayer two weeks ago and last Monday I wrote What’s Good About Prayer? in this space.
I want to return one more time to the subject and share one additional thought with you.
Here it is: What if You Prayed Like Jesus?
One of the ministries of Jesus is to pray for believers.
He prayed for all believers in John 17 (John 17:1-26, see verse 20) just moments before His arrest, trials and ultimately His death. And His ministry of prayer continues today.
Did you know that He is praying for you right now? The Bible says that Jesus is making intercession for you before the throne of God (Romans 8:34 & Hebrews 7:25).
Just the fact that Jesus prays indicates how important prayer is.
But have you ever thought about how Jesus prays? If His experience in the Garden of Gethsemane is any indication, the prayers of Jesus can be characterized as intense, focused and passionate. The Gospel writers, Matthew and Mark stress the agony of Jesus, that He was burdened to the point of death and deeply distressed as He prayed. It is Luke who tells us that as He prayed, His sweat was like large drops of blood running down His face.
Yes, those prayers were in the context of His impending suffering and death, but is there any reason to think that He prays less intensely or passionately for you today?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never prayed that intensely, that passionately. Jesus prayed!
And He is still praying for Christians today.
What if all of us prayed like that!?
Maybe we don’t see the answers to our prayers the way we would like because we don’t pray the way we should. Is that possible?
I want to look at this from a somewhat different point of view and change the question just slightly and ask: What if Jesus Prayed like you?
What if He prayed for you the way you pray for other people? What if His prayer was like your prayers? God bless John. God be with Sue. God watch over Jimmy, Amen. What if that was how Jesus prayed?
I know that I’m asking a hypothetical question that can never be true, but isn’t it worth pondering? If Jesus prayed like us, how do you think that would affect our lives?
The fact is, we don’t want Jesus to pray like us and we hope that He doesn’t. We want Him to pray with intensity, with passion, and with urgency. We want Him to sweat those drops of blood for us, if necessary.
We want Him to spend hours, not minutes, praying for us. And we don’t want Him to quit. Because we believe that His prayers are effective. They get results.
If that is how we want Jesus to pray, then isn’t that how we should pray? Why should we expect anything more of Jesus than we expect of ourselves?
That brings us back to our original question: What if You Prayed Like Jesus?
This is where the story of Elijah on Mt Carmel comes into play. The Bible says that even though Elijah was just like us, never-the-less, he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain (James 5:17-18).
Did you get how he prayed? He prayed earnestly. He prayed like Jesus and he got results. And we are assured in that passage that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) avails much (with God). The intense, passionate prayers of godly people have power with God!
Praying like Jesus (and Elijah) gets results!
When we fail to pray like Jesus, we cheat ourselves of seeing God work in marvelous and powerful ways.
Don’t cheat yourself or those you are praying for with anemic, powerless prayers.
Pray like Jesus.
Stay in the Word