Video 3: Prayer in the Life of Jesus

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When Jesus enters the world, he brings with him a new age of kingdom prayer and calls us to enter it with him.

Every aspect of the life and ministry of Jesus is deeply rooted in prayer–more than most realize. It isn’t just a peripheral thing, it’s the life-breath of how he serves the Father as the God-Man, and how he brings the kingdom to earth as the King of kings.

In this 6-part series you’ll be equipped to:

      • Understand the importance of prayer–especially in crises
      • See the connection between prayer and the kingdom of God
      • Explain the place of prayer in the ministry of Jesus
      • Pray front-line, God-centered Kingdom prayers
      • Apply the Lord’s Prayer to your private and public prayers
      • Pray confidently, persistently, and in faith

This brief video (5:45) will help you see Jesus’ ministry as not merely strongly supported by his prayers, but his ministry as primarily through his prayers.

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Registration closes September 15

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develop churches that transform lives and communities.

 

In our last session, we learned that the prophet Isaiah cast a vision for the future when God’s house, his temple, would again become a house of prayer.

This is a vision for God’s house to be filled with God’s people as a kingdom of priests offering joyful worship and prayers to God.

But for this to happen, a new and faithful High Priest had to come–the Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that, through their union with him, they would become a kingdom of priests offering worship and prayers to God on behalf of his kingdom purposes on the earth.

When Jesus enters the world, he is bringing about a new age of kingdom prayer in which we are called by God to enter with him. So we should not be surprised when we find Jesus life on earth, from beginning to end, marked as a life of prayer.

When Luke writes his gospel of Luke and Acts, he gives us an amazing two-volume story of the life and teachings of Jesus. This whole story teaches us the importance of prayer and its role in the mission of advancing God’s kingdom on earth.

Birth of Jesus

Think about how much prayer permeated the story surrounding the birth of Jesus. When the birth of the Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, was announced to Zechariah at the temple, Luke 1:10 tells us the people were standing outside praying. Zechariah responds with prophetic prayer. Mary, the mother of Jesus, breaks out in singing prayers of praise to God. Simeon takes the baby into his arms and prays. Anna gives thanks to God.

Baptism of Jesus

The first place we read of Jesus praying is at his baptism. While he was praying (Luke 3:21) the Holy Spirit descends on him in the form of a dove. This symbol marks the beginning of a new age, just as a dove marked a new era of grace in the story of Noah.

Temptation of Jesus

When Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted for forty days, we see the vital role of his prayers in accomplishing the Father’s will. As the last Adam he faces head on the temptations of Satan that defeated the first Adam. As the true Israel of God, Jesus also faces all the wilderness temptations that defeated the people of Israel in their wilderness. How did he do it? Primarily through prayer.

In Jesus’ Ministry

In Luke 5 we see, In the middle of all the demands of his great healing ministry, Jesus often withdrawing to a lonely place to pray to his Father.

In Luke 6, we learn that before he chooses the 12 disciples, he went out to the mountain to pray all night.

In Luke 9, after praying alone (9:18), he announces to his disciples, in a clearer way than ever before, his coming death and resurrection. Then he goes up to the mountain to pray (9:28). He takes Peter and James and John, and as he is praying he’s transfigured in front of them and they see his glory.

In Luke 11, the whole chapter is one of the greatest teachings in all of scripture about prayer. Here Jesus paints a revolutionary new picture of prayer as coming before God as a loving, heavenly Father, who loves to give his children good gifts. And it’s here the disciples are compelled to ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. We’ll examine Jesus answer later.

In the Upper Room, before his betrayal by Judas, he prays. And he promises to pray for Peter to be restored after he denies him.

In the Garden of Gethsemane he prays.

And on the cross, three of his last seven words are prayers

After his resurrection, Jesus reveals himself to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. When do they recognize him? When he prays to give thanks for their evening meal.

Now, in his ascension, the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us he “lives to make intercession for us” as our high priest.

