John 17

Scripture

John 17:20-21
“My prayer is not for [the Disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you”. 

Observation

Because of his faithfulness to tarry with Jesus during His hour of decision at Gethsemane, John is privy to one of the most private and intimate moments of Jesus’ life as he witnesses Jesus praying for Himself, His disciples and for the believers that will come

Understanding

These verses, as well as others such as Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25, remind me that Jesus not only prayed for me when He was on earth but He also continues to intercede for me in Heaven. Though His atonement on the Cross is a finished work, Jesus is continually making intercession for me in Heaven; not for my salvation – for that work was accomplished at Calvary and imbued to when I was made alive to the gospel by Holy Spirit – but for my sanctification and in my defense against the Accuser who would slander me before the Throne of God. Because Jesus prays to the Father on my behalf, I have the hope of receiving strength when I am weak, comfort when I am hurting, peace when I am troubled, wisdom when I need counsel, faith when I am doubting and healing when I am sick. Because Jesus lives to intercede for me, I can accept Paul’s invitation to, “…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that [I] may receive mercy and find grace to help [me] in [my] time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)

Life Application

If I am “In Christ” and am being made into the image of Christ, then I should be emulating my Saviors ministry of intercession. Lord, inspire me to pray for the lost and hurting; for my family, friends and neighbors; for my pastors and leaders; and for my city, nation and the world. As I am impacted by the events and issues of the day may my first reaction be prayer and intercession. Help me to capture your heart for people and circumstances so that I may pray not only with power and purpose, but also with compassion, grace and mercy. May my prayers originate from Your throne so that as You answer them I may see Your will done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
 
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-Gary Parker