Posted by: mikenicholsblog | November 16, 2014

a prayer meeting

It has happened to all of us.  A meeting is going to take place and we want to know what will be said, plus we want to know all of the important information about the meeting.  The meeting could be job related, or it could be a church leadership meeting.  On a more global scale, we would all like to know the content of any meeting that affects our country, our personal rights and our religious freedom.  We’re all inquisitive about meetings that could in some way impact our life.  It doesn’t matter if the effect is large or small; it concerns us.  We want to know what was said.  You have probably even said, “I would like to be a fly on the wall during that meeting”.   Consider with me the content of an interesting meeting (prayer meeting, that is) that took place close to the end of Jesus’ earthly life.  Consider it in the context of the power that it has to impact our lives.

With the narrative having been recorded (John 17), we all have the privilege to be a fly on the wall for this particular “meeting” Jesus had with the Father. We are blessed to be able to look at the words of the prayer, study their meaning and gain an incredible picture of how Christ related to the Father plus see what was on His heart in those final hours before heading to the cross.  The words are simple, yet profound, and what an amazing privilege to pour over them word by word.

In this magnificent passage, you can hear what Christ prayed for Himself, for his disciples and all of those who would come to faith in the years to come.  His prayer was specific and full of meaningful content.  I find it quite interesting that Jesus chose to let us in on some very personal, powerful moments that He spent with the Father before He would willingly suffer and die on the cross for the sins of all mankind.

John 17 is known as the “high priestly prayer” of Jesus.  Warren Wiersbe, in his commentary Be Transformed, paints a far better picture of this chapter than I ever could.

“Whether He prayed it in the Upper Room or en-route to the Garden, this much is sure: it is the greatest prayer ever prayed on earth and the greatest prayer recorded anywhere in Scripture.  John 17 is certainly the ‘holy of holies’ of the Gospel record, and we must approach this chapter in a spirit of humility and worship.  To think that we are privileged to listen in as God the Son converses with His Father just as He is about to give His life as a ransom for sinners!”

A prayer so incredible is worthy of more than just a cursory reading, but most Christ-followers find themselves doing just that.  Reading the powerful words and not allowing them to settle into the very center of your true self would be a waste of a sacred opportunity.  We should be just as interested as we are in those “meetings” that affect our lives in other ways.  We don’t have to worry about the content or secrecy of this meeting because we have been given full access.

At Journey onWord, we have decided to give this chapter special attention.  Our reading format for this week is singularly focused. John 17 is the assignment every day.  A prayer so powerful should be carefully examined.  Even if you don’t normally follow our reading schedule, would you turn your heart to this one single chapter for the next several days? With a heart which is open to listen, you will meet Christ in the words of His prayer and be better for it.  You may read the full prayer every day or break it into sections, it doesn’t matter to us.  Simply block out all other distractions and spend this week solely focused on this intimate and sacred prayer of the Son of God to his Father in heaven.  We cannot wait to see what it might mean to the forward trajectory of your life!  May your week become strong!


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