Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When Jesus Prayed

Friends, Shari's son got sick last week and then she had to leave for a weekend speaking event so she'll be with us later this week to talk fashion. For those of you who were tracking with me on the subject of prayer before my blog got carried away with the likes of miniskirts and midriff shirts, here is a list (which I found at of

27 instances where Jesus is praying:

1. Praying prior to Bethlehem (Hebrews 10:5-7)

2. Praying at His baptism (Luke 3:21,22)

3. Praying before His first preaching tour of Galilee (Mark 1:35-39)

4. Praying after the healing of a leper (Luke 5:12-16)

5. Praying before choosing the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12,13)

6. Praying after being rejected by certain cities in Galilee (Matthew 11:25)

7. Praying prior to the feeding of 5000 people (John 6:11)

8. Praying after feeding 5000 people (Matthew 14:22,23)

9. Praying as He healed a deaf man (Mark 7:32-37)

10. Praying prior to feeding 4000 people (Mark 8:6)

11. Praying before Peter's great confession (Luke 9:18; Matthew 16:14-17)

12. Praying during His transfiguration (Luke 9:28-35)

13. Praying after hearing the report of the seventy (Luke 10:17-19, 20, 21)

14. Praying before teaching the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1; Matthew 6:9-13)

15. Praying at the grave site of Lazarus (John 11:41, 42)

16. Praying over little children (Mark 10:13-16)

17. Praying in the temple on Palm Sunday (John 12:20-28)

18. Praying over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-44)

19. Praying in the upper room prior to His death (Matthew 26:26-28)

20. Praying for Peter (Luke 22:31-34)

21. Praying His great High Priestly Prayer (John 17)

22. Praying in Gethsemane prior to His death (Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:39-46)

23. Praying on the cross (Luke 23:34; Matthew 27:46; John 19:30; Luke 23:46)

24. Praying at His resurrection (Hebrews 2:12,13; John 20:17)

25. Praying at Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

26. Praying at the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)

27. Praying today for the believer (Romans 8:34; I John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24)

Try this, pick one of these instances (you could do one a day for 27 days) and read about them in your Bible. Then - feel free to do it here if you wish - try to answer these 3 questions based on what you read:

  • What is Jesus praying for here?

  • From His prayer, what does Jesus know about God the Father?

  • How could a greater awareness of this characteristic of God affect my life?

I did the first one and posted my answers - It'd be cool to see some of you post your answers to the others. We could fill out this list between the group of us! We could learn together.


  1. HEBREWS 10:5-7: “When Christ came into the world, he said to God, "Sacrifices and offerings are not what you want, but you have given me my body. No, you are not pleased with animal sacrifices and offerings for sin." Then Christ said, "And so, my God, I have come to do what you want, as the Scriptures say."

    1) Jesus is praying, basically, for God’s will to be done through His life. He is acknowledging that the sacrifice of His body, for our sins, is the sacrifice that God will be pleased with. Jesus seems to be praying/confirming that He WILL DO the Father’s will. Jesus is consenting to the sovereign will and grace of God.

    2) From this, I can tell that Jesus knows what His Father’s will is. He knows what pleases His Father (and what does not). Jesus also knows that He can trust His Father’s plan to be the best way (even though it means tough times ahead for Him). Jesus knows God can be counted on to right and redeem people – through His sacrifice.

    3) So how would my life look different if I remembered this? When I get off path – when I look away from God’s will and start doing my own – I eventually realize that God knows best because I find myself somewhere I really didn’t want to go! (you know, like when I realize I’m nagging everyone, or trying to control everything, or I’ve procrastinated the day away…) What I need to remember in that moment is that in the instant it takes to pray, I can be righted by the power of God through Christ, and back on track again.

    But most importantly, if I know God’s will and what pleases Him - and I keep that before me as my goal - I won’t veer off path in the first place. I can wake up each day and commit myself to the sovereign will and grace of God.

  2. Rachel, I just read the post and your comments. When I was reading the post it brought tears to my eyes thinking about all the areas of prayer that I can have and how Jesus of course covered every area. I will do what you suggested and post again at that time. Thank you so much for being who God created you to be, I know you haven't arrived because none of us have but you are doing an awesome job of it with this blog, I only pray that one day I will get the privilliage of hearing you speak. Thanks again and God's blessing to you and yours
    Ingyr, Columbus OH

  3. Mark 1:35-39 Praying before His first preaching tour of Galilee.

    Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
    35Very 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. 36Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"
    38Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." 39So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

    1. What is Jesus praying for here?

    The verses do not say what Jesus is praying for here. The things that struck me were that He got up early (even though the day before He had been healing people, casting out demons, and dealing with large crowds of people), went to a quiet, solitary place and prayed. I believe He was pouring out His heart to God and recharging for His ministry ahead.

