Jesus Christ and Prayer

It is quite a remarkable thing that the entire life of the Lord Jesus Christ was a life of prayer. He who was Himself God manifest in the flesh often retired to a secluded place to pray to God the Father. Before He began His ministry He was driven into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for forty days. Jesus spent the entire night, before He called His disciples to Himself, praying to the Father. He knew from eternity who it was that would be with Him during His earthly ministry, yet He spent the “whole” night praying about this great event. Many times during His ministry His disciples found Him praying. On one such occasion they asked Him to teach them to pray. When He entered into His sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane, we find the Lord praying to the Father three times, “If it is possible let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done.” But the most glorious demonstration of Jesus’ commitment to a life of prayer was when He was on the cross. The first words out of the Saviors mouth when He was nailed to the tree were, “Father, forgive them because they know not what they do.” This is truly amazing. The One who came to make forgiveness possible by offering His Soul to God as a substitutionary sacrifice for sinners began the substitutionary death by praying for the forgiveness of those who nailed Him to the cross. This prayer was answered and many (nearly 3000) of those who were there were converted at Penticost (see Acts 2 and 3). In the midst of His sufferings on the cross, when His Father had fully rejected Christ because of our sins, Jesus cried out in prayer, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” As Martin Luther once said, “God forsaken by God, Who can understand it?” But the final prayer that Jesus offered on the cross was that great cry of trust: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Jesus, as the second Adam (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:44-48), was committing His and our souls into the Fathers’ hands. He had been taken by lawless hands and crucified, but now, as the payment for sins was now complete, as His being forsaken by the Father was coming to an end, Jesus cries out in order to show His trust and dependance on a God who is gracious and merciful. What a testimony! What perfection is seen in Jesus’ prayers while He was hanged on the cursed tree. If you are a believer this should build you up in comfort and assurance. If you are not a Christian this should drive you to your knees in repentance and faith. But no matter who you are, one thing is certain: Jesus Christ spent His life in fellowship with God and we ought to also. May God give us grace to be made more and more like His Son.

Leave a Reply