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How to Pray Like Jesus

The Bible is full of examples of how important prayer was to Jesus. Here are a few.

Pray like Jesus
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The Bible offers many models for prayer. The Psalms, for example, offer language to cover almost any circumstance in life. But again and again, I turn to the Gospels for reminders of just how important prayer was to Jesus and how He prayed. Here are a few verses:

In the morning, while it was still very dark, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35)

Jesus could have talked to God anywhere, but He found it important to go off by Himself early in the morning, seeking a deserted place. Can we do any less?

I live in a teeming city with millions of people, but I can find that quiet place sitting on the sofa in the morning with my eyes closed.

“Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Our minds are filled with distractions. Prayer is an opportunity to pay attention to them…and let them go. Catch and release. When your mind wanders in prayer, don’t fight it. Take note of the thought. And let it go. Losing our lives for God’s sake…to find them.

“…but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:32)

Jesus prayed for others. His disciples, those who came to Him in need. Prayer is a time to offer intersessions for all of our loved ones and those we don’t even know. I like praying through the alphabet. There’s always someone or a group that comes to mind for every letter.

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper to be with you forever.” (John 14:16)

We’re not alone. As Jesus promised to His disciples, the Holy Spirit is our helper at hand whenever we need it. Let the Spirit give you the words—or no words—when all words fail.

“When you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

Prayer is an opportunity to become renewed. Forgiveness is a sure way to start. For me it’s never a one-time thing but something I need to do over and over again. When I forgive others, I can begin the work of forgiving myself.

“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)

Sometimes prayer is a one-way tug-of-war. Think of Jesus in the Garden, asking God to be relieved of His suffering. The only conclusion is relinquishment. Not His will, but God’s will. It might seem scary but there is always goodness ahead. For Jesus, yes there was the Crucifixion and then the Resurrection. 

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” (Matthew 6:9)

Most of us know these holy words, the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. I’m always grateful to be reminded it’s in the first-person plural, not singular. Even when we’re alone, we’re praying with others and for others. The answers come to us all from Our Father.

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