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Christ in Gethsemane

Descriptions of Jesus praying in the New Testament:

Seven Prayers of Jesus in the Gospels

The gospels record the content of seven of Jesus' prayers (counting the Lord's Prayer which might better be called the disciple's prayer since it was given to be used by His disciples).

I. "I praise you, Father..."

  • Jesus prays after a season of powerful ministry from city to city (after sending out the seventy in Luke 10):

"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,

because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,

and revealed them to little children.

Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."

- Matthew 11:25-27; Luke 10:21

II. The Lord's Prayer

  • His disciples asked Jesus, "Teach us to pray," and he responded with the Lord's Prayer, probably in different forms on many occasions, because it takes the form of a series of chapter headings into which we can weave all our praises and requests. [1]
  • See more on The Lord's Prayer

- Matt. 6:9-13, Luk. 11:2-4

III. The Raising of Lazarus

  • Before the raising of Lazarus:

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said,

“Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

- John 11:41-42

IV. "Father, Glorify your name..."

  • Jesus and His disciples are in Jerusalem during the final week or two of His life:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

- John. 12:27-28

V. Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer (after the Farewell Discourse)

  • John 17 contains the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in any of the Gospels.

VI. The Garden of Gethsemane

  • Jesus and His disciples go to the garden of Gethsemane the night before His trial and crucifixion:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.

Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

- Matthew 26:39-40; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:40

VII. Three prayers on the Cross

  • "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34)
  • "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34)
  • "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46)

See also the Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross.

Jesus Praying and Fasting

Jesus' Temptation & Fasting

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

- Matt. 4:1

Other references to Jesus praying

Other references to Jesus praying include:[2]

  • At his baptism (Luke 3:21)
  • Regular time of withdrawal from the crowds (Luke 5:16)
  • After healing people in the evening (Mark 1:35)
  • Before walking on water (Matt 14:23, Mark 6:46, John 6:15)
  • Before choosing the Twelve (Luke 6:12)
  • Before Peter's confession (Luke 9:18)
  • At the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29)
  • Before teaching his disciples the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1)
  • Jesus says that he has prayed for Peter's faith (Luke 22:32)

In addition to this, Jesus said grace before the feeding miracles, at the Last Supper, and at the supper at Emmaus.

R. A. Torrey notes that Jesus prayed early in the morning as well as all night, that he prayed both before and after the great events of his life, and that he prayed "when life was unusually busy".

Examples of Jesus' Prayer Life in the Gospel of Luke

Scholars often note that Luke’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus’s habit of praying frequently and fervently.

Ref. Jesus' Prayers (in the gospel of Luke)
3:21 “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened.”
5:16 “But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.”
6:12 “Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.”
9:18 “Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’”
9:28 “Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.”
9:29 “And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.”
11:1 “He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’”
22:40 “When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’”
22:41 “Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed.”

(this chart is adapted from Introducing the New Testament, by the Baker Publishing Group.)[3]

Comments from Eusebius

The early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (263–339) drew on Luke and other Gospels in his comments on Jesus’s habit of prayer:

Jesus prayed and did not pray in vain, since he received what he asked for in prayer when he might have done so without prayer. If so, who among us would neglect to pray?

Mark says that “in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

And Luke says, “He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’” (Luke 11:1).

And elsewhere, “And all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).

And John records his prayer, saying, “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you’” (John 17:1).

The same Evangelist writes that the Lord said that he knew “you hear me always” (John 11:42).

All this shows that the one who prays always is always heard.

—On Prayer 13.1


  1. Michael Counsell, ed., 2000 Years of Prayer (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub, 1999), 3-4.
  3. Introducing the New Testament | eSources | Baker Publishing Group,