When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand—Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
(If you are wondering why Jesus spoke in parables, let me encourage you to do an exegetical study of Matthew 13:10-17)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.
[When I started writing this short devotional, this is not where I thought I was going, but here I am and It sure feels right. I am glad you came with me.]