Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 95, 31, & 35 Ezekiel 18:1-4,25-32 Philippians 4:1-9 John 17:9-19
Today’s Writer: Ben Poland
Praying can be very difficult.
So often we ignore or forget about prayer. Yet in today’s scriptures prayer and thanksgiving are viewed as essential. Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
The times that we are anxious and worried can often be the most difficult times to pray. When I find myself overwhelmed or anxious, my first inclination is not to pray, but to figure some way out of my problems or anxiety. In the gospel reading, however, we find Jesus praying even though he was about to face his death on the cross.
Jesus did not let the death that he was facing keep him from praying to his Father. In the same way, we should not let our small troubles keep us from prayer. We must bring all of our worries to God in prayer.
I find it interesting that Jesus’ prayer in John 17 focuses outward to a large extent. His prayer is not centered solely on the troubles that he is about to face, but also about the troubles that his disciples will face. Likewise, our prayers should not be exclusively self-centered, but should be focused on others and the needs we see around us. We should pray in the same manner that Jesus did, asking for our own actions to glorify the Father and for empowerment to help those around us who are in need.
Image by ronny-andre (used by permission via Creative Commons)
Yes, that impressed me, that Jesus facing the cross was all about encouraging others!