Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Window into Christ's Prayer Life

A devotional thought: In John 17.20-26, we get to see Jesus' heart for us when Jesus starts praying for all the people who will believe the Word from the Disciples. Jesus has a lot of things that He prays for on our behalf. But we can also be super encouraged because we know that Jesus prays everything that God wants Him to pray, so we know that this prayer for us will be answered with a yes. This can give our youth group and even our whole church some serious hope, because the first thing that Jesus prays for is unity, a deep relationship with each other that reflects His relationship and unity with God the Father, because Jesus says in vv.20-21, "I'm not just asking for them [i.e. the disciples], but also for those who believe into me through their message, that they would be one just You, Father, are in Me and I in You, and that they would be in us, so that they world would believe that You personally sent me!"  Jesus is praying that we will have unity, that all believers would have relationships so close and unified with one another that it reflects the tightness that Jesus has with the Father. He wants us to be just as one with each other as a church as He is One with the Father--and we can say that the Two with the Holy Spirit are ONE GOD! In the same way, because of Jesus' prayer we know that not only is our unity possible, but it is already in process! God is answering Jesus' prayer! But Jesus does not stop there, no. Jesus wants us to be tight with the Father and Himself! He wants us to be just as close with Him and His Dad as possible! Jesus is praying for us to be close to Him and His Father! Thus, not only does He us to be close to each other, but also He wants us to be close to Him and His Dad! How awesome is that! Jesus wants us close to Him and to His Dad, and He is praying exactly what His father wants Him to pray and He is filled with the Spirit so it is likely that He is even praying as the Spirit is leading/wanting! The whole Godhead wants us to be close to Him and to one another! Indeed this prayer seems like it is going to answered, just a little. However, Jesus also has a purpose in this close relationship for us and that is His Own glory and testimony--Jesus wants the whole world to believe that Jesus really did come from God the Father because of looking at us and seeing our unity and our relationship with Him and His Father! Talk about awesome! The Lord will use our closeness to one another and to Him to show the world that Jesus is legit! Thus, since we know what Jesus really wants to happen in the Church, in our youth group, then let's pursue unity and a closeness to God and Jesus and even the Holy Spirit who lives in us now, and indeed as we become more unified and close to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, our Lord and Savior's prayer will be answered. God works in history to answer prayers, so our effort will really be His whole plan to answer His Son's prayer! So as we become more unified and closer to God we are in a way part of God's answering Jesus' prayer! That is pretty cool! The point is that unity is something that we will have to work hard for and closeness with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit will also take hard work, but that both these things are what God the Father wants, Jesus wants, and the Holy Spirit wants--these two things JESUS prayed for! We have the prayers of Jesus backing us up, so our youth group and our church has a great hope for the future! That Hope is Christ Jesus Himself, who is our High Priest now that He died for our sins and shed His blood and rose from the dead to atone for us and give us eternal life! Our Hope is in the fact that what we long for we have had Jesus praying for since before He even died on the cross for us! As hopeless as it seems, in Jesus and His prayer for us, there is our solid and steadfast hope! and on top of that hope we have the added hope that as Jesus' prayer is answer Jesus' purpose will be accomplished: people will believe that He is really from God. We are part of giving Jesus the Glory, so let's humble ourselves and unite and draw close to God for Jesus' glory!

Much Love,
May God grant us Grace, Peace, Hope, Faith, Love, Encouragement, Unity, and Closeness to Him
Pastor Anthony

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