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Have you received clarity and direction from the Holy Spirit on how He would have you participate in the spiritual discipline of fasting during this 21 Days? For some guidance and ideas, read our post on “Why Fast?”
We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through each prayer guide or devotional. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.
Engage the Word
For the next four days, we will focus on Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17 from the Upper Room, as He prepared to go to the cross, where:
- Jesus prays for God to be glorified (John 17:1-5)
- Jesus prays for His disciples (John 17:6-19)
- Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-26)
Some have called this prayer “the real Lord’s Prayer.” Some have said John 17 may be the greatest chapter in all of the Bible. Here we see the Son of God praying to the Father – not for a city, not for a nation, but for the whole world. And what is amazing is that in this prayer, we are privileged to listen in on communication between the members of the Trinity. Here is the Son talking to the Father – and by the grace of God, to the Holy Spirit as well. There are many benefits in looking into this prayer between the Trinity. One, it reveals Christ’s present work for us, and second it reveals Christ’s perfect will for us.
Let’s look at one part today, and walk through other parts in subsequent days:
17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Connect the Heart
Why do we do what we do? In this prayer, we see the heart of Jesus is that He be glorified in the same way that He was glorified before He left heaven and humbled Himself by coming to earth. Our role as believers in His Church is to glorify our Lord. The word “as” in verse 2 is used by Jesus many times in His High Priestly Prayer. As Jesus glorifies the Father, we are also to glorify Him – and in so doing, we glorify the Father as well. We do this by living with the same divine purpose as Jesus lived – and with the same divine power by which He lived – the Holy Spirit.
Reflect on the Truth
1. Jesus lived with divine purpose and divine power – always to glorify the Father, as well as to be glorified as the divine Son of God. Is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – reflecting this intense motivation to glorify the Son and the Father through the Spirit? How might Jesus’ example of a life of prayer be an invitation for you to experience more intimacy with Him?
2. What are some ways that you can prayerfully consider reorienting your thoughts, your words, your actions – to bring even more glory to our Lord?
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “I have the desire, it’s just that I struggle so much with temptation and sin and the many distractions of life. I simply need your help to even take the next step.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.
For Prayer:As we conclude our devotional time, pray that Jesus would be glorified through each one of us – and ultimately through His Church, and specifically Ascent Church.
Read our post “Why Fast?” to learn about the spiritual discipline of fasting and gain a better understanding of why Jesus asked us to fast. We fast not to get something we want from God, but for God to change our wants. We fast because Jesus fasted, He expected we would fast, and we see that the early church fasted.
Read yesterday’s post HERE.
Catch up on all our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting posts on the blog HERE.