The Savior is the perfect example of praying for others with real intent. In His great Intercessory Prayer uttered on the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His Apostles and all of the Saints.
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. …
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; …
“… that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:9, 20, 26).
Elder David A. Bednar, "Pray Always", General Conference, October 2008
When Jesus offered this prayer, He wasn't just praying for the apostles, He wasn't just praying for the believers that witnessed His miracles, for those that saw Him and were taught be Him. He was praying for everyone that believes in Him through the word of His apostles throughout ALL time. That includes you and me.
He was praying for us, back then, when He walked the earth. It's not just about us praying to Heavenly Father for divine help through mortality, which is how we're taught. But here He is, praying to His Father for us.
A couple of thoughts come to mind:
1. He taught us that prayer is one one communication with Heavenly Father. Nobody else. We talk to our Father and He listens. His focus, His attention is no where else. It's on us, on you and me. Then, He talks back to us. Are we listening? Or, we said our peace, we're done?
2. If we want talk with our dad or mom, we just pick up the phone and have a conversation. It's not formal. But doing so, with frequency, keeps us connected to them. Otherwise, it's an "out of sight, out of mind" situation. Or, out of sound, out of mind. 😁 Soon, the distance widens. That's with any relationship.
When Christ wanted to talk to His Father, He just hit His knees and prayed. He had a conversation. Doesn't have to be a formal process. That was how He stayed connected. That is how we stay connected to Heavenly Father too. The more we do it, the more connected we are to our Father.
I learned recently from Kyle that prayer isn't just a quick, say the same things over and over, monologue from us. Prayer is an intimate conversation between us and God, between us and our Eternal Father. A two way conversation. We recount all that we did during the day, repent from the not so good, make a commitment to be better, express love and gratitude, ask for blessings for us and others, etc. It tends to take some time to do this. Kyle told me that he had to start his prayers at 10:00pm so he could obey the mission rule to be in bed by 10:30pm. 30 minutes to pray? Are we that serious or intentional with our prayers?
To me, prayer is a form of telepathy. We think it, Heavenly Father hears it. We feel it, Heavenly Father somehow hears it. Hitting our knees just shows Him reverence and respect.
I know Christ is still praying for us up in heaven just as He did here. He thinks it, His Father hears it. And...He is praying for us individually, by name. Maybe even for 30 minutes, even though He doesn't measure time.