The Prayers of Jesus

Perhaps every one who believes in prayer, and who prays, has felt some measure of doubt as to whether he was praying as he ought. In all things Christ Jesus is held as our great exemplar, and to study the prayers that he uttered, as recorded in the gospels, must, therefore, be singularly beneficial in teaching one how to pray aright. In the meantime it is consoling and encouraging to remember that the disciples at one time expressed themselves as feeling deficient in respect to knowing how to pray aright. In the eighth chapter of Romans Paul says, "We know not what we should pray for as we ought," but he at the same time says that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray "according to the will of God." The recorded prayers of Jesus are found in the four gospels, and all of these are prayers of but a few words, except one in the seventeenth chapter of John, probably uttered just before his betrayal.

In addition to the aforementioned prayers of the Master, we have the Lord's Prayer, given to the disciples when they asked to be taught how to pray. A close study of the prayers uttered by Jesus must give one a most comforting insight into the problem of how one ought to pray. At this particular time in the progress of human affairs, one of the characteristics embodied in the prayers uttered by Jesus might well be stressed, namely, that he never prayed for himself alone. The Lord's Prayer is expressed, not in the singular, but in the plural: "Our Father ... give us ... forgive us ... lead us ... deliver us."

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