He Prayed for Us (and an Announcement)

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First the Announcement

Hello friends! Life has caught up with me and I have not been posting a lot. I am going to cut down to posting once or twice a month. It will be better for me right now than trying to post every week. Maybe once things settle down I shall get back to doing more! But this way hopefully I’ll have more time to be consistent and think through my posts. 🙂 Thanks for understanding!

Now for the Post

Isn’t it so helpful to know that someone is praying for you?

It means the world to hear someone tell me that they are praying for me. If I’m facing a rough day and don’t know if I can make it through, I’ll ask a friend to pray for me. And when I get that message back saying they will pray\are praying it helps so much. I’ll remind myself throughout the rough patches that I can do this, that my friend is praying for me. God’s got me. And He uses them to show me that. I’m so thankful for the amazing friends I have. To any of you who might be reading this, thank you so much!!

Prayer is beautiful. The last post I wrote was also on the topic of prayer, but this week God showed me a different aspect of it.

I have been studying John chapters 16 through 21 these past two months. And God’s been gradually showing me something beautiful. The other day He let it blossom into one of those lightbulb moments. Know what I’m talking about?

Life is hard.

It is, really hard. There’s pain and loss and so much wrongness and heartache. And sometimes we wonder what we’re doing in the midst of this. Sometimes I just lean my head against the window and don’t understand. It’s just so sad sometimes. I have been so blessed, I am so thankful for my amazing home and family and friends. And I’ve got my share of trials. And I see the pain all around me and it breaks my heart.

Why did you leave us here, God? Why did you leave us?

But dear friend, He didn’t. He did not leave us as orphans. He never left, not once. He Himself said it, “I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) And my friends, God is not man that He could lie (Numbers 23:19). He died for us. He died for us. We are the ones who rebelled, who betrayed Him. And still He died for us. The greatness of that is more than I think any of us can fathom. And He is coming back again. He is going to take all this pain and abolish it F.O.R.E.V.E.R. . And there will be no more pain or hate or fear. And those who have believed will be with Him.

But what about the meantime? What do we do while we are still in this place of wrongness and pain? How are we supposed to thrive here? How are we going to resist the evil?

John chapter 17. Jesus is about to go to the cross. He’s about to go through a pain and trial harder than anything we can imagine. He’s about to pay a debt that we could never pay. Oh guys, that in itself is something so, so beyond amazing. But what does Jesus do?

He prays for us.

Like he prayed for Peter. Most of you probably know the story of Peter. One of Jesus’ twelve disciples. Constantly with Him. A bit of an enthusiast and someone who didn’t think before acting (relatable?). Peter loved Jesus. He believed. He was the one to confess Jesus as “The Christ, the Son of God.” He was the one when asked if the disciples would also turn away, said: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” {John 6:68}. Peter was the one who literally walked on water with Jesus. That is a beautiful story in and of itself and a good friend of mine has a wonderful blog post on it, you can read it here!

“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded permission to shift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31

Jesus says this to Peter before He goes to the cross. Peter responds that he is ready to go with Jesus to prison and death. Jesus goes on to tell Peter that he will deny Him three times.

Peter was tested and he failed the test. He let pride and fear get the better of him. He failed the test. But Jesus prayed for him and his faith did not fail. But wait a minute, I thought he did fail? But Jesus didn’t fail. Our salvation, its not dependent on us. Jesus prayed for Peter. He prayed for this friend whom he knew would deny Him. That his faith would not fail. And then he tells him to strengthen his brothers when he turns again. And do you know what? Peter did. Read through the book of Acts to see how God used Peter. He went on to write one of my favorite books of the Bible: 1st Peter. That book, its strengthened me. So much, so many times, in so many trials.

And the same Jesus who prayed for Peter, this man He knew would deny him, this man He knew would spread Gospel light to so many people, the same Jesus prayed for us.

He knew the pain and tribulation we encounter in this world, He knew the way it would seem like all is hopeless and lost. He know our weakness. He knows that we need Him so badly. That we could never do this by ourselves. He knows that our hearts doubt and we rebel and we give in to fear and pride and anger. He knows that we are not able to be holy on our own. And that’s why He died. And I find it so beautiful that He also prayed for us. Jesus prayed for us! Just think about that for a minute. Its so incredible! Oh dear one, you who are afraid, broken, trying, you who are like me, He prayed for you. He died for you. He loves you.

