A Prayer for the Messengers
By Major Anne Pickup –
Congratulations to each lieutenant of the Messengers of the Truth Session! Welcome to the ministry of officership! Undoubtedly you have received many messages of love and support–and most have heard one frequently made promise, “I will pray for you.” Hopefully these are not idle, politically correct words, but promises made from committed hearts.
There is one who truly is praying for you. There is one who will be true to his promise: Jesus! In John 17 we see the longest recorded prayer of Jesus. It is a prayer for his disciples, just prior to the crucifixion, and just as they are about to launch out into the world with the Gospel message. The four things Jesus prayed were for his disciples of all generations:
- Holy Father, Protect Them (vs. 11)Jesus is praying that God who is righteous and compassionate will protect the disciples from disunity. Just as Jesus and the Father are one in love, one in purpose and one in holiness…his desire is that his followers would know and live out this same unity. Methodology might vary according to situations and personalities, but the goal is one–the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Jesus also prays that God will protect his disciples from the evil one–Satan. It is the devilish schemes of Satan that destroy our unity. Only the evil one can take loving, joyful Christians and turn them into selfish, bitter, competitive, argumentative people. And nothing breaks down the progressive movement of the Gospel faster than those traits which emanate from the spirit of this world.
- That They May Have the Full Measure of My Joy (vs. 13)We commonly describe joy by laughter, gaiety and lightheartedness. Yet our image of Jesus, the joy-giver, is one of quiet reserve and solemn dignity. From Jesus we learn that Biblical joy is more a result than an emotion.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11
Jesus’ joy came not through circumstances but because he was surrendered to the will of God. Joy resulted when Jesus obeyed God’s commands and followed his leading, even when it took him to the hard places.
- Sanctify Them By the Truth (vs. 17)Sanctification is the consecration of our whole life to the mission and message of God through a lifestyle of holiness. The only way we can learn how to live like this is to immerse ourselves in the Word of God–the Truth! As we absorb God’s Word in increasing quantities we will see his Word played out in increasing measure in our daily living.
- As You Have Sent Me…I Have Sent Them (vs. 18)All the blessings and benefits that result from our relationship with God are not just to make us happy. We have been blessed to be a blessing! We are “saved to save” ! If we quietly and privately hold on to the Good News, we haven’t truly understood the Gospel. Jesus said, “I will pray for you.” He prayed we would be a unified people, filled with the joy of the Lord, sanctified through the Word, resulting in a people with a mission!