Paul says, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). And, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Pet 2:21).
Many of the hooks that are written about the life of Jesus Christ place emphasis on his works and teachings but have neglected his inner communion with God. This inner communion is reflected in his daily prayer life.
Prayer is a manifestation of a religious life. If we neglect to pray, our faith will not be firmly established.
Jesus Takes Time To Pray Even In His Busiest Moments:
“And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there” (Mk 1:35).
“But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Lk 5:15-16).
“And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” (Mt 14:23).
We must follow this example of the Lord. The more busy we are, the more we need to take time to pray.
The Lord Jesus Prays More Fervently When Great Trials And Tribulations Are About To Befall Him:
“Arid being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Lk 22:44).
Just before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus prayed even more fervent! to God. He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears and He was heard because of His piety (Heb 5:7). For this reason, we must not forget to pray when misfortunes befall us. If we imitate the Lord and offer our prayers with loud crying and tears, God will hear our prayers. Even on the verge of being put to death, we must not cease to pray. During the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, a few deacons and elders of the church in Shanghai were taken to the streets by the Japanese soldiers. They were made to kneel in a row. When they were about to be executed, they cried out loudly, “Hallelujah!” They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. Their bodily vibrations were so vigorous that the soldiers were greatly surprised and did not proceed with the execution. Thus, they were released unharmed. This shows how God saved those who prayed earnestly on the verge of being put to death. For this reason, in difficult situations we must not forget to pray to God. The prophets and the apostles were able to escape from dangers and calamities because of their earnest and unceasing prayers to God (Heb 11:32-34).
The Lord Jesus Always Prays For Others:
He said to Peter, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Lk 22:32). And, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word” (Jn 17:17, 20).
The Lord Jesus not only prayed for those who loved him and those whom he loved, but also prayed for his enemy. Even when he was nailed on the cross in the midst of great pain, he did not stop to pray for those who persecuted and crucified him: “Father, forgive them, for the do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).
God is love (1 Jn 4:8). Christianity is a religion of love. The Lord Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him in order to set us an example that we also must love our enemy so as to manifest the love of God. Paul himself also urged us to pray for one another “Pray for the believers. Pray also for me” (Eph 5:18-19).
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men” (1 Tim 2:1).
James also told us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another” (Jas 5:16).
Abraham prayed for the city of Sodom so that it might not face destruction because of God’s wrath (Gen 18:23). Moses prayed for the people of Israel so that they might escape from the wrath of God (Ex 32:31-34). Thus, we see that the Lord Jesus, the prophets and the apostles all prayed for others in an unceasing manner.
Jesus Does Not Cease To Pray:
“I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Mt 11:25).
We see that the life of Jesus on earth is a life of prayer. In other words, prayer is the source of His strength. His prayer does not consist of ‘asking’ or ‘requesting’ for material needs but for his spiritual well-being. He prayed freely to God and experienced the togetherness between a father and a son (Jn 8:35). He is in God and God is in Him (Jn 14:10). His prayer proceeds from the heart (Jn 17:21-22). The religious life of the Lord Jesus is a spontaneous revelation of His true self. His prayers are not something external or forced. They are not ritualistic. The true nature and all the fullness of God are revealed solidly and concretely in the daily life of the Lord Jesus (Heb 2:9).
John said, “Our prayer is our communion with our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1 Jn 1:3).” Paul said that we who are spiritual prayed for the things of the spirit (Rom 8:26-27). Prayer is conversing with God (1 Cor 14:2). In prayer. our spirit reaches out to the Spirit of God. Prayer is oneness with God (1 Jn 4:13). Prayer produces an intimate spiritual union between Father and Son. For this reason, we who are Christians must never neglect to pray. For prayer is like the breath of our spirit. It must be done in order to provide food for our spirit. Thus, Paul encouraged us “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, he on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Eph 6:18). Therefore, follow the example of Christ in prayer, so that we may reach greater heights of spiritual growth..