Day 8: The Prayer God Always Answers
Jesus' time of teaching about his Father's kingdom had drawn to an end. There would be no more opportunity to hold a leper in his hands or sit in Mary's home in Bethany and talk of his Father's wonders, at least not in this body, not in the way he had grown accustomed.
He had returned to Jerusalem for his final visit. Days away from yielding himself to those who sought to kill him, his heart was deeply troubled. He stood on the threshold of the greatest act of love and trust our world would ever behold, but he knew in doing so he would be consumed.
What should he do? Would he trust his Father's love and continue the journey, or would he cut it short in a moment of weakness and beckon angels to set him free? Perhaps the most powerful lesson he taught his disciples about prayer began by polling how they thought he should pray: "What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour?'"
Perhaps there were nods around the circle as they all acknowledged how good that sounded to them. That's how we're used to praying. In moments of trial and pain, it is natural even for the unbeliever to cry out for help. "Save me, God! If you get me out of this I will serve you forever!"
His disciples understood that prayer well enough, but Jesus wanted them to learn a better way. Even when it was his life at stake, Jesus was tuned to a better frequency. "No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour." What he wanted personally wasn't in the picture. He was focused elsewhere, on the purpose that transcended his personal happiness.
Then he prayed the prayer he wanted them to hear, "Father, glorify your name" (John 12:27).
In this brief exchange we learn everything we will need to know about prayer and what it means to follow God in this life. Every situation you'll ever encounter will offer you two options in prayer: "Father, save me" or "Father, glorify your name!"
One will lead you to frustration and disillusionment; the other to the greatest wonders in God's heart.