The Passionate Prayer Life of Jesus
- Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"The Life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Colossians 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus' prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, ‘because of his godly fear', He was heard by the Father."
--Henry and Richard Blackaby
Jesus was passionate!
We saw it in the wonderful film The Passion of the Christ. He was passionate about the lost, He was passionate about life and death, and He was passionate about prayer. Jesus wasn't lukewarm or apathetic about prayer. No! He was on fire and fervent about it, and we must be too. We are living in a time when passionate prayer is needed for every nation.
Jesus modeled a lifestyle of prayer. He prayed often. Mark 1:35 says, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Jesus prayed in the desert and other lonely places (Luke 5:16), and he often prayed all night long (Luke 6:12). His prayers were with such intensity of focus that at the end of His life He even sweat great drops of blood when He prayed (Luke 22:44).
We may not sweat drops of blood, but we do know that sometimes prayer requires a wrestling in the Spirit with passion and fervency. Jesus never gave up, and He doesn't want us to give up in prayer. He says in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray and not give up. We read about the example of Jesus' passionate prayer life in Hebrews 5:7:
"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayer and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission."
Luke's Gospel is labeled the Gospel of prayer. In this Gospel we see that whenever Jesus had to make a decision He prayed. He prayed before his conflict with the Pharisees, before choosing the disciples, and on the Mount of Transfiguration. And today He is still praying for us. Think about that! The prayers of Jesus were heard because He left it all up to God. In Heaven He is praying and always lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
Many of you are deciding to increase the level of prayer in your own life. Others of you are trying to develop a greater prayer focus in your church or ministry and are running into opposition and spiritual warfare. The enemy will try to stop prayer in any way he can because he fears the prayer movement that is increasing all over the world. I have felt the intensity of warfare.
Don't give up or let the enemy discourage you. Things will happen as you persevere. God delights in your prayers! Prayer is the most important thing you can do because after you have prayed, the fruit will come. When you plant seeds of prayer, they must grow. And when you pray God's Word over your life, ministry, family neighborhood and city, His Word will not return void.
Why did Jesus pray so passionately?
He knew that His authority and message came through prayer and through connecting with the Father in the power of the Spirit. Jesus always knew when He should withdraw and pray. He never became distracted by the work, because He always knew that power for the work came from God. More prayer equals more help and more blessing. Prayer was Jesus' continual lifestyle and practice. He prayed passionately for Himself and for other as he walked this earth.
And, no matter what our calling is in life, He wants to bring us into a deeper, a more passionate and intimate prayer life because He wants us to walk in a new level of power and authority. In the book Experiencing God Day-by-Day, Henry and Richard Blackaby exhort us to go deeper in prayer:
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