I love to hear awesome testimonies. Testimonies of lives that have been transformed. Perhaps an atheist who now loves and serves Jesus. Or a former inmate changed by the power of the cross. Or an alcoholic set free. Or a person’s hopelessness turned to hope.
Testimonies like this warm our hearts, don’t they?
I never met Doris Van Stone, but I read her book Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved. A truly inspiring story. Dorie was abused and neglected as a child. Abandoned by her mom. Lived in one orphanage after another. She never knew unconditional love. That is until the day she met Jesus Christ and invited Him to be her Lord. Though the abuse and neglect didn’t stop that day, she was transformed. And a new road put before her.
She now travels the world telling her story and spreading the love of Jesus.
No one has a perfect life. In fact, many believers who speak publicly come from dysfunctional backgrounds. But they often tell of someone in their life who prayed for them when they were young. Maybe it was a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, Sunday School teacher, neighbor, or someone else.
They will often attribute their Christian ideals to a prayer warrior who never stopped praying for them, even if it looked hopeless.
As Christians, we know there is always hope.
Can you think of someone who prayed for you? If so, thank God for that person who saw your worth. Thank the Lord for that beautiful gift.
But for those who can’t think of one person that may have prayed for them, I have good news for you: You have been prayed for. And the prayers were uttered long before you entered this world. This prayer warrior is JESUS Himself and He’s still praying for you.
Do I hear an AMEN?
In the gospel accounts, we notice that Jesus frequently prays. Sometimes He goes off to a solitary place to pray and other times, He instructs His disciples about prayer. He was also known to speak to the crowds about prayer.
But there is one passage that stands apart from the others. It’s where Jesus actually prays and we hear what He’s saying. The dialogue in found in John 17. You may want to read this passage.
It had been a long day and night for the disciples. After dinner with Jesus, they left the Upper Room and headed toward the Garden of Gethsemane. Trekking along cobblestone streets through the dark night, Jesus continued the Kingdom truths He began earlier that evening. Somewhere along the way, they stopped, and Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed.
A beautiful prayer!
He saw a future they could not see. He knew that life would be difficult for them once He was gone and they were left to fulfill the Great Commission. They would be persecuted because He was persecuted (John 15:20).
So, He prayed for them. A true INTERCESSOR.
But the beautiful part about this prayer is that it’s not just for the disciples. Jesus prayed this for you. And for me. Listen to what He says: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (John 17:20).
Jesus knew long ago that it would be hard for us to always believe. He could see the difficulties we would face. He knew that our faith would be tested, our foundation rocked, and our enemy hot on our tail. He knew that life would not be easy. We would have doubts. We would battle demons. And we would feel the weight of our Christianity sometimes.
So, He prayed for us! He interceded on our behalf.
Does this comfort you?
I just read through Jesus’ prayer in John 17 again. Here are a few things He prayed…
- That we would know Him as the one true God (verse 3);
- That God would protect us by the power of His name (verse 11);
- That we may be one with the Father as Jesus is one with Him (verse 11);
- That we may have the full measure of joy (verse 13);
- That God would protect us from the evil one (verse 15);
- That we would be sanctified by the truth (verse 17)
- That we would be brought to complete unity (verse 23);
- That we would see His glory (verse 24).
This prayer certainly shows the love Jesus has for His people. A love so deep that He longs for us to remain faithful and true to Him.
I’ve often wondered what the disciples were thinking as they listened to Jesus pray. I’m not sure they could comprehend the far-reaching impact this prayer would have on them and future believers. It is, however, their eyewitness account that helps to sustain our faith. It doesn’t just sustain our faith, but this prayer springs our faith into action.
Let me encourage you to follow Jesus’ example and pray for others. In fact, a prayer spoken has much more influence upon a person’s life than any lecture or heartfelt advice. Sharing advice or wisdom can be helpful, but a prayer carries more weight because the person or situation has been surrendered to God.
One time I heard a speaker share about how she prayed when her son brought a girl home to meet the family – a girl she thought was the wrong person for her son. She said, “I would love her into our home, but pray her out of his life.”
It’s always a safer pathway to pray, rather than to speak our minds when emotions are running wild.
The prayer recorded in John 17 is a tool we can also use to pray for our loved ones. Write down the main points above and insert your loved ones’ names. Using Jesus’ words as your prayer will give you peace of mind and hope for tomorrow.