The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Verses 9-18 of John 17 have some of the most striking prayers of Jesus recorded in Scripture. He prays that the Father would keep his followers in his Word. He prays that Christians would be protected from evil in the world. He very specifically does not pray that the Father would remove them from the world. Rather, he prays that the Father would make them holy through the action of the Word.
Christians, believing that prayer does work, should have no hesitation in this. Has God the Son prayed for you? Yes, he has. Are his prayers effective? Yes, they are. Is this world going to be a difficult place? It certainly will. However, God’s good favor is upon you. He who has guarded you thus far will continue to guard you. There should be no doubt about this. What is God’s will? It is that you should be holy. And how will that happen? It will happen as you receive God’s word.
There’s nothing here for us to practice. There’s nothing for us to earn. There’s just God’s grace upon us.
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