Aug 30 2014
Why Jesus Prayed

Part One of: Why Jesus Prayed

Praying is to the Christian Life as Breathing is to the Physical life!

Do you breathe on a regular basis? Of course! Since you are reading this article you are alive and breathing. How much have you thought about breathing lately? Our autonomic nervous system Why Jesus Prayedmakes breathing automatic and not really something we spend much thought time with.

How long can you hold your breath?

Your breathing pattern has a lot to do with good health. When we take a few good deep breaths you can feel your rib cage move in and out. Try it! That opens the lungs and air is sucked in. In the lungs oxygen passes that air into your blood. The oxygen is carried in the blood all around your body, to every organ and every cell. Breathing has a great deal to do with your physical health and proper breathing can actually improve our physical body.

Praying is to Christian Living as Breathing is to Physical Life.

Why do you pray?

When Jesus prayed were His prayers different than ours?

Do we ever think your prayers are unanswered, unheard?

Do you think that Jesus ever thought His prayers were unanswered, even unheard?

As followers of Jesus He is our example and we are committed to follow Him.

In Phil. 2: 4-8 we begin to see why Jesus prayed. From the Holman Christian Standard Bible. Phil. 2:4  Everyone Why Jesus Prayedshould look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5  Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6  who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8  He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death–even to death on a cross.

Why do you pray?

Why did Jesus pray?

Are the reasons you pray and the reasons Jesus prayed the same?

Why Jesus Prayed

  • We can quickly see that Jesus prayed:
    1. To teach His disciples and believers to pray. Mathew 6
    2. He prayed because He followed God’s word that we are to always be in an attitude of prayer. 1 Th. 5
    3. He prayed to intercede for His disciples and for believers. Read John 17.

If you were asked Why do you pray? We might get any of several different answers. Someone might say:Why Jesus Prayed

- I pray because it makes me feel good.

- I pray because it makes me look good.

- I pray because it helps me grow and it deepens my relationship with God.

- I like to talk with someone who cares about me and who I know loves me.

Some of these may be valid and good. Yes these are all answers to Why we pray … however … they are all self-serving, which may be fine, and even good. But, how is the Why question answered in a way that is bigger and grander than when it’s focused and centered on me.

The why question gets at the purpose … a cause and … the belief about the matter at hand. What is the purpose, what is a cause or your belief concerning prayer?

Why Jesus PrayedAlthough above we just pointed out 3 reasons why Jesus prayed we want to explore 3 Key “WHYS” of Why Jesus Prayed. We think these to be a bit deeper than the above reasons. 3 Key “Whys” of Why Jesus prayed are:

-  The first Why is that Jesus was dependent and obedient.

-  The second Why He prayed was that He was a righteous man.

-  The third Why Jesus prayed was because He loved His Father.

Hopefully these 3 Key “Whys” will give us a glimpse of how praying is to Christian living and life as breathing is to our physical life.

We’re looking for WHY He prayed. An answer to WHY which is a result is not the answer we’re after. For example: You might ask a business person why he does what he or she does. Most often their reply is more than likely to be . . .  in order to make a living or to make money or make a profit.

That is a result answer and is a superficial answer to the question as to why they do what they do. When you get a meaningful deep answer to a why question it encompasses the purpose … or a cause … or a deep seated belief statement.

Why Jesus Prayed

God the Father chose … His Son to pay the price for our sin. What did Jesus do? He obeyed. Here’s a key to why Jesus prayed. Jesus obeyed, even unto death.

Here’s that verse again from Phil 2, verse 8, from the Message Translation. It reads: Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death …..  But we know … 3 days later … He Arose!

Why Jesus PrayedLet me submit that the reason Jesus (in His human nature) prayed, was that He was dependent and obedient to His Father, to our heavenly Father. It ends up that the WHY Jesus prayed drives all of the other areas of His prayer life.

The Why Jesus Prayed drives the What? … Where? … When? and the How He prayed!

Here in Philippians we get a glimpse of the two natures of Jesus:

  1. His human nature, and
  2. He is the Son of God, a part of the Holy Trinity. That He is God. His Divine nature.

Philippians gives us some insight to that WHY question. Phil. 2:7 says; “…. but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

And in Heb 2:17 “Therefore He, Jesus, had to be made like his brothers in every respect.”

Although He was God He was like his human brothers in every respect.

We are commanded to pray. In Matt. Jesus assumes we are praying when He says: Mat 6: 5  “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. verse 6, But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.


And again in Philippians, chapter 4 verse 6 reads; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Col. 4:2  Continue steadfastly in (or devote yourselves to) prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Why Jesus prayed. The first purpose … His cause … His belief answer is;

  1. Jesus prayed because He was human, just like you and me. Jesus not only depended on, He obeyed the Father. We need to pray. We need to be like Jesus and depend on and be obedient to our Father and to Jesus, and pray.

Why Jesus Prayed

In Part Two we will explore the other 2 Keys to Why Jesus prayed;

2. The second Why He prayed was that He was a righteous man.

3. The third Why He prayed was because He loved His Father.

To read Part Two please click here; Why Jesus Prayed, Part Two. 

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About Joe Voutour

Joe Voutour now lives in Arizona via the Seattle WA area. He has an BA in Psychology and a Masters in Business. Joe is retired from his Life Insurance and Financial Planning career. Joe speaks, teaches and loves writing articles focused on helping people think about various businesses and other issues. His writing includes business reviews, economics, Christianity and other subjects of interest. Joe and his bride, Shirley, live in the White Mtns. region of AZ. Joe Voutour is a Founding Member of Vertical Rising.