Learning from the Prayer Life of Jesus by Robert Velarde
Luke 11:1 reads, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples'" (NIV). 
There's much to learn from this passage beyond the significant Lord's Prayer that follows it. For one, we learn that what sparked the unnamed disciples' curiosity to learn about prayer was the fact that he saw Jesus in prayer.
We also learn that John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray and, as a result, the disciples of Jesus were also interested in learning to pray, or at least one of them was! Isn't it interesting that out of all the disciples only one of them asked Jesus to teach them to pray? It sometimes seems the church is in a similar situation today regarding prayer. We talk about prayer, we study prayer, we say our prayers, but how many of us actually seek earnestly for God to teach us to pray?
Jesus and Prayer
Jesus prayed for others. In Matthew 19:13, we read, "Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them." Despite the fact that "the disciples rebuked those who brought them," Jesus said the children should not be hindered "for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (v. 14). In John 17:9 we read, "I [Jesus] pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given Me, for they are Yours." This underscores the need for intercessory prayer.
Jesus prayed with others. Luke 9:28 reads, "[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray." Jesus prayed alone, as we'll read below, but He also knew the value of praying with others. Acts 1:14 underscores the importance of Christians praying with one another: "They all joined together constantly in prayer …"
Jesus prayed alone. Luke 5:16 reads, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." As much as Jesus understood the value of praying with and for others, He also understood the need to pray alone. Psalm 46:10 reads, "Be still, and know that I am God." Sometimes it's important for us to "be still" before God, but the only way to do this, especially in our hectic culture, is to do so alone with God.
Jesus prayed in nature. Psalm 19:1 reads, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." What better place to commune with our Creator than among the wonders of nature? Luke 6:12 says, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray ..." He could have gone to a home, a synagogue or if He were near Jerusalem he could have gone to the temple to pray. But there were times when Jesus made the decision to pray where He was, which often happened to be in nature. We are surrounded by so much that is "man made" that sometimes it's difficult for us to remember that this is not our world, but God's world (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1) full of wonders for us to enjoy.
Jesus could pray as a sprinter or a marathon runner. The Lord's Prayer is full of wisdom, but it is short enough to be easily memorized and serve as an example of a sprint rather than a marathon prayer. But Jesus also knew how to dedicate long periods of time to prayer. As we read in Luke 6:12, Jesus "spent the night praying to God." We, too, need to be able to offer short prayers, as well dedicate long periods of our lives to prayer.
Jesus prayed regularly. This insight is gleaned from a passage cited earlier, Luke 5:16: "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." The word "often" is not hidden, but makes it obvious that Jesus prayed regularly. Throughout the Gospels whenever we read of Jesus and prayer, it comes up regularly and naturally. It was simply a part of His worldview, integrated into every aspect of Christ's life. Can we say the same about prayer in our life?
The prayers of Jesus were heartfelt. Jesus did not pray in a cold, distant manner, but in heartfelt supplication, demonstrating empathy and a genuine love for God. This is demonstrated clearly in John 17, where Jesus prays for Himself, His immediate disciples, as well as for all believers.
Jesus prayed based on His knowledge of God and His truths. The prayers of Jesus were based on God's revealed truths and, as such, were in line with a solid biblical worldview. In John 4:24 Jesus said, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." He also said, "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32), underscoring the importance of truth in the life of Jesus and, in turn, our lives. Proper prayer requires us to have a truthful understanding of God and what He has revealed to us through His Word.
Jesus taught persistence in prayer. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1). The parable Jesus shared is not meant to depict a pestering disciple who finally bugs God enough that He chooses to respond, but about persistence in prayer and waiting on God and His timing.
Jesus knew that not all his prayers would be answered as expected. This is a difficult prayer lesson to learn, but the fact of the matter is that not all our prayers are answered in ways we expect. Even Jesus knew this hard lesson as he cried out to God the Father from Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44). Three times Jesus prayed for God to allow an easier path, but Jesus knew, "Yet not as I will, but as You will" (26:39). Unanswered prayer is such a challenge to the Christian life that we'll address the matter in more detail in another article in this series.
Prayer for the Lost:
(Continue using these steps to pray for the lost listed below)
1. That God would sanctify them.
1 Peter 1:1-2 (NASB) -- "[Believers are] chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."
2. That God would bless them.
Romans 2:4 (NASB) -- "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"
3. That God would convict them.
John 16:8 (NKJV) -- "And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."
4. That God would illuminate them.
2 Corinthians 4:4, 6 (NASB) -- ". . . the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. .... 6 For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
5. That God would save them.
Luke 19:10 (NASB) -- "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
6. That God would bring into their life someone who can be Jesus to them - living in such a way that it creates a hunger and thirst for God. Pray that they would hear the gospel message from that person. Remember salvation comes by hearing -- but how will they hear unless someone tells them?
