Consider the following two prayers of Jesus:
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
After reflecting on the prideful hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders in the surrounding cities of Galilee, in contrast to the childlike faith and greatness of John the Baptist, Jesus thanked God publicly that He has hid the truth of the gospel from those proud ones—those who thought themselves to be wise and prudent—and has revealed it instead to humble babes (believers). Then in verse 26 He prayed, “Even so, Father, for so it seems good in your sight,” indicating publicly that He and His Father agree together and find it good that only the humble and repentant should find the truth.
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
Here Lazarus is lying dead in his tomb and Jesus is about to raise him up. But first he looked up, as if looking up to God in heaven, and He prayed, “I know that you always hear me.” Then, in His prayer, He said, “But because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
This prayer, like the one we have just discussed, is not really a petition, but a prayer of thanksgiving to His Father. It is also meant for the people standing around; for He prayed loudly for all to hear, so that the people around him would believe in Him—that He had a personal relationship with God, that God was His Father, and that He always hears Him.
Wow — I never thought of the importance of that. Thanks for this insight regarding Christ’s prayers in public.
I am more of a private prayer person, but apparently, at times there is a benefit to also pray publically.