PRAYERS OF JESUS CHRIST
PREPARED HIM FOR THE DAILY CHALLENGES
HE HAD TO FACE UNTIL HIS CRUCIFIXION
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain
to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Lu.6:12
between Jesus and His Father was so profound, so far beyond any sinful man’s experience that the hidden knowledge available
through “the Spirit of prophecy” prepared Him for every encounter He faced on a daily basis. Often in His dealing
with the people of Judaea, the LORD, “knowing their thoughts” knew “how to speak a word in season.”
And never did He, with “the trumpet give an uncertain sound.” Isa.50:4; I Cor.14:8.
The constant threats of Satan through his pawns among men were so vast and diverse that only a close and loving communion
with the Father could prepare Jesus to meet every test and be victorious in every contest, whether in His wilderness fast
or His being nailed to a cross and left there to die. The broad range of Christ’s experiences perfectly illustrates
how many of these same challenges that Christ faced comes to every man who desires to honor GOD in obedience to Bible guidelines.
This has always been the history of the faithful: from righteous Abel to the last righteous man and woman before the close
of probation and “the seven plagues” of Revelation 16 begin.
JUST A FEW PRECIOUS EXAMPLES
OF CHRIST’S PROPHETIC GIFT
THAT UPLIFTED THE DOWNTRODDEN
FROM SATAN’S MANIPULATION
The woman caught in adultery
“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say
unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be
stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and
with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself,
and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote
on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest,
even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw
none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man,
Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Jn.8:1-11.
The plot was simple. The priests determined to create a checkmate situation for the Lord. Should He deny the law of
Moses commanding to stone an adulterer they would accuse Him before the peoople of sedition against Moses. And should Jesus
say that she should be stoned they would accuse Him before the Romans of sedition against Roman authority. Thus they thought
they had Him. But Jesus was always blessed to see the third option to these ‘only two choice’ situations!
When the woman, caught in adultery was brought by the priests Jesus already
knew of their scheme and simply stooped down to write their sins in the sand for their own eyes to read: how they sent an
agent to seduce the woman into adultery, and then stormed in to seize her while letting their seducing agent go free. The
law of Moses demanded for both to be judged (Lev.20:10-14); and yet, only the woman was brought before Jesus. The LORD of
Heaven knew it was all a setup designed to ruin His ministry among the people; and these puppets of the devil (masquerading
as the servants of GOD) were willing to go to any lengths to accomplish their demonic agenda. And so it is today.
A tax collector named Zacchaeus
“There was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the
publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the
place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy
house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.” Lu.19:2-6.
these words affirm, Jesus had never met Zacchaeus prior to this day, and yet Jesus called him by name. This could only be
done by Jesus’ nightly prayers to His Father, as verified by His own words: “I can of mine own self do nothing:
as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent
Although Zacchaeus was bound to the Roman law he was
an honorable man. And Jesus always went out of his way to commend and to bless the honorable.
But the most difficult challenge for Christ’s prophetic gift was working with the religious leaders who had corrupted
every aspect of GOD’S plan of salvation by their sheer belligerence against the simple admonition of the LORD: “Ye
shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments
of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deut.4:2. The Scribes and Pharisees added to the Word of GOD a thousand manmade
requirements that stood outside of GOD’S commandments and thus opened the floodgates of satanic doctrines. These "doctrines
of men" led to their denying the LORD of Glory. In this apostasy Jesus declared, "Ye shall die in your sins."
Jn.8:21. Men in the church today would do well to heed this warning and repent of the many sins they commit and allow via
a corrupt theology that enables sin's continuation in the church (I Pet.4:18).
The woman at Jacob’s well
“Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that
Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on
the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to
drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that
thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus
answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest
have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with,
and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us
the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh
of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water
that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give
me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast
had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir,
I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where
men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor
yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman
saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith
unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet
no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the
city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went
out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them,
I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four
months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already
to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that
reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon
ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. And many of the Samaritans of that city
believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were
come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because
of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and
know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.” Jn.4:5-44.
Among the lessons to be drawn from this passage: from the Jews’ self-righteous seclusion from all other peoples
to the disciples wondering why Jesus is wasting His time on a “dog” (as the Jews perceived the Gentiles), the
supreme lesson is how Jesus could come right out and tell her that He was the Messiah that was prophesied to come. This He
could not do among the Jews as it is written: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Jn.1:11.
In this passage is also seen an admonition for us. Many a time we encounter
those who, in our vain judgment are unworthy to receive the Word of Grace, when their heart may be crying out at that moment
to know of a GOD Who lives to serve and has promised to deliver their soul from the bondage of a sinful world.
