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How Jesus really prayed

Depiction of the sequence of positions in Muslim prayer
Depiction of the sequence of positions in Muslim prayer
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A recent series on how Jesus prayed in response to his disciples asking him, according to Luke 11:1, to teach them to pray necessitates an objective look at what the Christian Bible actually says about how Jesus prayed. Rather than focus on Jesus' response in words as to what to say when you pray, in Luke 11:2-4, let us examine Jesus's response in actions as to how to pray which is recorded in Matthew 26:36-39.

Frankly, Jesus' purported answer to the disciples' question in Luke 11:2-4 is really not an answer because they ask him a how to pray and he responds with what to say when you pray. The more appropriate response to the 'how' question is in Matthew 26:36-39 which says, "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gesthemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be very sorrowful and heavy. Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and FELL ON HIS FACE, AND PRAYED, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou Wilt."

Here we see that Jesus clearly followed the Muslim practice of prostrating in worship, which is part of the standing, bowing, kneeling, and prostrating that we do when we pray. By following this Muslim practice, Jesus was praying the way the Bible records many other prophets (peace be upon them all), prayed. Consider the following examples:

  • Abraham in Genesis 17:1-4 - "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 AND ABRAHAM FELL ON HIS FACE and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."
  • Moses and Aaron in Numbers 20:6 - "And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and THEY FELL UPON THEIR FACES: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them."
  • Joshua in Joshua 7:6-7 - "And Joshua rent his clothes, and FELL TO THE EARTH UPON HIS FACE before the ark of the Lord until eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. 7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast Thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!"

Furthermore, Revelation 7:11-12 explains that the way we Muslims pray and worship on earth is the way prayer and worship is conducted in heaven for it reads, "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and FELL BEFORE THE THRONE ON THEIR FACES, AND WORSHIPPED GOD, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Therefore, those who desire to follow the example of how prayer and worship was done by Jesus and other prophets and how prayer and worship is described in the Bible, are encouraged to embrace Islam. The fact that Biblical prophets as well as Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed in the same way clearly indicates that Islam is not a new religion. Islam means "submission to the Will of God," which is what Muhammad and the all the prophets before Him taught and showed in the way they lived and prayed.

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