This is the only place in the NT that records that Jesus prayed during His baptism. The result was amazing. Heaven was opened, and God spoke audibly! Both Matthew and Mark record what God spoke about His Son. “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22. Only Luke tells us that He was praying.
1. Heaven Opens (God is listening)
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, His shed blood, we have access to God’s holy presence. He hears us in the Name of Jesus. God responds to our prayers; He listens. Those who have trusted in Jesus and received Him as Savior He calls His children (John 1:12). Jesus is God’s perfect Son.
2. Jesus withdrew quietly
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NKJV)
There are many occasions recorded when Jesus withdrew. That word means to get away from everything. He got away from the crowds. He took His disciples with Him too. But only Luke records that He did this in order to pray. If He did, how much more you and I need to get away from the noise, the crowds, and the news to pray.
3. Went out to the mountain
Prayed all night (extended prayer)
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.Luke 6:12 (NKJV)
Quick prayers were not enough for Jesus. He prayed for extended periods of time. We looked on a previous Sunday (Check out our archives) at our desire for immediate answers and how God may delay His answer. This is an exhortation to longer times of prayer. Prayer is always appropriate. Quick prayers throughout the day are a must. We are exhorted to pray without ceasing. But do I have extended times of prayer? This is very convicting for me. Jesus was going to choose His disciples the next day. It was a crucial decision. He prayed all night before making that decision. Where is your place to get away and pray?
And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Luke 9:18 (NKJV)
This verse baffled me for a long time. Depending upon the translation you use, it appears that Jesus’ disciples were close by. How could Jesus be alone praying and with His disciples at the same time? Remember, only Luke records this. Jesus was alone praying in the same vicinity as His disciples. He was praying even though he was around other people close by. Do you ever do this? Do you pray silently while talking to someone? Do you ask God for wisdom in the moment for how to respond? This was a pivotal time in Jesus’ ministry. He asks His disciples a crucial question: First, “Who do people say I am?” and then, “Who do you say am I?” This is a personal confession, a heart confession. We can’t simply parrot what others say. At the judgment, we will answer for ourselves!
5. Prayer Alters (transforms) You!
Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. Luke 9:28–29 (NKJV)
The Bible says that our heart condition is reflected on our face. If our face is sad, it is because our heart is too. Only Luke records that Jesus’ face and physical appearance were changed while He prayed. Prayer transforms us from the inside out. Prayer refocuses us on the Source, God. Prayer eliminates distractions. The voice of God to Peter and the disciples was to listen to Jesus. All other voices (Moses, Elijah), no matter how important, do not speak as clearly as Jesus, the Son! Do you want to shine for Jesus? Do you want to be changed? Pray!
6. You have been taught to pray
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 (NKJV)
You and I have been taught to pray by Jesus Himself! This is the only place that records the disciple’s petition. It was only after Jesus finished His prayer that the disciples asked Him this question. They were probably spellbound as they listened. They waited in awe until He finished. We need that same spirit to want to learn to pray! I pray this prayer in a conversational form with my wife every day before we leave the house.
7. Jesus prayed for His killers
Only Luke records this prayer! Jesus was praying for those who were killing Him. Jesus prayed for all those who were persecuting Him. He prayed for those working behind the scenes (the religious leaders) and those actively involved (the Roman soldiers). He models what He asked His followers to do at the start of His ministry.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
Invitation and Ministry Time
The more self-confidence you have, the less you pray. Leonard Ravenhill
Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? If you have repented of your sins and trusted Him alone for salvation, then He lives in you. Are you a person who believes God? Are you a person who has faith in a prayer hearing God? Our God hears and responds! Remember that the perfect prayer person, Jesus Himself, lives in you!
How will you respond in faith to this message?