The Example Of Prayer
His Teaching Grew Out of Practice
“He was praying.”
1. Christ is our great example of the prayer life. — Whether by the running stream of the Jordan or in the busy streets of Jerusalem, on the mountain top or in the wilderness, prayer ascended from His holy soul as incense from the altar. Prayer was more important with Him than eating, sleeping, teaching. It was the most important thing in His life, and He lived in the spirit of prayer.
2. Christ is the great examples of secret prayer. — “He went up into a mountain alone.” Again, “He went up into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
3. Christ is our great example of soul-burden in prayer. — “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” What a sight! A young man who never experienced physical weakness because of disease under such burden that every pore in His precious body becomes an open wound, out of which came sweat as it were great drops of blood!
4. Christ is the great example of the solution of prayer. — Before He called and ordained the twelve, He spent the night in prayer. He solved the problem by prayer. On another occasion there arises the problem of workers. “Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:37, 38). The problem is solved by prayer. “Pray ye.” “God works only in answer to prayer,” says Wesley. Prayer, then, is the solution of our greatest difficulties.
5. Christ is the great example of continued intercession in prayer. — “Who in the days of His flesh offered up strong crying with tears and was heard.” He would impress upon us the lesson by the words, “Who cry day and night unto Him though He bear long with them?”
6. Christ is the great example of prayer for one’s enemies. — “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
7. Christ is the great example by way of present encouragement in prayer. — “He appears in the presence of God to make intercession for us” (Heb. 9:24, 7:25). “He maketh intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:12). With this there is the intercession of the Spirit, “Who maketh intercession for the saints.” (Rom. 8:27). In order for completion in the operation of the divine plan, there is necessary the intercession of the Church.