Jesus is Praying for Us in this Pandemic
My last Zoom call for our Women’s Bible Study was a fiasco.
My ancient laptop evidently is not up to the constant task of videoconferencing, which is a multiple-times-a-day norm now for work and ministry in this sequestered season. My computer especially doesn’t like it when I 1) pray, or 2) lead communion with my ladies.
Just saying. The sound distorts and then the laptop flat out dies. I’m trying to assume it’s the grumblings of a cranky, elderly piece of technology instead of where my mind wanders – demonic perversion disrupting godly communication!
Regardless, I didn’t get to share my lesson from God’s Word this week, so it is still burning on my heart. I hope I can express it to you adequately in written words. It’s a simple but poignant truth:
Jesus is praying for us.
Amid this turbulent and gut-wrenching season around the globe, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty speaking in His ear about us. Jesus is speaking hope, life, perseverance, faith, goodness, gentleness, peace, and most of all, love over us.
“Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph?” Romans 8:34 TPT (emphasis added)
John 17 gives us an intimate look at Jesus’ last supper and communion with His disciples before He was arrested, crucified, and buried. After washing the feet of His closest friends, celebrating the Passover meal, and taking the Last Supper with them, Jesus taught them and prayed for them. John 17 records His heartfelt words to His Father about these men who were dear to Him. Also that night, He prayed for us, those who would believe in Him throughout the ages.
Jesus prayed for our safety from the evil one then, and He is praying for us today.
The verses right before Jesus began to pray in John 17 shows that He knew the dangerous situation the disciples were in during that day, and He knows exactly where we find ourselves in THIS precarious day of COVID-19:
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33 NIV (emphasis added)
“You will be scattered, each to your own home.” Wow, I had never seen that! Dear one, He truly sees where we are in THIS day and is encouraging us to “take heart!” He has "overcome the world!"
By looking at how Jesus prayed that night, we are given clues as to how He is praying for us NOW. We should agree with Him in prayer and pray His own words back to Him. He prayed for us in five distinct areas:
1. Protected – “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name. (v. 11) and “…protect them from the evil one.” (v.15) Jesus is praying for our safety during this pandemic.
2. Sanctified – To be sanctified is to be consecrated and set apart by God for a sacred purpose. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (v. 17) “For them I sanctify myself that they too may be truly sanctified.” (v. 19) God has a purpose for each of us in this time. Ask Him to reveal the assignment you are consecrated to accomplish for His glory.
3. Sent – Jesus is sending us into the world as His ambassadors, just as He sent His original twelve disciples. “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (v. 18)
4. Unified – God wants His people to be unified to show His love to the world. “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 – so that they may be brought to complete unity.” (vs. 22-23) Why is unity so important? Jesus told His Father: “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (v. 23) Our unity as believers testifies to the world that the love of God is shown through Jesus Christ.
5. Glorified – We are called to BE His glory and to SEE His glory. Jesus said, “I have given them the glory that you gave me.” (v. 22) “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.” (v. 24)
Friend, God promises that our “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” (Romans 8:18) and that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
God promises that the One who called us to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after we have suffered a little while, will restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
For the first time this year, my husband Louis and I participated in an online Passover Seder. One of the most memorable moments was the symbolic act of putting the bitter horseradish on a piece of bread, topped by a sweet mixture of apples, walnuts and cinnamon. This message is one I want to leave you with as you ponder Jesus’ intimate and powerful words of life over us, His beloved ones:
The sweetness of God covers the pain of life. Always.
Take heart, dear ones! Resurrection Day is coming!