Although He was God in the flesh, Jesus relied on prayer to God throughout His life. The Gospels tell us that Jesus made a habit of praying often and in solitude.
He gave praise and thanksgiving to His Father and made petitions on behalf of His disciples. Jesus prayed passionately to know the Father’s will and to be able to surrender to it fully.
This all sounds familiar to devotees of St. Jude. He gives us as disciples of Christ the confidence that he too is there to intercede, to comfort, to guide, and above all to instill in us the hope at the heart of our faith. We turn to St. Jude with our gratitude, and like Jesus who is our guide in all things, we humbly voice our petitions on behalf of others.
“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray.”
Just as the disciples observed something profound in Jesus’ devotional life that filled them with longing, so too do we. As His followers, we listen, we learn, and we do as Jesus taught us to. We use the paths the Church has given us through the communion of saints to deepen our relationship with God and His Son. Jesus’ prayers reveal the depth of His constant communion with His Father. More than simply accessing God’s provision and power, prayer held Jesus in the very presence of God Himself.
Similarly, Jesus calls us to abide in Him. Through prayer, we delight in His presence, meditate on His Word, and walk in His Spirit. As we do this, He transforms us and helps us better understand the Holy Spirit that animates our discipleship with Him. Through prayer and devotion, we begin to absorb His priorities and passions above our own. We start to see the world and people through His eyes. We obey Him, and over time, we become more like Him.
Following Christ through prayer, including prayer to St. Jude, not only marks us as disciples, it also enables us to help make followers of others whom we pray with and for.