April 11. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 17.

Tuesday, April 11                  John 17

The Real Lord’s Prayer

What if you could eavesdrop and listen to Jesus as He prayed?  What do you think you would hear?  John 17 is just that.  It is the longest prayer of Jesus we have in Scripture.  It has been called “the Holy of Holies.”

He talks to the Father about three main topics:

  1. Himself
  2. His closest circle of friends
  3. Those who would follow Him

It may surprise you to know that Jesus spent time praying for Himself!  Verses 1-5 are just that. It is not selfish to pray for yourself!  In fact, it is wise and important.  This is not self-absorption.  It is not self-centeredness.  It is the plea of the heart that cries out for God’s blessing.

Jesus prayed about His mission. He prayed about fulfilling His purpose. He prayed about the challenges He faced.  Strange as it may seem, even for Jesus, the first line in His prayer list was Himself.  We ought to do the very same thing.  Pray for God’s blessing and guidance over your own life.

Second, He prayed for His disciples – those people closest to Him.  If you read down through the passage (John 17:6-18), you will find all the different ways Jesus asked the Father to bless Peter, John, and all the rest.  I take this to mean I should pray for my family and those I care for most. Our prayers are powerful in shaping the lives of our dear ones.

Finally, He prayed for folks yet in His future.  He prayer for you and me!  Jesus prayed for people and things outside His immediate circle of experience.  This is where the prayer list multiplies.

Prayer is not a ritual – it is the language of relationship with God.  It should be real and never fake.  It is the life-line between us and our heavenly Father.  Jesus prayed throughout His earthly life.  It intensified as He drew nearer to the Cross.  The lesson is clear.  If Jesus needed to pray, how much more for you and me.

Pray first!

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