John chapter 17 gives us a priveleged glimpse into the prayer time of Jesus, appealing to God the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Before I go any further, I must stop and check my attitude to see if I am approaching this with proper reverence and awe.
Now I am far from being like Christ. (Some days much farther than others!) My children, however, as they live with me and learn with me are not that far off from the disciples. As I approach the beginning of another homeschool year it would be good to examine how Christ prayed for his disciples and pray for my children in a like manner.
He prayed that they would obey God’s Word (v.6) Yes, Lord, may they not only gain head knowledge of You, but put that knowledge into action in their lives. May they be quick to discern Your voice and quick to obey.
He prayed that they would know that everything comes from God the Father. (v. 7) Help us to get a better handle on stewardship, Father. Help us to understand that everything we “have” is Yours, to remember that we are only investors in Your Kingdom, to comprehend that stewardship not only applies to money and things, but our time and abilities as well.
He prayed that they would be certain in their faith. (v.8) Oh, yes Lord! May they not only grow rock-solid roots of faith, but may they grow in their ability to give an answer and a reasonable account for their faith.
He prayed that God would protect them from the world.(v.11) And Father, can you help their father and I do a better job of discerning how much of the world we expose them to? May we repent O Lord of our own worldliness.
He prayed that they would be unified. (v. 11) You have made them so delightfully distinct. Please help my children to find unity in spirit while growing to be the people You made them to be.
He prayed for his disciples to have the full measure of joy within them.(v. 13) Yes! Yes, Lord! I pray for joy to fill our home! I pray for smiles and laughter and fun and silliness. I pray that we would enjoy each other as a family. And as the trials and tribulations come our way, I pray that we would braid ourselves with each other and with You and experience the deep peace of knowing that You are God and You are Good and You have not forgotten us or lost control. For this too, is joy.
He prayed that God would protect his disciples from spiritual attack. (v. 15) O Father, Satan is jealous for all You possess, and as each of us is Your possession we are targets for his wrath. I pray for each of my children that You would make them aware of the enemy’s methods and that they would turn to You when tempted.
He prayed that they would be sanctified. (v.17) Dear Father, please help my children to grow in Christ-likeness, and let their father and I grow as well. May each of us look a little more like your Son as each day passes.
Finally he prayed for those who would believe in him through their message.(v.20) This is such a sobering and awe-inspiring thought…that these children who I too often think of as my own are really Yours from the beginning with a role to play in Your Kingdom. May they each one grow to be obedient to that role and may Your Kingdom increase and expand due to the obedience of my children. I pray for these people who I have not yet met that You would do for them all that I have just prayed for my children.
And as I draw ever nearer to the beginning of yet another homeschool year, I am given words of comfort and peace. I don’t have to be perfect or perform super-human feats in order to please my heavenly Father. “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (v. 4) Thank you Father. One day at a time. Moment by moment help me to to bring you glory by completing the work you gave me to do.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.