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Praying Like Jesus

Weekly Devotionals

Praying Like Jesus

Like most of us, Jesus turned to prayer in times of trouble. Two of prayers in troubled times (the Abba in Gethsemane and Eloi from the cross) were so moving that words from the original Semitic language stuck in the minds of hearers. Of the seven cries from the cross, at least three were prayers. Hebrews reports that “he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death”-but of course he was not saved from death. Like the people who wrote me letters, like all of us at times, Jesus knew the sensation of getting no answer to his pleas.

(Philip Yancey, Prayer, 2006, Zondervan)

Jesus, our Lord and Savior, prayed fervently in the midst of hardship. Even though Jesus knew himself that his prayer would be unanswered, he prayed. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42)

The reason why Jesus prayed no matter what is that Jesus knew that prayer is the way expresses his trust in God.

We pray usually with typical forms of request. We pray for trivial things. We pray for serious things. We pray for others. We pray for giving thanks. We pray for forgiveness. As we pray, we naturally put our hope and faith in God as the one whom listens and answers our prayer in a way we expect. However, when our prayer turns out to be unanswered, we are quick to be puzzled and start to doubt about his sovereignty. But we should remember that when prayer remains unanswered we must continue to trust God, who “causes all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28), and “to cast our care on him, knowing that he continually cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7).