The Prayer Life of Jesus
By Mark A. Finley
The prayer life of Jesus reveals His deep, close relationship with His heavenly Father. Jesus’ source of strength, courage, and faith flowed from these times alone in prayer. His prayer life is an example for each of us. It calls us from the busyness of our lives to quiet communion with God. The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—reveal vital lessons for each one of us regarding Jesus’ relationship with His Father.
1. Where did Jesus find the source of His spiritual power? What was Jesus’ regular practice? What was of vital importance to Jesus?
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
“And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’” (Luke 9:18).
What do these Bible texts tell us about Jesus’ prayer life? Pick out four words or phrases that characterized Jesus’ prayer life.
2. What specific answer to prayer did Jesus experience on the Mount of Transfiguration?
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matt. 17:1-3).
“And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30, 31).
Jesus was strengthened in prayer on the Mount of Transfiguration to face the trials ahead. Moses and Elijah appeared to give Him encouragement. Moses, who was resurrected from the dead, and Elijah, who was translated without seeing death, encouraged Jesus that His death on the cross would not be in vain, but would accomplish salvation for all who believe.
3. What does Hebrews 5:7 tell us about Jesus’ prayer life?
“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Heb. 5:7).
Throughout the Gospels, and in this passage in Hebrews, we observe that Jesus often prayed out loud. This is new to some people. Ellen White made a fascinating comment in the book Our High Calling: “Learn to pray aloud where only God can hear you” (p. 130). Praying out loud focuses the mind and keeps it from wandering.
4. What counsel did Jesus give His followers regarding the priority of prayer?
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
That men ought to _____________________________ and not lose _________________________.
This verse introduces the parable of the persistent widow, in which Jesus reveals the importance of perseverance in prayer. Although God is not like the judge who threatens to turn the woman away, the story does reveal God’s love for the powerless and defenseless who regularly call out to Him.
5. How did Jesus assure Peter about future events in his life?
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31, 32).
Jesus told Peter, “I have ________________________________________ for you.”
This must have been incredibly good news for Peter. Jesus was praying for him. It is also good news for us.
6. What assurance does Jesus give each one of us? Use the lines below to describe what this means to you personally.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9) “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word” (verse 20).
Jesus not only prayed for His disciples; He is praying for you and me before the throne of God. This ought to give us great assurance and confidence.
7. Why is united intercessory prayer so powerful? What promise did Jesus give to those who seek Him in prayer in small prayer groups, when two or three gather together? Identify what you consider the two most important statements in this passage.
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:19, 20).
Jesus’ prayer life revealed His intimate relationship with His heavenly Father. Just as He was strengthened through prayer, we are strengthened through prayer. Just as His prayer life brought Him hope and courage, so our prayer life lifts us from the things of time and places us within the realm of His eternal realities. In prayer we enter into His presence and receive new strength for our Christian journey.