The Discipline of Prayer

Jesus Praying“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (5:08)

Today we begin examining the personal disciplines that are essential if we are going to truly become like Christ in this life. We begin by looking at the discipline of prayer.

As today’s verse shows us…Jesus didn’t just model prayer…He depended on prayer.

And He was God.

If you carefully examine the Gospels, you will find that prayer was a regular part of Jesus’ life. Jesus prayed when He was baptized in Luke 3:21. It was during that prayer that the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove.

Jesus prayed before He chose the twelve disciples in Luke 6:12-13. In fact, Jesus prayed all night! He knew that the choice of His disciples was a critical decision He didn’t want to make alone. His time in prayer was spent not only speaking to His Heavenly Father, but listening to the Father as well.

Jesus prayed before revealing His true identity to the disciples in Luke 9:18-20, knowing that the timing of the revelation was important. In fact, Jesus spent so much time in prayer that after He prayed in Luke 11:1-3, the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. They observed something in the prayer life of Jesus that was lacking in their own prayer life.

He prayed 3 times prior to His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mt. 26:36. The last words of Jesus before He died on the cross were a prayer to the Father in Luke 23:46.

Prayer clearly was a regular practice and priority for Jesus. It wasn’t something He did 15 minutes each morning before work. Prayer was His lifeline to the Father.

One reason we have difficulty making time for prayer is that we often think of prayer as talking at God.

In actuality, prayer is time spent with God.

It is time spent asking God…

It is time spent listening to God…

It is time spent worshipping God…

It is time spent loving God…

It is always time well spent…

Take time today and this weekend to draw close to Him in prayer.

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to pray!

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