Christians have been taught that the Lord's Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-15 and Luke 11:1-4. It was often taught by well intentioned Sunday School teachers. We pray this prayer together to begin or end meetings or when we don't know what else to pray. The truth is that the prayer recorded in the above stated passages are not the Lord's Prayer, it's more accurately the Model Prayer. Jesus was giving us a pattern or prescription to follow when we pray, rather than a dictation on words to use.
John 17 is the Lord's Prayer. It's the only prayer of Jesus that we hear from him in significant length. As you wind down from your day, be encouraged by knowing that Jesus prays! He's set the example for all of us who claim God as Father, to keep the line of communication open with him. Jesus admonished his disciples in Luke 18:1 to pray and don't give up! Prayer is essential to life of the believer. I hope that you have a disciplined prayer life. I'm suggesting that you talk with (not to God) God often daily. You'll live in true liberty, peace and joy if you do!
I'd also like for you to be aware of the object of Jesus' prayer. You were on his mind! Thank God that Jesus prayed for us! He prayed in a triune fashion to include revelation, protection and action. Our acceptance of Jesus opened the door for God to reveal to us our purpose in the earth. This seems like a great time for a public service announcement: uhh, your life is NOT about you! Your existence as a follower of Jesus, is to know God and share him with the world.
Jesus also prayed about our protection. Please understand that Jesus (while on earth) personally guarded the disciples. This was a successful effort, with the exception of 'the one headed for destruction' which was Judas (verse 12). The implication is that Jesus protects us from ourselves. Now he accomplishes that task by the power of the Spirit of truth. When we're honest with ourselves, according to the truth of God's word, we'll see the error of our way. The issue then is that when we stray from God's word we transform the truth with our twisted theology, to justify the stagnation of our relationship with God. That leads us to the desire of Jesus in this prayer, he wanted us (his children) to be united (verse 11). The point of the protection is so we'll stick together, like God and Jesus are. Satan is aware of the glorious affect we'd have on the world, if we could just get along. So, he works hard at separating us. But God be praised, that Jesus has already prayed for us!
I'll tell you all good night, after I let you know about Jesus' prayer for us to be active participants in sharing the message which we believe. Verse 20 is our marching orders. Jesus tells us that we should be busy telling the world that a baby was born of a virgin, grew in grace and was a miracle worker. We should tell everyone bout how he was crucified, died and was buried and that three days later he got up from the grave. Don't forget to let them know that he lives for evermore! And if they ask how you know that he lives, tell them that he lives in your heart! You have the responsibility to share Jesus with the world! That's why I'm praying and pushing...praying that you won't be scared and pushing you to start in your house, then move to your friends and coworkers. How many people should you tell? Everybody, that Jesus lives and wants for none to die!
I know all of that was preachy, but before you go to sleep, let me give you something really practical. You were on Jesus' mind when he prayed. I hope that when you pray tonight, that you won't be selfish and talk with him only about you. Have Jesus on your mind when you pray! If you are worry about him, he'll take care of you!