When I think on the life of Jesus and areas I would like to be more like Him, yet still have tremendous room for growth, it’s in the area of prayer. Prayer was vitally important to Jesus in making disciples. In fact, the night before Jesus selected the twelve men whom He would disciple, Luke tells us He went up on a mountainside and spent the night in prayer (Luke 6:12-13). This was not a decision Jesus made lightly; the call to be His disciple was bathed in prayer. Throughout Scripture we find times in the middle of Jesus’ disciple-making process when He would get away and pray, often spending the night in prayer prior to making a major revelation of Himself to the disciples. The final prayer Jesus offers for those who follow Him as disciples came on the night He was arrested and taken to trial. John 15 describes the way Jesus prayed for His followers. Most important to Jesus was that any who call themselves disciples would abide in Him. The illustration He gave was of a vine, branches and fruit. Those who abide, or remain on the vine, can bear much fruit, while those who do not abide can bear no fruit.
In every aspect of Jesus’s ministry, we find Him in prayer. Jesus showed us what it meant to abide in a relationship with God. He was never disconnected from the vine and drew all His power from God. If prayer was that important for Jesus in making disciples who would replicate the mission, prayer must be vitally important for us as we abide on the vine. Our abiding relationship with God leads us to pray in the same manner and with the same fervency in which Jesus prayed. I’m often tempted to do ministry, including making disciples, in my own power without the prayerful, abiding on the vine aspect of discipleship. But my prayers for those I’m discipling are much richer and effective when I’m being nourished in my relationship with Jesus.
- When I am consistently in prayer, I am healthier and have more to give to those whom I’m discipling and shepherding.
- When I have consistent time in prayer, I have power through the Holy Spirit I cannot produce on my own.
- When prayer is consistent in my life I look more like Jesus.
- When I am consistently in prayer, my prayers are more vibrant.
- When I have consistent time in prayer, I am more humble and patient while dealing with people.
- When prayer is consistent in my life, I am drawn to prayer even more!
When I am NOT consistently in prayer, the opposite of those things are true.
Jesus modeled for us what a life in prayer looks like and the important role it plays in making disciples. Jesus did nothing without prayer behind His actions. As we make disciples it is imperative to remain in constant communication with our Father. The abiding aspect of prayers on the vine give us so much of what we need daily in order to make disciples like Jesus. As you look at your own prayer life compared to Jesus, how would currently assess the priority given to prayer as you abide with Him and make disciples?
Grace Fellowship Church