Can we ask Yeshua to pray for us?
Updated: May 4
A few weeks ago, I was experiencing unusual anxiety. It felt more like a spiritual attack than run-of-the-mill worry or nervousness. I opened my Bible app to find some comfort in scripture, and the scripture for the day was Hebrews 7:25, which says, “Therefore [Yeshua] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
A light went on. Yeshua prays for me! I wondered if it would be OK to ask him right then and there to pray for me. I did. And just a few minutes later, I noticed a noticeable lessening of the anxiety. I continued to mutter this every few minutes, asking him to intercede for me. Within a few hours, all of the anxiety was gone. I decided to take a deeper look at this verse and ask the question, “Can we ask Messiah to pray for us?”
1. Did Jesus pray for people? Well, of course, he did. He prayed for the sick, cast out demons, and did much more. And he offers a lengthy prayer for the worldwide body of believers in John 17. But there’s one prayer that jumps out at me. Just before Simon Peter would betray Yeshua, he says to him: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”
This was not somebody asking for healing. This was the type of prayer that one person prays for another. And in this case, Peter did not even request it. It seems to me that if Jesus prayed for people on earth, he still prays for people at the right hand of the Father.
2. The message of Hebrews 7:25 is that his primary activity is to intercede for us. Now I do not want to take the passage out of context. It is referring to his ministry as a priest. He is compared to mortal priests whose ministries are not eternal because they eventually die. When it says that “he always lives to intercede for them,” It should not be understood in the way we use the word “live.” Someone might say, I live to go to the beach, or I live for French fries. In that sense, it simply means that we really desire something. This is more literal—It means he is always alive to be able to intercede for us. It says earlier that he is a priest based on his “indestructible life” (v. 16). Romans 8:34 confirms that Yeshua “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Don’t forget Yeshua told us, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14).
3. How does this work? Pastor John Starke says that Yeshua’s intercession is for two primary needs. First, he prays for us when we sin. “[I]f anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Yeshua the Messiah, the Righteous One.” He covers us in prayer when we fall short. Secondly, it is like the passage above about Peter. “He prays that though they may be faced with many temptations, none would shipwreck their faith.” 
So we have established that people did request prayer from Yeshua on earth. He answered their prayers. And he continues to intercede for us in heaven at the right hand of the Father. Therefore, it would seem kosher to actually request prayer from him.
Hold on there!
One of the objections to this is that it pits the Son against the Father. In other words, Jesus is having to convince his Father to do something he doesn’t want to do. But I don’t think that is the biblical disposition of the Father. There are many different reasons that we need to pray for things to change. We live in a fallen world; we live in a sinful world; we have invited judgment on our lives through sin, and the enemy seeks to prevent us from experiencing God’s blessing and favor. Everything we receive is based on the death and resurrection of Yeshua. God the Father loves to bless us, and he sent Yeshua to secure that blessing.
Now, just imagine in your mind's eye Yeshua praying for you. He hears your concern and then out of great love and compassion begins to pray for you. Who else would you want to intercede for you? Hit sits at the right hand of the Father!
Reverse Jesus Prayer
Have you ever heard of the Jesus prayer?
The words of the prayer, adapted from a parable of Jesus found in Luke 18:9–14, are: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Dating back to the sixth century, the Jesus Prayer has long been a foundation of Eastern Christian spirituality to help believers remain grounded and dependent on God throughout the day. By repeating the prayer throughout the day, synchronizing the syllables of these words with our heartbeat throughout the day, the intention is that our very lives will embody the richness of the prayer. 
Instead of saying, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner (which is fine to say), I have started to, “Son of God, pray for me, a sinner.”
1. John Starke, “Jesus Really Does Pray for Us,” The Gospel Coalition, January 18, 2011, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/jesus-really-does-pray-for-us/
2. Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (p. 110). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.