“The Life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Colossians 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, ‘because of his godly fear’, He was heard by the Father.” Henry Blackaby
Jesus was passionate! We saw it in the wonderful film The Passion of the Christ. He was passionate about the lost, He was passionate about life and death, and He was passionate about prayer. We are living in a time when passionate prayer, the opposite of lukewarm or apathetic prayer, is needed for every nation. And the prayers of Jesus were heard because He left it all up to God. We may not sweat drops of blood when we pray, but we do know that sometimes prayer requires a wrestling in the Spirit with passion and fervency. Jesus never gave up, and He doesn’t want us to give up in prayer. He says in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray and not give up.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayer and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)
Jesus Models a Lifestyle of Prayer
Jesus prayed often. Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Jesus prayed in the desert and other lonely places (Luke 5:16), and he often prayed all night long (Luke 6:12). His prayers were with such intensity of focus that, at times, He even sweat great drops of blood when He prayed (Luke 22:44). And today He is still praying for us. I say this to encourage you, because many of you are deciding to increase the level of prayer in your own life. Others of you are trying to develop a greater prayer focus in your church or ministry and are running into opposition called spiritual warfare. The enemy will try to stop prayer any way he can, because he fears the prayer movement that is increasing all over the world. I have felt the intensity of warfare myself. Don’t give up or let the enemy discourage you. Things will happen as you persevere. God delights in your prayers! Prayer is the most important thing you can do, because after you have prayed, the fruit will come. When you plant seeds of prayer, they must grow. And when you pray God’s Word over your life, ministry, family neighborhood, city, etc., His Word will not return void. Why did Jesus pray so passionately? He knew that His authority and message came through prayer and by connecting with the Father in the power of the Spirit. Jesus always knew when He should withdraw and pray. He never became distracted by the work, because He always knew that power for the work came from God. More prayer equals more help and more blessing. Prayer was Jesus’ continual lifestyle and practice. He prayed passionately for Himself and for other as he walked this earth. And, no matter what our calling is in life, He is bringing us into a deeper, a more passionate, and a more intimate prayer life because He wants us to walk in a new level of power and authority, thereby defeating the enemy.
“Throughout history God has looked for those willing to yield everything to Him and His desire to redeem a world. At times God has marveled that no one was willing to go with Him (Isaiah 63:5, 59:16). The prophets seemed to grasp more than the common people, for while society carried on as though nothing were wrong, the prophets agonized and wept over what they knew God was preparing to do. God is calling you to go deeper in your prayer life with Him. If you are willing to be the person Jesus can take with Him into the most sacred moments, you will experience things only the angels shared with Jesus in the garden that night.” Henry Blackaby
The Prayers of Jesus
“Jesus… went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:28-29). “And as he was praying, heaven was opened” (Luke 3:21).
- The Lord’s Prayer – “This, then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'” (Matthew 6:9-13)
- Glorify Your Name – “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.'” (John 12:27-28)
- Glorify Your Son – “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him… and now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.'” (John 17:1-5)
- A Prayer for Believers – “…I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one…” (John 17:6-19)
- A Prayer for Unity and Love – “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me…” (John 17:20-26)
- A Prayer for God’s Will to Be Done – “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'” (Matthew 26:39-42, Luke 22:44)
- Father Forgive Them – “Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” (Luke 23:33-34, 46)
Jesus’ Passion Is That We Would Pray
When you have made it your aim to grow in prayer, you have chosen a noble passion. When you have made it your goal to see prayer mobilized in your church or ministry, you have chosen a wise ambition. When you call upon God to teach you to pray as Jesus and His disciples did, you are praying a wonderful prayer. Again, remember that the passion of Jesus is that we would pray always and never faint. In our travels to various nations, we are seeing increased desire to pray and to pray effectively, a passion in prayer such as we have never before imagined. The pursuit for prayer is not just an individual pursuit but churches, ministries and cities are seeking God on a wider scale. Truly this is the end-times Church arising to her destiny. And more prayer brings more glory to God.
“I want to encourage you to embrace a life of extravagant devotion to God, without any regard to cost. I want to encourage it not only because you will have the greatest reward you can have at the end of your life, but because you will fulfill your destiny in God, and just because it is an incredibly enjoyable way to live.” Mike Bickle