Rev. John Farmer’s ‘Reflections’ column

by John Howard Farmer

Visit the Irvington Baptist Church website

Jesus does pray for us…

Once a lad I’ve known for some time hit the skids. He was angry at his family, his God and me. Like most of us, he was having a hard go at it in trying to express his anger toward God. Most of us do.

His dilemma, while rough around the edges, was eventually going to heal. He would regain his compo­sure. He would reacquaint himself with God. He would eventually patch up his family relationships. At the depth of his crisis, however, he was unable to pray. I prayed for him. As I was doing so, he interrupted. He asked, “Why doesn’t Jesus ever pray for me?”

That’s all I needed; he had cracked open the door. I barged right into his hurting soul. I shared that one of the longest prayers in the Bible was Jesus preparing himself to leave this world. He wanted his house in order. He put his prayer petitions head first into the grace of God.

Pull away from your endeavors, your pain, your problems. Listen to Jesus praying for you. Apply the 17th chapter of John to your life. Hear him; he loves you:

“…Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come. Glorify me, your son, that I may glorify you. For you granted me authority over all people that I might give eternal life to all those you have given me. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and me, Jesus Christ, the son you have sent to them.

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that scripture would be fulfilled.

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Somebody say “amen.” Again, please.