Monday, December 1, 2008

Jesus Praying

Q: Jesus prays throughout the whole New Testament. He is God, why does He have to pray?

A: To understand this, you also have to understand about the Trinity. God is three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) but there is only one God. This is a great mystery that we could not figure out on our own, so God revealed it to us (CCC, 732). It’s bigger than our understanding, but that’s because God is God. If we could figure Him out completely, he would be something less than we are. Anyway, the three persons who are God live in constant loving communion and conversation. Talking to God is prayer, even for God.

So when Jesus (the second person of the Trinity) is praying, He’s having a conversation with the Father (the first person of the Trinity). Jesus also prayed in order to show us how to pray. He shows us that His Father is our Father too. That’s one advantage of God becoming man – he can be a perfect example when showing us how to pray. He prayed in many ways – reading Scripture (Lk. 4:16-20), praying spontaneously (Jn. 11:41-42), going to synagogue (Jn. 6:59), fasting (Mt. 4:2), etc.