It never ceases to amaze me of the love Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior displays for us. As He prepared to leave this world by way of the Crucifixion, his final prayer was for us. It is what we call an intercessory prayer, a prayer for others to concentrate on their needs and distress, or simply to stand in the gap for them. One remains standing until he or she has the assurance that God has heard him (her) and that burden has been released. Jesus, our high priest then and now, intercedes for his people. That is why when we pray, we close the prayer with “In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”

This prayer found in John begins with this statement: “He lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:1-3).

Jesus is the sinner’s path to eternal life. Believe that God sent Christ to save us and in the process we come to know God, the Father. Christ prays for those that are his. He declares God gave us to him, as sheep to the shepherd, to be kept as a patient to the physician, to be cured and as children to a tutor, to be taught. He is declaring to be our deliverer. He has and will do what God has charged him to do for us. Whatever comes our way, just know we can rely on Christ and that he, all he is and has been, all he said and did, all he is doing and will do, is all of God. The only thing he asks of us is that we believe on him. That is the key. We must receive him as Lord and Savior.

Christ prays for all believers that we might be kept from evil and made good. It is the prayer of Jesus for all that are his that we may live holy. This comes only by his amazing grace. This grace comes only through truth and God’s word is truth. Truth sanctifies us and sets us apart for God’s service. If Jesus did all that he did for us to be saved and to live a godly, fruitful and happy life, can we not serve him by serving mankind? Christ does not pray that we might be rich and great in the world, but that we might be kept from sin, strengthened for duty, and brought safe to heaven. Prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity.

Always in the presence of God, Jesus intercedes for us. His record speaks for itself, taking away all our hurt, pain and bitterness. He exchanges yokes with us because his yoke is easy and his burdens are light. He always has the believers in mind standing at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. To know Christ is to love him. As he intercedes for us, let us be mindful to stand in the gap for those who we can help.

The Rev. Carey N. Ingram

is the pastor at Lovejoy Baptist Church.

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