Prayer in the Life of Jesus
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
Over these few days, we continue to 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 His disciples, for us and for the world. Jesus prays…
Connect the Heart
Truth is under attack in today’s culture. The most common belief seems to be that truth is whatever you believe it to be. The Bible says otherwise. Jesus says otherwise. In this prayer to His Father, Jesus acknowledges that the world will hate His followers because His followers will stand in the truth – which stands against the moral relativism of the culture. We should not be surprised either that truth is under attack, or that we are hated when we stand for truth. Jesus asks the Father to “sanctify” us in the truth of His Word – an often-repeated request of Jesus. Sanctify means to become or make holy – and to be set apart from the world.
In our churches today, God is alive and well – yet, sadly, fewer people are listening to God than at any time in our recent past. A recent study by authors James Patterson and Peter Kim (The Day America Told the Truth) concluded that while ninety percent of people questioned said they believe in God, the vast majority simply do not turn to God or faith to help them decide on moral issues of the day. Most people do not even know their church’s positions on important issues, and only one in 10 believe all of the Ten Commandments. Hard to comprehend, but most people now choose which Commandments to believe and which ones not to believe.
Jesus asks His Father to sanctify us in the truth. The heartbeat of His prayer is that the church of Jesus Christ would be holy… sanctified… set apart. That must be our prayer as well.
Reflect on the Truth
1. Jesus is interceding continually before the Father on our behalf – and praying that we would be holy and set apart from the world. Is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – reflecting this desire of Jesus? How might Jesus’ prayer be an invitation for you to experience more intimacy with Him?
2. What are some areas of your life that the Holy Spirit might be prompting you to consider where you may not be living as “set apart” or sanctified in the truth? How might you offer these areas to Jesus in prayer to allow His sanctifying work to begin to transform your thoughts, feelings, desires and choices?
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 truly want to be sanctified in the truth – and live a life that is more set apart than I’m currently living. It’s so difficult. I’m not able to do this on my own. Please help me.”) 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 we would be in the world but not of the world. Pray for our church that we would be a people that passionately seeks out the truth and lives according to it.
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.