Bible Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and was heard because of his reverent submission” [Hebrews 5:7]
Our text gives us an insight into the prayer life of Jesus. His life was a life of prayer. The four gospel writers use the words “prayer” and “pray” at least twenty-five times in connection with Jesus, and it is an education to see when and where Jesus prayed.
Jesus prayed in the night and sometimes continued all night in prayer. He did this before He chose His disciples [Luke 6:12-13]. He prayed in a solitary place very early in the morning while it was still dark, and in the midst of a very busy time of ministry [Mark 1:35]. It seems that the busier Jesus became the more He withdrew to pray [Luke 5:15-16]. He was praying at His baptism [Luke 3:21-22], and He was praying in private before asking His disciples a very important question [Luke 9:18].
He prayed before feeding the five thousand [Matthew 14:19], and after feeding them went up on a mountainside to pray, and was there most of the night [Matthew 14:22,25]. Remarkably, Jesus prayed before raising Lazarus from the dead [John 11:41-42], showing His tremendous sense of dependence upon His Father even though He Himself was the Son of God.
Jesus prayed before great temptations [Matthew 26:36; Luke 22:39-41], and in the last moments of His life Jesus was praying, asking His Father to forgive those who crucified Him [Luke 23:34]. His last words before He died were a prayer – “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” [Luke 22:46].
Jesus didn’t always pray alone. Before His transfiguration He took Peter, John and James with Him, and went up on a mountain to pray [Luke 9:28]. Luke 9:18 tell us that His disciples were with Him when He prayed, and Peter, James and John were with Him in Gethsemane [Mark 14:32-33].
A whole chapter of John is given to record a prayer of Jesus, as He prays for Himself, His disciples, and for all who would believe [John 17:1-26]. It is hardly surprising that the only recorded time that His disciples asked Jesus to specifically teach them something was about prayer! “Lord, teach us to pray” [Luke 11:1]. If prayer was so important and necessary for Jesus, then how much should it be for us who follow Him?
Why do think that prayer was so important in the life of Jesus?
Something to do: When you are able to do so, take some time to read through each of the passages mentioned in todays devotional word, and allow something of the prayer life of Jesus to really impact you. Perhaps its effect will be the same as the disciples who asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray!”