Before Jesus was betrayed, he went to the Mt. of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Nobody heard his prayer because he was the only one there. But why was it recorded in the Bible? The only explanation is that Jesus shared his prayer to his disciples. He probably shared this prayer after his resurrection. If Jesus shared the content of His prayer, then we can say that it is a very important prayer.
What principles can we learn from the prayer of Jesus Christ?
First, Jesus is teaching us through his prayer that we should be involved in what is happening around us, and not run away from responsibilities.
John 17:15 says, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
Are we praying to be involved? Or are we praying not to be involved?
What are some of our reasons not to be involved?
1. I am old. Think of Noah and Abraham. They were senior citizens.
2. I am young. Think of King David and King Joash.
3. I am small in height. Think of Zachaeus.
4. I am woman. Think of Mary, Mary Magdalena, Martha and those who supported Jesus financially.
5. I am not educated. Think of the majority of disciples.
6. I am not a good speaker. Think of Moses.
7. I am busy. Think of Paul.
We can have many reasons but all of these reasons can be answered in the many stories in the Bible. This is not because of us. It is only through the grace of God.
Second, Jesus is teaching us through his prayer that in whatever situation we are in, we should not lose site of our identity as Christians.
John 17:14 says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
We have been in many situations that our Christian identity was challenged. How did you act? There will still be many situations that it will happen. Are you going to compromise your faith? Do people in your workplace know that you are a Christian?
Third, Jesus is teaching us through his prayer that we have to be courageous in spreading the Gospel because He has prayed for us and to all would-be disciples.
John 17:20 says, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…”
This prayer of Jesus was firstly for his disciples. And then it included the next generation of disciples until it reached us, and it will continue to reach the next generation of Christians until Jesus will come again.
How does it feel now that Jesus has prayed for you and me? It is a great feeling when someone tells you that he or she is praying for you. It is even a greater feeling to know that Jesus has already prayed for us.
So when you are praying for a specific person that you want to share Jesus to him or her, be assured that Jesus has prayed already for that person. Have the courage to share the Gospel to that person.