The topic of whether Jesus prays for us is an important one for Christians to understand. The Bible provides insight into this question, revealing that Jesus does indeed pray for believers. By exploring what the Bible says about Jesus as our intercessor and high priest, we can grasp the comfort and hope that comes from knowing Christ prays for us.
Jesus Prays for His Followers
In John 17, we find one of the most direct examples of Jesus praying for his followers. This passage records Jesus’ prayer the night before His crucifixion. In it, He specifically prays for protection, unity, and sanctification for those who believe in Him (John 17:11, 17:20-26 ESV). He prays that God would keep believers safe from the evil one and set them apart in the truth of God’s Word. Jesus prays for all those who have faith in Him, covering past, present, and future believers.
Additionally, Christ’s prayers recorded in the Gospels give insight into His heart for His people. We see Jesus frequently spending time in prayer – praying before major decisions, miracles, or moments of ministry (Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, John 11:41-42 ESV). Though the specific content of these prayers is not always included, we can deduce that Jesus used this time to commune with the Father about caring for His flock.
Beyond specific recorded prayers, the fact that Jesus took time to teach His disciples how to pray also shows His desire for believers to communicate with God. His example of solitude in prayer inspires followers to likewise spend intimate time praying to the Father. The Lord’s Prayer provides a model for believers to pray for God’s will, provision, and forgiveness (Matthew 6:9-13 ESV).
Jesus Prays as Our Great High Priest
The book of Hebrews provides significant insight into Jesus as our great high priest who intercedes for us. In the Old Testament, high priests would offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people and then intercede for them through prayer (Hebrews 5:1 ESV). Jesus fulfills this role perfectly as the eternal High Priest and perfect sacrifice on our behalf.
Unlike human high priests, Jesus lives forever to intercede for His people (Hebrews 7:23-25 ESV). He is seated at the right hand of God, advocating for believers and sympathizing as One who endured suffering and temptation yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 7:25 ESV). Jesus’ prayers are sprinkled with His own blood, making His intercession fully effective and securing our salvation (Hebrews 12:24 ESV).
Jesus does not need to continually offer new sacrifices as human high priests did. Rather, His prayers rely fully on the power of His finished redemptive work on the cross. He points to His sufficient sacrifice that atoned for sins once for all (Hebrews 10:10-18 ESV). Our great High Priest lives to intercede for His own based on His eternal redemption.
The Holy Spirit Intercedes as Our Helper
In addition to Jesus’ prayers, the Holy Spirit also intercedes for believers. Romans 8:26-27 explains that we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groans too deep for words (Romans 8:26 ESV). The Spirit knows the thoughts and mind of God, bringing our feeble prayers before Him perfectly in line with His will.
This does not mean believers should avoid prayer or depend entirely on the Spirit’s intercession. We are still called to pray continually, making our requests known to God (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6 ESV). However, it provides great comfort to know that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede on our behalf according to God’s perfect will when our prayers are imperfect or inadequate.
Jesus Prays for Our Faith
While on earth, Jesus specifically prayed for Peter’s faith when He knew Peter would soon deny Him. He told Peter: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32 ESV). Jesus knew Peter’s weakness and imminent failure. Yet in love, He prayed for Peter’s faith to endure the trial and be restored.
This reveals Jesus’ care to pray for the preservation of believers’ faith amidst hardship and doubt. It reminds us that He understands our frailty and prays accordingly for God to protect our faith. Though we stumble, Christ prays for our belief in Him to remain steadfast.
Jesus Prays We Will See His Glory
In Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, He petitions the Father that those who believe will be unified with Him in eternity to behold His glory. He prays, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory” (John 17:24 ESV). Part of Christ’s intercession is His longing for believers to share in the fullness of His glory.
This shows that Jesus makes requests according to His will and for our good. Seeing the radiance of His glory fully in heaven is central to our eternal joy. The Son of God who laid aside His glory to redeem us now prays for us to one day share completely in the wonders of His divine splendor as adopted children of God.
Jesus Prays for Our Protection from Evil
Knowing the power of the devil, Jesus prayed specifically for our protection from the evil one. In John 17, He asked the Father to guard believers from satanic attacks, stating, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15 ESV). Though we live in a fallen world, Christ intercedes for God to protect us from the adversary’s schemes.
Similarly, Jesus told Peter He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail completely despite Satan’s attempts to destroy him (Luke 22:31-32 ESV). Our High Priest’s prayers reflect His desire to preserve believers from complete downfall at the enemy’s hand. His intercession grants provision to withstand evil assaults.
Jesus Prays We Will Be Sanctified in Truth
In His intercessory prayer, Jesus also pleaded with the Father to sanctify believers in the truth of God’s Word. He prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17 ESV). To be sanctified means to be set apart and made holy for God’s purposes. Jesus prays for the Father to continually grow believers in holiness by His true Word.
This reveals that conformity to Christ’s image matters deeply to Him. He intercedes for our steady sanctification. Our High Priest does not leave us unchanged but prays for the Spirit to mature us through Scripture’s transforming power. His prayers reflect His desire for believers to be made holy and bring glory to God.
Jesus Prays for Spiritual Unity in the Church
Jesus specifically made requests regarding unity within His body, the church. He prayed for oneness between all believers across all times who would trust in Him, stating, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one…” (John 17:20-21 ESV). Despite differences, Christ desires union through the Spirit.
This shows Christ’s intercession makes our spiritual unity a priority. He prayed believers would grow in grace and knowledge together on the common ground of faith in Him. Our High Priest yearns for harmony and love within His diverse church by the power of His sacrificial love.
