When I was a child, I remember walking by my mother’s bedroom and seeing her kneeling in prayer against her four-poster bed. I did not just see her, I usually heard her too. Oft times, she was praying and I would hear her crying out to God for one of us kids… “Oh, Lord…that thou wouldst draw him to yourself!” Yes, she kinda prayed in King James language, and always the ‘Oh’ was in about four syllables, because she cared so much. See, she was praying from her heart - she was passionate about what mattered most to her in the whole world—that her children would walk with God. As a mother, this is my highest and best prayer for my children as well, and I feel it to my core.
We have been talking about abiding in Jesus, about practicing the presence of God in our daily lives—there is no greater way to abide in him than praying. Prayer is a gift from God. Through prayer, we grow in our relationship with God, but prayer is also the faith-filled mechanism by which we change the world! Prayer is as much akin to a muscle as is faith—we grow it by exercising it—yes, by practicing it.
John chapter 17 contains an emotional, from-the-heart prayer by Jesus, as he prayed first for himself, then his disciples, then all believers. There is much to be gained, much to be learned, and much to be appropriated into our own hearts from Jesus’ prayer.
First, Jesus prays for himself~ Dear Heavenly Father, speak to us from Jesus’ prayer. Impart to our hearts things that were key in Jesus’ heart and mind, that we may become more like you. Amen.
“After Jesus said this—[what had he said? “I have told you of these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 16.33]--he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began…” John 17.1-5
Notice with me, please, two things: the definition Jesus gave us--Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. Second, Jesus glorified God by finishing the work God had purposed for him – he was going to the cross. If Jesus had just come, taught, loved, and even worked miracles . . . he would have left undone the purpose for which he had been sent.
Question: Do you live to glorify God? Will you glorify God by fulfilling your unique God-given purpose? Why not begin each day with a prayer, ‘God, help me glorify you in the things I say, the things I do, and even the things I think about… Amen’~
Take a few minutes to glorify God right now, won't you?
5/Prayer: Dear Father, I thank you for being my God, for loving me as you do. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me of anything that is not of you. Fill me anew with your Spirit that I might walk in awareness of you and your voice throughout the day. I want to glorify you, Lord, in the things I think, the things I say and the things I do. I lift those I love to you, those who are in need of a touch from you - heal them and draw them to yourself, Oh-oh-Lord! Thank you, Lord, for your good gifts - food, water, life, health, salvation, Heaven, hope, love, strength, hope and the precious Word of God. In Jesus' name, AMEN
5/Worship: The Goodness of God, Jenn Johnson, https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9QFTAw4fA4&list=RDAMVMVRzHywar4gQ