Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 39

Prayers of Intercession continued...

There is a third thing Jesus prayed for in His prayer of intercession for those whom the Father had given Him, and that is unity.

John 17:20-23, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

It is doubtful that a more beautiful prayer of intercession has ever been prayed on behalf of the Saints than the prayer which Christ prayed. Not only did Jesus pray for our protection, not only did He pray for our sanctification, He also prayed for our unity.

Jesus foresaw the dangers of division long before division became the bane of the church. He foresaw the enemy’s desire to divide and conquer the household of faith, and He prayed to the Father that all who believe in Him might be made one as He and the Father are one.

If you’ve ever seen a documentary on predators, you already know how a predator hunts. He begins by chasing the entire herd, whether it’s buffalo, deer, zebra, wildebeest, or waterbuck, causing them to scatter. After the predator succeeds in scattering the herd, he picks off the slowest, or closest to it, and the prey is easily felled.

Our enemy works in much the same manner, desiring to scatter the flock of Christ, then proceeding to pick off the weakest of the lot, methodically felling all those whose armor is not on, who are not prayed up, and who have abandoned the safety of fellowship.

The enemy has been at it a long time, and he has perfected his craft. When we underestimate the enemy we face, or the success of the methodology he implements, we run the risk of being caught up in his snare, and overcome because we did not give our adversary enough credit, and thought him ineffective. Men of war the world over have learned never to underestimate their enemy, and this is doubly true for the children of God, because we already know our enemy is committed, persistent, motivated, and ruthless.

1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Wise words and wise counsel from a man who was caught up to the third heaven, and who experienced the power of God in a way few have had the privilege of doing.

Christ prayed for our unity. He prayed prayers of intercession to the Father that He might make us one in Him, so we might be stronger, bearing each other’s burdens, and being there for each other in whatever capacity we might be needed.

In His prayer Jesus also said that He has given us the glory which the Father had given Him. We were given the distinction that was bestowed upon Christ by the Father, loved of God as Christ was loved of God.

When you start meditating on certain passages, you can’t help but be humbled, and this is one of those passages. The Son of God prayed for us to the Father that we might be one, and He bequeathed His glory to us. Is there anything more humbling than this?

Pray for the unity of the Body just as Christ prayed for the unity of the Body, for when we are divided, divisive, and at odds with each other, the enemy gains ground.

We will need each other in the times to come; we will need the fellowship of the brethren, and the intercessions thereof, because we will not be able to go it alone. Although many still see sunshine and lollipops on the horizon, reality is telling us that the days to come are dark ones for the children of God, and absent the unity Jesus prayed for within His Body, I fear many will be scattered to the wind like so much chaff.

The last thing Jesus prayed for in His prayer of intercession for us is that we might be with Him where He is.

Not only did He pray that we might be protected, sanctified, and united, while we journey through this life, He also prayed that we might be with Him in eternity once this life is over.

John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which you have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

The household of faith must continually be prepared for glory; we must continually be prepared to be where Jesus is. We must live with the expectation of Christ’s return, making certain we are found among the wise virgins whose lamps are lit, who have oil in their vessel, and who are anticipating their Groom.

We get caught up in the things of this life, striving for the worthless while neglecting the priceless, largely due to the fact that we are not living in the mindset of expectancy. The return of Christ is not an imminent reality for us, and so we occupy our time with other things rather than a committed pursuit of a greater knowledge of Him.

May we be wise and prudent in our walk of faith, may we value our relationship with Him above all else, and may we pray prayers of intercession for the household of faith just as Jesus prayed. Yes, we must pray that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ be sovereignly protected, we must pray that they be sanctified, we must pray for the unity of the Body, and we must likewise pray that one day we will all be where Jesus is, beholding His glory.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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