Weekly Devotion - Dec 20, 2017

“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,’”

(John 17:1)

Scripture Reading – Matthew 6:5-15

The hour had come. Think about that for a moment. How would you have felt? Jesus knows that the countdown has reached zero. This is the whole reason He came. Although the path before Him was leading to the Cross, He knows that on the other side glory awaits. Jesus kept one mission always before Him: Committing Himself to the Father, knowing that the Father would be glorified by glorifying the Son. So at this crucial moment, Jesus turned to prayer.

Prayer is an essential part of doing the greater works that Jesus wants us to do. As we’ve seen, without Christ working through us, we can’t produce fruit. Prayer connects us to Christ through dependency, because we acknowledge that apart from Him we can do nothing. Remember, during the course of the night, Jesus repeatedly told His disciples to ask and it will be done for them. Today these verses are often pulled out of context by naming and claiming material blessings in Jesus’ Name. Jesus challenges us to boldly pray so that the greater works will happen through us. Not only did Jesus command His disciples to pray, He now gave them an example of a prayer that they should pray. Jesus prayed that the Father’s plan of salvation would be fulfilled.

In light of Jesus’ command for us to “ask so that it will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” it’s crucial to look at what Jesus prayed. He prayed that the Father would be glorified through the Son. Even though Jesus knew that the cross awaited Him, and that soon He would be humiliated, scorned, and subjected to excruciating torture and death, He didn’t pray for these things to be lessened. Instead, He prayed that the Father would be glorified. And how was the Father to be glorified? It’s through the Son’s fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation. Jesus’ utmost concern was always for His Father’s glory. And the Father is glorified through the repentance of lost souls. This is a principle that Jesus has consistently taught. In the Lord’s Prayer, He taught that we are to first pray that the Father’s Name be made holy and that His kingdom will come. This happens when rebellious men and women turn from their sins and worship God. It’s only after we pray for the implementation of the Father’s plan of salvation, that we turn our attention to our physical needs. There is nothing greater to be prayed for than the Father’s glory. This should be the most important thing you bring in prayer to the heavenly throne of God.

Jesus not only taught us about prayer, He modeled it. It was Jesus’ regular practice to go away and spend time alone with the Father, because He longed for the intimate fellowship with the Father, that made His prayer life so powerful. As a husband longs to hear His wife’s voice, so too the Son longed to hear His Father’s voice. Jesus was given a difficult, yet crucial task, by the Father to fulfill: bearing the sins of the world on the Cross. It was a crushing task. Without complete surrender to the Father, the Son would not have been able to go through with it. Even in Gethsemane, Jesus repeatedly asked for this cup of suffering to be taken from Him. Once again, however, we see that Jesus is victorious because He brought the weight of this task before the Father in prayer. If the Son of God needed to continually pray to the Father so that He might faithfully fulfill the Father’s will, how much more do we? You can come before the throne of God any time and in any place, asking the Father to glorify His Name through you, as you reach souls. You can ask Him to do even greater works through you. And you can pray with complete confidence, knowing that He will always answer your prayer. Have you developed the discipline of prayer?

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