Every day, Christian parents pray with their children: at mealtimes, as they tuck little ones in for the night, and for guidance with their teenagers. It’s one thing for parents to tell their children to pray; it’s another thing for parents to actually pray with their children. There are very few instances of Jesus’ prayers recorded in Scripture—about a half-dozen. Only one prayer was offered by Jesus while in a time of intimate fellowship with His disciples—the prayer in John 17, often called Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer,” on the night of His arrest.
But that prayer bears the hallmarks of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Six times in John 17 Jesus referred to God as “Father,” the very form of address He taught the disciples to use in the Lord’s Prayer. Like the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer in John 17 was simple, easy to understand, and plain spoken. The disciples were with Jesus, listening to it all—and learning to pray by His example. Jesus explained how to pray and showed how to pray—show and tell in a spiritual sense. We should do the same with those we are mentoring in the faith.