The gospels present Jesus as One who was frequently in prayer. At first, the thought of Jesus needing to pray sounded strange to me but when I let the Scriptures impact my thinking and feeling the way that they should it makes good sense that Jesus needed to pray. Consider: “He appeared in human form.” Philippians 2:7 NLT. He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Romans 8:3 NKJV. “It was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest.” Hebrews 2:17 NLT.
When we really accept what the Bible says about Jesus' human nature it should be easier for us to accept the fact that the life that He lived and the ministry that He shared was by means of His prayer/faith connection rather than relying upon His own divinity. Human reason and philosophy would move us away from the reality of His complete identification with our humanity. To become our substitute as well as our example Jesus needed to be fully human. The book Desire of Ages seems to go out of its way to make this point in sentences like these: “It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin.” The Desire of Ages p. 48 “Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.” ibid p. 117
Now notice how closely His complete identification with our humanity made His prayers a necessity: “As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial.” Ibid p. 362.
Notice that Jesus did not pray simply to receive answers. He received life from His Father.
“As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world.” ibid p. 363. He received that life not only to live the life that He lived but to impart the life of God to others in ministry. But this paragraph has one more sentence! “His experience is to be ours.” ibid p. 363. Is that what you are experiencing in your prayers? If it isn’t would you join me in seeking “the life”? [see 1John 1:2].
I will close with one more paragraph that I hope will both encourage and challenge you: “Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was. Ibid p. 664. Remember friends, the “if” in that last sentence is directly related to prayer! Pastor Mike