Why Did Jesus Pray?

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

Do you ever feel like you’re just too needy?

You need the air temp a lot cooler in the house than the rest of the family. You need your morning coffee with coconut milk—not almond milk, not half and half, not some sugary syrup. You need help programming the audio system in your car. You need something to eat. You need sleep. You need God.

It’s not wrong to be needy. It’s human. We’re all finite beings, and aren’t capable of such utter independence that we don’t need anyone or anything.

When the Bible says that during his life on earth Jesus “offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears” to his Father (Hebrews 5:7), it tells us that Jesus was needy. In short, the Son of God who humbled himself and became fully human relied on his heavenly Father for help. Just like we do.

The word “prayers” implies asking for something based on a need.Got something you need? Even something you want but you’re not sure if you need it or not? Ask God. Jesus did.

The Bible follows “prayers” up with “petitions,” not just as a different word for the same thing. The Greek word is derived from the term for “olive branch.” 

Remember back in Genesis after the flood? Noah sent a dove that returned with a leaf from an olive branch to signify a new world of harmony and peace. 

When the ancient Romans defeated an army they’d have the army carry olive branches as a sign that the battle had given way to peaceful relations. 

The eagle on the great seal of the United States (look on the back of a quarter or US dollar) is holding an olive branch as a sign of peace. 

Jesus prayed because he rested on the peaceful relationship he had with his Father. He knew there’d be a listening ear and compassionate heart on the other end.

Based on personal need and on peaceful relations, Jesus prayed to his Father. In that regard, as a human being, he held no advantage over any of us who pray based on those same terms. 

Keep that in mind the next time you pray in Jesus’ name, as he is now exalted in the position of interceding at the right hand of God. He is able to tell his Father, “I’ve been there, I know what (your name) needs.” 

It’s okay to need God. And it’s okay to need other people. As a matter of fact, if you don’t, you’re in trouble.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am needy. Sometimes I should be more needy but I’m embarrassed that you’ve had enough. Sometimes I should be less needy but I’m scared to act on your promises. Filter my prayers to the Father’s throne so that they ask for what is good, and give me greater faith to trust in whatever answer is best. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Hebrews 5:7 and meditate on it. What does it teach you about Jesus and his relationship to the Father? What does it show you about Jesus’ character? How does it make you adore him even more?