Prayers for friends
This year, the Upper Room publishers put together a little paperback discussion guide concerning the Disciplines 2008. I bought it because I thought it might give me some questions that I could use in a blog post.
Consider John 17:1-11. This is the passage in which Jesus prays for his follows. The discussion guide asks the question:
What impact does it have for you to realize that Jesus' earnest prayer is an earnest prayer for you?I remember the first time I really concentrated on this passage and thought about it. It was an evening book study class, and my co-teacher was leading. He pointed out that this is a prayer for us, and for those who will follow Christ because of us. I had never paid enough attention to these verses to notice that, and I was amazed at the thought that Jesus had prayed for me.
I know what it is liked to be prayed for my friends. It's a grace-filled, wonderful revelation to know that someone has lifted you and your concerns to God. How much more is it a moment of grace to know that Jesus has prayed for us?
I found this benediction on the RevGalBlogPals site. It was used frequently by Rev. Dr. Doug Oldenburg as he traveled the country as moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
"As you leave, I charge you to remember this above all else.Activity for this week: Go to your sanctuary and stop at each pew, praying for the person who usually sits in that space.
No matter how frightening this world may become;
No matter how frightening your life may be today or may become tomorrow,
You need not be afraid, for GOD GOES WITH YOU.
God goes before you to guide you;
God goes beside you to be your best friend;
God goes behind you to protect you;
God goes beneath you to strengthen you;
God goes within you to comfort you;
And God goes above you to give you vision and hope.
Remember that: no matter how dark and frightening this world may become; no matter how frightening the individual circumstances of your life may be today or may become tomorrow or next week, you need not be afraid, for God – Almighty God – goes with you! If you will remember that, then the 'peace of God that passes all understanding' will go with you too."