MONDAY // READ
I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
Now I’m returning to you.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
g the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
TUESDAY // ON OUR BEHALF
To have Christ pray for us it’s well, I don’t know if weird is the right word for it but different definitely is. When we talk about prayer we usually think of it as us praying to God. We ask God for many things, we thank God for many things, we praise God, we offer supplication for others to Him but have you ever stopped to think how these prayers get to Him. Who are we that God would listen to us, an unrighteous bunch of hoodlums? Is it not through grace that God offers a way to Him? Is it not through Christ that we have a way to God and maybe that includes prayer? Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that God hears the prayer of one who doesn’t believe, follow or has doubts, but even then I believe that’s possible by the saving grace of Jesus.
We can pray for others and in fact, we should, but to have Jesus pray on our behalf!? Imagine that! How comforting that is; to have our Savior pray for us-to find the words to say when we cannot, to intercede for us because without him, we aren’t worthy to approach God on our own at all (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25). When we pray we should be mindful of the cost it took for us to do so.
Now in this passage what is it that Jesus prays for? First, he defines who are his. He talks about how his followers believe that everything that is of his is that of God the Father. They believe that Jesus was sent by God and they are now able to display his life in their life. Jesus prays not for the world but for those that are his. He asks not to take them out of the world but that the Father would guard them against the Evil One. In other words, we, who believe, will experience pain and trouble but we have a source of strength that is ours to tap into and Jesus asks God to make it so. This prayer comes about, we see half way through the passage, because Jesus is about to leave his disciples and return to the Father. In many ways, he’s concerned for them. He wants to make sure that they are looked after because he cares for them, he cares for us.
Lastly, Jesus asks that they be made holy as he is holy; that the truth that he is, that they will become that same truth. Jesus consecrates or blesses or dedicates himself so that his followers will be him while he’s away. That through the Holy Spirit that dwells in each believer of Christ, Jesus is, in a way, still here. Can Christians be Christ to the world who hates him? Can the Church provide the hope that Heaven promises? Well, with Jesus interceding for us, then yes, I believe it can!
WEDNESDAY // CHALLENGE
There are many things we can pull from this passage to challenge ourselves with. If we are to model ourselves after Christ and he prays for us, how are we praying for others? Are we even praying for others? Are we even praying at all? Do we get in this mindset that: I’ve tried that, I’ve prayed and nothing seems to happen, so I’ve kind of just given up on this whole prayer thing? Maybe it’s not that prayer doesn’t work but maybe we are not aligned with what God is doing. We have to be careful how we pray. Do we pray with only the things we have in mind without trying to understand what God may want?
There are many things we do as a church; we sing, we study the Bible, we have VBS, we go to camp but the one thing Jesus stresses to us, as a church, is to pray. He has said that his church should be a house of prayer. It really makes sense when we stop and think about it. If each church is God’s church, should we not go to him in all things we do? As those who belong to Christ, should we not go to him in all things as individuals? Probably, but once again do we?
So let this be our challenge for not only this week but throughout our lives that we become a people of prayer, that we acknowledge the One who can do all things, so he can do all things through us!
THURSDAY // REFLECT
FRIDAY // PRAY
Some times when we don’t know what to pray, pray the scriptures:
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: you have enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.