Mark 1:35-39 “The Prayer Life of Jesus”

Posted on September 15, 2008. Filed under: The Gospel of Mark |

Monday, September 15, 2008–Oh what a beautiful Fall day in Texas! Here in Fort Worth we don’t get many days like this: it was 58 degrees this morning and in the low 80’s now. Usually we go straight from summer weather in the 90’s to 40 degrees and cloudy with a north wind about the second week of October. But the forecast looks forward to a couple of weeks of Fall, my favorite time of year! Thank the Lord for Fall!

Here are the notes to the next sermon from Mark’s Gospel that I preached on a Sunday night about 9 years ago. This is little more than a bare bones outline, which is what I usually had for Sunday evening sermons, but still, Sunday evenings were my favorite times.

Mark 1:35-39 “The Prayer Life of Jesus”

Sunday 5 September 1999 AM





I. The Prayers of Jesus

II. Why Did Jesus Pray?

III. A Theology of Prayer



Introduction: Any way you want to look at it, prayer is central to our faith. Wherever Christians are there is prayer. In corporate worship, in small groups, in private devotions, prayer is a key element in the life of the Christian and the church. Even folks who really are not in the church or that you would consider not to be even born again will pray. Many folks who never go to church will still recognize the Lord’s Prayer, which was a popular song on secular radio back in the late sixties or early seventies.

            One key reason that prayer is so important in our faith is that our Lord had a very active prayer life while he was here. When I was a child I struggled with some aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry such as his baptism and his prayer life. I knew about the Trinity and wondered why the Son prayed to the Father. Then, as I learned more about theology I developed several other questions about prayer- why pray to a God who already knows what we need? Why pray to a God whose sovereign will is going to be worked out in the smallest detail? Why pray when so many of our prayers get a NO!? Thankfully, through the years, God has seen fit to answer most of my questions about prayer. Still, there remains a mysterious element to prayer, just as there is with a lot of our faith. But I have reached the place where mysteries in our faith are acceptable! God doesn’t have to explain everything to me anymore!

            Tonight we will study the prayer life of Jesus and we shall examine briefly a theology of prayer. Jesus prayed out of a desire to fellowship with His Heavenly Father and out of necessity as a man.


I. The Prayers of Jesus

            First of all we need to establish that Jesus was a man of prayer. (As I am typing this sermon I am listening to the Forester Sisters Greatest Gospel Hits and they are singing the Lord’s Prayer!)

            1. Mark 1:35 early in the morning, alone

            2. Luke 3:21 at his Baptism

            3. Luke 6.12 before calling the 12

            4. Matt. 14.23 when the crowds demanded him

            5. Luke 9.29 at the Transfiguration

            6. Luke 22.32 for Peter

            7. Mk 14.32 in the Garden of Gethsemane

            8. John 17 the high priestly prayer of Jesus

            9. Luke 23.34 on the cross and Mk. 15.34

            10. Mk. 8.6 thanks at a meal and miracle


II. Why Did Jesus Pray?

            1. The doctrine of the Trinity- One God but three persons; eternal love and communication had been going on within the Trinity.

            2.The doctrine of the Incarnation- if Jesus was to be fully man he would have to be dependent upon the Father and live by faith Col. 2.9, Heb 1.3; 1John4.2; Heb4.15; John5.19;14.10;Heb5.7-8

            3. Heb 7.25 Jesus intercedes for us today


III.A Theology of Prayer

            1. God wants us to pray because our relationship with him is to be based on Faith in him, trust in him. God as Creator wants us to depend upon him; we are not autonomous and independent. Prayer is part of the created order of things. Creator—->creature= providence; creature—–>Creator= trusting prayer. Matt 6:9ff; Mk 11.24; James1.6-8. Supplication.

            2. God wants close communion with us, fellowship. God is a personal God, not an impersonal force. Creator/Father<——->creature/child. Psalm 8, 9. Praise, thanksgiving and confession

            3. God wants us to pray as part of His work, as part of his plan for his Kingdom to advance. Intercession. Acts 12.12; Ex 32.31-32. Prayer changes things, changes while remaining in God’s sovereign plan.

            4. A key to prayer, Matt6.9ff; ACTS adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication/intercession

            5. Pray always 1Thess5.17; pray alone, Mk1.35; pray with the body 1Kings8.14ff.


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