By Kathy Hamlett
What prayers did Yeshua pray? This is not an exhaustive study but will give you enough information for you to study it out on your own.
To understand the prayers Yeshua prayed and taught, this has to be taken in light of the traditional prayers that were said in the pre first century Israel and beyond. Tradition is not a dirty word and there is a lot of it inside the covers of the Scriptures. This is not from Talmud but from the very version that each student of Scripture has in his/her possession.
Let us take a look at a few of the traditional, repetitive prayers.
The first prayer that Yeshua taught the people was the Amidah, or the Standing prayer. The Amidah is part of a much larger liturgy called the Shemonah Esrei. The Amidah began approximately in the 6th century BC. This prayer was to take the place of the daily burnt offerings that were forbidden during captivity in Babylon. Although the Amidah is only one portion of the Shemonah Esrei it is vitally important. All of the Shemonah Esrei is important and taken directly from Scripture.
The daily burnt offerings were forbidden by Israel's captors in Babylon. The next best thing Israel could do was to pray. Odd isn't it that prayer would be offered when all hope of offerings would have been forbidden. How would they have gotten the idea to do this? Maybe, just maybe from this verse:
Hos 14:2 Take words with you, and return to יהוה. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips.
"Bulls", is a reference to offerings.
Yeshua taught this prayer, the Amidah, to the crowds that followed him, Matthew 6:19. This prayer was said 3 times a day in place of the daily offerings and continued thru the Second Temple period in addition to the offerings until the destruction of the Temple occurred. This prayer was repeated by Israel 3 times a day, morning and afternoon and evening.
You will notice that the prayer begins "Our Father"...not "my Father", meaning this was a communal prayer to be repeated by all.
Another prayer that Yeshua said daily was the Shema. Most all of us know this prayer..."Hear Oh Israel"! This prayer is from Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 1 1:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41. You will notice it is commanded to repeat the Shema and to teach to our children:
Deu 6:4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!
Deu 6:5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
Deu 6:6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,Deu 6:7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up,
Deu 6:8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Notice there are four time periods of time mentioned in the command, when you sit in your house, when you walk and when you lie down and when you rise up. Did Yeshua use this same command when talking and teaching? Of course he did.
Consider this reference:
Mar 12:29 And יהושע answered him, “The first of all the commands is, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl, יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one.
I hope each one can see that Yeshua said this was the first of all "COMMANDS". This is not an option being spoken of here. This is repeated in Luke 10.
Now the question then becomes what other prayers were given that we are to repeat and teach our children? Well, there is one famous song from Torah that was commanded to be sung and taught to our children.
Deu 31:19 “And now write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Yisra’ĕl. Put it in their mouths, so that this song is to Me for a witness against the children of Yisra’ĕl.
Deu 31:20 “And I shall bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they shall eat and be satisfied and be fat, then they shall turn to other mighty ones, and they shall serve them, and scorn Me and break My covenant.
This is a command given by none other than Elohim. This is a song for all to sing and teach to the future generations, for all times. Again, this is not optional. Why this would be commanded, you may ask. The answer is really many fold. Actually there are a several reasons for this, one would be that a song is easier to remember and teach. The next reason was because the people could not afford any type of scrolls that would contain the Torah. The next reason is contained in the follow up verse to the above verses:
Deu 31:21 “And it shall be, when many evils and distresses come upon them, that this song shall answer before them as a witness. For it is not to be forgotten in the mouths of their seed, for I know their thoughts which they are forming today, even before I bring them to the land of which I swore to give them.”
Now, let us not forget the Priestly blessing that was and has been spoken for centuries and will continue into "forever".
Num 6:22 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 6:23 “Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them:
Num 6:24 “יהוה bless you and guard you;
Num 6:25 יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you;
Num 6:26 יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.” ’
Not only did Yeshua endorse these prayers, he taught them to his talmidim and sent ones, to be passed on in their teachings. Shaul, Kefa and Yohanan can be found at Temple 3 times a day repeating these prayers.
Act 3:1 And Kĕpha and Yoḥanan were going up to the Set-apart Place at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
The "hour of prayer" is the key. Those are the hours of set times for the liturgy or prayers to be prayed. For anyone who does not think those hours are important, I suggest that those defined times played an important and vital role in the life and death of Yeshua and the talmidim.
Consider this verse:
Act 10:3 He clearly saw in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, a messenger of Elohim coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
What hour? The ninth hour! Don't over look these things when studying what is written. This ninth hour was the prescribed hour of prayer with set prayers. During this time a vision was given to Cornelius. Receiving these type visions happened often at the prescribed hour of prayer. Another reference:
Luk 1:10 And the entire crowd of people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
Luk 1:11 And a messenger of יהוה appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
I hope that you can see a pattern is emerging that is evident. Although this is just a short summary I hope you can see the pattern. One cannot explain any writing without knowing the "tradition" that had been established long before the first century.
It is imperative to understand these things if we want to understand what was written and taught by Yeshua. Yeshua did not come against any of the set prayers or times, just the opposite happened. Traditions are not bad, traditions that hold up the ideals of Torah are forever and beyond. I hope in some small way this helps to understand the situations and circumstances of what was written about prayer and what was taught.
Always remember the 5 W's....who, what, when, where and WHY. Without those 5 elements the study will fall short of any sort of accomplishments.