After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said,â€œFather, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal lifeâ€”to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. Â Â John 17:1-5 (NLT)
As I was praying last night, it occurred to me that I do not pray enough for myself. Oh I ask for things but I don’t talk to God about myself. And I surely do not listen enough!
John 17 may be the chapter in the Bible, that if I was allowed to have only one chapter on my deserted island, I would choose this one. Jesus is about to begin the final â€œlapâ€ of His mission here on earth and He shows me the importance of prayer and how to pray.
Focus. I don’t have young children at home and I am blessed that my work now is done out of my home. There are still cell phones, Internet, household chores, television, etc etc etc. Oh, my friends, Jesus showed me throughout His life the importance of going away to a quiet place, a solitary place to talk to God. Jesus tells me to give God 100% of my attention during â€œour time.â€ Such a sweet and precious time that strengthens our relationship, my faith, and creates memories that are there in those times of trials and doubts.
Remind myself who He is and who I am. The first word out of Jesus’ mouth in this prayer was â€œFatherâ€, â€œDadâ€, â€œDaddyâ€, â€œPopsâ€. If you think some of those names are a bit too familiar for God, let’s not forget that He is our parent. What do/did you call your male parent? And if you didn’t have a male parent or maybe your relationship wasn’t what you might have dreamed, what did you call that parent in your dreams? And then in the next sentence, Jesus talks about â€œgloryâ€ and that’s about God. In His familiarity, Jesus wasn’t forgetting to whom He was speaking. And then Jesus speaks about their relationship. Was He, in that difficult hour, reminding Himself about Who was with Him? Isn’t that a good thing to remind myself of every day, not just in the trials?
Hold nothing back. It’s laughable to think about not telling God something. Like He doesn’t already know it! So if God already knows, then who is the praying for? Yes, it’s just another wonderful gift from my Father. It’s not always easy to talk about my feelings and express my thoughts out loud. But God has proven Himself worthy of my trust. He has kept all my secrets. When I talk to God, He helps me sift through my emotions, which I know can be deceitful. As Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 2, God’s Spirit communicates with my spirit.
Remind myself who He is and who I am. No I haven’t forgotten that I already wrote this point. I think it’s worth remembering again. God has identified to me that I need to talk to Him more, balancing talking to Him about me and the needs of others. God can handle whatever I bring to Him. He will answer. Time with Him, being real with Him, will reveal God’s answers to me. His voice will become more and more familiar. His hands, gentle and strong, will mold me as a potter molds clay.
The Potter’s Hands written and sung by Darlene Zschech