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Lent 2017 Devotional—March 8

Lent 2017 Devotional—March 8

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need… Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 4: 14-16, 7: 25

What do you imagine Jesus doing right now?

Scripture tells us that He is praying for us! As you begin to pray today you are joining a prayer meeting already in progress, a 24/7 prayer meeting. Today’s Scripture says that Jesus is our “great high priest” who “always lives to make intercession.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Christ the Center, says that we err in praying when we put too much emphasis on “how” and not enough emphasis on “Who”. Scottish theologian James Torrance writes about the “Who” who prays for us, as Christ our great high priest:

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus comes to be the Priest of Creation, to do for men what man fails to do… that He might stand in for us in the presence of His Father, when in our failure and bewilderment we don’t know how to pray as we ought, and forget to pray. By His Spirit He helps us in our infirmities. (“ The Place of Jesus Christ in Worship”, Theological Foundations for Ministry)

Jesus came down from heaven to draw us into His communion with the Father, lifting us to share in His very life. As our great high priest He right now stands in for us with the Father, taking our feeble, inarticulate prayers into His. We can pray in the name of Jesus because Jesus has first prayed in ours, offering up for us our prayers to the Father.

It is essential in learning to pray that we know when Jesus prays, His Father always hears and answers His prayers: “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me” (John 11: 41-42). This does not mean that we do not need to pray. It means that as our high priest, Jesus takes our prayers and presents them to the Father as His own.

Jesus is the perfect God-Man, who being fully God and fully man can “sympathize” with us in our “weaknesses”. Jesus truly understands you and what you are experiencing, and offers faithful prayers on your behalf. Therefore, today’s Scripture urges us to “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Let go all your worries about “how” to pray and know “Who” prays for you!

PRAYER RETREAT

  • Take a few moments to meditate on today’s Scripture from Hebrews.
  • After meditating on this text, record your thoughts in your prayer journal about the following:
    • What does this text say to me today as I pray?
    • What does it mean for me that Christ my great high priest is praying for me?
    • What will it mean for me to approach with boldness “the throne of grace”?

“The basis of true prayer is the Sonship of Jesus which we share in union with him.”
P. T. Forsyth, The Soul of Prayer

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