Bible Verse: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3)

Scripture Reading: John 17:1-26

What do I pray about? That is a common question. Most who begin the journey of prayer assume that prayer consists of a series of requests (coming from us to God) followed by a series of answers (coming from God to us). With this view in mind, we turn prayer into a sort of “achievement” orientation. Prayer becomes a means to an end, and the end is God’s direct intervention into human affairs along the lines of the fulfilling of our legitimate needs (most know that to pray according to a purely selfish desire is not pleasing to God).

We must be careful here. It is right to communicate with God about anything (even to tell Him when we are being selfish). And God does intervene in human affairs as a direct response to the prayers of His people. One of the important ends of prayer is for God to hear and to answer. However, the main point of prayer is to enter into the fullness of life itself. Jesus said it best when he prayed about the nature of eternal life itself, and the goal of our very existence: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3, NIV).

When eternity arrives, we won’t have any “things” to pray about, or any situations that will require a special intervention of the divine presence – God will be manifestly and directly present to everything and everyone at once. But we will find ourselves joyfully confronted with and be in intimate communication with the radiant presence of the living God and the risen Lord beyond the close of time and forever. Prayer is an anticipation of that ultimate reality, a starting point in the journey to that goal.

The supreme aim of prayer is utter union and complete participation in the very nature of God Himself – in all three persons of the Godhead. It is to be joined to the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit in the same way as Christ Himself was joined to His Father.

Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which you have given Me, that they may be one even as We are . . . that they may all be one; even as You, Father are in Me and I in You, that they may also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:11,21, NASB)

There is much to consider in these texts – too much for a single day’s reflection. Take some time now to consider union of Christ and His Father. Take some time to consider what it might mean for you personally to enter into that kind of relationship with God.

Decide today that you will give God the “unsafe” stuff of life – the nasty thoughts, the greedy inclinations, the lustful moments, the hard-to-explain yearnings that have no words. Give these to God’s safekeeping and thank Him that they are safe there forever.

— David Chotka in Power Praying
©2009 by David Chotka. Used by permission.

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