This is our Worship Focus at Nuevo Community Church for March 4, 2012. Text for the morning: John 17.
“I will pray for you.”
Those are powerful words. But like all good things, sometimes they have a dark side. These powerful words are sometimes simply discussion “enders”. At the end of a difficult conversation, or an uncomfortable one, “I will pray for you” becomes our transition away from the discomfort. Sometimes it is reduced to the same platitude class of sayings as “How are you?” We really don’t mean it; it is just how we open a conversation or greet people. So, unfortunately, “I will pray for you” is sometimes dismissive. I hope that isn’t true, or at least that this will challenge us to actually mean it when we use the phrase.
Even better than the phrase “I will pray for you” is what Jesus does in John 17. In this instance, Jesus actually prayed for his disciples in their presence and John (God bless him) had the presence of mind to record it for us! Paul practiced this as well. He told people how he was praying for them. Colossians 1:9ff is one of my favorite templates for praying for other people.
So, let’s deal with first things first. Don’t use the phrase “I will pray for you” unless you mean it. Second, when appropriate, tell people how you are praying for them. This built-in accountability will make a difference. It is hard to compound lies, that is, if I have made it a habit of turning “I will pray for you” into a meaningless platitude, it is harder to get around the habit of giving details of said prayers. Third, today, know that Jesus prays for you. He intercedes on your behalf. He has your best interest in mind and He is all about bringing that best interest to pass. As you worship, be grateful for a praying Jesus who prays for your well-being.
Jesus is praying for you.