We can gain many insights on prayer from the words and deeds of Jesus. Here are 9 to make your own.
There are many insights on prayer to be learned from the words and deeds of Jesus. Here are 9 to make your own.
1. Get by Yourself
“Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer.” I like to pray with others or in the middle of a busy day, but there’s spiritual work we all need to do alone, one-on-one with our Maker.
2. Be Straightforward
Jesus responded when people said exactly what they wanted. A man with a skin disease approached him, knelt before him and begged, “If you want, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him and said, “I do want. Be clean.” Can’t get more straightforward than that.
3. Get Help from Others
Remember the paralyzed man who had to be lowered in a crowded house to reach Jesus? His pals had to actually tear off part of the roof (I hope they reimbursed the homeowner). “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven!’” A little teamwork made that healing prayer possible.
4. Say, “Be Still!”
The disciples were in their boat when the winds came up and nearly swamped them. Jesus slept through it all. Finally, they woke him up. “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?” All it took was a few words. “Silence!” Jesus said to the wind. “Be still!” Think of how those words could work for your own life’s storms.
5. Get Near
I’ve always been moved by the story of the woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years. She was thinking, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed.” She came up behind him and touched his clothes and her bleeding stopped immediately. The nearness of Jesus was enough.
Everybody knows that Jesus walked on water. But remember how the disciples reacted? They were terrified. They thought they were seeing a ghost. “Be encouraged. It’s me!” Jesus said. “Don’t be afraid.” Prayer might take you unexpected places, but don’t be afraid. “It’s me!”
7. Bless the Food
Before he broke the bread to feed the 5,000, Jesus blessed it and gave thanks. At the Last Supper, he took the bread, blessed it and broke it. Say a blessing before you eat. Doesn’t have to be long. Jesus didn’t ramble on.
8. Stick with the Kids
“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.” Be childlike in faith.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you. And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.” Forgive, forgive, forgive.