As we see the Lord Jesus in prayer, there are certain practical pointers we can learn from him, even as there is a mystery at play. In his prayer, the Lord’s divine and human nature are expressed and we can learn from him in both these ways.

As we seek to pray, we have no better teacher than Jesus Christ since he was a perfect human being, as well as the eternal Son of God. And so, we can rely and trust in him since he is authentically human and truly God.

As we look to the life of the Lord, we see that his prayer had different dimensions based on where he was praying. The prayer he offers before Lazarus’ tomb is very different from his High Priestly Prayer in the Upper Room before his passion. Such recorded prayers are beyond powerful in themselves, and so we can only imagine the depth of the prayer that occurred between the Lord Jesus and the Father during his many moments of prayer that were done in solitude.

In his life of prayer, the Lord regularly separated himself from his apostles and disciples. He prayed in the mornings and in the evenings. In this way, the Lord’s life was a regular cycle of prayer and his actions were brought forth from this life of prayer.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church observes: “Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night.”

While there were these practical elements to the Lord’s life of prayer, there was also an overlay of mystery to his prayer. As such, we know that whenever the Lord prayed, he took us with him to his prayer.

By taking on our human flesh, he became one of us. This union does not end when he stands before the Father in prayer. The Lord prayed as a human being, while he was also the eternal Son of God. And so, as we understand this communion the Lord shares with us, we are better able to understand the oblation he offered throughout his life on our behalf. We are able to realize in a deeper way what he did through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. We are able to recognize that our bond with the Lord Jesus does not end at death. We can begin to realize that our union with him in this life directs and points us to an eternal life with him in heaven.

The Catechism teaches: “[Jesus] includes all men in his prayer, for he has taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the Father when he offers himself.”

By praying and sharing a union with us, the Lord Jesus lives out the reality of his Incarnation. He knows the struggles, heartaches, sorrow, sufferings, joys, triumphs, and hopes of humanity. He knows each of us and the narrative of our lives. He walks with us and accompanies us through life, with all its good and bad moments. It is in prayer that the Lord particularly knows the heart of humanity. In his prayer, the Lord shares a union with the Father and the Holy Spirit and with humanity. He is accompanied by the Father and the Holy Spirit, as he himself also accompanies us.

The Catechism explains: “Jesus, the Word who has become flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that ‘his brethren’ experience; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them. It was for this that the Father sent him.”

This is the powerful union the Lord experiences and lives in his life of prayer. From his prayer, we have the context and the impetus for all his words and deeds. We have a new way of interpreting the Lord’s teachings and admonitions. By realizing the Lord’s life of prayer, we can see him with new eyes. We can gain a new horizon from which we can understand his Paschal Mystery, his sorrowful passion, death, and glorious Resurrection, in a profoundly personal and intimate way.

The Catechism tells us: “[Jesus’] words and works are the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret.”

If we want to see the Lord’s glory, know his heart, and experience his accompaniment throughout our lives, then we must humble ourselves and pray. We must want to be with him and know his companionship through a mysteriously divine and wonderfully human life of prayer.

Happy Easter!