Jesus Prays

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Today’s Scripture: John 17

“The power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it” is part of a quote from Max Lucado that I wholly agreed with until I read John 17. While Mr. Lucado is correct, our prayers do make a difference because God is hearing each one, John 17 is quoting Jesus’ prayers. So in this particular case, the power is in the one who hears it AND in the one who says it!

The whole chapter reflects Jesus praying with his disciples. He wants them to have peace because unbelievably difficult and horrible times are just ahead of them. On the horizon is Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, mock trial, flogging, humiliation, crucifixion, and separation from his Father. Are you in the midst of a trial, illness, divorce, or trauma? Do you feel like you are in the pit of hell? Friends, Jesus was there too. Take a look at Jesus’ action in the face of all he was moving toward.

John 17:1 (NIV)
… he looked toward heaven and prayed …

Jesus prayed to his father. He prayed for himself. He prayed truth. He prayed with hope and complete faith in the one who sent him. He prayed that his father would be glorified—even if the only way to do it was through his own death.

Maybe the best way for you to praise God is through your trials. Jesus prayed that eternal life would be found through the completion of the work he was sent to accomplish. He cannot wait to be back in the presence of his father, the way it was before the world began (v. 5). He wants the glory of his father’s presence! Friends, if only we would pray this way! Do you desire to be in his presence? Are you asking daily for his presence through prayer?

Jesus didn’t stop there. John 17:6-19 quotes Jesus’ prayers for his dear band of brothers who lived beside him, ate and walked with him, suffered hunger and thirst with him. They learned from their dear friend and savior, Jesus. The disciples had a front row seat as the savior of the world sought his father’s blessings on their behalf. How beautiful to be prayed for in the presence of the one who has the power of life and who has the ear of the father! Did you know you and I also have the ear of our heavenly father?

The last section of the chapter is Jesus’ words to the father for future believers.

John 17:20 (NIV)
I pray for those who will believe in me through their message.

He prayed for the church’s unity—just as Jesus and God the Father are one—so that “the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to  see my glory, the glory you have given me before the creation of the world” (v. 23-24 NIV)

If Jesus prayed to his heavenly father, why wouldn’t we?

How does your prayer compare with Jesus’ prayer? Being completely honest, when was the last time you prayed for the glory of God to be revealed in your trials?

Next Steps:
Read John 17 as a prayer. Lift yourself up in prayer before the father and ask for him to be glorified in the trials you face today. Pray for your children, spouse, and friends in their presence! It is powerful! Pray for the persecuted church. Pray for your children and future generations to love the Lord.

Jesus, thank you for your word and the privilege of coming to you in prayer. Help me keep your word and obey your will. I trust you through my trials. May my life glorify you so that others will believe you are the way to eternal life. Thank you for us being able to come to you with all our troubles and that you will hear us because you love us. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

This post was written by Julie Roehl, a regular contributor and editor of the LivingItOut.

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2 replies
  1. Deborah Ferrel-Joseph
    Deborah Ferrel-Joseph says:

    I’m not sure why, but I’m having such a hard time praying to my Heavenly Father lately. I begin to pray, but my mind doesn’t go along with me. I either fall asleep, or lose track of where I was in my prayers.
    I love God my Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and I do not want them thinking that I’m not sincere in my prayers.
    Please let me know what you think I can do to improve this.
    Thank you.

  2. Julie
    Julie says:

    Thank you Julie for reminding me of the power of prayer. Thank you Deborah for sharing that sometimes prayer can be difficult. I have felt that myself before! Sometimes it gets so routine and complacent! I just change it up a bit; grab a pencil and journal my prayer, or play music and sing, maybe take a nature walk and marvel. God just wants to be with us. He’s not as concerned with how we invite Him in, just that we do invite Him.

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