Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, August 28, 2017
Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 08.28.2017” on Spreaker.
This is devotional thought number 66 in our devotional series, “Essentials of Faith.” Our subject is: My Privilege of Prayer
Here’s the question for consideration: In whose mind and spirit should I pray?
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).
Why You Need An Advocate
You may be confused by my question after reading the focus passage. Why would I ask in whose “mind and spirit” should I pray? Let’s dive in; shall we?
When we consider the influence Jesus has over answered prayers, we appropriately underscore the need to have Him intercede on our behalf. In our own strength and with our own merits, we have don’t deserve to gain audience with God. Thus, we have a Mediator, to represent our case to the bar of God.
Maybe that’s not the best way of explaining it, but follow me. There is also a vital element present in the principle of praying in Christ’s name. It has to do with getting alone with God and surrendering our mindsets to Him, and adopting the mindset of Christ. Paul said it well when He said we should let this mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus. So, when we approach the throne of grace in prayer our aim is to assimilate the mind of Christ and be aligned with God’s desires for us.
When I was young, I really wanted to be a criminal defense attorney. It’s a long story. My plan was to get my undergraduate degree in psychology and then pursue law with my goal being criminal defense. I took a different path.
In retrospect, I wonder what it’s like for criminal defense attorneys who represent persons whose ideologies are different than their own. How must it be to have to give them the best chance at either beating a charge, minimizing the sentence, or leveraging a plea bargain when the defendant is rude, vulgar, inflammatory, or unrepentant?
I do realize I created a worst case scenario here, but continue to follow me. In my contrived scenario, the attorney’s singular duty is to competently represent the client according to the law. Full-stop. It does not matter whether they are best friends, have common life philosophies, went to grade school together, or both have children whose names are Megan, or not. The attorney must fulfill his or her charge honestly and competently.
How to Work with Your Advocate
In the case of prayer, we must be on the same page with Christ for it to work. Brass tacks. Any life philosophy, paradigm, desires, intentions, or anything else must be yielded to Him so He can represent us and get our prayers answered.
Do note that I did not say that we needed to somehow offer a noble act or thought in our own strength for Him to “accept” our case. God has all of that covered. He provides the blessed Holy Spirit to bring us into agreement with Him. He empowers us to begin seeing things God’s way. He actuates us to conform to His will. When we pray with our mindsets surrendered to Christ, He can speak on our behalf with no conflicts of interest.
In conclusion, I need you to consider the icing on the cake. God has chosen you to do great work for Him for the benefit of others. He has ordained you to accomplish things uniquely associated with your spiritual gifts. He has planned for you to be fruitful in life according to His estimation. You heavenly Father loves you so much that He gave Jesus to make all of this, and more, possible. He loves to hear your prayers. He loves to answer your prayers. Align yourself with Jesus, accept His mindset, and allow Him to represent you in all things. That is a recipe for success.