Consider this fantastic story with me ~ you have made a conscious choice and an effort to gather with a community of people who want to honor God in their lives…. Could be tomorrow morning in San Clemente, could be a parking lot with beach chairs and EZ-ups, people even participating from their cars. Suddenly, Jesus walks up to the gathering and a hush falls over everyone gathered. Turns out he just wants to be with us, just wants to be present. Isn’t that just like the Lord?
As the gathering draws to a close and we are singing “The Blessing” (at bottom), Jesus walks forward to the white Ford truck where I am standing and says, ‘Uh Christine, may I? May I have a word?’ already extending his hand for the microphone. ‘Of course, Lord,’ as I click the on button and put it in his hand, wincing as I notice the scar in his hand.
‘Before you go, my friends …’ Right then, little Arliss comes running up and grabs the Lord around his knees, gazing up … Abby too as she approaches a little more shyly, big brown eyes looking up at Jesus. He smiles, reaches down and hugs them both to him.
‘Before you go, I should like to pray for you--like the song said, to bless you.’ To a person, we all kinda sink to our knees, not a soul noticing the asphalt.
>John records Jesus’ prayer in chapter 17 as he prays for himself, then for his disciples and us. One of Jesus’ concerns,
as he got ready to return to the Father,
was that the Father would protect us from the evil one.
Lean in and listen, as he presses his lips to the microphone:
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you… As Jesus prays to the Father, he hears the cars passing on the street, but is not distracted; at this moment, he is thinking of us, praying for us . . .
…I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message (that’s us). 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me . . .
Truly John chapter 17 shows the heart of Jesus as he carried us to the Father. He asks the Father to protect us from the evil one and to make us holy.
My friend, the two of those go hand in hand . . . and hand in hand. It is the name of Jesus that gives us protection from the evil one. It was not long ago that I literally felt the demons go from a young man when I invoked the Holy Spirit of God in me along with all the passion and authority I could muster in the powerful name of Jesus. We cannot employ the familiar name of Jesus unless we are walking with him--endeavoring to obey him.
Oh, there is nothing like being present when Jesus prays for you. He does it every day, you know, sitting at the right hand of the Father - yes, praying for you. [Romans 8.34] ‘And unlike the San Clemente parking lot . . . he does not need a microphone!
And give a listen to the song - He is FOR you.
5/worship: The Blessing, Kari Jobe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ55mDL7dA0
5/ prayer: Heavenly Father, I should like to praise your name - the name that is above every other name! Thank you for the heart of Jesus when he was man on this earth, that he did not want us to be left to our own devices but that you would protect us from the evil one - who is real and active, looking to lie and steal from us - the abundant life Jesus came to give. I ask for your forgiveness for the ways I have ignored you or gone about my day on my own when I could have been side by side with you. Fill me anew with your Spirit as you grant me your wisdom and favor. Point me to those I can encourage today in your name. I pray that my loved ones would draw near to you. . . . . . In Jesus' name, Amen.