The poor widow’s offering
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the
people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw
in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That
this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance;
but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mk.12:41-44.
As the “poor widow” approached the collection box she felt ashamed for the little she was able to give
when compared to the rich class of men who were there. The culture of Judaism insisted that the poor and sickly did not have
GOD’S temporal blessing while the wealthy were flattered by the priests to believe that because they were prosperous
they were specially chosen of GOD.
You see, in Christ’s day, the
Jews taught that the rich were rich due to their godliness and therefore had a guaranteed entrance into heaven; and the poor
and sickly were in their condition due to their ungodliness and therefore condemned to eternal damnation. This theology made
the rabbis very rich, for the flattery of the wealthy class received its reward. Jesus rebuked this belief, thereby exposing
the popular doctrine as false. This is affirmed in Luke 18:24-26, when Jesus said, "How hardly shall they that have riches
enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter
into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?"—If the rich were most likely lost,
what of those without the blessings of good health and prosperity? Even the church today continues this apostate teaching
and have taken Christ’s intended lesson and literally amputated it, replacing it with a Bible defiant teaching that
assaults the Love Born of Heaven and promotes the sin of covetousness.
as the poor widow was leaving she distinctly overheard the words of Jesus commending her over and above the rich. And this
greatly encouraged her. Many times Christ’s words of encouragement were heard by those who needed them most. None who
left the Presence of Jesus could say they were neglected.
The deliverance of Christ’s Apostle Peter
The most important lesson Peter had to learn was the profound
lesson of true love and humility. Peter’s character represents the universal “stumblingblock” of humanity.
Although loyal to Christ, Peter was contaminated from both his religious upbringing and his own propensities to wrath. When
Jesus foretold His disciples at the last supper that all of them would abandon Him before the night was out, Peter promised
to Jesus with absolute confidence that he would not abandon Him no matter what obstacles stood in his way. And even though
everyone else would forsake Him Peter promised that he would not. But Peter did not understand the flaws of his character;
and this assurance he held out to Christ was merely a rope of sand because he did abandon Him in the time of Christ's
betrayal, torture, and crucifixion.
But Jesus prayed for Peter: “And
the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for
thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready
to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before
that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” Lu.22:31-34.
insisted that his faith in GOD and the government of heaven would remain intact and not be swept away. But this prayer of
Jesus for His beloved disciple was answered at the very moment Peter denied having any association with Jesus, (at the place
where Jesus was being held prisoner after His arrest). In the book of Luke, chapter 21, we read, "And the LORD turned
and looked upon Peter." At the very moment of Peter's third denial of Christ he looked into the eyes of Jesus beholding
him. When Peter saw that look on his Master's face, that tender expression, that quiet, merciful face showing to Peter
the depths of unreserved love and forgiveness the Bible says, "And Peter went out and wept bitterly."
Peter was brought to the place where he was most vulnerable to his own destruction;
for the waves of guilt were about to flood the soul of Peter in which suicide would seem the only remedy as it did with Judas
Iscariot. But Christ would never betray Peter's vulnerability just as it was predicted centuries before concerning the
character of the coming Messiah: "A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring
forth justice and truth." Isa.42:3.
Right after that moment of the
Savior's expression of love to the wounded soul of Peter the Bible says, "And the men that held Jesus mocked Him,
and smote Him. And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face, and asked Him saying, Prophesy, who is it that
smote thee?" This, dear reader, was Satan's retribution for the Savior's mercy to His beloved Apostle Peter.
All throughout earth's history none has ever been more humble than Christ's
Apostle Peter. Years later, when Peter was crucified at the hands of Rome he requested that he be crucified upside down for
he felt himself unworthy to die the same way as his Master died. And there was Peter, hoisted up and placed among the other
crucified victims. His Cross upside down! What a witness in humility! How different is the history of pompous men ruling the
church throughout the centuries when contrasted with the life of Peter: men who claimed the right to kill, steal, and lie,
flooding the world with their disgraceful tyranny. Christ declared of any Christian who exercises religious tyranny that they
are sinning in the eyes of heaven. And any defiance of Christ’s words disproves any declaration of service to GOD.
But as the LORD’S ministry was coming to a close He knew the time had
come to carry the sin of the world to the Cross of Calvary: “Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man
shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him
to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third
day he shall rise again.” “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” Mk.10:33,34;
Jesus knew the “seventy weeks” prophecy of Daniel
9:24-27 and how the time had come in the seventieth and final week to lay down His life for the salvation of man. He knew
He had to obey the prophecy for it was ordained by GOD the Father for the salvation of His children. And Jesus would never
go against the will of His Father.