Jesus the pray-er

I recently gave some time to looking through the gospels at Jesus praying. Not his teaching about prayer, but rather how they show him praying. The context, the nature, the audience (if there was one) etc. And fascinating it was. Particularly in the way it showed how much of him as a prayer there is in the gospels. Of course it could reasonably be argued that all his life was prayer, but I thought it worth being a bit more narrowly focussed than that. Where was there a clear sense of Jesus in some form of intentional communing with the Father and or the Holy Spirit.

I ended up drawing a list of big headings that described something of the different natures/styles/contexts of Jesus at prayer in the Gospels.

The headings are:

  • Glorification: at his baptism and transfiguration

  • Isolated prayer – in a lonely place, desert, mountain

  • Corporate prayer – in the synagogue or with his disciples

  • Thanksgiving and / or Rejoicing

  • Intercessory prayer – not least on the cross

  • Discernment – before choosing his disciples and in Gethsemane

  • Transforming – for healing, revelation (Emmaus Road), the vine

  • Lament / Emotional – over Jerusalem, on cross

  • In suffering – on cross – forgive, desolation, committal

Having done this, I’m aware this is a work in progress, as every time I think a bit more about this something more emerges. Please feel free to add your own comments and insights into this ongoing project.

One thought on “Jesus the pray-er

  1. This very helpful outline of headings with associated examples and contexts led me to consider and reflect on how and where I as a Pray er, alongside the Lord, feel most comfortable. I found myself making connections regarding efforts and struggles over the years to come to a method of prayer that suits me.

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