Prayer is a special time to talk with God as well as reflect our journey of life. We realize that when we are praying, we are getting into ourselves, examine our hearts, deeds, and words whether they are appropriate before God and others or not.
Jesus is known as a man who cannot live without prayer. Prayer is a way for Jesus to talk with God. In the Gospel, we often find some events in which Jesus takes time to talk with God. I assume, one of the good examples is when Jesus climbs a high mountain together with His disciples, Peter, James, and his brother John. In this place, the narrator tells us that these three disciples saw Moses and Elijah who were talking with Jesus and they heard God’s voice: 'This is my Son, the Beloved; He enjoys my favor. Listen to him.”
Jesus is God’s beloved Son because Jesus follows God’s will. Jesus' prayer helps him to know God’s will. As we know, while they were on the mountain, He told them about His suffering for the first time. He said: “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and I must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Jesus must be sure that what He does is what God wants Him to do. Jesus has to overcome His doubts and to ask what God wants Him to do. Is it right to go to Jerusalem, suffer, and die? Is it the way to reach the glory of heaven?
Jesus is praying to know God’s will. Jesus always asks, “What does God want me to do?” On the contrary, our prayers often start with, “What do I wish to do?” We force God to fulfill our requests without knowing God’s will. Perhaps, our prayers are not answered because they are not in accordance with God’s will. Maybe God is waiting for us to change our prayer pattern.
When Jesus has problems, He does not try to solve it by His self-power but spend time alone and pray to God. He hands over his problems to God and He gets a peaceful heart. Let us ask Jesus to help us to know God’s will for ourselves.
By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.