I. THE PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS. "THESE WORDS SPAKE JESUS, AND LIFTED UP HIS EYES TO HEAVEN AND SAID, FATHER."
A. You almost feel that you take your shoes off when you get to this chapter for it surely brings us into the Holy of Holies. That personal, private, intimate relationship between the Son with His Father.
B. Luke's gospel that presents Jesus to us as the Son of Man, and shows to us the human side of Jesus, gives to us a greater insight to the prayer life of Jesus than any other gospel.
1. It is Luke that tells us that when Jesus was baptized by John that as He was praying, He received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. Mark in chapter one tells us that, "In the morning, a great while before the day, He arose and went out into the desert and there prayed." The day before spent in Capernaum had been a very busy day, while He was teaching in the synagogue He was interrupted by a demon possessed man, He then went from the synagogue to Peter's house where He healed Peter's mother-in-law, then far into the night the crowds thronged around Him bringing their sick and infirmed. After such a busy day one might think that it would be good to spend an extra hour in bed the next morning.
3. Luke 5
tells us how as the fame of Jesus spread through the area, that it became difficult to make their way through the villages as they were being thronged where ever they went. Luke tells us that Jesus withdrew Himself into a deserted place and prayed. The Greek present perfect tense would indicate that it was a pattern, "He was retiring in the deserted areas and praying."
4. Luke 6
tells us that, "It came to pass in these days that He went out into the mountains to pray, and He continued all night in prayer to God." It was the next morning when He chose twelve of the disciples to be called apostles.
5. Matthew tells us that after the news of the death of John the Baptist, that He suggested that they go across the sea to a wilderness area to rest, but as they left Capernaum the crowds saw the direction the boat was going, and they ran around the end of the lake and were waiting for Him when they arrived on the other side. Jesus, when He saw the crowd, was moved with compassion and spent the day teaching them. Toward late afternoon the disciples asked that Jesus send them away, and He told the disciples to feed them first. It is the time when He was to take the 5 loaves and 2 fish and feed the 5,000. Afterward when the crowds dispersed, and He had sent the disciples to the other side, that Matthew tells us that He went up into the mountain to pray, and continued in prayer until the morning watch.
6. Luke in chapter 9 tells us that He had gone to the area of Ceasarea Phillipi with His disciples, and it came to pass as He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him. The multitudes were gone, just His disciples there.
7. The next mention of prayer comes from Luke 9
again. He had gone up into the mount with Peter, James, and John where He will be transfigured before these disciples. Luke tells us that He was going up there to pray, and that while He was praying, the fashion of His countenance was altered.
8. Luke 10
tells us that Jesus had sent His disciples ahead to the cities and villages where He would be visiting. When they returned with the joyful news of the power manifested in the name of Jesus, Jesus said, "I thank Thee O Father, Lord of heaven, and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes, even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight." This makes me happy that I am a babe. I would rather be a babe, with the power of God working in my life, than have all the knowledge in the world, and have to depend upon my education.
9. Luke, in chapter 11, tells us that as He was praying in a certain place that His disciples said to Him, "Lord teach us to pray."
10. John 11
. A large number had gathered in Bethany around the Tomb of Lazarus, for they heard that Jesus was going to visit the tomb. As Jesus arrived He was weeping, and the crowd thought that He was grieving as the rest of them. Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You hear Me, and I know that you always hear Me, but because of the multitude standing around that I say this that they might believe that You sent Me." After prayer He said, "Lazarus, come forth." and Lazarus came struggling against the grave clothes, out of the tomb. This great power came after prayer.
11. John 12
tells us that some Greeks came to Phillip and said they wanted to see Jesus. When Jesus was informed of their desire, it was as though as He then looked at the cross, and spoke of the fact that the hour had now come, He could see the great hunger of the world for a Savior represented by these Greeks. He said, "Now is My soul troubled, what shall I say, Father, save Me from this hour, but for this cause, came I into the world, Father, glorify Thy name."
12. Luke tells us in 22, that He said to Peter, "Satan has desired you that He might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you." How would you like to hear Jesus say to you, "I have prayed for you." "Seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for us."
13. Before us is the next mention of Jesus praying, in this account we get a fuller record of the words of Jesus' prayer than any of the other prayers. We find Him praying first for the Father's glory, second for His disciples, and last for those who would believe on Him through their testimony - or for you and me.
14. The next mention of His prayer is in the Garden of Gethsemane which was one of His favorite prayer spots around Jerusalem. Here He was agonizing in prayer as He was facing the horrible prospect of being separated from the Father when the sins of the world would be laid upon Him.
15. The rest of the mentions of the prayers of Jesus come from the cross.
a. Luke tells us that while they were nailing His hands to the cross, Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do.
b. After darkness covered the earth at noon, and there were those awful hours of silence suddenly the silence was broken by the pitiful cry, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
c. Just as He was dying, He again prayed, "Into your hands I commend My Spirit.
16. His public ministry began in prayer at His baptism, and ended in prayer on the cross.
II. NOTES OF PRAYER.
A. The place of prayer.
1. Sometimes in the wilderness.
2. Sometimes in the synagogue.
3. Sometimes alone.
4. Sometimes among the crowds.
5. Sometimes in the garden.
6. Just where He was when He offered this prayer we cannot be sure, but somewhere between the upper room where He had celebrated the last supper with His disciples, and His crossing the brook Kidron on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Chapter 14 ends with the words, spoken at the dinner table, "Arise, let us go." The next chapter begins, "Now when Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Kidron to the garden."
7. What does this tell us about prayer? That it doesn't matter where you are, you can pray anywhere.
B. The position of prayer. "And lifted up His eyes to heaven."
1. Sometimes while sitting.
2. Sometimes while standing.
3. Sometimes while kneeling.
4. Even while being nailed to the cross.
5. In this and other accounts while lifting up His eyes toward heaven.
6. What does this tell you about the position of prayer? It doesn't matter the position of the physical body, what is important is the position of your heart.
C. What does this tell you about the need of prayer.
1. Jesus, being the Son of God, saw the need of prayer before making great decisions, before eating, when facing adversity, when His soul was troubled, when His disciples were in danger of slipping.
2. How much more do we need to pray over all things, in all conditions, and under every circumstance.
3. If it was necessary for Him, how much more for us.