Prayer. When unpacked, it’s truly a difficult thing to comprehend. The God of the whole universe wants to intimately know me, and wants me to intimately know Him; and I get to know Him through prayer. When I stop to think about it, it’s a daunting task.
John chapter 17 is the chapter when Jesus takes time out of His crazy schedule of being followed and wanted every second of every day, to pray. His prayer generally falls under three main categories: His prayer to be glorified (Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you 1 ), His prayer for the disciples (I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 9 ), and His prayer for future believers (My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message20 ). According to John’s gospel, this prayer was the last thing Jesus did before He and His disciples traveled to the garden and He was betrayed by Judas.
Probably most if not all of you have seen the YouTube video that’s taking the internet by storm titled, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus (Spoken Word).” While I know better than to open the debate about it, I would like to point out one particular line near the end of the poem that states (in reference to Jesus), “Because when he was dangling on that cross, He was thinking of you.” I can’t help but be gripped with emotion during this part of the poem simply because it’s true.
Jesus was thinking of us when He was up on the cross, but more importantly, He approached the cross by thinking of us. He went willingly to His death with me in mind; with you in mind. He didn’t start His prayers while being beaten; He didn’t even start them in John 17 before He was taken captive. He started praying for you and me long before that.
Lent is just starting; so I ask of us now to approach this time by thinking of Christ and the fact that it was for me and you that He died. He went to the cross with the intention of dying so that we might look to Him for salvation. Let us approach the cross with the same mindset that Jesus Himself approached it; with prayer and devotion to the Father through all circumstances.
Check back here tomorrow and throughout the season of Lent for devotions written by campers, volunteers and alumni.
Sarah Herman is a student at Eastern University, and has attended camp every summer since she was 10, first as a camper and now as a counselor. She is spending this semester studying abroad in Australia. If you’d like to keep up with her travels, follow her blog at sarahinau.wordpress.com. Image credit: Daniel R., via CreationSwap