A brief classification of prayers, and a focus on the personal prayers of Jesus, and how we can have the wording of them, even though there was no audience.
The records of Jesus' prayers constitute a priceless document of one perfect being expressing himself to another. Though Jesus must have been involved in prayer all the time, all we have in the Bible is six prayers of Jesus. There are three kinds of prayers, and we know for sure that the mortal Jesus was involved personally in two of them. The three types of prayers were:a. Personal prayers, offered by an individual in seclusion.b. Public prayers, where one person acts as the voice of the group.c. Set prayers, offered up only in connection with sacred ordinances, such as the ordinances of the temple.Jesus taught us how to pray in public, and we know that prayer as "the Lords Prayer". "Lead us not into temptation", "Give us today our daily bread", etc, are givaways that it is a public prayer. There is not one single mention of first person in singular, showing that it is, in deed, a public prayer.But we will not look at the public prayers of Jesus in this article. We shall look at the two privately uttered prayers that we have in writing. We do have a couple of private prayers that was uttered in public, but we must consider them as teachings of the crowds, and testaments to the history of man, as much as personal prayers.The two genuinely personal prayers that we have access to are his intercessory prayer, offered shortly before he entered into the Garden of Gethsemane and his heart-rending plea to his Father that the cup, if possible, would pass him by. The intercessory prayer we appear to have in its fullness, but Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane must be but a fragment of the entire prayer (remember that there was time enough for the disciples to fall asleep).Why do we have one prayer from A-Z, and only a fragment of the other prayer? In order to answer that question there is one thing we must realize. Since Jesus was all alone when he offered up these two prayers, there was no-one present to record them for inclusion in our Scriptures. If no-one was present to record the prayers, how come we still have them today?In order for us to have access to these two prayers of Jesus today, God must have revealed the content of them to someone who was worthy to view these holy moments, and who could be trusted to accurately record the occurrences. No doubt, this trusted man was a prophet, seer and revelator. This prophet was obviously permitted to view and record the entire intercessory prayer of the Lord, and recorded it to our benefit. The content of this prayer is doctrinally important, since it declares how the Father and the Son are one, and that every believer can become one in the exact same way. There is no room for a dissection of the entire prayer in this article, but it can be found in John 17: 1-26.Whether the prophet who was invited to view the personal prayers of the Master was permitted in his revelation to witness the entire suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane we know not, but it is clear that only a small portion of Jesus' prayer was public domain;"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt". (Mathew 26:39) Perhaps the words of the suffering God were so poignant that we could not bare to hear them. Perhaps such a moment is too sacred to be had among the children of men, who will not shun to make light of the most sacred of things. Perhaps we should rejoice that the words of that pivotal moment never could become part of "The Life of Brian".
Arnold Ahlstrom is a Scripture-Sleuth, which is why he is building the site http://www.jesus-explained.org He completed his Masters research in Psychology at the University of Lund in Sweden. Figuring out the How's and Why's, and sharing it with others, makes him truly happy.