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Why Jesus had to learn how to pray


Dennis Jarvis | Flickr CC by SA 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/23/24

Fully embracing his humanity, Jesus was taught how to pray by his parents as well as through the prayers he heard in the synagogue and Temple.
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While Jesus is fully divine, he is also fully human, and that meant he had to “learn” a variety of things after his birth.

It might seem strange to think of the Creator of the world having to learn how to walk, but that is exactly what happened over 2,000 years ago.

Not only did he have to learn how to walk, but he also had to learn how to pray.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church highlights this point in its section on prayer:

The Son of God who became Son of the Virgin also learned to pray according to his human heart. He learns the formulas of prayer from his mother, who kept in her heart and meditated upon all the “great things” done by the Almighty. He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of the prayer of his people, in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at Jerusalem.

CCC 2599

Mary and Joseph had to teach Jesus how to pray as a little child, teaching him the words to say and what kind of posture he should have.

Yet his prayer was deeper than anyone else’s because he is at the same time God:

But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he intimates at the age of twelve: “I must be in my Father’s house.” Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for men.

CCC 2599

Jesus walked on this earth to show us the path to the Father and learned how to pray so that we too may make the effort to follow in his footsteps.

We need to learn how to pray, and our ultimate teacher and guide is Jesus Christ.

BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
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