Sunday, August 16, 2020

Jesus Habits: Prayer (Jesus Habits Series)

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  This sermon about prayer is part of my pastor's sermon series titled Jesus Habits. 

Jesus Habits:  Prayer
Jesus Habits:  Prayer

One reason habits matter is this.  Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.  In what area of your life do you need to become more consistent? 

While you are thinking about the answer to that question, you are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

There are three points to ponder while developing Jesus habits.  We need these three things.

1.  We need the power of Christ in our lives.

2.  We need a system.  We need a lifestyle that consistently allows us to develop Jesus habits.

3.  We need accountability and encouragement from others.  We were created for community.

Today's specific topic related to forming Jesus habits:  

Jesus Habit: Prayer

Jesus began His day by connecting with His Father, God, before doing anything else.  Jesus prayed.

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. - Mark 1:35

All that God wants to do in your life, your family, your business, etc is done through prayer.

1.  Why did Jesus pray?

Jesus was and still is fully God and fully man.  He was and is flawless but He experienced the hard stuff of life such as temptation, pressure from others, etc.

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You. - John 17:1

When Jesus experienced the hard stuff of life, He took refuge in His Father, God.

If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest. - Corrie Ten Boom

Let's focus on developing good Jesus habits, not bad habits.  Bad habits, even private bad habits, will eventually come out publicly.  Private good habits will eventually come out too. 

2.  When did Jesus pray?

Jesus prayed early in the morning.

Starting our day with God helps shield us during spiritual battles during the day.

Jesus also prayed at night.

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. - Luke 6:12

If you wake up in the middle of the night, pray.

Jesus prayed in a variety of places.  He tells us to keep seeking, asking, and knocking.

Jesus prayed with people, not just for people.

Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. - Luke 9:28

Do you have a prayer group?  I am part of a small prayer group that meets once per week.  I always look forward to our prayer time together and I feel refreshed after we have prayed.  If you are not part of a prayer group, consider seeking one out or start one.

Jesus prayed before making decisions.

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.  And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles. - Luke 6:12
Jesus prayed after great victories.

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. - Matthew 14:23

 Jesus prayed to overcome temptations.

When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray. - Luke 22:40-41

 Jesus prayed for those whom He loved. 

Jesus prayed during crisis.

3.  Why is prayer a difficult habit for us to develop?

Perhaps we pray while hanging on to sin in our lives.  Practice the habit of confession.  Confess your sins to the Lord and turn from them.

Perhaps we pray with wrong motives.

Perhaps we doubt prayer is effective. 

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. - James 1:6-7

Perhaps we aren't walking in faith.

Perhaps we have never been discipled.

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." - Luke 11:1

4.  When we embrace the habit of prayer, choose to pray.  Don't wait for a feeling.

Jesus Habits
This item is available here.


We need a system for developing the habit of prayer.  

Begin by praying every morning for 7 minutes for the next 7 days.

Prayer is about God's glory and should be centered on Him.

Variety is a good prayer habit.  Pray about a variety of situations, a variety of people, and in a variety of places.

Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney
This item is available here.

Never lose expectancy in prayer.  Our prayers are instantly heard in Heaven.  Consider the following beautifully written piece by Charles Spurgeon.

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of Heaven. “You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.” This implies that they are caught as they flow!

The suppliant, who groans out his words, will be well understood by the Most High God. He may only look up with misty eye; but prayer is the falling of a tear! Tears are the diamonds of Heaven! Sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with the most sublime strains which reach the majesty on high!

Do not think that your prayers, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Our God not only hears prayers, but also loves to hear them. “He does not forget the cry of the humble.”

True, He does not regard proud looks and lofty words.
He has no concern for the pomp and pageantry of kings.
He does not listen to the swell of martial music.
He does not regard the triumph and pride of man.

But wherever there is a contrite heart full with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh—the heart of Jehovah is open! He marks that prayer down in the registry of His memory! He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom! - Charles Spurgeon

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare by Charles Spurgeon
This item is available here.

Prayer is a relationship.  The more you talk to God, the more you will want to talk to Him and the more you will resemble Him.

Pray, just pray.

War Room - The Battle Plan for Prayer
This item is available here.


Jesus Habits - Prayer - Pinterest
Jesus Habits:  Prayer

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