Why and When We Really Pray


Jesus had an anguishing time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The weight of the cross, of the sins of the world began to fall on Him and He brought this to His father in prayer.  In times of great challenge, we need to pray, but really pray, passing hours, even all night as Jesus was known to do, in order to find the breakthrough we are needing.

In late August, I drove a group of 9 of our Pastors and leaders from El Salvador, through the high country of the border in Chalatenango through to Honduras, and into the basin of San Pedro Sula.  We were there to receive 2-1/2 days of intensive training along with other church leaders from Guatemala and Nicaragua.  Our host, Pastor Gilberto Mejía Chávez began our first session and it set the tone of our training in a tone I was not expecting…

¡NADA SUCEDE SIN ORACIÓN! Cuando no hay resultados después de oración, HAY UNA GRAN PROBLEMA!

NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT PRAYER!  When there are no results after prayer, WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM!

The whole atmosphere in the room changed from, OK, we are here to learn about some good Christian publications and training, to OK LORD, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION!  He began to outline from the life of Jesus, 5 different things that happened immediately after long intentional times of prayer, often all night.  Through this Pastor Mejia showed us that if we don’t see results, it may not always mean that it wasn’t “God’s timing” or “God had better plans.”  Though these can be true, quite often, the deficiency is that we have not really utilized the powerful spiritual element of travailing prayer…prayer that is intentional, powerful and continues until we receive breakthrough.

Here are 5 results that Jesus saw from His prayer life

1. Prayer Opens the Heavens – Luke 3:21 – An open Heaven, in simple terms is the will of God being opened on earth, “On earth as it is in Heaven.”  Do you need a miracle, then you need an open heaven.  Do you want to see others come to faith in Jesus Christ, see a dramatic financial, relational or physical change, then you need an open Heaven.

2. Prayer Keeps Us Focused – Luke 5:15-16 – When Jesus’ fame began to spread and the multitudes flocked to Him, things changed.  But, His focus did not, He always took His marching orders from God, “I only do what I see the Father doing.”  Successes, failures, budgets, deadlines, crowds, all can make us seasick.  We loose our bearings, our compass no longer reads true north, our inspiration leans more on our regular activities, and our own strength and not on the grace of faith.  Prayer brings us back to true north, to our source and keeps us focused on the main thing.

3. Prayer Helps Us Select Leaders – Luke 6:12-13 – This is specifically in the context of ministry leaders, as Jesus went to prayer all night to select his Apostles from among His faithful disciples.  But this principle goes into every area of life, do you: own a business, run a non-profit, lead a family, teach a classroom of children, live in a neighborhood, invest in IRA’s, want to buy a house or a car?  If the answer to any of these is “yes” than you need to be a person who takes time to pray…really pray over your decisions.

4. Prayer Produces Revelation – Luke 9:18-20 – This all important shift in the disciples thinking followed a time of prayer, which initiated the question, “Who do you say I am?” and the answer from Peter, “You are the Christ.”  Walking in a confused state often accompanies a lack of prayer, while the reverse is true, walking in a state of confidence and calling comes from a life of prayer.  “The Holy Spirit preaches here (in the Bible)…Many times I have learned more from one prayer than I might have learned from much reading and speculation” -Martin Luther

5. Prayer Provides Strength – Luke 22:39-43 – In this most trying of days for Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was strengthened by prayer, and actually had an angel, the minister of God, who came to strengthen Him.

This week, whether you have a heavy decision to make, want to see the miracle working power of God in your life, feel “seasick” in your job, need clarity in some area, or just are feeling week…PRAY!  Really pray.

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