Keeping Your Faith and Praying Like Jesus
Learning from How Jesus Prayed
by J.M. Troppello
Prayer is vital to growing in your walk with the Lord. It’s not just a means to an end – for God to answer your prayers. He’s not a genie in a bottle. God wants to have a thriving relationship with you – guiding you to continued growth each day. Thomas Watson said, “Prayer is the key of heaven, faith is the hand that turns it.” I love that statement. You need faith in order to pray to God and believe that He actually hears you.
Jesus modeled prayer for the believer. He would go out alone to pray. He prayed an intense prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he got arrested and before his death on the cross (see: Matt. 26:36-56).
In an earlier instance, He sent the multitudes away, told his disciples to go in the boat and cross to the other side – then he went up on the mountain to pray. You can read more about that occurrence in Matthew 14:22-33. That was when he walked on the sea to go out to the disciples on the boat. They thought they had seen a ghost. Peter stepped out by faith to walk to Jesus. Yet, when he saw the winds and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. Jesus reached out to Peter and said he had little faith. He asked him why he doubted. They got back into the boat and the wind ceased. Those in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “Truly, You are the Son of God.”
I can only imagine how I would have responded in that situation. Would I have gotten out of the boat to walk to Jesus? I don’t know. Probably not. Peter was braver than I would have been. It’s also important to remark about when the winds became more boisterous – Peter took his attention off Jesus – and then he got scared. Think about that in relation to your own Christian walk. When you focus on God, His peace truly does pass all understanding (see: Phil. 4:7). Yet, when you focus on your problems (the boisterous wind), you may become fearful and lose your peace.
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. (Matt. 14:22-24, NKJV)
It's also important to focus on how Jesus prayed. He usually went off by himself. He didn’t make a big show of praying. In Matthew 6:5, Jesus urged people not to pray like the hypocrites prayed standing in the synagogues and the corners of the streets that they may be seen by men. You can read more about that in Matthew 6:5-8. He spoke those words prior to sharing the following words about the ideal manner to pray (The Lord’s Prayer).
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
Luke 11:2-4, NKJV)
It’s vital to always focus on God first when you’re praying – and not on your own will and desire. Seek God’s will to be done in your life, not your own. Yes, I know that is difficult sometimes. I can say that from personal experience. Thank God for His daily provision. Trust Him to continue to provide for you. Ask Him for provision of your needs. Confess your sins to God. Ask for forgiveness. If your heart is hard, ask God to soften your heart so that you can love and forgive others as you need to (see: Ezekiel 36:26). Thank God for His covering and deliverance from evil.
Have you been praying as you need to be?
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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