How Jesus Prayed

Many books have been written on how Jesus prayed. Let’s focus on three elements of his prayer life that can help to guide our prayers.

Jesus prayed to our Father in heaven. God is not some un-knowable being or force “up there” somewhere in the cosmos. He is an eternal being that we can have a close relationship with, just like children have with their parents. Even better, actually, because God is the perfect parent. So when you pray, realize that you are talking and listening to the God of the universe, your heavenly Father, who knows your name, who cares about you, and wants the very best for you. Through Christ, you can know that God hears every prayer you pray.

Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. (Matthew 6:9)

Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done. On the most agonizing night of Jesus’ life, he was praying fervently. He knew that God’s will was for him to go to the cross, but he knew that the cross would bring him tremendous physical, emotion, mental and spiritual suffering. He cried out to God, asking if there was another way to bring redemption to mankind. Realizing there was none, his prayer became, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Sometimes God’s plan for us involves difficulty or suffering. By following the example of Jesus, we can pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and through our lives.

Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me —nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42)

Jesus prayed for God’s people to be unified. Jesus prayed for spiritual protection for his followers. He prayed that they would live holy lives, in line with the truths from the Bible. He prayed the same for us. He also prayed that all of his followers would be unified just like he and the Father are unified: same purpose, same focus, not divided, not working against each other. Each of us who is a follower of Jesus Christ today is connected to all of the others believers in Christ throughout the world – what an amazing thought! We are all part of God’s family: people from every nation, every ethnic group, every language of the world. Let us pray for unity in Christ’s body, with the singleness of purpose of taking the good news of Jesus Christ to every nation of the world, so that men, women, teenagers and children can trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, receiving the salvation that only he can bring. Our unity helps them to see that Jesus was sent to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus prayed, “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.” (John 17:21)

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