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Should we pray for Jesus?

I was reading Psalm 72 just now, where Solomon prays that God would extend the rule of "the king." (Actually, the "Of Solomon" could be translated "For Solomon," and, since verse 20 says "The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended," this could possibly be David's psalm for his son.)

Solomon is praying for himself (or David is praying for his son) along with any other kings following him who might pray this for themselves; however, I think that it clearly has typological implications for how we might think about Jesus, the Great King coming one day to rule over all the earth In verse 15, the psalmist writes:

Long may he live;
     may gold of Sheba be given to him!
May prayer be made for him continually,
     and blessings invoked for him all the day!
I'm not sure that, in taking this psalm typologically, we would need to adhere slavishly to every detail of the psalm; however, it is an interesting thought to pray for Jesus just as we might pray (although with a very different dynamic) for our other leaders in the church or in the political world. Following even more biblical imagery, Jesus will one day be our husband, and most people pray for their future spouses.

The trick is, of course, that Jesus does not lack anything. Can prayer be made for someone who possesses all wisdom, power, strength, honor, glory, and love? I suppose this gets into some deep water theologically in regard to prayer, and I don't really have enough worked out there to be able to offer much. Any thoughts?

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I think your answer to this question depends a lot upon your beliefs about the purpose of prayer. I believe the overarching purpose of prayer is, as Piper puts it in Let the Nations be Glad! (which I'm reading right now and absolutely loving), is to serve as a wartime walkie to call for help. But from there, we can think of it in a couple ways.

Obviously, there is one sense in which prayer is primarily meant as entreaty to the Father for help in building his kingdom.

Another way we can think of it is, as C.S. Lewis said (I think he stole it from someone else, but I don't know whom), prayer doesn't change God, it changes me. Prayer changes us by reinforcing in our minds our need for God's grace and help to become the kind of people he's made us to be. Further, as we pray for God's help in building his kingdom in a war environment, it reinforces for us that God, though he does not need help, invites us to join with him in building the kingdom. Not due to necessity, but because of his love.

So to answer the original question- it depends on what you mean by "pray for Jesus." If you mean, make request that God give Jesus wisdom to act in what way is best, I would answer certainly not. But in the sense that God would raise up workers for the harvest to partner with Christ in his redemptive work, then certainly I think we may pray for Christ.

Does that make sense? Thanks for posting Jacob, good topic, maybe we can actually talk about it face-to-face for a change :).

Yes, that does make sense. I'm still trying to think through a few things, but allow me to ask a couple more questions to push the conversation along a bit.

What about when Jesus prays, "Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Those seem to be Jesus' prayers to God for God, right? (And, lest I be accused of heresy, by God.) Jesus here prays for God to build the kingdom (as you mentioned), but he also prays for God to be glorified/hallowed.

So, what if we prayed for Jesus to extend his kingdom? What if we asked that he would act so that his wisdom would be displayed? What if we asked so that he would save someone so that he would be glorified? What if we, like Moses, asked God to divert his wrath from his people so that the rest of the nations would not mock God?

Might those be prayers for Jesus? I'm not sure if that's everything I'm thinking in terms of praying for Jesus, but I think that it's a start.

I think you are on the right path as I try to get in the mindset of the psalmist to try to figure out exactly how the people would pray for their messianic king--we are praying for our king in order to partner with him.

It's just an interesting thought, and I don't really know yet where it's going. I did want to post it, though. :)

Didn't Jesus ask the disciples to pray for him in the garden of Gethsemane? And they failed dismally. Perhaps we have an opportunity to succeed where they failed in praying for Jesus?

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