There has been considerable emphasis placed on bold prayers, and that raises an important question: Were Jesus’ prayers bold?
Yes, on occasion. Consider the dinner prayer he once offered: He stood in front of a crowd of thousands and offered thanks to God for the food he was about to distribute to them – five small barley loaves and two small fish. That was bold.
On another occasion he stood before the tomb of his friend, surrounded by mourners, and prayed: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” He then called his dead friend back to life. That was a bold prayer.
But most of Jesus’ prayers do not seem daring. He prayed for little children, whose parents sought his blessing. He gave thanks to his Father for acting wisely in his life. He asked for the unity of his followers. He prayed for Simon Peter, that his faith would not give way after a very public failure.
These are not what we think of as bold prayers; most of Jesus recorded prayers are not. And that will be the case in our lives, too. Bold prayers – those daring requests for God to intervene in our affairs in extraordinary ways – grow out of a life of daily prayer and intimacy with God.
If we try to skip over the life of prayer and go directly to the bold prayers – to raise the dead or feed thousands – we shall have about as much success as the piano student who skips over practicing scales because he wants to play the Moonlight Sonata. And, just as that student will give up the piano in discouragement, we will give up on prayer.
Bold prayers are unlikely to reach heaven unless they are rooted in the rich soil of a life of prayer on earth.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)