Praying like Jesus

August 26, 2010

Sometimes I get a bit self-centered in my prayers.  “God, I’m outta work here…God I need…God I want…God help me…Gimme. gimme, gimme!  I think you get the picture.  If I’m not mistaken we all get that way once in a while.  Which is why it is so wonderful (You may have a better adjective, please share it.) to see Jesus praying for himself.

Looking at John 17, my NIV even hilights this fact; the chapter header is right there in bold type:  Jesus prays for himself.  “1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

Now, its not that I would pray those words for myself, but the fact that Jesus starts his prayer with a request on his own behalf, is facinating – and encouraging. 

Of course we could learn a lot from his opening words.  If we pray, and really mean it, that Christ be glorified, it might actually change the prayers we were going to pray.  Sometimes we need to change the focuse off of ourselves for a few moments. 

I remember a comedy sketch from thirty years ago called Big George, Little god, or something like that.  In this sketch, George, complains that if he were God things would certainly be different, including free beer!   And God grants his request and puts George in charge.  Well in the end George almost destroys the world, (and alientes brewery workers everywhere) and realises that he should let God be God, and he would be content as little George.

When God the son begins his prayers for himself – for Jesus to be glorified, I think we can learn from it.  Not to pray that we be glorified, but that we start our prayers asking that God be glorified in our life.

Of course Jesus doesn’t end there.  By the time this chapter is over Jesus has actually prayed for me!  And you!  There is so much to learn in John 17.  I think I’ll hang out there a while. 

Sorry, no free beer.

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