There are certain quotes we read in our lives that really make an impact in our lives. One such quote was made by the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Crockett, TX and also Founder and Director at Prayeridigm Publishing, Keeney Dickenson. He said, “We pray in the context of ministry, but Jesus ministered in the context of prayer.”
To understand what a statement like this means and to ensure it is factual, we can refer back to all the places where Jesus ministered in the context of prayer.
We think that we have it right the whole time and then we read a statement like this and realize just how wrong we were.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’” Mark 14:32
“Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.” Mark 14:35
“Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.” Mark 14:39
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened.” Luke 3:21
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12
“Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” Luke 9:18
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’” Luke 11:1
“And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.” Matthew 14:19
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,” Matthew 14:23
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.” Matthew 19:13
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’” Matthew 26:36
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” Matthew 26:39
“He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.’” Matthew 26:42
“So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” Matthew 26:44
Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” John 17:9
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” John 17:20
Whether He was praying alone or in a group setting, Jesus ministered with not only His words, but with his testimony. This makes it as important for us, not only as His children but as His imitators, to use His example as a model of how we should live our lives.
We should be living as a testimony to others and praying every chance we get by ourselves, in front of others and with others. The only way to minister to others is to do it the way Pastor Dickenson mentioned and the way Jesus actually did; in the “context of prayer.”