Years ago, an old saint shared with me 12 prayer principles from the life of Jesus Christ. It made such a difference in my personal prayer life. There are only 17 references to Jesus praying and most of them are in the book of Luke.
1. The principle of ILLUMINATION.
Luke 3:21-22 says, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My Son whom I love. With You I am well pleased.’” The setting here was Jesus’ baptism and this is the first recorded example of Jesus praying, and we see in the book of Luke three results of His praying.
- Heaven opened up.
- The Holy Spirit came down.
- The Father spoke.
These are three results when we make contact with God in our prayers. Symbolically, heaven opens up and we receive God’s blessing. The Holy Spirit fills our lives afresh. And the Father speaks to us. If you’d like to know the Spirit’s power in your life, if you’d like God to speak to you, you must practice the prayer life of Jesus.
2. The principle of ISOLATION.
Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” “Often” means it was His habit. He did it in places where He was all by Himself. I believe this is absolutely essential. We need to spend time alone with God every day. Jesus returned again and again to a lonely place. Find that place where you can get alone with God, where you can be isolated and pray aloud and let God speak to you.
3. The principle of CONCENTRATION.
Luke 6:12 says, “In those days Jesus went out on the mountainside to pray and He spent the night praying to God.” Notice it says, “He spent the night.” Some of the greatest lessons of my prayer life have been nights that I have spent in prayer. My decision to marry my wife was made in a prayer meeting all night with one other person. Sometimes when I pray it takes just a few minutes for me to get my thoughts collected. Sometimes it takes a long time for me to even get in the mood. I’ve found that it’s important to spend extended blocks of time with God so that you can concentrate on what He wants you to do and His will for your life.
4. The principle of INSULATION.
The Bible says, “Once when Jesus was praying in private, the disciples were with Him.” Notice that the disciples were with him but He still found time for personal prayer. This is an important principle because there’s not always time to get alone by yourself. There are times when you can’t be isolated. I think of this as kind of an incubator verse. Babies can be in the middle of a busy hospital, but they can be incubated in a situation that protects them from the hustle and bustle around them. Sometimes I find as a pastor I just can’t get alone, but I can have an attitude of isolation or insulation and I can be silent even in the middle of a traffic jam. My prayer can overcome the interruptions when I put myself in an attitude of insulation.