Preview New Course on Kingdom Prayer Today

Soon we begin to learn that Jesus’ ministry was not merely strongly supported by his prayers, but his ministry was primarily his prayers.

Every aspect of the life and ministry of Jesus is deeply rooted in prayer–more than most realize. It isn’t just a peripheral thing, it’s the life-breath of how he serves the Father as the God-Man, and how he brings the kingdom to earth as the King of kings.

God means for this model of Jesus, as the Pioneer of our Faith, both to humble us and embolden us. It’s humbling, but it’s liberating to recognize that even in the life of Jesus at every single step he took, every significant movement forward of the kingdom of God is in and through prayer.

I leave you with this question I hope you’ll never forget: “If Jesus, as the Son of God, believed that prayer was this necessary for the Father’s kingdom purposes to be fulfilled in and through his life and ministry, how much more is that true of you?”

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Registration closes September 15

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Throughout the Scriptures we find a strong connection between prayer, the kingdom of God, and the mission of God.

This is not just in the New Testament but also in the Old Testament. For instance, one time God spoke to the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, telling them that because their sin had become so great, he would no longer hear their prayers and continue his mission through them.

In Isaiah 1:15 we read: When you spread out your hands,
 I will hide my eyes from you;
 even though you make many prayers,
 I will not listen;
 your hands are full of blood.

Prior to this, God’s people were “A kingdom of priests,” who would pray and worship God in his house. And God would answer their prayers causing his kingdom purposes to come throughout the earth. But, now, because of their horrible sin, God’s people were no longer a kingdom of priests in his house. So God was no longer answering their prayers to advance his kingdom purposes through them. But the good news is that God did not give up his purpose to have a kingdom of priests in his house of prayer.

He later promised that, in the future, he was going to bring foreigners, non-Jews, to his holy mountain and into his house. And they would become a new kingdom of priests! In Isaiah 56:6-7: “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
 to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
 and to be his servants,…
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
 and make them joyful in my house of prayer;…for my house shall be called a house of prayer
 for all peoples.”

The prophet Isaiah casts an amazing vision here of God’s future, joyful, house of prayer that will be filled with a new kingdom of priests from all peoples and nations.

The next time this passage is mentioned is in the New Testament: “Jesus entered the temple, and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers (Mat 21:12-13).”

In Ephesians 2, Paul uses this same imagery of God’s house to describe the church of Jesus Christ, now made up of Jew and Gentile: “For through him (Christ) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Preview New Course on Kingdom Prayer Today!

In the Old Testament, the people of God lost their identity as a kingdom of priests. But the good news of the gospel of the kingdom is that Jesus is now our ultimate High Priest, and through our union with him by faith, we have now become God’s promised new Kingdom of Priests.

The Apostle Peter writes, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5).” We learn here that, the Church, as God’s new Kingdom of Priests, is to be marked by being a people who find our joy in him through gathering as the new temple of God and house of God–marked by prayer.

This is why prayer must not be seen as merely one of many important priorities in ministry. It must become a very top priority.

When the first-century church was being established, the apostles found themselves distracted by the many pressing demands of the ministry—including waiting on tables. They responded, “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:3-4).

When Paul warned the Ephesian Christians of the spiritual battle in which they were to engage, he told them to put on the whole armor of God and to stand against the devil’s schemes. Standing against the devil’s schemes involved understanding God’s truth about salvation, using the Word of God as a sword, and continuous prayer.

Paul urged the Ephesian believers to “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

In regard to the advance of the gospel, Paul specifically asked believers, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel… Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Ephesians 6:19-20).

Never forget that the success of the gospel in church planting and renewal depends not only on God’s sovereignty and the faithful preaching of the gospel—but also on the faithful prayers of God’s people.

Prayer is the mysterious means that God has chosen through which he releases the transforming power of the gospel in your life and ministry to make his Kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Sign Up for the New Kingdom Prayer Course Now!

Registration closes August 15

We help underserved church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.