The Paradigms of Prayer IV | An Answer To Jesus’ Prayer
In the course of my journey building a community of prayer in Singapore for the last five years, I've learned to cultivate a few paradigms of prayer that sustains my coming in and going out of the prayer room. Regardless of the number of people in the prayer room or how great I feel in person, these paradigms kept me there and gave me the motivation for showing up for 4 hours, at least twice a week for the past five years.
I believe these paradigms function as an anchor in sustaining a culture of prayer that will have fuel our efforts in missions and gospel advancement.
I will be breaking them into five different paradigms in five different posts. I hope these paradigms can help you, your family and your community to cultivate a consistent and enjoyable prayer life that will impact your heart and the people around you.
Paradigms IV | An Answer to Jesus’ Prayer
When we think about prayer, our mind naturally start thinking of our needs and the things we want/need God to breakthrough for us. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, the scriptures (Hebrews 4:16) exhort us to continually come before His throne of grace in times of trouble and need. It is part of the great privilege that Jesus has redeemed for us through the cross, and we should never stop drawing near to Him and recognizing that apart from Him we can do nothing. This privilege is a part of the glory of prayer where we get to see God reveal a facet of His nature and power through those answered prayer in times of our need.
The other part of the glory of prayer is the dignity God has given to humanity where we can answer to the prayers of Jesus - to agree with His heart and align with His will through our obedience. Mike Bickle described prayer as “taking what God has spoken to us (scriptures), and saying it back to Him (with an agreement of hearts & alignment of our ways).”
In the midst of laboring for the God-given assignment, we tend to forget there is a real God-Man (Jesus) who is right now in heaven praying and interceding still. His eyes are always running to-and-fro across the earth, searching for hearts (2 Chronicles 16:9) who will live in that place of agreement & union with Him.
I believe the prayers of Jesus recorded in John 17 is one of the most sacred chapters in the entire Bible. It is known as the “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus. In the Old Testament, only one appointed man (high priest) on a specific day could enter into the holy of holies to talk to God on behalf of man. Here we get to read about the conversation of a high priest.
Not only are we witnessing the conversation of a high priest, but we are also looking right into the center of the universe where God the Son talks to God the Father by God the Holy Spirit. Just pause for a minute and let this reality sink into your spirit. This scene in John 17 is a peek into a conversation that happened before the foundation of the world; The Perfect Communion of the Triune God. Moreover, the conversation that they had was about you and me. It was The Conversation of God that reveals the ultimate desire of His Heart.
Verse 24 of John 17 changed my life forever. This verse reignited my passion for Jesus, and it became the primary anchor and paradigm of my prayer life. Not only that, it became my missional motivation in my service for Him and people. To know that by me merely “showing up” (to be with Him where He is) in the place of prayer (to see His glory), I instantly become the answer to the prayer of Jesus. If my ‘showing up’ with the desire of see and know Him and His way can fulfill the desire of Jesus, It is enough for me to stay in that place faithfully.
In answering that prayer in John 17, you also get in touch with His desire for humanity. Out from that place, we become the embodiment of His passion for others. This reality was the reason for my family’s salvation. I felt His desire for me personally, and I encountered His burning heart for my parents. That desire of His became mine, and it transformed in the process that changed the way I treat my parents, and I began to love them with His passion.
Beyond all the great and wondrous things we can to experience and see, but the knowledge that I can become an answer to Jesus’ desire and prayer, and how it can move the heart of Jesus, that alone is enough to keep me coming. The rest is merely a by-product of constant beholding (2 Cor 3:16-18) that transforms us into the likeness of Him that will reveal Him.
I pray that when you show up in prayer, let the first thing that comes your mind is the delight of being the answer to Jesus’ desire and prayer.