"I'm praying for You"
Jesus prayed for his disciples.
Use your own hands and a picture of praying hands.
"I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours." John 17:9 (NIV)
What comes to your mind when you see someone with their hands together like this? How about when you see a picture like this? That's right, you immediately think of prayer, don't you? How often do you think we should pray? Once a day? Before meals? Before we go to bed at night? What do you think we should pray for?
The Bible doesn't tell us exactly when to pray, but it does teach us how to pray. One day, Jesus' disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. I am sure you know what he said. In fact, we can probably all say it by heart. "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Continue to the end.)
We usually call that "The Lord's Prayer," but it is really a model prayer that Jesus taught so that we would know how to pray to the Father. I like to think that the real "Lord's Prayer" is the prayer that Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified. Jesus knew that he would be returning to heaven and that his disciples would be left behind. He prayed that as they lived in the world, they would not become part of the world. He did not want them to become stained by the wickedness and evil that was in the world. He wanted them to remain faithful to God and to what they had learned while Jesus was with them on earth. He wanted them to know his love and to share that love with others.
Here are the things that Jesus prayed for his disciples:
- That they would be one as he and the Father were one
- That God would protect them from the evil one
- That they would be made holy by the truth of God's Word
The prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples is for us too. He said, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message." That's you and me! We must live in this world, and Jesus prays that we might remain faithful to his teaching so that the world will know that God sent his Son and that God loves them.
Our Father, as we live in this world, help us to remain separate from the world. Help us to be faithful to your Word and, in so doing, to show your love to the world. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.