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Seeing Our Lord Praying
Jesus' prayerfulness serves as an example for believers to follow in His footsteps
Following up on our earlier post Watching The Master, we are looking more closely at three of the nine occasions Luke records Jesus praying.
First, in Luke 3:21, Jesus, having just been baptized, was praying. Now, He did not pray to confess sins as the others did, but to keep in communion with His Father. We know this because in the following verse, the Spirit of God descended on Him and there was a voice from heaven. And, as in Luke 9, the voice is of the Father who bore witness to Christ, His Son. 1
Communion: is to dwell or reside, as in a tent or tabernacle. It is unbroken fellowship, an ongoing interaction and communication with those nearby.
It is observed that prayer was a regular activity of Jesus; and now there is prayer in public, yet done in secret. Luke records He prayed, but does not record what He prayed, so it was no doubt silent, in secret. So may we, as Barnes notes, pray “anywhere—about our daily toil—in the midst of multitudes, and thus may pray ‘always.’”
Then, in Luke 5:16, Jesus frequently withdrew from the crowds to lonely, isolated placed, to pray, evidently to seek time alone with our Father. It may be He went away from others to avoid being heard or seen, but mainly perhaps to avoid the interruptions and distractions by the pressing needs of the crowds. And perhaps to rest, and pay homage to God.
Withdrew: a word that occurs only in Luke; to go back, to retire, slip away and be inaccessible.
And so here is our example, that we too draw away from public time—from ministry or work, or from friends or leisure—in order to seek the presence of the Lord privately. Jesus has told us that when we pray, go into our secret room and pray to our Father who sees what is done in secret. (Matthew 6:6) 2
And, in Luke 6:12, Jesus went into a mountain to pray, spending the whole night there in prayer to God. It was not uncommon in those days for there to be places dedicated to prayer, be they a chapel or by the river or a mountain-side oratory, and it’s likely this is where Jesus was, and He continued to pray the whole night.
Continued: used in the KJV which is “to pass the night”, not sleeping, but awake.
He did this, and then in the morning, chose His twelve disciples in verse 13. No doubt then, Jesus was in prayer for them, this was burden during the night and His prolonged communion with our Father was in preparation. 3
For further insights to this occasion, tune in to the Podcast attached, where we learn from Spurgeon that even though our Savior was without sin, He still engaged in fervent supplication, and the example that sets for believers today. 4
Insights on Luke 6:12 from C. H. Spurgeon
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Until Thursday, grace and peace…