    2. From His prayer, what does Jesus know about God?

    That God is His strength and His refuge. That God would fill Him up and prepare Him for the ministry ahead. That God hears our prayers and answers them. He understood that time in prayer also solidified the purpose God has for His ministry; that He travel to other cities and continue to heal, cast out demons, and spread the gospel. He was not to remain where He was and rest in His acceptance and success there.

    3. How could a greater awareness of this characteristic of God affect my life?

    I am renewed when I spend quiet time in prayer. God, my refuge and my strength, will hear my prayer and answer it according to His will. He will also commune with me and tell me what his purpose for me is. He will set my feet on His path and will be with me as I travel it.

    Thanks Rachel! This is a great study!

    Karen, CA

  4. Hi Rachel,
    Just stopping by to tell you that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you are well.


  5. Rachel, I love this series of articles on prayer. May I add an encouragement to the ladies to not be afraid to CLAIM the time to pray. In the instances that you cite about Jesus going up the mountain to pray etc, it would be logical to believe that He sometimes had to say, "Guys, I'm going to talk to my Father. Don't interrupt me!" All too often, women begin with good sooner than they get "Father God" out of their mouth, someone knocks on the bedroom door or the phone rings. We need to prioritize those few minutes and expect other people in the house to respect it as we do. If we have to DEMAND it, we'll only have to once or twice until they understand how vital your few minutes is. But, as women, we have bought into that guilt trip that if we neglect others for anything, even God, then we are not good people. The world will not stop if the phone is unanswered. If Johnnie has to wait on his peanut butter sandwich, he won't starve. Better yet, invite Johnnie into the bedroom to pray with you.He'll soon understand what you are doing and then one of two things will happen. He'll either leave you alone because he's no longer curious about what you are doing or(preferably so) he'll champ at the bit to pray with you! Kids are magnificent prayer warriors. Talk about cut to the chase!!!! Have a prayerful day, grandma maddie

  6. Mark 10:13-16 (#16)

    1)Jesus is praying over little ones. He touches them and blesses them. (Such a tender picture isn't it?)

    2)Jesus knows that God the Father values children and values a child-like faith and humbleness in all of us.

    3) Wow. Being aware of this characteristic of God is life changing, really. As a parent - knowing that God values my children - their lives, their hearts, their needs and knowing that He uses them as an example to us adults - really keeps me in check! Also, reading about Jesus' tender show of affection for those little ones - gives me a good picture of how I too should value all the children in my life - the ones living under my roof and the ones that aren't.

    I needed that today.

    Great idea glad you are having us dig into these scriptures. Thank you:)

    Kate :)

  7. Rachel,

    What a great challenge you have set before us on your blog.

    I also love what you shared yesterday and today about prayer in your devotion. Prayer is not a formula, not a task to be checked off. Prayer is a gift from God so we can KNOW Him deeply, EXPERIENCE Him fully, and LOVE Him lavishly. Thank you for sharing such wise words of wisdom and advice about the gift of prayer.

    Love you,


  8. Rachel,
    This is a fantastic challenge. I am excited just reading the first one!
    I literally had 5 prayer requests noted in the top part of my journal yesterday when I opened the P31 devotional. The Lord certainly used your post to change my perspective (and get me to bed earlier!)
    I'm right here with you for that challenge. Keep it coming!
    Natasha -- Canada

  9. Praying prior to Bethlehem (Hebrews 10:5-7)
    verse7-Then I said, Look, I have come to do your will, O God as is written about me in the Scriptures.
    God's way for us is to please HIM, It is by coming to HIM in faith to be forgiven and then following HIM in loving obedience.

  10. Luke 3:21,22

    What is Jesus praying for here?
    The word does not tell it. It was a SILENTPRAYER a moment between Him and God
    I imagine different prayer subjects can i crystalize out of the situation discribed - as the moment to take the step to Baptism in a multitude of people makes you HUMBLE and HIM choosing to do this as a EXAMPLE and also TOGETHER ( He is not better but one of us between us..)-

    From His prayer, what does Jesus know about God the Father?
    To choose for a SILENTPRAYER says- Father " You knows my heart and intentions....."- to me!

    How could a greater awareness of this characteristic of God affect my life?
    The awareness that God looks at my HEART and INTENSIONS and listens and sees me no matter the multitude of prayers who are going up.
    He HEARS my prayers each of them
    To be aware of this constantly would not put a barriere( wall) between me and God I would always be aware to be noticed i'm not invicible for God...

    I love and appreciate this on your blog
    I notice it opens me up and grow closer to God and beeing in His



Chime in.