[Course 6 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Prayer Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson]
A Life Changing Experience
The Prayers of Jesus
When I was a young believer, I read a tremendous book about the miraculous power of God. Luke 6:40 teaches that the disciple is not above his Lord. In other words, if we were going to see the move of Jesus Christ today, it has to be the same price that Jesus paid. He gave away His money, lived by prayer, and fasted and sought His Father. I love Luke 6:40 because it goes on saying that, "he who is perfect shall be as his master."
We have come to lesson number l0: the prayers of Jesus Christ. This is a model for all types of praying. The very first Catholic that began to move in the power of the Spirit said that he went to the Bible and he found this verse in John 3:30, "I must decrease so that He may increase." From that moment forward, he found that in following Jesus there is an exciting power of God that has transformed the whole of Ireland.
The place and importance of prayer in the life of Christ cannot be over-emphasized. From the outset of his life and ministry, the Lord n recognized the power of prayer. He gave it first place in His time. The result was that miracles were wrought in His life and ministry. Even at the height of His popularity, He would go off first thing in the morning to seek Father's guidance.
Mark 1:35 shares that Jesus would go off very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus would get up and leave the house, going off to a solitary place where He prayed. The disciples came saying, "Lord, everyone is looking for You. Let us stay here." Jesus said, "No, Father has told Me this morning. We must move on."
When multitudes gathered to hear the Lord Jesus, He prayed on a regular basis. Luke 5:15 tells us that when the news about Him spread the more and crowds of people came to hear Him and be healed of their sicknesses, Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place. There, He prayed.
When the Lord faced the great crisis of the cross, we find Him in Gethsemane in earnest prayer. Pulling apart to prayer was His normal pattern. Luke 32:39 says, "Jesus went out as usual to the Mt. of Olives and His disciples followed Him. Reaching the place He said, 'Pray, that you do not fall into temptation.'" In verse 41, it says that, "He withdrew about a stone's throw, knelt down and prayed saying, 'Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet, not My will, but Your will be done.' And an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him" (verse 43).
"Being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly. Sweat was like drops of blood, falling to the ground. He rose from prayer and went back to the disciples and found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 'Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you fall not in temptation.'" Of course, as we know, Peter did not pray. And he entered temptation, and even denied the Lord.
Thank God that on this occasion (in Matthew 26:37), He tried to take Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him. But they could not watch one hour. Has prayer got a first place on our table, or do we just fit it in to our calendar?
The personal prayer guidance that Jesus had always come by spending time with His Father. In John 5:19, He did not pray for 3,000 sick people. He just prayed for one. He said, "Take up your bed and walk." People often say to me, "Why does God not heal everybody?" This is the answer Jesus gave them. "The Son can do nothing by Himself. He can only do what He sees the Father doing. Because whatever the Father does, the Son does also."
When I went to Australia, a person came to me and said, "Would you pray for me? I have a bad left leg." I responded, "I am sorry. I spent time in prayer, and God said I am only to pray for people with hand trouble." That night, five people with hand trouble came forward and all five were healed!
William Branham, who was a great man of God, often went and prayed. He received a vision of a lady very sick in bed. He said, "What do I see? I see her being healed!" He went into her room and up to the bed and said, "Be healed!". Then, nothing happened. Branham went and said down, looking around the room. He was looking for her grandmother who had been in the vision. She was not there. Suddenly, the grandmother opened the door, walked in the door and sat in the rocking chair. Branham got up and went to the bed saying, "I command you to rise in Jesus' Name!" Immediately, the girl was healed.
It is so important to wait on God for every single detail. In fact, I find Jesus emphasizing that God's will must be the first concern. Do you remember in Matthew 6:9, the prayer saying, "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Your kingdom come (verse 10), Your will be done." Prayer may not change the will of God, but it will certainly change our will.
While Jesus was praying in the will of the Father, He received a Holy Ghost anointing. In Luke 3:21, He was totally immersed. A lot of people were baptized, and so was Jesus. As He was praying, heaven was opened. When you are in prayer, the Lord can speak to you.
Matthew 4:1 says that Jesus was led into the wilderness for a period of fasting before His ministry. He was led of the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
It was after a night of prayer that Jesus chose His first twelve disciples. We cannot afford to choose our leaders and helpers without prayer. In Luke 6:12, Jesus went to the mountain and spent the whole night praying to God. When the morning came, He called His disciples and chose the apostles.
It was while He was praying that Jesus was transfigured, and prepared by Moses and Elijah for His decease - the work of the cross in Jerusalem and His rising again. In Luke 9:29, it says, "the appearance of His face change. His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about His departure." Before the Lord faced the crisis of the cross, He was given a vision of the glory to follow.
So a surrendered life will always make time to seek Father's face before embarking on any new step. If the Lord needed this, how much more do we?
The practice of prayer in Jesus' life was one of continued effectiveness. He was able to offer real praise when He was filled with joy by the Spirit. In Luke 10:21, Jesus full of joy said, "I praise Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You have revealed these things from the wise and given them to the little children. This, Father, was Your good pleasure."
Jesus was able to pray and be confident! He was able to say (John 11) to His disciples, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God." Here we see the grave sealed and Lazarus' body in the grave and Jesus taking away the stone. He looked up to heaven in John 11:41 saying, "Father, I thank You for hearing me. I know You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing hear that they may believe that You sent Me. When He said this, He then said in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, Come out!'" The dead man came out with his hands and face wrapped in strips of linen and cloth around his face. Jesus said, "Take off the grave clothes. Let him go!" The prayer of faith heals. The prayer of faith raises the dead! The church can then take off the grave clothes.
