In keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are looking intently at the life of Jesus as it relates to prayer in the INSTITUTE. We had a rich and deep discussion this past Sunday as we were sharing what we had learned from Jesus.
There were many things that were intriguing…and I think we all were beginning to beg God to “teach us to pray.”
It was good for me to examine the Scriptures about Jesus and see they never pointed to His “method” of prayer. The Bible doesn’t say, “Every morning Jesus rose before the sun and prayed.”
Jesus lived out a lifestyle of prayer. He knew when he needed those special times away. He took advantage of those times, but he wasn’t piling on a legalistic rule of pray at 5:30am or you are unworthy to follow me. Jesus lived and breathed prayer. He did it at meals, on the road and in many situations that confronted him.
In the study of Christ’s prayer life, we were asked a question: why don’t you think the first 18 months of Jesus ministry had so little recorded about prayer? This question moves us into a little bit of speculation, but it would sure seem that it was just an assumed part of Jesus’ life. It was also an unassuming part of Jesus’ lifestyle. He lived, as John tells us, to please His Father, so he must have been talking and listening to him regularly.
He lived out a lifestyle of dependence upon His Father. Jesus didn’t compartmentalize prayer into a special prayer team…it seems as though he would just do it. He loved interacting with the Father. So he kept doing it.
One other thing I wanted to share: Jesus gives a corrective instruction about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount–Matt 6:5-18. He is fixing what the religious leaders and others were doing wrong in prayer. I never realized that the commonly called “Lord’s Prayer” came on the heals of the incorrect prayers of the people in Jesus time. The Good Teacher–Jesus–points out the falsehood, and then gives a corrected perspective. You should look it up (right there in the margin is a place to look it up.) I have begun to ask myself…am I praying wrong?. Maybe Jesus needs to correct my prayers today? ouch! If I’m violating something that He wants it is gonna hurt, but it is so worthwhile at the same time.