Pastor's Blog: The Prayers of Jesus

 |  Pastor's Blog

As a preacher, I’ve always been drawn to the texts that tells us, “Jesus came preaching” (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14; Luke 8:1). I like to think of Jesus as a preacher, one who traveled about proclaiming the good news of God’s reign and its redemptive promises. But when I look at how Jesus prepared to preach, I see how Jesus also came praying. Prayer was the means by which Jesus opened his life to the Father so that everything he said would be in concert with God’s purposes.  

The value Jesus placed on prayer is not much of a new idea to us. We’re very familiar with Jesus’ practice of withdrawing from the pressures of ministry so that through prayer he might reengage with his calling better prepared for all it would require of him. In that respect, Jesus is our model for how we balance the demands of our own life with our divine call.

But have we ever taken the time to look at the content of Jesus’ prayers? I’m not sure that I have, at least not from the standpoint of how so much of Jesus’ prayer life wasn’t directed to himself at all! Jesus’ prayers were primarily intercessory, focused on those whom God had sent him to serve and how he might convey God’s truth to them in redemptive ways.

As we move into the season of Lent, which is a time for reflection and repentance, we find helpful guidance for our journey to the cross by taking a “deep dive” into all that was on Jesus’ heart when he went to God in prayer. What we discover in the process are Jesus’ hopes and dreams for those who would be his disciples and the level of dedication they would need to be able to carry on his ministry when he would be with them no longer.

So, as our Lenten journey begins, bow your heads and close your eyes. Jesus is praying. Let us pray with him so that our hearts might be made more fit, our souls strengthened, and our devotion deepened. Only then will we be able to sing with true conviction, “My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus,” which is what our Lenten journey ultimately invites us to do. 

February 21 | “When Children Are in the Know” | Luke 10:21

Big Idea: Jesus praises God for how God has revealed His redemptive truth to those who are humble enough to know their need of it.

February 28 | “Overhearing the Gospel” | John 11:41-42

Big Idea: Faith sometimes comes about indirectly, as we see God’s truth having its impact on others, including its impact on Jesus.

March 7 | “Glorifying Jesus” | John 17:1-5

Big Idea: Jesus prayed that through his atoning death, God might extend eternal life to all who believe in him.

March 14 | “Set Them Apart” | John 17:6-19

Big Idea: Jesus prays that God might sanctify his disciples in order that they be fit to carry on God’s mission.

March 21 | “Make Them One” | John 17:20-27

Big Idea: Jesus prays for the unity of believers so that they might be a force for good amid a fallen world.

March 28, Palm Sunday | “What Shall I Say?” | John 12:27-33

Big Idea: Jesus responded to the crowd’s hosannas by seeking only the approval of God.

 April 1, Maundy Thursday | “Not My Will” | Mark 14:36

Big Idea: In his most challenging hour Jesus prayed for the strength to do God’s will, regardless of the costs.

 April 2, Good Friday | “It Is Finished” | John 19:28-30

Big Idea: Jesus’ final prayer expressed his joy in having brought to completion all God had sent him to do.