The Holy Gospel: May 20, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  John 17:6-19

Meditation:  “Christ is Praying for You!”

Jesus had just declared victory (16:33), and the very next thing he did was to pray.  In many respects this is the Lord’s prayer; it is surely his high-priestly prayer.

As far as we can tell, he prayed the prayer outloud in the presence of those who had gathered with him in the upper room.  This means they heard him as he prayed for them.

And what a prayer it was!  They must surely have left a little while later inspired and deeply moved by what he said about them.

You should not leave this blog posting without realizing you too are prayed for.  Jesus says as much in   John 17:20, and then in three additional passages (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25 and 9:24) we learn that he is now at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding for us!

I have met people who have told me they don’t know if anyone has ever prayed for them.  It has been my joy to introduce them to these four passages, and to the Christ who prays for them—for us—for everyone!  It has been a moving experience for me and for them to be able to say, “At this very moment, Christ is praying for you!”

I cannot predict what kind of effect this knowledge will have on you, or what kind of experience it will evoke.  But I know this much—you can put away once and for all any notion of being unprayed for.  In a way we cannot fully understand, the ascended Christ is fulfilling his priestly ministry in the presence of God—the ministry of praying for us.

It puts a whole new meaning to the words we sing, “What a friend we have in Jesus!”

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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