Christ’s model is a guide to the life of prayer

Written by Lisa Hanash

The culture we live in is oversaturated with messages. We’re not always given the messages we are looking for or the ones we need. Our focus and attention are being threatened by this cultural noise—often coming from our screens. As one pastor called them, they are “weapons of mass distraction.”

Whether your devotional life has fallen off the rail, or you are diligently making progress in your understanding of God, striking the right balance is a juggling act to unearth the priorities you need to not just survive, but thrive.

However we find ourselves sojourning through this time, we are reminded to hope. 

Christ’s authentic pursuit of His Father’s will and heart was intentional. Jesus appeared to the disciples to display the works of the Father. He fulfilled God’s will throughout His life all the way to the cross, and in His resurrection and ascension to heaven.

If we look closely at the Gospels, we can see Christ had a particular routine. He went out healing the sick and preaching to the villages, exemplifying a life modeled in relationship with God and man.

Even while surrounded by people with great need, Jesus didn’t neglect His relationship with His Father. He sought out vital times of prayer and gave His full attention and affection to God, demonstrating their incomparably close bond (John 10:30).

This gives us a glimpse of the relationship of the Trinity. Frequent passages refer to Jesus going up to the mountainside or finding secluded places to pray.

Mark 1:35 says, “Very  early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Before the sun even shone its face and the busyness and buzz of the day commenced, Jesus sought an opportunity to get away. He removed himself from the possibility of distraction, movement, and the day’s itinerary and demands.

The solitary place He went to in Mark 1 may have been the same mountain where He prayed in Mark 6 or the mountain where He was transfigured, His face shining like the sun as He met with Moses and Elijah in Mark 9.

It isn’t always natural to take time in solitude in isolated places. But even Christ chose quietness and privacy so He could hear what God is saying. Jesus affirms this in Matthew 6:5-8 when He reminds His followers that the Father sees those who pray in private and cares about our sincerity and the intention of our prayers.

What does a prayer life look like with Jesus? How can we live more attentively to His will?

It is evident that Jesus is confident in the full affection of the Father and has experienced His full delight. Jesus’ prayer life demonstrates the gradual, incremental moments of a transformed life through His relationship with God.

Even in His darkest hour, Jesus’ full dependency and trust in the Father was made evident when He faced suffering that would bring redemption.

If Jesus went to the Father for strength and wisdom, how much more do we need to rely on the leading of the Father?

Usually, focusing on prayer means something else needs to shift to make space for it. Take some time to reflect on different ways to spend time with God. It can start with little steps, like turning off our phones two hours before going to bed, setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier, placing our Bible or journal on a nightstand or on the kitchen table.

These simple changes carve out space for God to speak. They are daily reminders that point us toward the life Jesus modelled: a life of intentional choices to pray with dedication and focus.

Prayer is a priority. It refreshes and rejuvenates. It reminds us of the life and truth of Jesus. It relaxes the mind and body to release to God our worries, anger, fear, and anxiety. It grants us an opportunity to see ourselves as God’s creations and to invite His truths into our earthly experience, inclining us to hope beyond tomorrow.