By Justin Rossow
Jesus is praying for you.
I was reminded of that truth as I prepared for last Sunday’s sermon on the Garden of Gethsemane. The reading that went with the Luke 22 Gospel Lesson was from that powerful Romans 8 chapter, part of which reminded us that Jesus is always interceding for us.
In context, that clearly means Jesus is praying on your behalf, just as the Holy Spirit is also taking you to the Father in prayer with groans too deep for words. As if that weren’t comfort enough, Paul is talking about Jesus in these verses as the friend who comes to the aid of someone who needs an advocate, an intercessor, even a defense attorney. Paul pictures Jesus standing before the court and speaking on your behalf.
Jesus is your on-going advocate. The Holy Spirit is praying intimately for you. Whatever prayer you take up today joins in and participates with the work the Son and Spirit are already doing on your behalf.
That’s an image I just can’t let go of this week.
Prayer is not primarily my duty, my obligation, my performance, my work; by praying, I simply join in the gracious work Jesus is already performing in my life. My spirit joins the groaning of the Holy Spirit on my behalf and for the people I love.
That doesn’t make it easy. Jesus experienced anguish in that garden prayer; “groaning” makes me think the Spirit’s prayers aren’t easy, either. But as you pray, as you bring your life to God’s throne, as you carry a burden of prayer for someone you love, you aren’t in this alone.
Your burden, your anguish, your groaning, your prayer simply joins and participates in the prayers the Son and the Spirit are already actively praying for you.
That transforms the way I view my prayer. And it actually makes me want to pray, to join in the work Jesus is already doing.
Jesus is praying for you. And that changes what prayer is actually all about.
Ready for a Next Step?
Here are a few ways to take a small step forward this week.