Did Christ pray before working the miracle so that God might do it and respond to His prayer?
If we examine the miracles worked by Christ, we shall find the opposite.
He healed diseases just by a command from Him not by prayer.
To the paralytic He said, “Arise, take up your bed and go to your house.” (Matt 9:6-8) and he arose and departed to his house.
To the man at Bethesda who had an infirmity thirty- eight years, He said the same words, “Rise, take up your bed and walk” and immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked (John 5:8, 9).
To the man with the withered hand He said, “Stretch out your hand, and he stretched it out and it was restored as whole as the other.” (Mark 3:5).
When Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, He rebuked the fever and it left her immediately and she arose and served them (Luke 4:38) (Mark 1:31).
By command also He had power over unclean spirits and over nature.
He ordered the unclean spirits to come out as in (Mark 9:25, 27), when He said, “You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him.” And when He rebuked the unclean spirit and the spirit came out the people were amazed and said, “with authority He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.” (Mark 1:27). What prayer did he say at that time? He even rebuked He wind and the waves and there was a great calm by His command (Mark 4:39).
He raised the dead by His command.
He raised the son of the widow of Nain while in the coffin, saying to him, “Young man, I say to you, arise” and the dead young man sat up and began to speak (Luke 7:14, 15). In the same way He raised the daughter of Jairus, one of the rulers of the Synagogue, commanding her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise”, and immediately the girl arose and walked (Mark 5:41, Lu 8:54, 55). No mention was made of prayer in both cases.
He healed some of the sick by laying His hands on them.
“He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” (Luke 4:40). When healing the deaf man, He put His fingers in the man’s ears and said, “Ephphatha i.e. be opened” and immediately his ears were opened and he was healed (Mark 7:35). He put His hands on the blind man of Betheseda and the man restored his sight (Mark 8:25).
And He laid His hands on the woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years that made her bent over and she was healed immediately (Luke 13:13). He just touched the ear of Malchus the servant of the high priest and it was healed (Luke 22:51). He touched the eyes of the two blind man and immediately their eyes received sight and they followed him (Matt 20:34). In all these miracles it is not mentioned that He prayed.
By a mere touch from Him, the sick was healed without any prayer.
The woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and spent all that she had and was no better, when she just touched His garment, “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up …. she was healed.” (Mark 5:29).
St. Mark the Evangelist put it so wonderfully, saying,
“Wherever he entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the market places and begged Him that they might just touch the border of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.” (Mark 6:56).
A mere touch, a mere word, without any prayer from the Lord Christ nor from the sick person healed the sick.
When the leper implored Him, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” The Lord was moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing, be cleaned” and immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleaned (Mark 1:41) (Matt 8:2, 3). There was no prayer at all but His mere willing.
By His mere willing water turned into wine and a new substance was created
He said to the servants, “Fill the water pots with water.” Then He said, “Draw some out now” and it was good wine (John 2:7, 8). This happened because He just willed it, without any prayer.
Furthermore, is there any prayer in the miracles of His reading the thoughts of others and telling about unknown things.
When healing the paralytic, He read the thoughts of the scribes who were reasoning within their hearts against Him and replied to them (Mark 2:6-11). When the sinful woman washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, Simon the Pharisee spoke in his heart against the Lord, but the Lord knew Simon’s thoughts and answered him (Luke 7:39-47). Many times also He answered to the thoughts of His disciples.
Without prayer also he knew the unknown as when He told Peter about the piece of money in the fish which would come first in his hook (Matt 17:24-27) and as He knew that Nathanael had been put under the fig tree (John 1:48, 49).
The only miracle for which He prayed was the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41, 42).
Perhaps the cause was to conceal His divinity from the devil because there were only a few days before crucifixion. And perhaps one miracle by prayer from among so many miracles without prayers was meant to teach us to pray. It may be also an answer to His enemies who accused Him of doing His miracles by the power of the devils. However, even in the miracle of raising Lazarus, He commanded him, crying with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43).
In the miracle of feeding the multitude, it is stated that He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves (Mark 6:41; Mt 15:36).
It was not mentioned in both miracles that He prayed. As for looking up and blessing food before eating, it may be to teach us to do the same.