We first see that Jesus Himself did whatever He taught as an example for us. Let us use His selection of the twelve apostles as an example to see how He truly followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the God’s will. Next, we see that we must pray all the time. Jesus, and Paul, even the gentiles knew about this. We also see that Jesus went to a mountain alone to pray after He performed the miracle of five loaves and two fish which produced what was needed from nothing. We can also conclude that He often fasted when praying. He laid hands on children, and taught the disciples how to pray. Finally, let us take a quick look at what gestures we could take when praying.
Jesus followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit in His whole life. He did what He taught Himself as an example for us. We can see this in Acts 1:1-2, “The first account (Gospel Luke) I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.” From these verses, we can see that His selection of the twelve apostles was due to the Holy Spirit. As a human, He wants to make sure that it is indeed so. From Luke 6:12-13, we can see how He made sure the guidance was from the Holy Spirit. “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles.”
Why did He pray the whole night? To answer this question, let us first observe that He knew ahead of time that He would die and be resurrected in , which also gave us one example that the Bible will sometimes record one event multiple times. And He also knew ahead of time that Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot would contribute to His death as in . Although the Bible doesn’t say explicitly why He prayed the whole night, there is a high chance that He knew at that time that Judas would betray Him from the consistency of the Bible. Therefore, He needed to pray the whole night to make sure that God wanted Him to choose Judas.
Next, we see that we need to pray all the time. In Luke 18:1, it says, “Now He (Jesus) was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.”
Cornelius is a gentile, but He knew that he should pray continuously as described in Acts 10:1, “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.” Paul also said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing.”
The Bible records that Jesus prayed when he was baptized . He also prayed in the early morning, while it was still dark in a secluded place , and would often slip away to the wilderness and pray . He prayed in the presence of disciples, and in the mountain of transfiguration . Let us talk about His praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, “saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” (Luke 22:42-44) His pray was so fervent. Someone said that we could see what He prayed at that time from Hebrews 5:7-8, “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Why? His pray was apparently heard, but He still died on the cross. In Hebrews 12:2, it says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” From these verses, we can conclude that He prayed for us, not for Himself to avoid His death on the cross.
There are other examples of Jesus’ prayer. After He performed the great miracle of five loaves and two fish, He went to a mountain to pray . We can see from this verse that He often prayed with fasting, “[But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]” (Matthew 17:21) Why? Didn’t He chase out the ghost? We also see that we must pray with fasting sometimes since He said that the days would come when He was taken away from the disciples, and then they would fast . Finally, we see that He laid hands on children to pray , and taught the disciples the Lord’s prayer .
Lastly, we’ll talk about the gestures taken in prayer. Our teaching is basically to kneel down to pray. But the Bible doesn’t say so. There are examples to stand and to fall on one’s face to pray . It is not the gestures are important but the heart that is important, since “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Jesus Himself didn’t obey the laws by words or on the surface, but by its true meaning. We can see this in Luke 13:14-17, “But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.”
This is consistent with what the Old Testament says. The Book of Isaiah says, “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.” (Isaiah 1:13) It also says in Isaiah 58:13-14, “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Didn’t what Jesus did honor the God?
Some related verses and knowledge
 Jesus knew ahead that He would die and resurrected from the verses below. In John 3:14, it says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” In the mountain of transfiguration, “As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”” (Matthew 17:9) And He also said in Matthew 12:40, “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” “And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.” (Matthew 17:22-23)
 John 13:26-27, “Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.””
 Luke 3:21-22, “Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, …”
 Mark 1:34-35 “And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”
 Luke 5:15-16, “But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”
 Luke 9:18-20, “And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” …And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”” “Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.” (Luke 9:28-29)
 Matthew 14:20-23, “and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”
 Matthew 9:14-15, “Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
 Matthew 19:13-15, “Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.”
 Luke 11:1, “It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.””
 Mark 11:24-26, “…Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. …” Matthew 26:36-39, “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, …And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, …” Luke 18:9-14, “And He also told this parable …The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. …’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, …”
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)