The prayer of Jesus, like any exercise deserving the name of prayer, is first and foremost an act of thanksgiving. The elements in his prayer which, in this particular instance, belong exclusively to his dignity as the Son, should not distract us from the thanksgiving he offers as an essential constituent of prayer. He who prays is Jesus of Nazareth. His prayer is an act of thanksgiving to the Father, pure and simple.
The prayer of his followers, too, can only be that, an act of thanksgiving. In fact this is what it is. Of course, we commonly refer to it as “eucharist”, a Greek work for thanksgiving, even while we persist in our search for ways to pray. The act of thanksgiving is and remains the supreme prayer of all Jesus’ followers.
The Gospel of John
Stanley B. Marrow, SJ