Tuesday, June 13, 2006

pray tell: when did Jesus pray?

Even Jesus, the unique Son of God our Father, did not rely on his own guidance, strength and courage. Rather, he prayed. He was quite intentional, passionate and consistent in his prayer life:
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7 TNIV)
So when did Jesus pray? Listen to Scripture's answers:

When he was baptized
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened . . ." (Luke 3:21 TNIV)
Very early in the day, before a long day of ministry
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and ... prayed.” (Mark 1:35 TNIV)
Late in the day, after (and right before) another long day of ministry
"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone . . ." (Matthew 14:23 TNIV)
Frequently, despite the unceasing, urgent demands of a multitude of people
"Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew . . . and prayed." (Luke 5:15-16 TNIV)
Sometimes for extended periods of time
"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." (Luke 6:12 TNIV)
When his heart was simultaneously weighed down with great woe and jubilant with true joy
"At that time, Jesus said. '. . . Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . .'" (Matthew 11:25; cf. vs.20-24 and vs.25-30)
When everyone else around him felt like they were too worn out to pray
"When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’" (Luke 22:45-46 TNIV)
When you would think he would be too upset to utter very many words at all, and perhaps was
"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 TNIV)
With his dying breath
"Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last." (Luke 23:46 TNIV)
Question: When do you pray?