Jesus prayed for others. In John 17:9 we read, “I[Jesus] pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours.”This underscores the need for intercessory prayer.
Jesus prayed with others. Luke 9:28 reads, “[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray.” Jesus prayed alone, but He also knew the value of praying with others.
Jesus prayed alone. Luke 5:16 reads, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” As much as Jesus understood the value of praying with and for others, He also understood the need to pray alone. It’s important for us to “be still” before God, but the only way to do this, especially in our hectic culture, is to do so alone with God.
Jesus could pray as a sprinter or a marathon runner. The Lord’s Prayer is short enough to be easily memorized and serve as an example of a sprint rather than a marathon prayer. But Jesus also knew how to dedicate long periods of time to prayer. As we read in Luke 6:12, Jesus “spent the night praying to God.” We, too, need to be able to offer short prayers, as well dedicate long periods of our lives to prayer.
Jesus prayed regularly. Luke 5:16: “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” The word “often” is not hidden, but makes it obvious that Jesus prayed regularly. Throughout the Gospels whenever we read of Jesus and prayer, it comes up regularly and naturally. It was simply a part of His worldview, integrated into every aspect of Christ’s life. Can we say the same about prayer in our life?
The prayers of Jesus were heartfelt. Jesus did not pray in a cold, distant manner, but in heartfelt supplication, demonstrating empathy and a genuine love for God.
Jesus prayed based on His knowledge of God and His truths. The prayers of Jesus were based on God’s revealed truths and, as such, were in line with a solid biblical worldview. Proper prayer requires us to have a truthful understanding of God and what He has revealed to us through His Word.
Jesus taught persistence in prayer. “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). The parable Jesus shared is not meant to depict a pestering disciple who finally bugs God enough that He chooses to respond, but about persistence in prayer and waiting on God and His timing.
Jesus knew that not all his prayers would be answered as expected. This is a difficult prayer lesson to learn, but the fact of the matter is that not all our prayers are answered in ways we expect. Even Jesus knew this hard lesson as he cried out to God the Father from Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44). Three times Jesus prayed for God to allow an easier path, but Jesus knew, “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (26:39). (ROBERT VERLARDE)