7. That God would breakdown strongholds. Remember that Satan has blinded these people and has taken them captive at will to use for his purposes. Pray that these lost people will “come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants” (2 Timothy 2:26, NLT).
As a prayer warrior in the War Room, many of us are familiar with some of the names on this list. Pray that God will reveal to you specific strongholds of Satan in the lives of those that you know. Pray against those strongholds that the Holy Spirit will breakthrough that stronghold that is preventing a person from coming to Jesus. Examples of strongholds could be: an angry temperament, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction, pornography, love of money and material things, entrenchment in deceptive religions, low self-esteem, pride, infidelity, lust, jealousy, selfish ambition, dishonesty, hatred, and alienation from others. These strongholds need to be broken down so God can bring them to salvation.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV) – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Pray for these who are lost (this list is completely confidential):
Abby & boyfriend Alexis Alivia Amy Andrew Andrew Andrew Andy Andy Angel Angela Annie Anthony April Arthur Aryanna Ashely Ashley Ashley Ashley Ashlynn Barbara Barbara Barry Baruch Becky Bernice Beth Bev Bill Billy Blaine Blake Bob Bob Bob Bob Bobby Brady Brenda
Brent Brian Brian Brian Brian Brooke Brothel workers Bryan Bryce Buzzy Cade Caden Camille Carmen Cassandra Ceara Chad Chad Chantelle Chantyl Charlie Chauna Chelsea Chelsea Chris Chris Chris Christian Christie Christy Cindy Clay Cliff Colton Corey Corey Cory Curtis Cynthia Dan Danielle Danielle Danny Daria Dave Dave David Dawn Deb Debbie Dee Dee Del Rio Denise Dick Don Don Don Donna Donna Doyle Ed Elle Emily Eric Erika Erika Erika Erika Erin Ethan Ethan Garrison Gavin Gerald Gino Greg Greg Greg Hannah Harold Helen Hunt Jackie Jade Jake Jake Jarrett Jay Jay Jeanie Jeannie Jeevan Jeff Jeremy Jessi Jessi Jessica Jessie Jill Jim Jim Jim A. Jim K. Joan Joanne Joey Joey John John Josh Josh Josh Josie Judy Julian Julie Justin Justin Justin Jyoti Kade Kae'o Kas Katy Kayden Kaylene Keith Keith Kelly Kelly Kelsey Kendra Kevin Kim Kodi Krysta Kurt Kylie Lani Laura Laxmi Layne Leah Lee Leesi & family Lenora Leo Lisa Lisa Lisa Lonnie Lori Louie Luke Luke Luz Marcella Margie Mark Mark Marla Marlene Martin Mary Mel Melissa Michael Michelle Michelle Mikayla Mike Mike Mike Millie Mirna Misty Misty Moe Morgan Nancie Natalya Nathan Nessa Nickole Niki NJ Noah Norman Ona Pam Pat Patty Paul Peggy Peggy Peggy Rachel Rachel Randy Randy Rebecca Rebecca Rene Reyes Rhonda Richae Rick Rick Ricky Riley Robert Roni Ronnie Ronnie Sam Samantha Sarah Sarita Savannah Scott Shannon Sharon Sharon Sherrie Sophia Stephanie Steve Steven Susan Tammy Jo & family Terri Terry Terry Thomas Tiffany Tina Tiphania Tish Tom Tony Travis Trevor Trish Troy Tyler Vance Vanessa Victor Victor Wendy Will William Zac Zac Zac Zach Zach Zachary Zoe
Pray against Satan's working in our community:
- Pray for strongholds of Satan in Elko/Spring Creek to be broken down.
- Pray for release from addictions and the crime that often accompanies addiction for many in our community.
- Pray for release from alcohol abuse that is rampant in our county.
- Pray for release from the destructive tendency of gambling that has enslaved many in our community.
- Pray for release from pornography, infidelity, and other assaults on the sanctity of marriage and the marriage bed for many in our community.
- Pray for salvation for those who work in the Brothels - pray for the work of the House of the Rising Son Ministries
- Pray for release from materialism that grips so many.
- Pray for those caught up in domestic violence and marital discord.
- Pray for truth to invade those caught up in deceptive groups who have perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray for the moving of the Holy Spirit:
- Pray for the strengthening of believers throughout our community.
- Pray for a fresh reviving of God's Spirit among believers in Elko and Spring Creek.
- Pray for a hunger and thirst for God among the lost in Elko and Spring Creek.
- Pray that God would strengthen marriages and families in our community.
- Pray for reconciliation and restoration of broken marriages/families in our church and across our community.
