Jesus prayed because, as a human, he needed God the Father to help him.
THE GOSPEL COALITION
That’s a great question. I’m pleased you believe Jesus is God. Your question also tells me you believe there’s only one God. The Bible is clear about those two truths: there’s only one God, and Jesus Christ is that one God.
Jesus isn’t just God; the Bible says he’s also God’s Son. Think of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus called God his Father, and he had a lot to say about the Holy Spirit as well. So, though Jesus is fully and truly God, he’s the Son of God, and he isn’t God the Father. He’s also not God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is really and truly God, but when he was born in Bethlehem, he also became a human. Jesus isn’t a fake or pretend human. He’s fully human, and he lived his life just as you and I are to live. It was important for the job God the Father gave to his Son that Jesus lived his life like any other human, just like you and me. There were no shortcuts or easy paths.
…3 Reasons Jesus Prayed
One thing all people are supposed to do is to pray to God the Father. Nobody was better at praying than Jesus. When Jesus prayed, he didn’t talk to himself. He prayed to God the Father. Here are three reasons why Jesus, though fully God, prayed to God.
1. Jesus prayed because he depended on God his Father.
Jesus came to do only what God the Father wanted him to do (John 6:38). Once, right after he healed a man who had been unable to walk his entire life, Jesus said he wasn’t able to do anything on his own but only what he saw the Father doing (5:19, 30). When Jesus had hard decisions to make, like deciding who his first 12 disciples would be, he went off by himself and prayed (Luke 6:12). He taught that prayer was necessary to do some difficult things, like healing people (Mark 9:29). And on the night he was arrested, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, and he prayed a lot (Matt. 26:36). Jesus prayed because, as a human, he needed God the Father to help him.
2. Jesus prayed because he enjoyed talking to his Father in heaven.
Sons and daughters should like talking to their fathers, and Jesus was no different. Maybe the greatest prayer in the entire Bible was prayed by Jesus the night before he was crucified (John 17). In that prayer, Jesus prayed for himself, for his first disciples, and then for Christians like you and me who would live later in history. Jesus counted it a privilege to be able to talk to God the Father, and he was excited to pray for people like you and me.