Praying as Jesus Prayed

Continuing our series on prayer and how to delight in it and God, today we look at the model that Christ laid forth. Next time, we will look a little closer at the how He prayed. Then look at how that relates to the believer of praying to the Father and what it means to pray in the Spirit.


 

As Jesus instructed the disciple to address the Father in prayer, “Our heavenly Father,” (Matt 6:9-15) so we should do the same.[1] In Jesus, we see an example of a prosperous prayer life, but also how we should pray to the Father. The examples of Jesus’ prayers in the Bible display a deep love that the Son has for His Father, the importance, benefit and necessity of prayer, and the distinct Personhood of the Father and Son. While some object to Jesus’ prayers and say He was praying to Himself, it is in fact through His dialogue with the Father (Matt 3:17; 17:5; John 5:19; 11:41–42; 17:1ff) that we see the best evidence that they are separate individuals with distinct “centers of consciousness.”[2]

“Every situation, every petition always brought Jesus back to the object of his mission, the divine will, the work his Father had entrusted to him. Jesus desired nothing else. Prayer enabled him to discern and bless the plan of his Father whom he had come to serve.”[3] Everything Jesus did was motivated by His submission and trust of the Father. Jesus knew the importance of talking with His Father in prayer. He is repeatedly pictured as withdrawing from the crowds and ministering to the people in order that he might be refreshed through a period of solitude and prayer.[4] In Jesus, who was given by the Father to this world as an inexpressible gift (John 3:16, 2 Cor 9:15) and has revealed the Father to us (Matt 11:27), Christians are the beneficiaries of the great honor to call God, “Father.” Because Jesus has come and taken our place, we can dare to come before God the Father as His children and address Him as “Father” in the same way that Jesus, the true Son of God, called Him “Father”.


 

[1] Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, 75.

[2] Matt Perman, “What is the Doctrine of the Trinity?” Desiring God, 2014, accessed 30 November 2014, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity.

[3] Gauthier Adalbert Hamman, Prayer – The New Testament, (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1971), 182.

[4] Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, 276.

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