“And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.”
There are many examples in the Scriptures of people who had successful prayer lives. Elijah, Moses, David, and the apostles are just a few people who give the believer a great example to follow in their prayer lives. However, the greatest example for the believer on how to pray is found in our Saviour who taught the apostles how to pray. It was the prayer life of our Saviour that helped the apostles to lead the early church to eventually turn the world upside down.
Your Christian walk will only be as successful as your prayer life. You show me what your prayer life has been like in the past week, and I can show you how victorious your Christian walk will be tomorrow. Your testimony will have no power, and your Christian walk will see little victory if your prayer life is weak. Let me show you the characteristics of a successful prayer life from the Saviour’s prayer on the Mount of Olives.
First, a successful prayer life prays. This sounds obvious, but you cannot have answered prayer if you don’t pray. One of the greatest reasons believers don’t see victory in their prayer life is because they don’t pray. Victory in the Christian walk is not found on the stage of performance, but it’s found by spending much time in the closet of prayer.
Second, a successful prayer won’t allow anything to draw them away from their prayer time. Jesus said in verse 40, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” A successful prayer life doesn’t yield to the calls of activities that draw them away from their time of prayer, but it will pray in spite of the calls.
Third, you must withdraw yourself to have a successful prayer life. Jesus had to withdraw himself from the disciples so He could pray. You must shut everything down and get away if you are going to be successful in your prayer life. Life will say you are too busy to pray, but you must realize that you are too busy not to pray if you want to have a successful Christian walk.
Fourth, humility is necessary for a successful prayer life. The kneeling Saviour was a representation of humility and the need for prayer. Jesus was the Son of God, and yet he realized He still needed to pray. You will never have a successful prayer life until you are humble enough to realize that you don’t have the answers for anything in life.
Fifth, a willingness to accept God’s will over your will is necessary for a successful prayer life. Jesus prayed in verse 42, “…not my will, but thine, be done.” When you are willing for God’s will to be done even if it affects you adversely is when you will see success in your prayer life. When you’re willing to lay aside your desires for God’s will in your life is when you will see success in your prayers.
Sixth, a successful prayer life prays through the quitting points. In verse 44, Jesus continued to pray in agony. When you feel like you are getting nowhere in your time of prayer is when you need to stay in your closet of prayer and continue to prayer. Never stop praying just because you don’t feel like praying.
Seventh, a successful prayer life prays more earnestly. In verse 44, Jesus “prayed more earnestly.” You will never see great answers to prayer until you learn to become earnest and fervent in your prayers. When you lose yourself in your prayer time is when you will find the answer to your prayers.