“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”
John 17:20, NIV
Do you like encouragement? I do! Encouragement is the precious spiritual oil which helps us through all the stages of life. Without encouragement children struggle to develop to their full potential. And we all know how much better we feel about ourselves when we have received genuine encouragement. So, read today’s verse several times and let its truth sink deep into your spirit. Jesus prays for YOU! There can be nothing more encouraging this side of Heaven but to know that Jesus Himself is praying to the Father for you.
Jesus was coming towards the end of His life. He knew what lay ahead of Him and He knew also that His disciples would be totally bereft when He had returned to Heaven. So Jesus prayed for them and verses 6 to 19 of John 17 is His amazing prayer for His disciples. But the next section of the chapter begins with the awesome words of our Scripture. He’s saying that He’s not only praying for His disciples, but that He’s also praying for everyone who will believe in Him, because of the message that the disciples will take into the world. And that includes every believer, for the whole of time, till Jesus comes again!
So, when you are going through tough times, remember that Jesus is praying for you. Jesus knows that we are living in a fallen world that is increasingly turning its back on the living God. To be a Christian in today’s world is to go against the spirit of the age and invites opposition and sometimes ridicule. It is no longer acceptable to allow your conduct in public life to be determined by what you believe. This is something Jesus knew all about and shortly after He prayed these prayers the public opposition to who He was would take Him to the cross to die for the sins of the world.
There can be no-one who knows better than Jesus how tough life can be. So, when the Scripture tells us that Jesus prays for us, we can know that those prayers really count for something. Whatever you are facing in life just now, be it tough times of opposition, sickness, temptation, bereavement or whatever, look up to Jesus and thank Him for His prayers and be encouraged and strengthened so that, with His help and by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to press on in life, loving and serving the Lord until he calls you home to glory.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for praying for me. I am so grateful that You care enough about me and my life to intercede for me to the Father. Strengthen me, I pray, to be able to press on with all You have called me to be and to do. Help me to resist temptation and stay on course till the day I meet You face to face. In Your Name, Amen.