For the last few months, I have parked myself in John 17, the prayer the disciples overheard Jesus praying the night He was betrayed. The truly stunning element to this prayer is that facing the horror of His arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death, as well as the subsequent fear, grief, and confusion that would overwhelm His disciples, Jesus prayed for them. And for me. And for you.
First, Jesus is praying for our focus to remain fixed on our relationship with Him. He knows it’s easy for us to slip into focusing on our pain or problems or politics; on our health or home; on our circumstances or crisis; on our finances or family; on COVID and the vaccine. He begins His prayer addressing the Almighty God of the Universe…the One associated with fire, lightning, thunder, awesome displays of power…as Father. While He is not equating God with your father or mine, He is emphasizing that you and I can have a personal relationship with God. The apostle Paul further confirms the personal relationship by saying we can call God, “Abba”<1> …Daddy. So in these troubled times stay focused on your relationship with God and His relationship with you. He loves you! He is your Father and you are His beloved child!
Secondly, Jesus prays that you and I would be faithful to His Word when He says, “I gave them the Word you have given Me and they’ve received them.” Our faith does not rest on our circumstances or problems or what somebody has said or the opinions of others. It does not rest in our feelings or in what’s swirling on around us. It does not rest on what we can see, feel, taste, touch, or smell. Our faith is to be firmly fixed on the Word of God. The most important thing you and I can do today is to stay in God’s Word yourself, live it out in obedience, then share what it says with others. So don’t grow weary in well doing. Join me in recommitting to reading, studying, applying, obeying, loving and teaching God’s Word!
Thirdly, Jesus prays for our future: “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 because You loved Me before the creation of the world.” As our world personally, nationally, and globally, seems to be falling apart, I long to see Jesus. I long for the world to see Him as He is—in glory and power. I long for Him to come back to rule in righteousness, justice, and peace. But at the end of this prayer, we discover that Jesus also has intense longings. He longs to come back. He longs to see us. He’s yearning to be with His followers and for us to see Him in His glory. At any moment, the sky is going to unfold. We’re going to hear the blast of the trumpet. Jesus Himself will descend with a loud shout and those of us who are alive on earth are going to be caught up to live with Him forever in His heavenly home.<2> On that day we’re going to see Him in His glory, seated on the throne of heaven, surrounded by millions of angels. And down here where increasingly we’re not allowed to even say His name…down here where His name is blasphemed and profaned, denied and disputed… one day His name is going to resound throughout the universe. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive all power and wisdom and glory and wealth”<3>… and the whole universe will rock in acclamation of the name that is above every name. At His name every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess He is Lord and He is King.<4> And on that day when we’re surrounded by millions of angels and redeemed humanity and we’re worshipping the Lamb who sits on the throne, you are going to look around and see people who are there because of your faithfulness to serve Him here!
Praise God! Stay focused on your relationship with Him, rest your faith firmly on His Word that you continue to share with others, and look forward to the future. The best is yet to come!
And remember, Jesus is praying for you.
Anne Graham Lotz
In Jesus In Me, revered evangelist and Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz guides us to a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, who is Jesus without skin.
In this practical study that is a true Bible study, Anne starts with a workshop on how to get to know the Holy Spirit by listening to him when we’re studying the Bible. Then, we apply the skills of asking and listening as we work through five Bible studies per week on selected Scriptures about the Holy Spirit.
<1> Romans 8:15
<2> 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
<3> Revelation 5:12-13
<4> Philippians 2:9-11