During His earthly ministry Jesus prayed publicly many times, for individuals and for crowds of people. But what are the most important prayers of Jesus, the ones that are particularly significant for our lives? Jesus taught on prayer, and He gave us a prayer to pray. But He also interceded and prayed for us, His future disciples. The most powerful prayer, however, is a simple cry from Jesus’ heart to the Father and His greatest gift to us. Let’s explore further these prayers of Jesus and their significance for our lives today….
3 Famous Prayers of Jesus
In the gospels there are many prayers of Jesus, some for miracles, and others for healing. But there are three main prayers of Jesus that are His gift to us. These are prayers that are foundational to our faith. Each one reveals an important aspect of prayer that can impact our prayer lives today.
The Lord’s Prayer
In Matthew’s gospel ‘The Lord’s prayer’ appears in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus had already corrected some hypocritical attitudes to prayer and then shared these well-known words with the crowds:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
In Luke’s gospel, the disciples asked Jesus if He would teach them how to pray. And Jesus responds with a slightly shorter version of the same prayer:
”He said to them, “When you pray, say: ”Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”Luke 11:2-4
Out of all the prayers of Jesus this is the most famous. In response to His disciples’ request to teach them how to pray, Jesus does not talk at length about prayer but instead gives us a prayer to pray.
These words can be prayed every day, but not just by repetition. They are a pattern for prayer that we can use to shape our personal prayers. Read more here on how to take these words and make them our own:
The Prayers of Jesus – Praying For All His Disciples
As Jesus’ ministry was coming to an end, He had been trying to prepare His disciples for what was to come. He knew that it was time to fulfil and complete His mission. But Jesus also knew that the disciples had not truly grasped what was going to happen.
On the night of His arrest Jesus spends time praying for His disciples. The full prayer can be found in John 17:6-19 (Bible Gateway). Jesus’ concern was for those who had been His closest companions during His earthly ministry:
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”John 17:9-13
In His prayer Jesus said three things about His disciples. Firstly, that they had accepted His teaching. Secondly they knew He was the Son of God. And thirdly, they believed in Him. Now the time had come when Jesus would no longer be with them. And so, He prayed for His disciples committing them into God’s care.
Then there are three things that Jesus prayed for His disciples. He asked for God’s protection over them, as they would be in an often-hostile world continuing to share the gospel. Jesus also asked that they would know the blessing of being reconciled with God, and with each other.?Finally, Jesus prayed that His disciples would be sanctified – set apart or made holy through the revelation of truth, the Word of God.
The disciples would not be defined by the world’s standards. Instead, they would be set apart as Jesus’ representatives to declare the counter culture of His kingdom. Jesus’ death was not the end of His ministry – it was a new beginning!
Jesus Praying For Us!
Out of all the prayers of Jesus, this is the longest praying for all His disciples. Jesus had just prayed for His companions, then He prayed prophetically, down through the ages, for all who believe in Him. Jesus prayed for unity among believers, as a sign to draw non-believers to the truth of the gospel. To bring people together, and for them to become one family, is a work that God alone can do!
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”John 17:20-26
This always touches my heart to pray for unity among Christians because it is easy to be drawn into a critical spirit. So often we focus on our preferences, and our differences of opinion, instead of delighting in a shared love for the Lord…
Jesus has given us His glory – the glory to serve in humility for the glory of God. The prayer ends with a call for true unity, with one another and with the Lord. It is because of Jesus’ oneness with the Father that we are able to be united with God and know the full extent of His love.
This prayer of intercession gives us a pattern to pray for the church and for one another. Our prayer is to be united in faith and in the love of God as a witness for Him.
Jesus’ Prayer to The Father
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”Matthew 26:39
From all the recorded prayers of Jesus, maybe this should be the most famous prayer in the Bible. This is Jesus’ final prayer of surrender to the Father’s will. In these few words, prayed in Gethsemane as His enemies surrounded Him, Jesus submitted totally to the Father. It was the surrender of His will that brought about the ultimate victory!
Jesus demonstrated for us sacrificial love and complete trust in Father God. He gave everything, all the host of heaven were at His call, but Jesus endured suffering for the victory that it would bring.
The words, that Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer, ‘your kingdom come, your will be done’ become a reality here. When we are struggling, and enduring tough times, we know that Jesus knows what we are going through. He is not remote but interceding for us, that we too will see the victory that God will bring.
Victory in prayer comes when we trust totally in God. When we trust Him not only for our daily needs, but in those times when the problems seem too great for us. When we don’t know how we are going to get through but we believe that God will provide. He will make the way when we surrender qll to Him, the most important prayer we will ever pray!