I am totally convinced that nothing worthwhile and lasting can be accomplished without prayer and with prayer nothing is impossible! That is one of the reasons that I am a part of the ministry of Breakout Prayer Network www.bpnradio.com a 24/7/365 Internet Radio Station that has as its primary function to call the nation to prayer. Charles Spurgeon said, “Some brethren pray by the yard, but true prayer is measured by weight, and not by length.” I believe that is correct! It is not the length of your prayer but the weight of your prayer. It is not your using vain repetitions but the how deeply it moves you within that is the most important.
In John 17, we have the Greatest Prayer ever recorded in the Prayer of Jesus for Himself, His disciples, and all believers. It is brief but the awesomeness is breathtaking. There are 650 definite prayers in the Bible and not one of them comes close to this prayer. I believe it is the Greatest Prayer ever prayed but what makes it so? What sets this prayer apart from all the other prayers of the Bible? Although I will not attempt to be thoroughly detailed I will highlight a few reasons for you to consider and hope they benefit and inspire you in your Walk, Work, and Warfare in Christ.
- It Is Great Because of WHO Prayed It.
I hold the view that if Jesus prays something it must be very important. He is not only God’s Son but He is God the Son. He is the eternal God who came to earth in human form, lived a sinless life, offered Himself as our substitute, paid the price for our redemption, rose from the dead, and is now ascended to the Right Hand of the Throne of God making intercession for us. John 20 reminds us of the purpose of the recorded miracles and signs of Jesus was that “you believe that Jesus is the Christ…” I believe that is a reason that John included this prayer in His gospel.
Only the Son of God could ask the Father to GLORIFY HIM. Moses asked to SEE God’s Glory but Jesus RECEIVED God’s Glory. Jesus identified that this was the Glory that He had BEFORE THE WORLD WAS when He was with the Father. Jesus knew He was one with the Father and the way He prayed indicated that He was God. He prayed saying FATHER but told us to pray saying OUR FATHER.
Jesus prayer was an example for us. There are 19 recorded instances of Jesus praying, but why would God pray? Jesus was our example for living and everything He did as a man and for man was in total dependence upon the Father, so He prayed! If Jesus needed to pray HOW MUCH MORE DO WE?
- Consider the Situation at the Time of the Prayer.
Jesus was about to go to the Cross. He had just finished giving His disciples detailed and in-depth instruction [John 13-16] and now He prays this prayer. His prayer reminds us that Prayer and the Word of God are inseparably joined. If we have all Word and no Prayer, we have Truth but no Power. We are light but not heat. If we have all Prayer and no Word we are in danger of becoming harmful fanatics. Heat but no light. A Proper balance is necessary for us to fulfill our mission, commission, and ministry on this earth.
2 Samuel 12:23 – “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.” In Acts 20:32 we read, “And now I commend you to God (PRAYER) and to the Word of His Grace, which is able to build you up.” In Acts 6:4, the disciples understood the importance of prayer saying, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
Jesus prayed for Himself as He was facing the trial of the Cross. Jesus began His ministry praying, continued praying, lived praying, and died praying. In praying for Himself He prayed for us. I ask you to consider some parallels regarding prayer. Abraham interceded for Sodom but Jesus interceded for the entire world. Moses interceded for the nation of Israel and even offered to die for them, Jesus died for the entire world. Solomon prayed a long prayer in his dedication of the Temple but Jesus’ prayer meant the creation of a Spiritual Temple and the birth of the Church. Phillips Brooks wrote, “Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.”
I want to say more but realize that time and space is limited. I hope you grasp the importance of prayer and consider this prayer’s spiritual revelation. I pray that it will inspire and encourage you to carefully evaluate the words of Jesus and realize that it is God the Son praying for humanity and focusing on us in the shadows of His greatest time of testing, the Cross.
God, bless you and we will pick up here next time. Have a Fantastic Day is my desire and prayer!