There are many aspects to prayer, but the beginning place of learning is the “Our Father”, the model of prayer that Jesus taught His disciples.
The Lord’s Prayer
In John 17 we have recorded for us the words Jesus used when He prayed the night before He died. While the “Our Father” is popularly called The Lord’s Prayer, it is in reality, a model prayer that Jesus gave in response to the disciples’ question about prayer. John 17 would be more appropriately titled “The Lord’s Prayer.”
This chapter is ordinarily divided into three sections: Jesus’ prayer for Himself (1-5); His prayer for His disciples (6-19); and His prayer for all believers (20-26). I find it instructive to look at the specific requests Jesus made to the Father from the entire chapter.
Glorify your son (1); keep them in your name (11); Keep them from the evil one (15); Sanctify them (17). Everything else is what He wanted as a result of His prayer–unity, joy, sanctification, and love. Unity, of course, is the one most often mentioned in this passage.
Let’s look at the four things Jesus requested.
Jesus prayed for the ‘big picture’ first, and then asked for each of the necessary details in succession of need. In other words, if taken from the last to the first, there is a progression that reveals the unity of the requests.
Sanctify them. Make them separate from the world; different from all others; holy.
In order for that to happen, they must be kept from the evil one. Most texts have ‘one‘ in italics, showing that it is not in the original manuscripts. Therefore, it would read, ‘Keep them from evil.’ Becoming holy is keeping, or being kept from association with evil.
Since I cannot do this in my own strength, I must be kept by the power of God, or, kept in His name.
If I am sanctified by an outward agency, and therefore kept from evil and hidden in His name, then I will glorify the Son.
Don’t we all want to be in the place where we glorify God?
Glory is the magnificence, the splendor, fame, honor, or renown of something. One of its major meanings is ‘reflection.’
This is the time of year when we begin to receive a multitude of catalogs showing us all the things we didn’t know we needed. Those things are presented in a glorious fashion. They are reflected to us in full color on glossy, shiny paper.
We are God’s catalog to the world. The world should be looking at the catalog and thinking, “I really need that!”
Another contributor to this study has pointed out how the world is getting a wrong concept of God, not from us, but from the world and its systems. Shouldn’t the world be getting its concept from us?
If we are the answer to The Lord’s Prayer–if we are God’s catalog of what it looks like to be loved, accepted, unified, and glorified–then what is my part? I am one of the pictures on the page of my neighbor’s catalog of God’s supply.
Do they want to buy?
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