And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12).
One question that comes to mind when we ponder the prayer life of Jesus is why He prayed at all. To put it another way, why does God need to pray to God? This is indeed a challenging question, and the Scriptures do not offer any explanation as to why Jesus prayed. They simply tell us that He did; so we are left to speculate on something like this.
Let’s consider some plausible explanations:
First, because He is the Son of God, He wanted to maintain a very close relationship with His Father. Notice that He refers to the Father in the prayers that are recorded in the Bible. Examples: Our Father, which art in heaven (Matthew 6:9); and father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son… (John 17:1).
Second, in order to be the effective Teacher on prayer, He needed to pray in the presence of His disciples. When He was about to feed the 5,000 men, He offered a prayer of thanksgiving in the presence of all the people and the disciples (John 6:11); and at the Last Supper, He took the cup, and gave thanks (Luke 22:17; see also Luke 22:19). In His Sermon on the Mount He taught that we should pray without hypocrisy (Matthew 6:5), pray privately (Matthew 6:6a), realize the Father rewards prayer (Matthew 6:6b), avoid empty praying (Matthew 6:7), recognize that the Father knows our need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8), pray directly to the Father (Matthew 6:9a), recognize God’s holiness when we pray (Matthew 6:9b), recognize God’s sovereignty when we pray (Matthew 6:10), pray for our basic needs (Matthew 6:11), pray for forgiveness and be willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:12),pray for deliverance from Satan and His attacks (Matthew 6:13a), and pray constantly with an expectation that God will answer (Matthew 7:7-8).
Here are some other basic facts about the prayer life of our Savior:
He often prayed alone (Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:46; Luke 9:18).
He prayed for children (Matthew 19:13).
He often prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35).
Sometimes He prayed all night (Luke 6:12).
He prayed, knowing the Father heard Him (John 11:41-42).
He considered His Temple a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13).
May we as God’s people learn to pray as He did! And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not faint (Luke 18:1).
Keep on praying to God on high,
Keep on praying, He hears your cry!
God will answer the sincere heart;
Keep on praying! He will do His part!
Keep on praying all through the strife;
Prayer will purchase a crown of life;
Heav’n is ringing with songs above,
Hallelujah for a Savior’s love!
For Jesus hears you,
He’s listening to your plea,
So keep on praying,
And He will answer thee!
Keep on Praying
Frederick W. Vandersloot
These thoughts from a higher perspective were presented by John Rataczak, Ph.D.