The cross and resurrection figure large in our thoughts right now, and I struggle with how to pray. I decided to follow an ancient practice and “pray the Scriptures.” It’s a matter of letting the words of Scripture guide us as we pray.
I have decided to use Jesus’ last prayer for His followers to shape my prayers this week.
Jesus to the Father:
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth (John 17:14-19).
A prayer to the Father today:
Dear Lord, we thank you for Your Word as expressed both in the life of Your Son and in the words contained in Scripture. The world does hate us at times, and that is hard to take. But it also seems the world doesn’t hate us much, and we fear it is because we have failed to be true to Your Word, we have failed to really follow Your Son and say and do the things that bother the world. Lord, we too often act as if we belong to the world. We need to be sanctified still. We need to be cleansed and set aside for your purposes. Help us! We need Your courage and strength to be other than we are.