Theme: The importance of prayer.
This weeks lessons teach us from Jesus’ example how to pray.
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Today we will look at one more aspect of true prayer.
4. We should pray in faith, expecting an answer. The fourth thing we can learn about prayer from this account is that we need to pray in faith, expecting an answer. The answer will not always be what we anticipate, for God’s ways are not our ways nor are his thoughts our thoughts. But we should expect God to answer somehow. The Father answered Jesus because he went to his arrest, trial, and crucifixion with no hint of fear or wavering from this point on. He was settled in his mind and had been given strength for the ordeal. This is also taught by a text in Hebrews that can only be referred to this event. The author of Hebrews wrote, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7).
This also seems to be the basis for the challenge to pray that the author of Hebrews gave earlier: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus had more to say about prayer than about almost any other subject, and the point he seems to make most is simplicity itself. Just pray. There is much about prayer that we do not understand and may never understand. But these things we do know: 1) God hears prayer, 2) God answers prayer, 3) we are commanded to pray, 4) prayer matters, and 5) Jesus himself prayed, giving us an example, So pray. Jesus told Peter, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (v. 41).
What can we confidently expect when we pray? What can we not expect?
From today’s lesson, what was the main point Jesus seemed to make about prayer?
List the things we can know for sure about prayer.
Read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus gives this as an example of how we should pray. Study the prayer and notice the order of things prayed for. Notice also the tone in which God is approached.