Jesus Prays We Will See His Glory in Heaven
Jesus concludes His intercessory prayer by asking for believers to share eternally in the glory of heaven with Him. He says, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory…” (John 17:24 ESV). Christ rightfully desires for His sheep to behold His full majesty.
This hope of seeing Jesus face-to-face motivates perseverance in the faith. Our forerunner is actively preparing a place for us to bring greater praise to Him in glory forever (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV). Our High Priest’s prayers guarantee our heavenly home and future sinless estate with Him.
Jesus Prays for Wisdom and Revelation
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, he notes that he continually prays for their spiritual growth in the knowledge of Christ. Specifically, he says, “I do not cease to pray for you, that…the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation…” (Ephesians 1:16-17 ESV). Paul’s example likely reflects how Christ prays for understanding.
Jesus Himself grew in wisdom on earth (Luke 2:52 ESV). He understands the challenges believers face in grasping heavenly truth. Our intercessor asks for the Spirit to reveal God’s character and purposes to our hearts more deeply. His prayers lead us into enlightenment.
Jesus Prays for Our Strength to Serve God
In order for believers to honor God with our lives, strength from Christ is essential. Paul noted he prayed for the Colossians to be “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might…” (Colossians 1:11 ESV). Jesus likely makes similar requests equipping us to do His work.
Our Great High Priest knows we cannot bear fruit on our own. His prayers reflect His desire to overflow His endless power into our weak frames. Jesus intercedes so the Father will supply us strength to wield the spiritual armor, walk by the Spirit, and serve wholeheartedly in ministry. His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).
Jesus Prays We Will Have Boldness to Witness
In the book of Acts, when the apostles faced persecution for preaching Christ, they cried out to God in prayer for continued boldness (Acts 4:23-31 ESV). In response, God filled them with Spirit-empowered courage to speak His word. As our forerunner, Jesus likely prays similarly for boldness in all believers.
Our Advocate knows we need holy courage to share the gospel amidst opposition. His prayers reflect His missional heart longing for more people to find salvation. Jesus intercedes for believers to be emboldened conduits of His redeeming love to the lost. His prayers mobilize and equip us for the harvest.
Jesus Prays for Our Physical Provision
While on earth, Jesus taught His disciples to pray for their daily bread – for God’s provision to meet their physical needs (Matthew 6:11 ESV). As our compassionate High Priest, He understands our dependence on the Father. Jesus surely continues interceding for basic sustenance on believers’ behalf.
The one who could multiply food for thousands demonstrates concern that His followers have necessities. Christ’s intercession reflects that He cares not just for our spiritual welfare but for our overall wellbeing. His mediator role means He brings our needs before the Father’s throne of grace.
Jesus Intercedes According to the Father’s Will
A key aspect of Jesus’ intercessory prayer is its alignment with the Father’s perfect will. When on earth, Jesus submitted Himself fully to the Father’s purposes (John 6:38 ESV). This humble obedience characterized His prayers then as well as now in His exalted position.
Our Great High Priest’s requests are never selfish but always aim for God’s glory. His prayers interpret the mind of God accurately, seeking only what the Father desires. Because Jesus shares authority and intimacy with God, His intercession powerfully accomplishes God’s sovereign plan. His prayers fully harmonize with divine will.
Jesus Prays Continually for His People
The book of Hebrews assures believers that Jesus holds His priestly office eternally. His incessant prayers reflect this. He always lives to make intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:24-25 ESV). Even when we fall short, our compassionate High Priest continues pleading our case before the Father’s throne.
Knowing Christ’s prayers never cease should encourage believers. Regardless of changing earthly circumstances, our Intercessor remains steadfast. He never grows too weary to petition the Father on our behalf. Jesus persistently prays for our faith because of His limitless love and grace toward those who trust in Him.
Jesus Is Exalted to Intercede for Us
After dying for the sins of the world and rising again in victory, Jesus ascended back to the Father and was exalted to the highest place of honor (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV). A key reason for this exaltation was to serve as our heavenly intercessor making petitions before the throne of grace.
Christ’s supreme exaltation means His prayers carry ultimate weight and authority with the Father. The beloved Son at the right hand intercedes for us, and the Father gladly hears His requests. We can have confidence in Jesus’ mediator role since He has attained the greatest position as head over all things.
Jesus Draws Us Near to God Through His Intercession
An incredible benefit of Jesus’ prayers is they draw us into deeper connection with the Father. His intercession provides us direct access to commune with God. Hebrews says Jesus “always lives to make intercession”…so “let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace…” (Hebrews 7:24-25, 4:16 ESV).
Because of Christ’s mediator work, we can approach God boldly as His adopted children without fear of rejection. Jesus’ continual prayers have opened the way for intimate fellowship with the Father by tearing down the dividing wall of sin. We now relate to God through our advocate’s prayers.
The fact that Jesus intercedes for His followers is a central source of hope for all believers. While on earth, Christ specifically prayed for the protection, faith, unity, and sanctification of those who believe in Him. In heaven, He continues His intercession based on His finished work as the eternal High Priest and perfect sacrifice for our sin. Jesus pleads believers’ case before God, granting access to commune with the Father through Him. He also sends the Holy Spirit to perfectly intercede on our behalf according to the Father’s will. Knowing Christ prays for us should bring reassurance that He sympathizes with our struggles, desires our conformity to His image, and petitions the Father for our eternal joy in Him.