Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
All our questions about prayer melt away when we look at the greatest example of prayer in the Bible and that is the life of Jesus Christ Himself. As we look at what God really wants from us, we see that God wants us to be like Christ. To be like Jesus Christ, we need to develop a praying heart, the kind of heart that Jesus had.
For Jesus, prayer was just as regular as breathing. And it was the secret to the supernatural power in His life.
First, we see the emphasis that Jesus placed on prayer by His example. For Jesus, prayer was not optional; it was essential to His relationship with God. It was the key to His spiritual power. In the Bible, we read that Jesus prayed before every significant event in His life, whether it was His miracles or the calling of the apostles or in the Garden of Gethsemane or during His crucifixion. And prayer was also a normal part of His everyday life.
Do you know what Jesus’ primary activity in heaven is right now? His primary activity in heaven is praying. Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus “always lives to make intercession” for us. Did you know right now in heaven Jesus Christ is praying to God the Father and He is praying for you? He is praying for your forgiveness. He is praying for God’s protection on your life. He is praying for God’s direction in your life. Prayer is essential to the life and ministry of Jesus.
Second, Jesus shows us the importance of prayer not only in His example but also in His teaching. In Luke 18, Jesus gives a great parable on prayer. And Luke begins with these words: “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (v. 1). If we gloss over that, we miss the point of what Jesus is saying. Jesus told this parable to show how we ought to pray at all times—not just when the answer seems easy and obvious. Jesus taught that we need to pray at all times, even during the difficult times when the answer seems impossible.
I don’t know about you, but when difficulties come into my life, when my lifeboat springs a leak, it makes a lot more sense to start bailing than to start praying. I think I need to do something practical to take care of the problem. But Jesus said the most important thing we can do when we run into trouble is to pray and not lose heart. Then He tells the well-known parable about a widow who goes to an unrighteous judge to seek protection. The judge didn’t fear God. He didn’t respect man. Yet she kept coming to him, nagging him day and night, asking him to act on her behalf. Finally the judge relents, saying that the widow is wearing him out. Then Jesus makes the application: “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:6–7).
Jesus isn’t saying that God is like an unrighteous judge. And He is not saying that we are like paupers who have no standing with Him. This is a parable of contrast. Jesus is saying if an unrighteous judge can be moved to act on behalf of somebody whom he has no care about whatsoever, then how much more will a righteous and loving God do for you and me who cry to Him and ask for Him assistance?
By teaching and by example, Jesus shows us we ought to pray at all times and not lose heart.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Developing a Trusting Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.