Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Many questions are asked about Jesus and prayer: Why did Jesus pray? Did He have to pray? We read that He was God in human flesh, "Immanuel, God with us" (Matt. 1:23). Did "God" need to pray to "God"?
If Jesus was the Son of God, couldn't He accomplish His mission on His own without getting on His knees every day and talking humbly to His heavenly Father about His problems? It takes time to pray and He had lots to do; none of us prays unless we feel the need to pray. Did He feel such a need? Or was it just an example for us to copy? And what did He pray for?
The stark truth emerges that Jesus in His incarnation had to pray. Isaiah says that "the government" of earth and heaven was "on His shoulder," a human shoulder (9:6). On His own He had to fight the infinite battle of eternity known as "the great controversy between Christ and Satan." The enemy of God had invented something never before known in the universe, a virus that threatened universal death, and it had taken up residence in fallen human flesh or human nature. That virus was sin, and it had to be defeated in that same fallen human flesh or nature, or the universe eventually would have had to succumb to sin and its "wages ... death" (Rom. 6:23).
In the human nature which Christ had "taken," He had to win the fearsome struggle with sin; He had to "condemn sin in the flesh," in "the likeness of sinful flesh" (8:3). None of the gladiators fighting hand to hand in the Roman Colosseum ever had a more fearsome personal struggle. Jesus was forced to battle on His own with none of His divine prerogatives--divine, yes; the Son of God, yes; but with no special advantage over us except His faith.
His righteousness must be limited to righteousness by faith. He must be "the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2), the Author or Inventor of faith itself. But that's just what He gives to us--"the saints ... that keep ... the faith of Jesus" today (Rev. 14:12). Accept His faith! Let that Author teach you how to pray!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 5, 2001.
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