Luke 11:1-4 tells us: “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” What a privilege Jesus’ disciples had to get to listen to Jesus pray and be able to ask Him to teach them how to pray!
In this passage, Jesus was praying aloud in the presence of a crowd of people. When He had finished praying, one disciple asked Him to teach them to pray. It does not tell us what Jesus prayed but His prayer affected this disciple in such as way as to prompt him to ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Have you ever felt that your prayer life was inadequate? Should we ever be satisfied with our prayer life? I think our prayer life is like our sanctification, it should grow the longer we are saved. Today I want to take a quick glimpse at four of Jesus’ prayer habits. We find in Matthew 14, the story of when Jesus walked on the water. Matthew 14:23: “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray…”. Matthew 14:25 goes on to say: “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them…”. The fourth watch is somewhere between 3 AM and 6 AM. Jesus got away alone to pray. He needed personal time with His Father, and not just a quick prayer either. He prayed most of the night! The time we spend alone with God is so precious! It is a time we should forward to. It is so important to pray before we make decisions or have an important task to do.
In Luke chapter 5, again Jesus withdrew Himself to pray after a period of intense ministry. He had been so busy and the multitudes of people had been following Him everywhere He went. We find Jesus had just healed a man with leprosy. Luke 5:15-16 says: “But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” Everyone had a need, and the pressures were building up. Again, He got apart from the crowd and prayed. Luke 6:12-13 tells us: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles”. Jesus had many disciples, but He chose only twelve whom He named apostles. It was a major decision, and before that decision, Jesus prayed all night! If Jesus, the Son of God, had to get apart and pray to His Father before a major decision, don’t you think we should too?
Luke 9:28 says: “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.” There are times when it is good to have someone pray with us. Jesus took His closest men to pray with Him. The point is, Jesus prayed. He prayed alone, He prayed in public, and He prayed with friends. He prayed when He made decisions and He prayed when He needed strength. He prayed when things got hectic, and He prayed for His Father’s will. In comparison, how is our prayer life? Could it be better?