New Hope Church

Day 25 – Lenten Devotional


Jesus demonstrated what a Prayerful life looks like

John 17:20  “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

Jesus actively engaged in prayer to His Heavenly Father constantly during His ministry.  Jesus was in constant contact with God the Father and as truly as anyone possibly could be He was a living example to us of Paul’s exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “…Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;”
Jesus prayed to the Father roughly 29 times in the four gospels.  What does Jesus teach us through His gospel examples of prayer about: (1) where He prayed; (2) when He prayed and (3) how He prayed?

  1. Where did Jesus pray?
    Alone:  Many of the instances where the Gospels record Jesus praying He “…often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16) (also Mt 14:13; 26:36-39; Mk 1:35; 6:46; 14:32-39; Luke 6:12; 9:18; 22:40-46; John 6:15).
    In crowds: Jesus prayed in the presence of great and small crowds: Mt 11:25; 14:19; 15:36; Mk 6:41; 7:34; 8:6; Luke 9:16; 18:15; John 6:11; 11:41.
    With the disciples: Intimately with His disciples: Mt 26:26; 39-44; Mk 14:22; 32-39; Luke 9:28; 10:21; 11:1; 22:19; 24:30, 50-53; John 17:1-26;
    On the Cross: Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Luke 23:34, 36
  2. When did He pray?
    Morning: Mk 1:35Afternoon: Mt 6:46; 11:25; 15:36; Mk 6:41, 46; 7:34; 8:6; Luke 9:16; John 6:11; 11:41Evening: 14:23; 26:26, 39-44; Mk 14:19, 14:22, 32-39; Luke 6:12; 22:19, 41-46; John 17
  3. How did Jesus pray?
    Vocally and Silently: Jesus prayed vocally and perhaps silently when He was alone.
    Standing, Sitting, Kneeling, Face down: Mt 15:29; 26:26, 39; Luke 22:41; John 11:41
    Hands lifted upLuke 24:50-53; Laying Hands onMt 19:13-15; Eyes open toward heavenJohn 11:41; 17:1

Jesus prayed in many different locations with only Himself or others; He prayed at various times of the day, and He does not seem to position His body, head or hands in a consistent or certain way.  Jesus teaches us that no matter the time, or location, or who you are with, or the position of your body…what counts is what is on your inside, your heart position.  Prayer to the Father with a humble, reverent and open heart is the intimacy He desires.  Whenever you pray know that you are transported spiritually into a holy time and place where there is only you and your heavenly Father.  That is truly beautiful!

REFLECT:  Do you limit your time with the Lord in location, time, position, or who you are with?  Learn from Jesus to pray without ceasing in any and all circumstances.

REPENT:  Change your ways. Do not limit God as though His presence with you is only early in the morning, or before bedtime, or rote prayers before meals, or bowed heads at Sunday service.  God wants all of you all the time.  Pray that you can offer yourself to Him in such a way.

RESTORE:  God is with you and willing to speak with you anywhere and anytime.  May your life grow in the presence, comfort, teaching of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as you develop an intimate life of prayer in communion with your Lord.

Psalm 141:1-2 “O LORD, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You!  May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.”

Pastor Tom Bellhy