The Essence of Prayer XIX – Christ’s Prayers: Extended Prayer

As we continue observing the prayers of the Lord Jesus, we see that He not only prayed extensively, He also prayed intensively.  And He also prayed for extended times.  This is not often engaged in by believers and it can be daunting.  Luther is known to have stated that he had so much to do that he needed to spend the first three hours prayer.

  1. This can’t be done on five minutes’ notice but takes some planning. Luke 6:12 shows that the Lord Jesus clearly set aside a time to pray.  In Matthew 6:6 the Lord commands that we should draw aside in a solitary place for prayer.  In Mark 6:45, 46 the Lord sent the disciples and the multitudes away so that He could have a solitary place and time to pray.
  2. If there is to be extended prayer, there cannot be just a quick coming to the Lord with requests. The believer must come into God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise.  The prayers of the Lord Jesus begin this way, Matthew 11:25; John 11:41.
  3. It is necessary to engage faith. Coming into God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise is the beginning of engaging by faith.  Just wishing for things in God’s presence does not engage faith.  All that God is to the believer in Christ must be laid hold on.  The believer brings God’s promises to Him.  The believer must see that he is in the world to make a difference by prayer.  This engages faith.
  4. There needs to be fellowship which is blessed, I John 1:3.  It is explicitly enjoyed in the place of prayer and it is to be sought.
  5. The believer must be in earnest, Hebrews 5:7. It is as Jacob wrestling with God.  It is as the Lord Jesus sweating great drops of blood.  This must be the work of the believer in prayer.