"Jesus prays for himself, he prays for his disciples, and he prays for future believers"
Following the Last Supper the scriptures tell us that the disciples and Jesus sang a song and then went to the Garden to pray. Only in John's gospel do we read that Jesus prayed again, while still at the table.
Although this prayer is not the "official" Lord's Prayer, I believe Jesus gives us a wonderful example of a devotional prayer. It has become one of my favorite passages of scripture and the guideline I use in my Sabbath Time. Jesus begins by praying for himself. By praying for himself first, Jesus gave me permission to do the same. What I have discovered is that in order for me to be able to care for, and minister to others, I need to pray for direction, guidance and strength for myself.
Jesus continues his prayer by praying for his disciples which includes us today. Jesus prayed to God to protect his Disciples, and equip them to carry on his work once he would no longer be with them. It is vital for all of us to pray for and encourage each other so that together we can continue to build God's Kingdom here on earth.
Finally, Jesus prayed for future believers, those who would believe in Him through the message of his disciples - including us. Jesus wanted everyone to know God, as Jesus knew God, in order that the love God had for Jesus may be in them as well.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday Worship service takes us through the events surrounding the last supper and the other events that evening in the Garden.
This service is so moving for me, because, more than any other time, I really focus on the pain of Jesus. Not the pain of the crucifixion, but the pain of washing the feet of the one who would deny him....the pain of disappointment in the disciples who couldn't stay awake and pray with him....and then the ultimate pain of betrayal when one of his disciples identified him to the soldiers by kissing him on his cheek.
Lord, we read the events of the night you were betrayed and we wonder how many times we have caused you pain by our actions. Forgive us as we strive to serve You with a greater commitment to follow Your example in our lives. Amen.