“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”
When Jesus went off to quiet places early in the morning to pray, what did he pray about? If you could have been close enough to cup your ear, what would you have heard him say to his Father? What was on his heart and, for that matter, the heart of his Father?
If we could find out, don’t you think it would change the way we pray? The way we live? Well, we don’t have to guess what Jesus discussed in prayer. We already know. The entire seventeenth chapter of John’s gospel reads like a secret recording, a word-for-word transcript of the Lord’s prayer life. And guess what was on his mind? You and I!
Jesus devoted the major portion of his great intercessory prayer to us. He prays that we might know God in the fullest sense. That we might obey and understand and accept his word. He prays for certainty and assurance. For our protection and unity. He prays for our joy. Our sanctification. Our zeal in witnessing.
I could go on, but you can read it for yourself in John 17. Isn’t it poignant that as Jesus faced a torturous death, He did not think of Himself but of us?
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:20-21).
If the Lord had others on his mind when he spoke to the Father, shouldn’t we pray the same? Jot down a list of names of people you know and then open up your Bible to John 17. Pray for these loved ones, using the same wisdom (perhaps even the same words) as the Lord. And praise God that this is the way Jesus, our great Intercessor, prays for you.
As you live to intercede, Lord, let me live to intercede, as well.