As we wrap up our prayer study this month, I want to look at all the ways and times Jesus prayed. As His followers, we can learn much from the prayers of Jesus. His example shows us how to live a Godly life even within our prayer life.
Background on Biblical Prayers
There are 650 prayers listed in the Bible. And we find Jesus praying 25 different times during his earthly ministry. When we pray, we usually end our prayers with the word “Amen.” The word means “so be it,” “verily,” and “truly.” We find the term “Amen” first used in Numbers 5:22 (NIV) when God commands it to be a response to the examination of an unfaithful wife.
We can pray any time and in any place. But, the Bible does give us some examples of five specific postures for prayers:
- Sitting (2 Sam 7:18 NIV),
- Standing (Mark 11:25 NIV),
- Kneeling (Ephesians 3:14 NIV),
- With one’s face to the ground (Matthew 26:39 NIV),
- And with hands lifted up (1 Timothy 2:8 NIV).
Do you have one preferred method when you pray? Have you ever considered trying some other position when you pray?
Prayers of Jesus Don’ts
Jesus gave us some specific don’ts when it comes to our prayer time. We find those listed in Matthew 6:5-8 (NIV);
- Don’t try to show off.
- Do not be loud so that others hear you.
- Fancy words are not necessary.
- Our prayers don’t need to be long or full of unnecessary words.
- Pray time should not always be public.
“5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”Matthew 6:5-8 (NIV)
What Do the Prayers of Jesus Show Us?
We can see some important facts about prayer and its benefits through Christ’s example of what He prayed about.
- We find that Jesus believed in the power of prayer — Mt. 7:7-11 (NIV).
- Jesus’ prayers were not passive — Mt. 25:31-46 (NIV).
- He prayed before meals — Mk. 6:41 (NIV).
- Jesus offered thanks to His Father — Mt. 11:25 (NIV).
- He prayed before making decisions — Lk. 6:12-13 (NIV).
- Jesus prayed for those He loved — Jn. 17:9-26 (NIV).
- We see Jesus praying for our forgiveness — Lk. 23:34 (NIV).
- Christ prayed to resist temptation — Mt. 4:1-11 (NIV).
- And Jesus still prays for us today — Heb. 7:25 (NIV).
Prayers of Jesus
So, after all this detail on the prayers of Jesus, what was the very first prayer of Jesus? In His first prayer, Jesus taught us how to pray using the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV). And Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross by offering a prayer for those who crucified Him and His followers in John 17:1-11 (NIV). He began His ministry with prayer, ended it with prayer, and set the perfect example for us to follow.
I pray this study has helped you with your prayer life. I know preparing for the study has helped me. And, even when the words don’t come easy, remember Romans 8:26 (NIV); “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Dearest Jesus, thank you for your faithful teaching on prayer and for providing us so many beautiful examples. I pray that my prayer life is pleasing to you. And when words fail me, please hear the groanings of my heart. I love you. Thank you for everything in my life. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.