John 17:24 – Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
THEME OF THE DAY: WHEN JESUS’ PRAYER BECOMES OUR PRAYER. Take a quick inventory of our prayer lives. Have we recently prayed like the Lord Jesus in today’s scripture – the petition to see Christ’s glory? Think of our private prayer closets. Are we regularly seeking time alone with the Lord praying in the spiritual way He did? Recall the last time we were so thirsty for God, not for God to do something or give us something, but so desirous of His presence, we said, “No” to the pull of the world and went to our prayer closet to meet the Lord; “No” to allowing worldly entertainment and amusement fill up our available free time and take away precious time to seek His face. And not just in our private times. How is our level of hunger to be in God’s presence with His people? Do we remember a recent time we couldn’t wait and then enjoyed fellowship with our brothers and sisters for an extended time of prayer? It was an extended time sharing our mutual cries to know the Lord more, experience His love deeper, and lift up our shared burdens to the God of all comfort. It was a time we were saddened when it went by so quickly and had to end.
It is without question that the true thermometer to take our spiritual temperature is our prayer lives. So goes our prayer lives, so goes our walk with the Lord Jesus. There is nothing more revealing of our spiritual condition than our prayer lives both individually and with other believers. D. M. Lloyd-Jones, arguably one, if not the greatest of preachers in our generation and whose influence has been and is wide, said, “One of the best ways in which we can test whether we are truly in fellowship and communion with God is to examine our prayer life. How much prayer life is there in my life? How often do I pray; do I find freedom in prayer, do I delight in prayer, or is prayer a wearisome task; do I never know enlargement and liberty in it? The ultimate test of our profession of faith is our prayer life.” And when it comes to the Christian’s prayer life, this spiritual privilege and responsibility is primarily about what the Lord Jesus prays for in today’s scripture – “to be with Him and to see His glory.”
As Jesus prayed this petition, it obviously has a future implication when we surrender faith for sight. However, don’t keep His desire locked into a future time and event. The whole of the Christian life is walking in fellowship with God now, not in a future heaven. And this fellowship is answered through Jesus’ petition – “to behold His glory; to be in His real Presence” and this is realized in three ways. First, His Word. We know the Lord through His Spirit making Himself known in the Bible. The Bible is about Christ. We come to the Bible to get Christ, not knowledge. God’s Book was given in order for us to seek, know, and love Him. Next, we commune with Him through prayer. The type of prayer fueled by the Word and directed by the Spirit. Coupled with the Word, prayer is the primary means of experiencing God. Bottom line, to neglect prayer is to neglect God. We simply cannot know someone we don’t spend time with; quality time in communication that is both listening and speaking. The third way we know God is being in the Word and prayer with other believers or basically, truly being the church. Friends, it is impossible to be spiritually healthy and lack active participation in the body of Christ. It is equally impossible to be in growing fellowship with the Lord if we are not in growing fellowship with His people through shared experiences of the Word and prayer. God designed the Christian life to be a shared life with each other. Don’t let the culture of individualism and isolation taint the clear Biblical model of being together for mutual edification and growth. And even worse, don’t be self-deceived to think we can really know the Lord and enjoy Him apart from faithfulness to His house and people in Word and prayer. It just won’t happen. It is not His plan or desire.
When it comes to the Christian life being one of prayer, if we get a passion for what Jesus prayed for – “to see His glory” – we won’t have to try hard to develop a prayer life privately and with other Christians. The desire to see Christ and experience Him through prayer will grow in such intensity that we won’t be able to stay away from prayer both privately and with other believers.
PRAYER: “Father, grant to me greater glimpses into the heart of Your Son that mine may become more like His.”
QUOTE: “If one wants the heart of Christ, then a person must get close to the heart of Christ”