The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Prayers In Time, Answers Forever"
Just before He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ prayed what some have called His "High Priestly intercession" (John 17). The prayer is still being answered.
"I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them" (John 17:6-9).
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word" (John 17:20).
The Lord Jesus prayed not only for Peter, James, John, and the other disciples. He prayed also for believers through the ages, including ourselves. In this moment, our Heavenly Father doubtless works in each of us to answer His Son's long ago request that we will be kept from evil, sanctified by His truth, enter into the fellowship of the Father and the Son, behold the Savior's glory, and most wondrously, "that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:15; 19; 21; 24; 26). What might be happening right now in your life and mine that occurs because our Lord prayed for us? Doubtless, far more than we can comprehend.
This speaks to an interesting issue regarding our intercessions. When we pray for fellow believers, does our prayer in the moment lead to ongoing answers by God both now and forevermore? Certainly it does, not because of the quality of our praying, but because of the enduring quantity of our Heavenly Father's answers. We pray in time. God answers in the scope and measure of eternity. It may well be that prayers offered for us by brothers and sisters who long ago went to be with the Lord are still being answered in our lives. We know this is true regarding our Savior's prayer of long ago. How can it not be true of the requests He leads His children to offer by the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling?" "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18).
Perhaps we had godly parents, now departed, who often approached the throne of God on our behalf. Or a grandmother. Or a friend. Or Sunday school teacher. Or pastor. Or fellow believer. Or even a believer with whom we were not acquainted, but who made requests "for brothers and sisters, wherever they may be." The strains of those voices long ago became stilled and quiet on earthly soundwaves. But not before the throne of Heaven. And not before the Lord who sits upon that throne, and who rises to work in eternal, rather than temporal terms. "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever" (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
What about our prayers? Will they leave an enduing and eternal legacy, or rather, will God continue to answer requests we make and often forget, but which He cannot and will not forget? The answer seems obvious. God's forever doings often proceed as responses to our requests, made in the moment, but answered in the ongoing faithfulness of our Father's eternal working. Little wonder the disciples asked the Lord Jesus, "Teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). And little wonder the Holy Spirit ever beckons us to the Heavenly throne for the purpose of seeking God's working for eternal glory and blessedness.
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(II Corinthians 4:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.