Amazing it might seem! The Son of God, Jesus, prayed. In him was found a loveliness in prayer. It attracted his disciples so much that they asked him to teach them to pray.
The prayer life of Jesus Christ demonstrated his dependence on God the Father in heaven. He called God, “Abba, Father.” Abba is an Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke; modern Syriac) term which is used in the family context and means something close to “Dearest Daddy.”
He taught his disciples to address God in prayer as “Our Father in heaven; holy be your name.” Therefore we are left with a model to follow. In that sense the prayer life of Jesus is the story of Jesus teaching us to have our dependence on God and have a relationship with God our heavenly Father.
The prayer life of Jesus Christ also demonstrated his perfect obedience to God. Just before he was betrayed by his disciple, he was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane where he was praying. So great was his agony because he knew that soon he will be bearing the penalty of the sins of the whole world; yours and mine as well.
Yet he prayed, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (ref. Mark 14:36) In that sense the prayer life of Jesus is the story of Jesus teaching us to yield ourselves to the will of God even when it involves suffering.
The prayer life of Jesus Christ demonstrated his concern for those who fail. Peter, his top disciple, vowed that he would never deny Jesus. Yet Jesus warned Peter that he would deny him thrice before the cock crows. Within hours, while Jesus was on trial before his crucifixion, the courageous Peter, the tough fisherman of Galilee, had denied Jesus three times. Then the cock crowed while he denied Jesus the third time. Jesus then turned and looked at Peter.
And Peter remembering the words Jesus had spoken to him earlier broke down and wept bitterly. Yet Jesus had said to Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31) [emphasis added].
In this way, the prayer life of Jesus is the story of Jesus loving us so much so as to pray for us beforehand so that we will be enabled to come back from our dismal failures in life.
The prayer life of Jesus Christ has not ended. Even today, he is at the right hand of God in heaven praying and interceding for us. Therefore let us be confident to approach God in prayer, “so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” because Jesus “is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 4:16, 7:25).
The truth that Jesus is praying for you is an absolute certainty. Therefore do not be discouraged in life’s trials and temptations and troubles. As Robert Murray Mc Cheyene said, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He IS praying for me!”
Jesus represents you so much better before the presence of God as he has understood all that we pass through since he came down to earth and lived like one of us. This prayer life of Jesus is an ever continuing reality! Therefore be bold in prayer.
All Scripture quotes are from the New International Version.