Friday, March 6, 2009

Life Changing Addendum

So, I felt like I needed to add an additional thought or two to yesterday's blog.

Basically it's this, when we begin to model our prayers after those of Jesus, we must be careful to realize what we are saying.

If we pray 'BE GLORIFIED in me', then we need to understand we are saying to God that we don't want to do things that don't bring him glory. In other words, we need to begin to make sure that the things we do, say, watch, listen to, and think about, are bringing glory to God. It also means we need to begin to remove things that don't bring glory to God from our lives. Also, we need to follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist and begin to DECREASE, so that Jesus may INCREASE (John 3:20). This also applies to praying to 'BE MADE HOLY'.

If we pray for 'PROTECTION from the evil one', NOT SAFETY, then we need to understand that God may begin to put us in places that aren't so safe. I mean we pray for safety in everything that we do, but what if God doesn't want us to be safe. What if he wants to put us on the front lines? What if he wants to PROTECT us because we are in unsafe places? Some say "the safest place you can be is in the center of God's will", but I have been taught that the center of God's will can be a very dangerous place.

If we pray for 'PERFECT UNITY' in truth and in love, then we need to understand that God desires us to be united with ALL followers of Jesus. This may mean people we don't totally agree with theologically. This means people of 'EVERY nation, EVERY tribe, and EVERY tongue.' This means people we may have thought don't deserve the same grace God offered all who follow him. This means we may have to swallow our pride and offer others forgiveness, for things we have considered unforgivable.

I just think we need to understand that we need to pray as Jesus did, but we need to understand what we are asking, what we are saying.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

4 Kingdom Prayer Points - John 17

So...For a while now I've been considering putting some of my personal notes up from my prep for teaching at Overflow. You know, a 'Cliffs Notes' version, including some of the insights that don't make it to final lesson.

Well, the sad part is, I had some good insights from John 17, but they got erased when my computer mysteriously decided to reboot in the middle of final presentation prep yesterday.

Anyway, here are what I see as the '4 Prayer Points' we can pull from Jesus' prayer. Notice, nothing personal. No please give me. No please help me. No please bless me. The only ME focus is that God, the Father, be glorified in ME. So read John 17, then check these out. Imagine what God WILL do, if we all start praying like Jesus did...
  • BE GLORIFIED in me (v. 1-5)
  • KNOWING YOU...Eternal Life
check out this definition of 'Eternal Life' in v. 3
"...that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
This means that if you KNOW, I mean really KNOW, Jesus, then Eternal Life is NOW!!!
  • KINGDOM EXPANSION/'Global Domination'
for those who aren't yet believers/followers (v. 20)
by prayer, not by force
  • COMPLETE UNITY among believers/followers (v. 23, follows theme throughout)
in truth
in love

And let's not forget PROTECTION, not safety, but protection from Satan's attacks (v. 11, 15).
And 'BEING MADE HOLY' (sanctification), 'sanctified' in v. 19.

This is what Jesus prayed. We would do well to follow his example. What could/would happen if we did? Why not try/start?