Jesus is also the great intercessor. He remembered the church universal. In John 17:9, He begins praying, "I pray for them. Not praying for the world, but for those that You have given Me for they are Yours. I remain in the world no longer. They are in the world and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name that they may be one as We are one. I am coming to You now. I say these things while I am still in the world that they may have the full measure of My joy. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray for those who will believe in Me through their message that they may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I in You. That they will be one with Us that the world may believe that You sent Me." He is praying for us that believe through their testimony that all the glory of God might fill us!
Then, Jesus would prayer for individuals like Peter. Remember when Peter was about to deny Him through lack of prayer? Luke 22:32 says, "I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Judas did not seem to repent, but Peter did and returned. Judas committed suicide, but through Jesus' prayer, Peter was delivered and was used of God in a new miracle ministry in Acts 3. Prayer makes the difference.
I also see here that Peter confessed his sin. In John 20, Jesus said, "Peace be with you. As the Father sent Me, I am sending you. Receive ye the Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven." If we do not forgive, they are not forgiven. For those of us that have received the Spirit, it is our joy to release people from the habit of sin. Thank God for the anointing that breaks the yoke. This is given to all those praying in the Spirit.
I see that Jesus was able to pray in the Spirit in Gethsemane. While others gave in to exhaustion, Jesus overcame the weakness of His flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 26:39, He fell to His face saying, "If it be possible, take this cup from Me. Not as I will, but as You will." His body was being changed. His desires were being changed, but by the Spirit. That is why He says in Matthew 6:4l, "Watch and pray that you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Let us move at the level of prayer in the Spirit.
How did Jesus feel the multitudes? Because prayer brought prosperity and power. He said grace over a few loaves and fishes and fed the 5,000. We need to give thanks. We find Jesus doing this in Mark 6:41. He took the five loaves and two fish and looked up to heaven. He gave thanks!! He then gave them to His disciples to set before the people. So, let there be praise! Let there be worship! Let there be giving of thanks in our prayers!! This will make all the difference
The power of Jesus lay in the fact that He paid the price in prayer and fasting. In particularly in the wilderness when He was led by the Spirit and tempted. We find in Matthew 4:11 that the devil had to leave Him because he was defeated. Angels came and attended Him. Through fasting and prayer, we enter the realm of the supernatural. We came out of the natural into the supernatural.
That is why in Luke 6:40 God said, "A student is not above his teacher. But everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." If we pray like Jesus prayed, we will get the results like Jesus received. What a promise!! What a challenge!
Jesus gave away His money. Thirty five years ago, I did that. Jesus fasted and prayed. We have done that. Jesus said to go into all the world. Some people said you need a call to go. But Jesus says, "Go!"
We have traveled around the world these last ten years and every miracle that Jesus did, we have seen by the power of the same God. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let us seek first His kingdom, and prayer will reflect our priorities.
A lady came to me when we were at a Baptist church in Ireland. She said, "I am challenged at the fact that you have seen the whole south of Ireland come through, and God has been using you. I am encouraged that you have seen these healings. Now, I want to do the same. But, business has meant that I cannot pray. I haven't the time to pray."
I said, "Lady, seek first the kingdom of God. What will it profit you if you gain the world, and lose your soul."
She said, "That is right. I am going to put prayer first in my life."
I said, "If you will do that, I will pray and lay hands on you. God will move upon you by His Holy Spirit."
Friends, when I closed my eyes that night, I saw the cross in front of me. I saw the Blood drop down, and I knew I was at the foot of Calvary. When that lady put Jesus first, she began to pray, speaking in a heavenly language to praise the Blood of Jesus. I had not even touched her.
I said to this lady, "I have not even touched you!. I did not pray for you."
"Ah, Jesus is in this meeting. He is the Baptizer! He is the Lord! He is the One I came to meet."
When she arrived home, her husband asked her where she had been. She had been gone a long time. She said, "I have been putting the Christ first before our business. The Lord is going to be Master. We are going to spend time in prayer."
Her husband responded that she was mad. Then she said, "Husband, look at my legs." When he looked, all her varicose veins had disappeared. Her legs were like those of a young girl, healed by the power of a living Christ.
This man was impressed and said that he wanted what she had received. He was coming to church next Sunday. The next Sunday he did come and gave his heart to the Lord. This is what the world is looking for - a reality. If we are going to talk the talk, we must walk the walk.
This course is directed primarily at those who are already in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know the reality of God's power in their lives. If you don't have that relationship but would like to enter into that reality, you can pray right now and the Lord can become real to you. It is as simple as "A B C." Admit your need. Believe He died for you and come to Him. Confess your belief. Admit that you have sinned and that you have not put prayer first. You realize there needs to be a new priority, and ask the Lord to come in.
He stands at the door of your heart. He knocks. He comes in as guest, but He stays as Master. Believe right now that if you have opened the door that Jesus has come in. It is not something emotional. It is something that God has promised very clearly. "If any man open the door, I will come in."
Begin to confess. Tell your friends. Romans 10 says, "With your heart you believe, but with the mouth confession is made to salvation."
As you live this life, you can do what Jesus did. John 1:16 says, "Of His fullness have we all received." Ephesians 3 Paul prays, "that we all might be filled with the fullness of God." He prays that the eyes might be enlightened. Very clearly, Jesus wants to do the same for you.