Daniel’s life is a story of God’s miraculous leading and providential guidance.
Jesus’ Prayers, and Ours
By Mark A. Finley
The Gospel of Luke focuses on Jesus’ prayer life more than any other book in the Bible. Luke was a Gentile physician who longed to share the eternal truths of salvation with both Jews and Gentiles. Luke wrote his Gospel around A.D. 60 to a growing Christian community. Significantly, it is addressed to someone named Theophilus, which means “lover of God” or “a friend of God.” Luke’s purpose was to lead readers to become God’s friends. The Gospel of Luke presents a revolutionary concept: Jesus, the divine Son of God, dwelt in human flesh and, as a human, developed an intimate relationship with God in prayer.
1. What two significant principles in Jesus’ prayer life do we discover in Luke 5:16 and 9:18?
For Jesus, prayer was not a spasmodic practice. He did not pray occasionally, when He “felt” a need. For Jesus, prayer was a way of life. And not only did Jesus pray often—He had regular, planned times to be alone with God (see Luke 11:1 and Mark 1:35).
2. Compare Luke 9:28 with Matthew 18:19, 20. Why do you think praying with others is vital to our prayer experience?
Jesus often prayed with and for His disciples. Praying together unites our hearts, encourages our spirits, and lifts our vision. When we hear someone pray for us, we are strengthened by their prayers. When we unite in prayer, seeking God and interceding for others, God moves in unusually powerful ways in response to those prayers.
3. Reflect on Jesus’ experience with Peter in Luke 22:31, 32. What impact does this incident have on your prayer life?
Why would it encourage each one of us? Jesus assured Peter that He was praying for him by name. What rich assurance that Jesus, the divine Son of God, knows our names and is praying for us. What encouragement for us to join Jesus and pray for others as He did.
4. What does Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane reveal about the purpose of prayer? Read Luke 22:41-46.
The purpose of prayer is not for God to bend His will to conform to our will; it’s to allow His Spirit to mold our will to conform to His will. It’s not to get from God what we want, but to discover what He wants.
5. In at least two instances in the Gospel of Luke Jesus encouraged His disciples to pray for very specific things. Read Luke 22:39, 40 and 10:2, and describe why these things are so important.
Jesus urged His disciples to pray for power over the temptations of the devil, and to pray for laborers to share His love and truth with receptive multitudes. These two prayers deal specifically with what God does in us and through us.
6 How is Jesus’ prayer on the cross so vital for our own spiritual lives? Read Luke 23:33, 34.
Condemned unjustly, treated unfairly, and wrongfully accused, Jesus forgave His tormentors. What a model for us!
7 Read Luke 23:44-46. How did Jesus’ final prayer reveal the deep commitment of His life and model the true purpose of prayer?
Jesus’ prayer life reveals a life totally surrendered to the Father’s will. Jesus had one desire: to please His Father. The purpose of prayer is to bring us into an intimate relationship with God, so that all we want is what He wants. May our prayer lives be so deep, so complete, that our hearts will be united to Christ’s heart and we will be consumed with the desire to do His will.