Jesus Prayed

Jesus assumed that His disciples would draw near to God in prayer. He did not debate such issues as why we should pray if God knows everything, or tell us why God sometimes does not give us what we want. He simply taught His people how to pray. He also set us an example. Though He was the eternal Son of God, equal with the Father in power and glory, yet as a man he humbly offered His requests to God. In other words, He practiced what He preached about prayer. He did not pray so that others could see, but withdrew to the wilderness or some other deserted place. Sometimes, He prayed at night, presumably to have privacy. Nor did He multiply needless words. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when facing His greatest trial, He simply asked to be kept from suffering God’s wrath if that were possible, but otherwise that God’s will be done(Matthew 26:39,42). Jesus prayed for himself, and He prayed for others, but He prayed particularly for God’s name to be glorified (John 12:28). Jesus prayed before He chose His twelve disciples. He prayed that the Father would raise Lazarus from the dead. He requested protection from total apostasy for Peter. In His great “Highly Priestly Prayer” recoded in John 17, He asked the Father to keep the disciples from the Evil One; give them unity; sanctify them by His word; and bring them into glory. He prayed with great intensity, especially on that last dreadful night when He knew He had been betrayed and would soon face the hatred of His enemies. The agony of His intercessions brought blood out through His pores. This was no parlor game; it was spiritual warfare with a deadly foe. That is why He “offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears…” (Hebrews 5:7) The Father heard and answered the prayers of Jesus “because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7). Not only all throughout His life (John 11:41-42), but also at the end. No, the cup of God’s wrath did not pass from His lips. But God’s will was accomplished: Jesus was granted strength to complete the work of salvation by going all the way up to the Cross and then staying there until He had fully satisfied the righteous anger of God against sinful men. This Jesus is the same one who said, “When you pray…” Jesus prayed. Let us follow in His steps to the quiet place where a gracious Father waits to meet a humble, trusting soul.