So be of good courage. You are not alone. You never have been. He knows our weakness, and He wants to give us His strength. He doesn’t want to just increase our strength, He wants to give us new strength, His strength, strength that will make us rise up on wings like eagles. And strength that will get us through those times when we’re barely struggling to crawl along the ground, looking up and longing for the clouds. So go to Him. Go to Him and let Him transform you, and sanctify you and hold you. Seek Him and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

But, what did Jesus pray for us? John 17 is known as the High Priestly Prayer. It is well, well worth your time, and I recommend giving it a read. At the point where Jesus transitions into praying for the church He says this:

“I do not ask You to take them out of the world but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in truth, Your word is truth.

John 17:15-17

Jesus didn’t take us away from the hardship and pain that is in this world. He didn’t ask for us to be removed from this place full of wrong. But instead He prayed that we would be kept from the evil one.

It was never supposed to be easy.

That hit me the other day. Earlier in the book of John Jesus warns the disciples of the persecution and trouble that will come. All throughout chapters 14-17 you can find Jesus’ words of encouragement to His followers. That its going to be hard but that He will be with them. He will send the Helper. He will not leave them as orphans.

So when its hard, remember that it was never going to be easy. Remember Jesus’ words because that’s the way that we will be kept from stumbling (John. 16:1). Remember that Jesus prayed for you.

And my friend, that’s not a prayer that’s going to fail. Not ever.

And my dear friend when it seems all is lost, look to Jesus. I can’t promise that everything will get better. But I can promise that in Jesus Christ, God is for you and He loves you and we have such a great hope to look forward too when He comes back.

So take courage, friends, He prayed for you. He died for you. So that when trouble comes and lashes out against you you can stand firm. Not because your own two legs are strong but because He holds you.

10 comments

  1. I really needed this today, Josie! You know, I am still struggling with the disappointment of not qualifying for the Bible Bee and it’s been over a month now. It seems as if I just cannot get over it. Every so often (which feels like every other week), I may think about it and then I am full of tears in the restroom. It is still hard (and honestly, I do not like being vulnerable. I think it’s because I do not want anyone to see me at my worst), but I cannot get through it on my own. I am one who tries to handle things on my own, but I am weak. I beat myself up on the inside because I am a perfectionist, but that does not change anything. I cannot lean on my own understanding, but instead need to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5). It is way easier said than done, but that is the truth. We need to run + rely on God, for He will not fail us, and desires to guide us. It is all apart of God’s perfect plan. Thank you so much, Josie! ❤

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    • Oh Heaven, I’m so glad it encouraged you! All glory for God to that! It does make sense for you to still be upset. I haven’t been able to really do Nationals this year either but because of health issues. I’ve just not had the energy or mental energy to study, and I’m still really sad about that. But like you said, it’s all a part of God’s plan! And therefore, we know it’s good because He loves us. Even when we can’t understand how it’s good. I feel you on trying to deal with it all alone too. I’m so thankful that God’s so patient with us as we try to figure out everything. And He’s always there, holding us! Yes, it’s definitely easier said than done. And it takes grace to be able to say it even when you don’t feel it, so I know He’s working in you through this! He will get us through this friend!! 🧡 Thank you for the encouragement!

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      • Encouraging comment, Josie! This brought a smile to my face and you do not even know how it blessed me. ❤ I am so thankful for your words! And yes, He is still with us, loves us, and so patient, even though we are sinners. We do not deserve what He shows us, yet He does anyway! Life will be hard as we face trials however, He will never leave us, which is why He is trustworthy (which I keep trying to remind myself). And I will be praying for you with your health issues. I am sure it is not the easiest thing to deal with, but I hope that you can do your best with nationals. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you sooo much for posting this, Josie! Studying John 16-21 alongside y’all has just been SUCH a blessing! What an absolutely beautiful perspective on John 17! We will never, ever be alone. And still, even today, Jesus intercedes for us! (Romans 8:31) What amazing, indescribable love! This was such an encouragement, Josie. Keep following God wherever He leads you next! 💜

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