Jesus is depicted in the New Testament as God the son. During his teachings, he claimed that he and the father are one. However, what confuses many is why he still prayed to God in several instances, such as during his baptism and transfiguration. So, why did he pray when he was fully God? Why did Jesus pray to God?
Several passages in the bible help us understand why Jesus prayed to God, yet he himself was God. Mathew 26:31-46 indicates that Jesus prayed to God to show that he was obedient to the will of the father. He also noted that when raising Lazarus from the dead, he had to pray so that those around him may believe that the father sent him. Jesus also prayed to God so that he could have fellowship with the members of the Trinity, the father, and the Spirit.
So, if Jesus is God, was he praying to himself? What are some reasons that Jesus prayed to God? How many times did Jesus pray to God? Why was it important for Jesus to pray to God? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions and more.
If Jesus is God, was he praying to himself?
Jesus was praying to God the father, as he is God the son. When he was on earth, the son was in human form; hence he had to pray to the father. There are several passages in the bible that shed light on why Jesus was praying to God, yet he is God. One of them is Hebrews 2:17 says, “Therefore [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect.” One of the most important things any human being can do is communicate with God through prayer. To know God’s will, you must talk to and listen to him guide you. Therefore, Jesus was made like his brothers (fully human), so it was perfect that he should pray to God.
Reasons why Jesus prayed to God?
To understand why Jesus prayed to God while on earth, we have to look at his nature. One of the key reasons is that while on earth, he took upon the form of humanity and was a servant, which means that he gave up most of his heavenly glory. Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Have this among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Another reason Jesus prayed to God, yet he was God, was for people to believe him. He says in John 11:41-42 that he knows God hears him, but he had to pray so that the people who were there can believe and testify that he was indeed sent by God the father. Jesus made this prayer before he raised Lazarus from the dead.
Additionally, Jesus prayed to God so that he could enjoy fellowship with the Trinity. When he prayed during his baptism, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him, and God’s voice was heard saying that he is pleased in Him (Luke 3:21-22). This indicates that through prayer, God the father, the son, and the Spirit enjoyed the perfect fellowship.
Lastly, we can conclude that Jesus the son simply prayed to his father because it was natural and appropriate for him to do so for his mission on earth to be complete. By praying, Jesus expressed his dependence on God the father in his human form to carry out the great redemption plan that had to happen for humanity to be saved. Jesus indicated that he had submitted to the father’s will by praying to him.
How many times did Jesus pray to God?
Though the bible describes only around 38 times when Jesus prayed to God, scholars believe that Jesus communicated with God daily. This is because Jesus was clear that he is on earth to do the will of God, and also noted that he speaks that which the father has put in him, and not his own. Therefore, just like the scripture urges us to pray without ceasing, that must have been the nature of Christ.
Some of the instances he prayed were: at his baptism, after healing people, praying all night before choosing the twelve disciples, while speaking to the Jewish leaders, before raising Lazarus from the dead, at the last supper, and while blessing the disciples before ascension. Even on the cross before he died, Jesus prayed to the father and asked him to forgive those who had crucified him as they did not know what they were doing. Therefore, Jesus was a prayerful man, so the scripture asks us to walk as he did.
Why was it important for Jesus to pray to God?
It was important for Jesus to pray to God because, as stated earlier, he gave up some of his godly glory when he came on earth and took the form of a servant. Therefore, praying to God allowed the father to reveal his mind and heart to him, as Christ is clear that he came on earth to do the will of God, who had sent him. Therefore, to know the will of God, he had to pray to him despite being fully God.
Furthermore, Christ needed strength to carry out the redemption plan that was before him. He prayed to God for the strength to face his suffering, torture, and crucifixion. Lastly, it was important for Jesus Christ to pray to God so that his followers and the congregation could believe that it was indeed God the father who had sent him.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.