7616 - Jesus Prayed

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Jesus’ example of quiet prayer and conversation with God the Father should serve as a strong reminder of its importance in our lives.

In our study through the Gospel of Luke we have come to Luke 4, verses 42-44. They tell us:

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The events in this portion of Scripture occurred about a year and one-half after Jesus began His ministry. These scenes are from the beginning of the first tour of Galilee, which Jesus made with the four fishermen whom He called to follow Him. Two sets of brothers, James and John, and Peter and Andrew, were chosen by Jesus to be mentored by Him.

The thing we notice in this passage is that at daybreak Jesus sought a lonely place. The parallel passage in Mark 1 (35) tells us he rose in order to have time for prayer. If you recall, at this time multitudes of people sought Jesus to help solve their particular problem or heal their diseases. So Jesus needed some quiet time to prepare for meeting and ministering to people.

Remember, Jesus had human flesh like you and me, yet after a short night of rest He considered it necessary to talk with His Father before the next busy day. This was a necessity, not just a good thing to do if he had time. He made time for conversation with the Father.

During His thirty-three years here on earth, Jesus chose to limit his resources for ministry to the same tools available to Christians today. He intentionally limited Himself from making use of His own divine power, in order to demonstrate to Christians how the Christian life could be lived. He placed Himself under the authority of the Father and depended perfectly upon Him for direction and words, for power and authority. (Jn 5:30; 6:38; 14:10; Acts 10:38)

It was necessary then, for His ears to be tuned to hear every word, which the Father said to Him. It was the Father who briefed Jesus on what people were thinking. It was the Father who gave Him words to answer the questions asked by various people. It was the Father who scripted the words of His speeches (Jn 8:28,38,40; 12:49-50;14:24).

How did all these words get transferred between the Father and the Son? They dialogued together.

Prayer has been called a conversation between two people who love each other. This surely was true of the Father and the Son. They talked together. Jesus prayed and the Father answered. The Father spoke and Jesus responded.

In the four gospels we find twenty times in which Jesus prayed between the time of His baptism and His Ascension. Some were short prayers. Other conversations lasted all night. Surely there were many unrecorded prayers too.

Luke tells us about the personal prayer life of Jesus. John gives us the longest written prayer, which Jesus uttered.

That prayer is found in John 17. In it we observe that Jesus had a particular request of the Father.

Jesus wanted people to know that God the Father had indeed sent Him to earth on a redemptive mission. Four times Jesus mentions this truth in this prayer. He wanted there to be unity between the Godhead and between believers. He said: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me.”

This was a concern of Jesus because other false leaders had previously appeared on the scene in Israel and claimed to be someone important; but then proved to be false saviors of Israel. Jesus wanted everybody to know He was not another false Messiah, but was in fact the true one sent from the Father.

If it was important for the Son of God to converse with the Father, it is certainly necessary for His adopted children to do the same.

May we be obedient and keep the channel of communication open on a continual, trusting, dependent basis with our Lord God.