I’ll admit it. Throughout my Christian life I have often lacked genuine childlike faith in my prayers and petitions to the Heavenly Father. How about you? I would frequently complicate something He meant to be very simple. Am I praying according to His will? Am I asking for something “I” desire but He does not want me to have? Am I self-focused? Is my prayer worded correctly? Am I attempting to fashion a favorable outcome to my specific request by manipulating my circumstances?
I have never been into the “name it” and “claim it” business. That, in my humble opinion, is not genuine faith. Rather, it’s a form of positive confession that has a exclusive focus on good, positive, and favorable results. If blessings do not come your way, then you simply lack the faith to make it happen.That is a miscarriage of God’s truth.
As I’ve grown in the Christian faith, more and more my approach to prayer is to trust our Sovereign God to do what is right and best, regardless of the outcome. Time and time again, I conclude my petition by simply saying “Thy will be done”. If you think about it, this approach to prayer requires faith. It requires letting go of our will or our desire, submitting to God, and loving Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind. We can rest in the fact that His perfect and divine will is always the very best thing, even if we do not agree or understand it.
My prayers are not always perfect, but when I read a prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, I perk up. I never doubt His motive. I do not doubt that His prayer is right on target. I do not question His purpose or plan. And I do not doubt the effectiveness of His prayer. Were you aware that He specifically prayed for unity in the body of Christ? He did.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:20-23).
Nuggets of Truth from His Prayer
1. Jesus is praying for all who would believe on Him through their word. That’s me! That’s you! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, specifically prayed for us.
2. He prayed that we (all true believers
) would be one. But notice He prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. How do you suppose Jesus the Son and God the Father are one? Will they ever be separated? Will the Godhead ever have separate agendas? I am certainly not suggesting we will be Divine and always think, say, and do the same thing, but I am saying we are the family of God and are bound together in the unbreakable union of Christ. Unity is maintained when we keep our focus on that reality. We are one in Christ. Jesus prayed for it and by faith in Him it happened. We are one.
3. The glory which God the Father gave to God the Son has been given to us. What glory? The answer is found in John 17:10. “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” Jesus is in you. You are one with God the Father and fellow believers through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. I say again, Jesus is in you. We can each proclaim: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Ephesians 1:3).
4. The world will “…know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” The power of our unity is a visible testimony to the world that Jesus has come, that God loves us, and that God the Father loves God the Son, Jesus Christ. Perhaps our ineffectiveness and lack of power to witness is because of so much division, arguing, and strife. The lost world does not believe us. Our message of hope and love through Christ is tainted by our carnal behavior. We must prayerfully endeavor to love one another as Christ has loved us if we wish to ever have true power in our witness for Him.
The solution for maintaining unity is a constant gaze on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we love and know Him, He is able to love through us. Our unity is real.