April 2, 2012

Jesus Prays
John 17

I love Jesus so much and that is because He has loved me first. It is His love that allows me to love Him so much. I know I am a Jesus freak but I really don’t mind. That is a title I earned a long time ago and I wear it proudly. In fact, a few minutes ago I stopped typing and shouted “I love You Jesus” about 20 times and Gary just sat there smiling at me. He may not remember a lot about me, but how much I love Jesus he does remember and that is good.

Jesus is about to be arrested and then crucified for our sins and what does He do before all of this occurs? He prays, first for Himself, then for His disciples and then for all the rest of us believers. Now I have written about these prayers many times, but let me tell you for the first time the order of the prayers make a profound difference. Jesus prays for Himself, first!

What I find so profound about that is, how many times do we think it is selfish of us to pray for ourselves and so we pray for others first? I know I do that. Wait…let me clarify this. First, we all enter the prayer, then we usually praise God for hearing our prayer, then we confess our sins, then we give Him our petitions. If we give Him ours, first we feel selfish so we pray for others thinking this will please Him. However, if that order pleased God then that would have been the order in which Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed for Himself first and I think I really understand why. When we pray, God wants us to focus on Him and His presence and the only way we can do that is to center ourselves in the prayer.

By centering ourselves I mean we literally have to go before God and just be still and know He is God, then give to Him what is on our heart. Then when we are done, with a heart that is now lifted up and a bit lighter, we begin to pray for others. Go ahead tonight and give that a try. I did this and I have to tell you, my prayer list got a whole lot longer. Suddenly, I remembered prayers for people whom I had forgotten about or ones I just overheard. It was like God opened up my heart to those who truly needed prayers.

Jesus is heading to Calvary and there is a lot of praying that will be done before that final breath is taken. He starts this journey with a prayer and not just any prayer, but a prayer for Himself. He asked His Father for what He would need to continue this ministry until the end. Let us pray.

Father God, I do pray for myself this day. I pray, Father, that no matter what occurs in my life I will always remember to come to You in prayer and give to You my desires, and trust that You will give me what is needed so I have the energy to pray for others. This I do pray in the Name of Jesus.

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