Prayer is like breathing. If you breathe, you should pray. Jesus taught that we should always pray and not faint (Luke 18:1).
Christians the world over identify Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 as the Lord’s Prayer. You would not be wrong in doing the same. I look at the prayer found in the above references as the model prayer that Jesus gave us so that we would have a framework of what an effective prayer is, and I personally look at John 17 as Christ’s prayer for me, primarily as it relates to my life as a believer. Here is a small portion of that prayer:
“1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:1-2, kjv).
Jesus had recently finished teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit and told of His coming death and resurrection (as found in John 16). John 17:1-5 records the Lord’s Prayer for Himself, that God would honor Him even as He would bring honor to God. Jesus, while preparing for what He would soon face, gave a final report of progress on the earth. In particular, He prayed for a restoration to the glory He had with the Father “before the world was” (verse 5).
Verses six through 19 records the Lord’s Prayer for His disciples that, as they would be sent into the world, God would protect them from the evil of the world through the truth of God’s word. Jesus reported to the Father that none was lost, “except the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled” (verse 12, referring to Judas). Christ prayed in confidence that His disciples would further accomplish His God-given mission on the earth.
Verses 20 through 26 focuses on the Lord’s Prayer for all believers (those who would believe through the gospel declared). Jesus prayed a prayer of blessing upon us. That’s exciting! He prayed that we might all be one, as He and the Father are one, and that we may be able to one day be where He is, and behold His glory. What a great day that will be!
In this passage, Jesus not only prayed for us, but he also gave us a great example of how to pray. As Christ prayed for Himself, His disciples, and all believers, I encourage you to follow the same example in your prayer life. Make this prayer your prayer, and watch the results of how the blessings of God will begin to affect your life and the lives of others around you.
There is nothing wrong with praying for oneself. Besides God, who knows your needs better than you? In following the Lord’s example, continue to pray for those you lead and influence, and keep your family and friends in prayer. Whether you recognize it or not, your influence runs wider, and your impact becomes far greater than you can imagine when you pray for others.
Make a point to pray for all believers around the world. In America, we enjoy freedoms that Christians in other places of the world do not. Keep them and their families in your hearts and minds, and call them out in prayer often. May God bless you this week, and every week!
Author, speaker, musician DEREK E. EURALES, Jr., loves to share his faith, motivation, and music. His book, Principles of Christian Living, has become a “must read” for believers of all ages. To order your copy, click here.