Praying Like Jesus

Praying Like Jesus

Have you ever experienced having an all-night conversation with someone, perhaps with your best friend at a sleepover, where you shared so many things back and forth that you didn’t notice the time pass by and before you knew it, morning had come? 

If you had, then you can relate to how Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven. Jesus loved being with God so much that praying was more like an intimate conversation than anything else. The Bible mentions some of Jesus’ prayers, and some are quite long (see John 17) and others are short and sweet (see Matthew 6:9-13). He would frequently go off to a solitary place to pray, sometimes staying up all night praying (see Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12) and other times offering a quick thanksgiving and request. It’s not the length or the number of words or eloquence; rather it’s the way intimacy and joy that Jesus showed whenever He spent time in the presence of His Father. 

If we are to become like Jesus, how then do we pray?

Focus on the relationship, and not on the requests. Enjoy the time spent with our Father. Get to know Him and let Him know you. He does know your thoughts and heart, of course, but He delights in hearing your voice. The Father delights in giving us the desires of our hearts and answering our prayer requests and petitions, but He longs for intimate relationship more than anything else. After all, the Lord’s Prayer began with “Our Abba Father…”.

Loving Like Jesus

Loving Like Jesus

The people who have been with Jesus were broken and yet found grace and forgiveness in their Lord. They experienced that Jesus was always loving and patient toward them and others, always kind, not wanting anyone to perish but for everyone to repent. They saw firsthand his intimate relationship with the Father, and through Him, they encountered God the same way. So they pursued God instead of spiritual growth, and out of that relationship came a powerful ministry that changed the world.

How do we become like them, like men who have been with Jesus?

Love others like Jesus.

How did Jesus treat Nicodemus, this intelligent Pharisee who was seeking eternal life in secret? How did Jesus react to the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned? How did he relate to Matthew the tax collector and his partying sinful friends? Or to Zacchaeus?

How about the paralyzed sinful man lowered by his friends through the roof? The Samaritan woman at the well and the sinful woman who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume? How did Jesus relate to the father who confessed his unbelief in miracles? How did Jesus treat the Pharisees and his disciples when their faith were little? And the beggars, the poor, the rich and mighty?

He loved on them, and the kind of love they experienced was so absurdly radical that people who hunger for that love were drawn towards him.

Certainly loving others is difficult, and honestly beyond our natural abilities to consistently accomplish. It’s a good thing Jesus didn’t expect us to do it on our own strength or strategies.  That’s why Jesus first said, “Peace be with you” before adding “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.

Then — then! — He gave them the Presence and power to accomplish his command.

Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22)

Reflect on this and take this to heart:
As someone who walks with Jesus and loves like Him, is there anyone He wants you to reach out today as His representative? Let Jesus breathe on you and let the Holy Spirit work through you.