Praying like Jesus
Reading: Mark 1:35–39
(1) Jesus prayed a lot.
Often, Jesus got many good ideas during his time of prayer.
There he feels the presence of God and finds many answers to his questions.
So, he often liked to go up on a mountain by himself to pray.
Or sometimes, very early in the morning, when it was still dark, Jesus got up, often left the house and went off to a quiet place, and he prayed.
Jesus needs to hear from God.
After that, he did what he realized during his prayer.
So, prayer is important part of his ministry.
Prayer is an important tool that he uses to live a life of obedience and calling.
Then one morning, Simon Peter got up also and was looking for him.
When he found Jesus, he said:
“Everyone is looking for you! What are doing here?”
He didn’t understand about prayer.
But standing up in the middle of prayer, Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else. Let’s go to the nearby villages. I need to preach there also, because that is why I have come.”
In prayer and meditation, Jesus realizes how to carry out his mission that God has given to him.
So, Jesus traveled a lot, preaching in gathering places and driving out demons. (Mark 1:35–39)
But Jesus didn’t always pray alone far away from his students.
Sometimes, Jesus prayed in private, while his disciples were around him.
He just simply lives prayerfully.
Then one day, while Jesus was praying and mediating, he realized God has helped his students to understand about him.
So, in the middle of his prayer, Jesus suddenly asked them, “Who do the people say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. And still others say that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
Then Jesus asked the question, “What about you? Who do you say I am?”
How would you answer this question? Who is he to you?
Peter answered, “You are God’s Anointed One: God’s chosen one for the world.” (Luke 9:18-20)
Jesus was thankful knowing that the Holy Spirit helped him understand.
(2) Even today, Christ Jesus does pray for us.
Also, Jesus asks us pray.
Sometimes, we feel that Jesus prays through us and within us.
So, through prayer, you can also understand the heart of Christ.
We realize various things through prayer.
We may get various inspired thoughts, feelings, and wisdom from God.
In this way, we learn of Christ in our prayer.
Also, we learn that Christ truly answers our prayer.
So, I suggest that you set a time for your daily prayer.
In this way, you can express your faith in God.
It may be difficult to set a time of prayer.
But if you practice this, it will become easier and you will feel better.
You would learn that God can do something good for you.
Do you love to pray?
How do you pray?
We pray in various ways.
You may pray according to your personalities.
You can pray with various activities, forms and methods.
There are various ways that we may offer to God, our mind, thought, concerns and interests.
Some people say crying before God is a prayer, because God listens to your crying.
So, let’s think about various ways that we pray.
1. We can pray by meditating on the Scripture.
When we think about what we read, and try to understand, we are in fact praying.
You may contemplate on Christ.
You may think about the character of Christ.
You may meditate on the actions and words of Christ.
Then God receives your meditations.
Then God guides your meditation and leads your life. .
(2) You may ask God questions, and wait for his answer.
This waiting is also a prayer.
Sometimes, you may be wondering what to do in a certain situation.
Then you may ask some questions to God before you sleep.
Then when you get up, or couple of days later, God may help you understand what to do.
As you get nice ideas from God, you cannot help but to give praise to God.
You will be truly grateful.
You can pray in tongues as a personal and private discipline.
If you ask God in faith, God gives you ability to speak an unknown language.
In this way you may allow your spirit to pray to God.
In this way, you may have a spiritual fellowship with the Christ.
Christ is bigger than our words and thoughts.
So, in this way, we may get to know Christ.
(4) In Old Testament, we see that people were praying and dancing at the same time.
They may play loud music and express their gratitude toward God.
Also, some modern people can pray better while their body is moving: such as ADD.
So, some people pray while they walk, run or do physical exercise.
Maybe that is why the early monks say that their labor can be also their prayer.
Doing something prayerfully is also prayer.
So, you may do some of your daily routines prayerfully.
(5) Some people pray better when their body is not moving.
When their body is not moving, their mind can focus and pray.
Like this, they pay attention to God and God’s guidance
They pray in silence.
Silence is God’s first language.
God speaks to us in silence.
So, in silence we may wait on God expecting God to lead our meditation.
You may imagine and think in silence.
Then God may put things in order and clarify things so that you can understand better.
Prayer is also listening.
So, you may pray saying, “God, here I am” and then wait. Allow yourself to be in the presence of God awhile.
If silent prayer is too difficult for you, you may turn on some quiet music and pray, meditate, and imagine.
(6) Sometimes, talking to God about your anger or a strong emotion or feeling in you is a prayer.
You may pray saying, “God, don’t answer my prayer, because now I just want to let this anger out or these emotions out so that you can heal me.” Then you may pour out your anger and other emotions.
Then after awhile, you will know that God has come and removed your anger and sooth your emotions.
(7) We also pray asking God to forgive our sins.
When we come to Christ and lay down everything including our sins, God comes and cleanses us and gives us a new start.
(8) Lastly, I think God loves when we pray for someone else.
When we pray for others, God loves because God can manifest through us. So, when we pray for someone, sometimes, we feel the love of God flowing through us.
What is the purpose of prayer?
The purpose of our prayer is to be united with Christ so that we may think like God and live like God.
So, you will feel God’s love and grace.
You will receive wisdom and knowledge.
God will give you new energy to start following your calling.
So, when we pray patiently, we may be able to accomplish something good on earth.
God hear your every prayer.
So, spend some times in prayer at least this week.
You will be truly thankful, later.
I hope that you pray for this church as well. I want you to pray for leadership in the church so that we may together do what God desires and so that we can offer better ideas for people to follow and explain faith which is deeper than emotion or logic.
We are praying for a new pastor for adult service and a new JDSN for children ministry.
That means that you need to say goodbye sometimes to Pastor Park this week and next week. He will be going to a church in California. I know you would miss him. We will all miss him and his family. Pray for him and his ministry. OK?
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized. While He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him. And a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." (Luke 3:21-22)
”But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Him. And from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: (LUKE 6:11-13)
“And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" (LUKE 9:18)
”Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place. And there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." (MARK 1:35-37)
“Then the report went around concerning Him all the more. And great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (LUKE 5:15-16)
“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening had come, He was alone there.” (MATTHEW 14:23)
“And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.” (MARK 6:46)
"Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (MATTHEW 26:53)
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."
And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (MATTHEW 26:36-45)
”And coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, will be done."
Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation." (LUKE 22:39-46)
“And it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. (LUKE 9:28-29)
“And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." (LUKE 11:1)
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray....” (MATTHEW 19:13)
“And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail. When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (LUKE 22:31-32)
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever," (JOHN 14:16)
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father,...
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;" (JOHN 17:1,9,15,20)
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (ROMANS 8:34)
“He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (HEBREWS 7:25)