“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25).
Whether we are a student or working professional all of us have some role models that we follow. As students our role model may be Abdul Kalam and as professionals we have lot of role models from Bill Gates to Mukesh Ambani. When it comes to praying who is our role model? If I want to learn about prayer, I want to go to Jesus, whose life was a living prayer, who prayed incessantly, unceasingly. Jesus, the man of prayer, has something to teach us every moment of our lives.
I believe Jesus has something to teach us about prayer. The first thing Jesus has to tell us is that our goal in prayer is not to feel good but to do good. Doing good is the goal of Jesus. We need to understand that we have this turned around. So what does this mean? It is very simple. Rather than sitting and praying for long hours He wants us to go out and live the prayers by doing good. He wants us to stop making an errand list of things we need and expect God to fulfill the list of our needs.
The Jews had prayers for every situation in life but you see the disciples asking Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray”. I wonder why they did that. I think it is because Jesus knew the power of prayers. Jesus knew you could transcend whatever happened in life with prayer, and He knew that was the only way to know the power of God in your life. He prayed at every crisis in His life. There are ten recorded prayers of Jesus in the Bible. You don’t find that of any other person. Actually, it is more of an insight into His life rather than just the words of prayer. He prayed at His baptism. He prayed at His temptation. He prayed early in the morning. He prayed before He fed the multitude. He prayed all night before He selected the Twelve. He prayed before Peter denied Him. He prayed in the upper room. He prayed in the garden. He prayed before Lazarus was raised from the tomb. He prayed on the cross. Every significant place in the life of Jesus was surrounded and immersed in prayer, not just a quick inand-out prayer but a deep and abiding prayer from His heart. His life was a prayer.
If you want to have the joy of your salvation, the joy of Christian forgiveness, and the courage to battle on, let God change you through a time of prayer. If you want to have light for your way, let God change you with prayer. If you want to have power to rescue a soul from darkness, let God change you in your time of prayer. If you want to accomplish something, just pray. Then you realize you must humble yourself before God, call on God, and hold on with faith and prayer.
Jesus knew the transforming power of prayer. If you will learn about prayer from Jesus, you must understand that prayer becomes a lifestyle. It is a habit. When Paul in his first missionary journey, was beaten, battered, and stoned at the edge of the city. But he got up and went back into the city to start over because a life of prayer had transformed him into a man who did not look to either side or find discouragement. He went ahead.
I don’t want us to ever forget the examples Jesus gives us on the power of prayer. It is time for us not to be shallow and stop going to Him with our laundry list but transform ourselves and live a life of prayer.