Forty Days of Prayer – Day 17

Part of learning how pray is listening to Jesus pray and pondering how He taught us to pray. Last night I was reading through John chapter 11 and the account of the death of Lazarus. If you remember Jesus came to the tomb with Mary and Martha and he wept in sorrow at the death of a beloved friend. Then He asked them to take away the stone closing in the tomb. Then we have these two verses in John.

“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11:41-42)

There are two things that struck me as I read this prayer. First Jesus prays with the confidence of knowing that God hears His prayers. In fact when He starts this prayer he first of all thanks God the Father for having heard Him. This is past tense. Jesus recounts that God always hears Him. He knew this as a fact. What I can say to all of you is that Jesus always hears your prayers. That is a promise He makes, and He wants us to pray with that assurance.

The second thing here is that Jesus wants all of the people there to see what is going to happen and give the credit where credit is due, to God and His Son sent into the world. Something incredible was about to happen, Lazarus is about to rise from the grave after four days in the tomb. Martha warned the smell would be terrible. In fact, for some people, Lazarus was about to become a celebrity. Jesus next words were to Lazarus to come out of the tomb, and so he did. As Jesus prayed He wanted credit given where credit was due, to God alone. I always need to be reminded of this fact. All too often, prayers that we make seek to bring attention and glory to ourselves. They are centered upon ourselves rather than upon God. What Jesus wants all of us to know is that this all happens by the power and grace of God, in Jesus. The more we pray that this happens, the more we will see incredible things happen.

In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave

Lord, thank you for hearing all of my prayers. Help me to see how my life can bring glory to You and Your name. May my life bring people to see Jesus and put their faith in Him. Amen.

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