“At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.”
— Matthew 11:25
Almost everyone agrees that prayer is the most important thing we can do as a believer, if we want to see things happen and change take place in our lives. But we all can admit to having a lot of hindrances for not seeing that fulfilled such as not having enough time each day to pray; not knowing how to pray effectively; we don’t feel comfortable praying, especially in a group—or in all honesty, we don’t even like to pray because not much seems to happen when we do. If that’s you—you’re in good company.
Well, there’s hope for all of us because as we read the Gospels we find that no one ever prayed like Jesus. No one understood prayer like Jesus. No one has ever taught about prayer like Jesus—and should that surprise us? Jesus is God and with God there is absolute wisdom, knowledge and perfection in all things. But Jesus also came to earth as the Incarnate man. He was God in the flesh—yes—but He was also a man in the flesh. He had human limitations as well:
He grew weary and tired (John 4:6).
He experienced sadness (John 11:35) and deep emotion (Matthew 26:39).
He was severely troubled and distressed (Mark 14:33).
He demonstrated an unfulfilled hope and longing (Matthew 23:37).
He anticipated loneliness from His peers (John 16:32).
His soul was deeply tormented (Luke 22:44).
He went through human suffering and testing (Hebrews 2:18).
In other words, Jesus, in many ways, was very much like you and me!
One thing you will note even in the midst of all of the demands of His ministry, He made time for prayer—not only for Himself but for others. The Gospels tell us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray (Matthew 14:23, 26:36; Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 6:12, 9:18). He prayed openly for His disciples (John 17) and even now—and please don’t miss this—He prays for us today (Hebrews 7:25)!
There was a time in the ministry of Jesus, after He began to model His power, wisdom, discernment, and perfection when His disciples got the courage to make their only recorded request of Him, “Master, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). He responded initially with words that have universally been repeated numberless times—but that was only the beginning. Is there anyone better from whom we can learn how to pray?
TAKEAWAY: In the midst of the ministry of Jesus—one that was amazingly occupied with a myriad of activities, including extreme hostility—He always appeared to find a time and place to pray—even when it was inconvenient. — Maranatha!