Chapter 9 - Rabbi Jesus' Prayer Life


Now would be a good time to review and look at what a possible day would like for Rabbi Yeshua and His talmidim in regards to prayer. We would have to assume since Yeshua was following and instructing the Torah to His followers, He was also following the traditions of His people. Let’s take a look at first century rabbinic prayer.

In Hosea 14:3 we read, “Take with you words and return to Yahweh.” (In Hebrew K’chu imachen devarim.) After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. the Rabbis and Sages found a way to remember the three sacrifices of the day - through daily prayer. They modeled this after King David and Daniel. Psalm 55:17 “Evening, and morning and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” (Remember the day begins at sundown.) Daniel 6:10 “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he knelt upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his Elohim, as he had done before.” They would pray in the direction of Jerusalem.

The daily prayers Yeshua would have prayed are Jewish prayers taken from Scripture. They include the Shema, the Alenu, the Amidah and the Ashrei – just to name a few. You will find some of these prayers at the end of this book. You may pray them all or just pray a few.

The point is we know Yeshua prayed. Not only special personal prayers to the Father. He most likely prayed three times a day with the rest of the Jewish people. I know He prayed from His heart and that is how we as talmidim should pray. It might be good to pray a short prayer of repentance before we ever say the Jewish (Scriptural) prayers. Also, communing or conversation with HaShem any time of the day is just what He wants.

How about learning Hebrew? A good place to start is with the Shema. The Shema is actually Scripture – Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (However it is good to at least start with these beginning verses):

Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, Adonai is our Elohim, Adonai is One

Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol .

And you shall love Adonai your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

The Shema is a wonderful prayer to say when you are lying in bed before you go to sleep, or the first prayer you pray when you wake up. It is quoting Scripture, in the heavenly language of Hebrew. What else could be so awesome?

Yeshua taught us to pray this special prayer:

Matthew 6:7-13 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on like the pagans, who think Elohim will hear them better if they talk a lot. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. You, therefore, pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven! May Your Name be kept kadosh. May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us the food we need today. Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us. And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. For kingship, power and glory are Yours forever. Amen.’”

We are not used to praying in Hebrew, nor have we probably ever prayer “Jewish” prayers. But the fact remains; we are learning to be disciples of Yeshua – His talmidim – so it is right to pray as He would have prayed. We pray. He listens. Now, we must learn a new way as talmidim.

* See Chapter 13 for "Prayers" and learn to pray the Hebrew prayers of Yeshua.