#925. Do we pray like Jesus? (23/10/23)
‘One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.’ (Luke 6:12-16)
Lesson: Like Jesus, life and ministry are to flow out of prayer because God meets, speaks and empowers those who pray.
You can listen to this devotional at:
What is Luke trying to teach us as he includes this account about Jesus praying all night? Luke has already told us earlier in this gospel:
'At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.’ (Luke 4:32)
‘Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ (Luke 5:15-16)
Luke was inspired to include the prayerfulness of Jesus for important reasons:
i. In praying, Jesus is showing us how a perfect human is to live. He is fully God and fully man, and as a man He is prayerful. Prayer is the mark of true godliness and righteousness because prayer is about worshipping and depending on God.
ii. Jesus, in praying all night, shows us that sometimes we are to persevere and have extended seasons of prayer.
iii. By praying, Jesus is showing that effective ministry in teaching and miracles flow out of prayer. Time with God will overflow in powerful service to others.
iv. By praying and then choosing The Twelve, Jesus is showing that we discern God’s will through time listening to Him.
v. By praying and then choosing The Twelve, we are to see that these apostles are God’s chosen men whose words in the Bible are to be reverenced as God’s words.
vi. A disciple (a learner) is one who is seeking to be like their teacher and I hope we can see that this account and Jesus’ teaching and lifestyle generally is a call to be a praying people. Terry Virgo wrote:
‘Jesus gave impressive priority to prayer, both as an example in His own life, and also in His teaching. His disciples, observing His personal prayer commitment and phenomenal success in life and ministry, asked Him to teach them to pray. They undoubtedly learned the lesson, so that in the book of Acts it is very evident that the early believers demonstrated their dependence on God in corporate prayer.’ (Virgo, Terry. The Spirit-Filled Church (p. 105). Lion Hudson. Kindle Edition.)
Like Jesus, life and ministry are to flow out of prayer because God meets, speaks and empowers those who pray. Is our personal and church life saturated with prayer? How could we better imitate Christ in His devotion to prayer? I hope we can see that praying like Christ is the route to joy, perseverance, knowing and doing God’s will.
Perhaps you’d like to Pray this:
“Lord Jesus, I thank you for inviting me to pray to your Father as my Father. May I, like you, learn to love time with the Father in prayer. May I be humbled to rely on the Spirit’s empowering and guidance through prayer. May I see more clearly the power of the cross for me as I spend time in prayer with you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together
This week we continue in our Luke series looking at Luke 6:12-16. In this section we see Jesus, after a night of prayer, appoint 12 apostles, who, like the 12 patriarchs of Israel, are chosen and commissioned to re-form and found the people of God on Christ.
Please read Luke 6:12-16
This is the third time that Luke specifically mentions Jesus’ devotion to prayer (See also 4:32, 5:15-16). Why do you think Luke does this and what does it mean for us?
Do you have a special place or time when you pray and read the bible? Share and pool ideas to encourage one another.
Why is it sometimes so hard to spend time alone with God? What might we do to combat the urge not to? (I use the word combat to evoke the idea of a spiritual battle)
Why did Jesus specifically choose 12 to be apostles and why were they, humanly speaking, not the greatest choice?
Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us to be adopted as sons and daughters before the creation of the world. How do you feel knowing you, like the apostles, have been chosen?
SIV - 'Apostle' means ‘sent one’. Although we are not apostles, what are we all appointed and sent by Jesus to do?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - How could you step up in praying for your community who don’t know Jesus?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.