In the last two parts of our study, we will turn our attention to Jesus’ prayers for others, or what theologians call intercessory prayers. For me, these last chapters on intercessory prayer are even more riveting than the previous chapters, because they address the questions which first launched this study: How should I pray for those in need? And what difference do my prayers make? In these chapters, I desperately want to discover: For whom does Jesus pray? What does he say? Can his prayers answer my questions and teach me how I am supposed to pray for others?
So we turn to the Master’s prayers of intercession, but as we do, we need to note some important factors. First of all, there are only four passages in the Gospels (two in Luke, two in John) which mention Jesus praying for others. Secondly, of these four passages, two are references to unrecorded prayers. This means that there are only two places in Scripture where we can find the actual words which Jesus prayed for others. The rarity of Jesus’ intercessory prayers in the Gospels makes these treasures all the more valuable to us. These four passages of Scripture are indeed priceless gems to be carefully mined and deeply cherished.
In part 4, we will examine Jesus’ two intercessory prayers found in Luke’s Gospel. The remaining two prayers are found in John. Because both of the Johannine prayers are placed within the same setting and contain grammatical phrases which are rather complex, we will examine Jesus’ final two prayers separately in Part 5.