A Question I Was Asked:

Does God Ever Pray For Us?

Does God ever pray for us? I was asked this and found that I could not answer the question.

UK Apologetics Reply:

This is a most unusual question, one which has never come my way before.

You ask, 'Does God ever pray for us?' Of course, whilst on this earth, Jesus certainly did pray for us - John 17:6-26, but I take the question to mean whether God prays for us now. But I have to ask here, who would God be praying to? After all, we all pray to God (or should, in my opinion), but it should be understood that God himself - as the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the cosmos - does not need to pray to anybody or anything since He has has all power and all jurisdiction in this universe. So, whilst I don't doubt that the enquirer here is utterly sincere, the answer must be no, although we must now qualify that somewhat.

How About Intercession?

The first part of our answer was looking at the 'big picture,' if you will, God Himself is certainly in control and does not need to petition anybody or anything. Having said that, the New Testament teaches that the entire Holy Trinity is involved in our salvation. According to Romans 8:27-34 and Hebrews 7:25 both the Holy Spirit and Jesus intercede for us on a regular basis, how can this be understood? Well this is obviously not prayer of the 'persons petitioning God' sort, this is intercession on the level of - and within - the very Godhead! Major Bible commentator Adam Clarke explains it like this:

Our Lord makes intercession for us, by negotiating and managing, as our friend and agent, all the affairs pertaining to our salvation. And the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saints, not by supplication to God on their behalf, but by directing and qualifying their supplications in a proper manner, by his agency and influence upon their hearts...

This intercession, then, is part and parcel of how God saves His people. It is encouraging that our Saviour is ever at work in Heaven pleading our case with God the Father; this does not mean that our salvation is uncertain, it is certain, but it is 'managed,' and Jesus can be compared to our friend, manager and agent in Heaven. It is the Holy Spirit's part to direct our own prayerful supplications in a proper manner, by his agency and influence upon our hearts.

John the Apostle also writes of Jesus' firm defence and advocacy of His people here:

1. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2).

So this advocacy, intercession and constant defence of us occurs, then, at Godhead level where our Lord is ever our defence advocate, it is not really correct to say that 'Jesus also prays for us' - it goes beyond that.

Our Human Prayers

To get back to our human prayers, they are highly beneficial and I often think they are especially beneficial for those who actually offer up the prayer because when we offer prayers for others we are displaying a little bit of the character of Jesus; we are directing attention away from ourselves, towards others, that is to show something of the character of God. Showing outgoing love and concern for others is a Godly trait.

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " (Acts 20:35).

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8).

17. pray continually, 18. give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

Our prayers don't really take God by surprise. He knew from eternity that you and I would utter that prayer at that precise time but, of course, that does not mean that our prayers cannot change anything. Rather, it means that from eternity our God has already adjusted how things will turn out in the full knowledge of your prayer and mine. This speaks volumes for the importance of prayer!

Robin A. Brace. May 5th, 2016.