Q&A: Does Jesus pray for his people today?

Does Jesus pray for his people today?

Question

Does Jesus pray for his people today?

Answer

In its simplest definition, prayer is communication with God. We know that Jesus communed with his Father, particularly his High Priestly Prayer (John 17), in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44), and during his crucifixion (Luke 23:34, 46). But Jesus still prays for his people even today. About this, the writer of Hebrews wrote, "Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25).

In 1 John 2:1 we're told Jesus is our advocate: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." According to Webster, an advocate is a  person who pleads another's cause. For instance, an attorney is an advocate when he represents a client in a courtroom. Similarly, Jesus stands in our place and pleads our case before the Father.

But why do Christians need an advocate today? It's because they still sin (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:9) and there is an accuser—Satan—who stands before the Father day and night accusing them (Zech. 3:1; Luke 22:31; Rev. 12:10; cf. Job 1:6-22; 2:1-7). A Christian, however, can stand firm and without fear for this reason: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ... and Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Rom. 8:1, 31-34).

Jesus is the saint's great high priest (Heb. 4:14-16) who is thankfully always interceding for us.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).