Meeting Jesus at the Prayer Meeting

When we are too distracted or sleepy in the prayer meeting, it is good to remember that we are not praying alone

As we met last night for prayer we weren’t meeting alone. We were meeting with Jesus. Our own prayers for conversions, growth, preservation, fellowship, joy, unity, faithfulness, and the glory of God are simply the “Amen” we utter in response to the continual intercession of Jesus Christ the only mediator between God and man. When that thought hit me–that I’m praying with Jesus–it changed everything and I was glad for the opportunity to meet with him.

 

Last night was our church’s monthly prayer meeting. And, if I’m honest, after a busy and somewhat disappointing day, I didn’t really want to go to the prayer meeting. My simple excuse: I wasn’t feeling “it.” But I was reminded that at times like that–especially at times like that–I shouldn’t be driven away from prayer but driven to prayer. So I went. And, to be honest again, I was met with all the internal and mental difficulties that often attend our times in prayer. It’s easy to get distracted, it’s easy to lose focus, it’s easy to get sleepy. To my shame these are the things that go through my head when I should be adding my “Amen” to the prayers of others. Are my distracted, unfocused, and sleepy prayers really one of the means God uses to accomplish his will on earth as it is in heaven? Yes.

As I think about that, I’m struck with a profound reality. No one in that room last night who prayed in faith, no one who prayed “Your will be done,” no one who uttered their “Amen” in Jesus’ name, was praying alone. Rather, by the Spirit of Christ our hearts, wills, and even our voices, were being united with our High Priest, Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews says, “He always lives to make intercession” (Heb 7:25). It doesn’t matter if he is praying next to me, or if he is in heaven–distance makes no difference, the point is: he is continually praying.

And what is he praying? The Puritan John Owen once wrote, “[In the heavenly prayers of Jesus there is] a putting up, a requesting, and offering unto God, of his desires and will for the church, attended with care, love, and compassion.” Is it too much to think that the content of Jesus’ prayers in heaven, is the same as his prayers on earth? What did he pray for on earth? We know from John 17 he prayed that we would be kept in the truth (v 11), he prayed that we would have joy (v 13), he prayed that we would be guarded from the evil one (v 15), he prayed for our sanctification (v 17), he prayed for the evangelistic endeavors of the church (v 20), he prayed for unity (v 22), he prayed for closer communion with himself (v 24), and he prayed that we would know his glory (v 24). That’s his desire and his will for the church, and he continually prays it with care, love, and compassion.

As we met last night for prayer we weren’t meeting alone. We were meeting with Jesus. Our own prayers for conversions, growth, preservation, fellowship, joy, unity, faithfulness, and the glory of God are simply the “Amen” we utter in response to the continual intercession of Jesus Christ the only mediator between God and man. When that thought hit me–that I’m praying with Jesus–it changed everything and I was glad for the opportunity to meet with him.

Kyle Borg is a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) and serves as pastor of Winchester Reformed Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Kan. This article appeared on the church blog and is used with permission.