Follow In His Steps - Lesson 10
We Pray—Part 1
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can name three occasions on which Jesus prayed and what He prayed about.
- The student can explain why Jesus thought it beneficial to pray.
- Put the footprints on the floor of the classroom.
- Have a board ready for writing.
- Have the words and music for the song “There’s a Garden Where Jesus is Waiting” ready for use.
Theme: We can learn much about prayer from examining Jesus’ prayer life.
Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class
Introduction: (15 minutes)
- Check the roll and welcome visitors.
- Ask the class for examples of when and where they have exemplified Christ recently.
- What do the footsteps mean? Let’s say our five words together—Serve, Tell, Exemplify, Pray, Sacrifice. Today we start our study on prayer. To be like Jesus, we need to have a strong prayer life because He did.
- Let’s list on the board times you can remember when Jesus prayed. (Quickly as just an opening exercise.)
Learning Experiences: (25 minutes)
- In our study of Jesus’ prayer life, to encourage us to pray as He did, we are going to ask the question “Why did Jesus pray?” One might think that because Jesus was God, even while on earth in human form, He would not need to speak to the Father about anything. As noted on the board, however, Jesus often prayed. So if we are to be like Him, we must be persons of prayer. As an encouragement for each of us to be a prayerful person, let’s look at some of the times Jesus prayed to learn why He prayed. Knowing why He prayed, will be an encouragement for us to pray.
- Read Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35, and Mark 6:46. Q: From these passages, what do we learn about Jesus’ prayer life? A: (Probably you will get words like “regular,” “often,” “frequent.” From these observations draw the first description of Jesus’ prayer life to write on the board—“To seek God’s refreshing presence.” Jesus just liked to be with God, to have Him as part of His life, to be renewed after a busy day. As being with a friend or spouse is refreshing, so it is refreshing to be with God in prayer.
- Read Luke 3:21-23 and John 1:32-33. Q: Where is Jesus at this time in His ministry? A: At the beginning. Q: What happens as a result of His prayer? A: God reassures Him about beginning His work and endorses Him to others. Read Luke 6:12-13. Q: Why did Jesus spend the night praying? A: He was making a very important decision about choosing twelve who would be apostles. So, let’s state a second principle (write on the board). “To ask God’s help in His work.”
- Read Matt. 26:36-46 and Heb. 5:7. Q: Why did Jesus feel the need for prayer that night? A: As a human being, He was facing an extremely difficult time. He knew it would be hard to go through what He had to face: the unfair trail, the physical torture, the taunts of those around the cross, and the sense of separation from God He would feel while serving as a sin offering. Might He fall short of what He must do to fulfill God’s plan? For Him to do all of what His sacrifice required Him to do, would be a great challenge. So, with tears He cries out to ask if there is any other way. Q: What is meant by the expression “he was heard because of his reverent submission?” A: God didn’t take away what He had to experience but He did answer with strength to bear it. So we come to our third reason why Jesus prayed— “To seek God’s assistance in difficulty.” Read John 12:27-28. Q: What do we learn from this verse about Jesus’ concern about His death? A: That it was not just in the Garden that He was troubled about the ordeal He would face but even earlier already He had that concern. Above all He wanted God to be glorified. Hold this thought as we look at two other passages.
- Read Matt. 14:19 and John 17:1-4. Q: What do these verses suggest as a reason for Christ’s prayers? A: He prayed to bring thanks and glory to the Father. So we have our fourth reason Jesus prayed— “To extend God’s glory.”
- Read Matt. 19:13, Luke 22:32, and John 17:11, 20-21. Q: What do we learn from these passages about Jesus’ prayers? A: That He often prayed for others to do the right thing. From this we find the fifth reason why Jesus prayed—“To bring God’s power to others.”
Application: (5 minutes)
- Even though Jesus was Himself divine, He still often prayed to the Father, and for good reasons.
- Sing slowly and meditatively the song “There’s a Garden Where Jesus is Waiting.”
- In the next lesson we will apply the reasons Jesus prayed to our own prayer life.
- I will ask you next week to help list on the board the five reasons Jesus prayed. Get at least a couple of these in mind that you will remember to help us reconstruct this lesson.
- Write on your card two things this week that you are praying about that you might share with the class next week.
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