I enjoy reading the Puritan Thomas Brooks because of the biblical and practical nature of his writing. My mini-review of his book Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices can give you an insight into Brooks’ writing:
Reading the table of contents in this book is more spiritually beneficial than 95% of Christian books. Truly a goldmine of spiritual insight worthy of the name ‘precious.’
One feature of the practical nature of Brooks’ writing is how he organizes several works by questions and answers. While reading The Secret Key to Heaven: The Call to Closet Prayer, I found the following answer helpful on why Jesus prayed so much.
Question. But why was our Lord Jesus so much in private prayer? Why was he so often with God alone?
Answer 1. It was to put a very high honor and value upon private prayer; it was to enhance and raise the price of this duty. Men naturally are very apt and prone to have low and undervaluing thoughts of secret prayer. But Christ, by exercising himself so frequently in it, has put an everlasting honor and an inestimable value upon it.
Answer 2. He was much in private prayer, he was often with God alone, that he might not be seen of men, and that he might avoid all shows and appearances of ostentation and popular applause. He who has commanded us to abstain from all appearances of evil, 1 Thess 5:22, would not himself, when he was in this world, venture upon the least appearance of evil. Christ was very shy of everything that did but look like sin; he was very shy of the very show and shadow of pride or vainglory.
Answer 3. To avoid interruptions in the duty. Secrecy is no small advantage to the serious and lively carrying on of a private duty. Interruptions and disturbances from without are oftentimes quenching to private prayer. The best Christians do but bungle when they meet with interruptions in their private devotions.
Answer 4. To set us such a blessed pattern and gracious example, that we should never please nor content ourselves with public prayers only, nor with family prayers only—but that we should also apply ourselves to secret prayer, to closet prayer. Christ was not always in public, nor always in his family—but he was often in private with God alone, that by his own example he might encourage us to be often with God in secret; and happy are those who tread in his steps, and that write after his copy.
Answer 5. That he might approve himself to our understandings and consciences to be a most just and faithful High Priest, Heb 2:17; John 17. Christ was wonderful faithful and careful in both parts of his priestly office, namely, redemption and intercession; he was his people’s only spokesman. Ah! how earnest, how frequent was he in pouring out prayers, and tears, and sighs, and groans for his people in secret, when he was in this world, Heb 5:7. And now he is in heaven, be is still a-making intercession for them, Heb 7:25.
Answer 6. To convince us that his Father hears and observes our private prayers, and bottles up all our secret tears, and that he is not a stranger to our closet desires, wrestlings, breathings, hungerings, and thirstings.
You may also enjoy: How to Fight Distraction in Worship: Wisdom from Thomas Brooks.