Rev Nick Witham
Dear Brothers & Sister in Christ,
A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
"Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
No said the minister. " I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to heaven."
"Your're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying on the floor."
The repair man could contain himself no longer.
"Hey fellas" he interrupted. "The best praying I ever did was when I was hanging upside down from a telephone pole."
It is often the case that our prayer takes on a more urgent nature when we are faced with fear and uncertainty. And here too, Jesus prayers have a more critical edge as he knows he is going very soon to his arrest, trial and death. But in these prayers there is a running theme of relationship.
As Jesus prays to his Father, he uses the words "Abba Father" — words of close relationship, he asks to be glorified so that he might bring glory to the Father. Then he prays for his disciples and again speaks of relationship, that as they knew him and where he came from glory has come to him through them!! And in v11 he prays that they will be protected by the power of the Father's Holy Name and that they will become one just as the Father and Son are one.
The passage is rich with yet more revelation about relationship. Jesus prays out loud for all to hear, claiming without doubt to have authority over all people......that he might give eternal life. Now eternal life (v3) is that they and we might know the only true God and Jesus Christ. So, what does it mean to know God? There are different types of knowing.....here is an example......we might ask one another..."Oh do you know Fred?....you know the chap with the flat cap who you see walking his dog"....you say...oh yes I know who you mean.....the thing is you know who the person is talking about, but you have never actually met him — you don't KNOW him or anything about him. But if you asked me if I know my children or if I know my wife, I would say YES.... I know them deeply because I spend time with them.
So may you come and enter into and enjoy the relationship that Jesus and the Father offer here. For when you come and spend time with him, you will know not only of his love for you but also his protection and his presence.
But also as we enter into this relationship with HIM, we also become one with each other in and through his name. This means that I can call you brothers and sisters for we are united together in relationship with Jesus and with each other as children of God. How amazing is that.
So in unity let us encourage one another and share stories and experiences of our relationship with God — as we seek him, spend time with him and give him glory.
'The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.'
Philippians 4: 5 — 6
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