Jesus, Our Prayer Model

By Billy Graham

Jesus is the supreme model of a person devoted to prayer. He was constantly in an attitude of prayer, and never more urgently than in the face of suffering. One of the most amazing things in all the Scriptures is how much time Jesus spent in prayer. He had only three years of public ministry, but He was never too hurried to spend hours in prayer. He prayed before every difficult task and at every crisis in His ministry. No day began or closed in which He was not in communion with His Father.

When He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was praying. He had taken the disciples with Him, and sensing the magnitude of what was ahead, He asked Peter, James and John to stay with Him and keep watch. He went into the garden and feel with His face to the ground, praying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

We pray so haphazardly. Snatches of memorized verses are hastily spoken in the morning. Then we say goodbye to God for the rest of the day, until we sleepily push through a few closing petitions at night, like leaving a wake-up call at the hotel switchboard. That is not eh example of prayer that Jesus gave. He prayed long and repeatedly. He spent at least one entire night in prayer (Luke 6:12).

He prayed briefly when He was in a crowd; He prayed a little longer when He was with His disciples; and He prayed all night when he was alone. Today, many in the ministry tend to reverse that process.

The Scriptures say, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This should be the motto of every true follower of Jesus. No matter how dark and hopeless a situation might seem, never stop praying. It’s not only to resolve our problems that we should pray, but to share in the strength of God’s friendship. For us, prayer should be not merely an act, but an attitude of life.

*Excerpt from Hope for the Troubled Heart, 1991.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those you know who don’t know Christ. Ask God to use you this Easter season to share the hope that you have. There’s still time to order a free DVD of “The Cross” or plan an event in your home or church.