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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

“Oh righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me, and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:25, 26 (New American Standard Bible)

When people speak of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ we generally think of “Our Father who art in heaven.” Those remarks in Matthew Chapter 6 were not so much a prayer as they were a guideline on how to pray. In reading through the gospels it seems that the real Lord’s Prayer makes up the entire 17th chapter of John. It is one of the most revealing insights into the who, what, why, when and where of God’s love for mankind.

In this prayer Christ reveals He has total authority (vs. 2). That He did not come to us through His own will but was sent by Jehovah God (vs. 3). He reveals He always existed with God sharing His glory in eternity before the earth was created (vs. 5). He was faithful to show Himself to the people God the Father gave to Him (vs.6). The words He spoke to them were not His but His Father’s (vs. 8). He goes on to speak of the care and protection He gave those His Father had placed in His hand and how He Himself guarded them so not one of them was lost (vs. 12). He prays they may be sanctified (vs. 17) and intercedes not only on their behalf but on behalf of those who will believe because of their testimony of Him (vs. 20). He finishes His petition with the request that those who do come to know Him as God’s Anointed One will be able to come to where He is and behold His glory (vs. 24).

This chapter seems the Crown Jewel of the gospels and the manifest “Mission Statement” of God’s plan for mankind. It is a prayer of disclosure, filial piety, petition, worship, authority, intercession, unity and prophetic insight. It is without doubt the most astounding prayer ever uttered in the history of mankind. The prayers of Christ are now for us an intercession. Robert Murray McCheyne wrote; “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”