- Pray for Christians worldwide to stand strong in the faith; most especially pray for those facing persecution.
- Pray for inroads for the gospel into the ethnic communities in Elko/Spring Creek.
- Pray for Celebrate Recovery ministries at Calvary and the Elko Nazarene Church- for God's victory in the life of those struggling with life's hang-ups, habits, and hurts.
Pray for God to move mightily in area churches:
- Pray for unity of purpose for the church in Elko/Spring Creek - Philippians 2:2
- Pray for God's kingdom to come in Elko/Spring Creek - Matthew 6:10
- Pray for unity and love among all believers in Elko/Spring Creek - John 13:34-35; 17:21-23
- Pray that many more will be involved as disciplemakers in our community, investing time and effort to disciple others
- Pray for exponential Spiritual growth among Christians in our community.
Assembly of God – Pastor John Kraintz
The Bridge – Pastor Tim Royal
Calvary Baptist Church – Pastors Sam Crouch/Jon Wellman
Calvary Chapel – Pastor John Sutherland
Christ Community – Pastor Chris Cooper
Christian Center – Pastor Dan Dusoleil
Church of Christ -
Church of the Nazarene – Pastor Perry Arbogast
Faith Lutheran – Pastor Mark Dunbar
First Presbyterian – Interim Pastor Rev. Tom Holslag
Grace Baptist – Pastors Jeremy Ehmann/Tim Feldman/Shad Hutnyak
Greater Life – Pastor Bill Killion
Elko Indian Chapel –
Lamoille Presbyterian –
Lighthouse Christian – Pastors Dan Romans/Marsh Miers
Living Stones – Pastors Nathan Hornback/Seth Morton/Garret Kamps/David Roberson
Ruby Mountain Bible – Pastor Jeff South
Shiloh Bible – Pastor David Brown
Spring Creek Baptist – Pastor Will Thomas
St. Joseph's Catholic – Fathers Biju Malancheruvil/K. Mambrakatt/Joe Walsh
St. Mark’s Lutheran – Pastor Buck LeGreco
St. Paul's Episcopal – Reverend David Grube
United Methodist Fellowship – Pastor Oliver Mangubat
Victory Fellowship – Pastor Richard Copeland
Pray for our school board, district administrators, schools and their administrators:
Grammar # 2 – Sean Stanton, Principal
Mountain View – Jon Foss, Principal
Northside – Krista Chamberlin, Principal
Sage – Ray Smith, Principal
Southside – Mikel Lopategui, Principal; Carrie Gregory, Vice Principal
Flagview – Bobby Steensen, Principal; Shawn Carsrud, Vice Principal
Spring Creek Middle – Tim Giere, Principal; Tammy Moore, Vice Principal; Brian Hutchison, Vice Principal
Elko High School – Tim Wickersham, Principal; T.W. Cunningham, Vice Principal; Cody Krenka, Vice Principal; Rod Bryson, Vice Principal
Spring Creek High School – Keith Walz, Principal; Paul Allen, Vice Principal; Paul McAnany, Vice Principal
Elko Institute for Academic Excellence - Connie Zeller, School Director; Ashley Perkins, Principal
Spring Creek Christian Academy - Patrick Herman, Headmaster
Pray for Great Basin College:
Pray for students, faculty, and administration. Pray for religious freedom on this campus. Pray for the safe-guarding of the faith of Christian students on this campus. Pray for the gospel to penetrate the campus. Pray for opportunities for Calvary and other Christ-centered churches in Elko to discover opportunities to minister and witness on campus.
Others involved with Youth in our community:
Leadership of Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts
4-H Activities and Clubs
Leadership at Boys and Girls Club
Pray for our Leaders:
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT) – “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
State and National Leaders:
Governor Brian Sandoval
Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison
Attorney General Paul Laxalt
Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske
U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Dean Heller
Representatives Dina Titus, Mark Amodei, Jackie Rosen, Ruben Kihuen
President Donald Trump
Vice-president Mike Pence
Supreme Court Justices
Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions
Senate and House of Representatives
City and county government:
Chris Johnson - Mayor
Reese Keener - City Council
Mandy Simons - City Council
Robert Schmidtlein - City Council
John Patrick Rice - City Council
Demar Dahl - County Commissioner, District #1
Delmo Andreozzi - County Commissioner, District #2
Jon Karr - County Commissioner, District #3
Cliff Eklund - County Commissioner, District #4
Rex Steninger - County Commissioner, District #5
Pray for the president and board of directors for Spring Creek Association
Pray for our Police Chief, Ben Reed, and the men and women of law enforcement
Pray for our county Sheriff, Jim Pitts, and the men and women who serve our county as deputies
Pray for our state police in our district
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) -- "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Pray for the Nations of the World (One Nation a Week):