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Daily Devotion for April 11, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
A Lenten Prayer
Almighty God, You know that I have no power on my own to help myself: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to my body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt my soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
John 17:1-10 (NIV)
Jesus' Final Prayer [Part 1]
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing 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.
Notes on the Scripture
John 17 consists entirely of Jesus' last prayer, a long prayer he said aloud just before his arrest. It has three parts: First, he prays for himself; second, for his disciples; and third, for the entire world. Today's selection contains the entirety of his prayer for himself, and the beginning of his prayer for his disciples.
Although partly it is an actual prayer, in part it is a summation or conclusion of his life and teaching for the benefit of listeners and those who, like us, will read it later. In the first part, he states that his work on earth is finished, and asks the Father to glorify him. In this context, "glorify" signifies that it is time for him to be arrested, killed, resurrected, and ascend to heaven.
The beginning of his prayer for his disciples. Christ affirms that the disciples now fully believe in him, that what he says is the word of God. He also begins to identify himself as part of the Godhead; for he says that all God has is now his.
Finally, he states that glory has come to him through his disciples. This is a bit startling, because only a short time ago, he stated that his glory came from God, not from men. He firmly refuted the idea that his glory came from men. Yet now, he prays to the Father that glory has come to him from his true disciples — that is, those who believe in him 100%.
This is unlike almost anything else in the New Testament. Christ states that he gets something from those who truly believe in him. It is not something one can take pride from, since to take such pride would be sinful. But we know that our dedication to Christ does not simply benefit ourselves, by bringing us salvation, and other people, by bringing them or sharing with them the Word. It benefits Christ himself. He has just stated that his disciples are his "friends" and now he goes further. They are his allies. Christ himself can gain glory from those who truly believe in Him.