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Jesus Prayed Selfishly

by Gregory John Monroe  
11/17/2013 / Education

During a group discussion in a recent Sabbath school study series called Glimpses of God, the topic was about prayer.

Intercessory prayer was one of the aspects we covered, and all agreed that Jesus engaged in it. In fact, so much so, that quite a conclusive impression was made before we moved on to cover other aspects of prayer. The impression made was that Jesus always prayed for others and not for Himself. After all, that would've been a selfish thing to do. And generally it's assumed that Jesus was not selfish when He walked this earth. But is that true?

We all have needs, and Jesus, living within the limitations of humanity, certainly had needs. He needed strength and encouragement to face the challenges set before Himteaching and training His hard-headed twelve disciples; people everywhere vying for His attention to be healed; to hear His wisdom. And then there were those desiring to kill Him.

All this He faced every day with the knowledge of the brutal beating and the painful and shameful crucifixion to come. That He needed the strength and encouragement to carry on is evidenced in Luke 22: 43, in which an angel descended to help Him as He sweated drops of blood.

Jesus also needed guidance, for He did nothing of His own initiative (John 12: 49, 14: 10). He did only that which He saw and heard from His heavenly Father.

So it seems likely that before the start of the day, when Jesus often isolated Himself in prayer, His prayers were for Himself as well as for the welfare of others.

However, the term "selfish prayers" is not being used here in a negative sense, attributing wrong motives. Instead, in the same way that Jesus' anger is holy, and His jealousy is holy; His selfish prayers were holy, for He prayed to be a blessing to othersand that included the Father.

So yes; Jesus, being dependent on God, sometimes did pray selfish prayers. He had to in order to sacrifice Himself for mankind.

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