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Praying Through the Scriptures - John 12
by   
8/12/2007 / Prayers


Lord, how hard it is sometimes to get our priorities straight. Judas Iscariot had many faults, but one of them was certainly his failure to set the right priorities. Mary, it seems had the right priorities. Father, sometimes it is so hard to decide which one of several good things should take priority.

Help me, Lord, to do a better job of identifying priorities, setting priorities, and then following through on them. I do seem to be able to set priorities, but I don’t always follow through on them. Help me, Lord Jesus, to do the things you want me to do when you want me to do them. Help me, help me, please.

Lord Jesus, you told your disciples “you don’t always have me.” In the physical sense that was true. But, in the spiritual sense, we always have you. Oh, thank you, God, for making this true, for giving us your Son to be with us always. Without him, where would we be, except on our way to hell?

Father, we look at the Pharisees and think that what they did was terribly wrong. It was, and yet, when we look at ourselves, we have to ask, “Do we not sometimes try to hide the truth, try to cover up the facts, try to get rid of the evidence?” We read about it in the paper all the time. Do we do that, do I do that, on a much smaller scale, when I am confronted with truth, and it contradicts what I believe? Do I try to brush it aside, cover it up, play down the evidence? Oh, help me, God, not to do that! Help me to see the truth, to recognize the truth, and to willingly give up anything that is not compatible with the truth. Your Word is truth!

O God, what a glorious day that must have been when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and the people took their palm branches and welcomed him. Father, the people said, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” O Father, they recognized it then. Why did they, just a week later, cry out, “Crucify him”? How could they change like that? I know we all change, and not always for the better. Help me, O God, to change for the better. Change my heart. Mold me into the person you want me to be!

Although Jesus is not here physically, I too say, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel! Blessed is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Thank you, Father. Thank you for sending Jesus to show us how to live in this world that is full of sin, this fallen world. It is so hard to live here, Father, but Jesus showed us it can be done, as he relied on you and your Holy Spirit. Help me, God. Help me, also, to rely on you and your Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, you said that he who loves his life will lose it. You said that he who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. Lord, this life is hard. It is very hard, and we don’t have you physically present with us. As human beings, I think that makes life more difficult. Father, I would give up this life in an instant. In the twinkling of an eye, I would willingly give up my life for life with you forever. I do hate it here, Father. I long to be with you. I so look forward to that day, when all the pain and suffering and heartache of this world are gone, and, instead, I am with you for all eternity! O God, I can’t really comprehend what that will be like, but I know it will be fantastic!.

Until that day comes, help me, please. Help me to set my priorities right and to follow my priorities. Let my number one priority be to love you, to serve you, to worship you, to follow Jesus. You said at a different time, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Help me to do that, Father. Help me to listen to Jesus, to follow him.

Help me to walk in the light, to believe in the light of Jesus. I am a child of light. Help me to continue to walk in the light.

Father, the text says that Jesus departed and hid himself from the people. Numerous times in the Scriptures we are told that Jesus went away by himself to a lonely place or went away to pray. Father, you know I have such a hard time fitting everything into my busy days. I know this goes back to setting priorities and following through with them. So, help me, Father, to follow Jesus' example and separate myself from my busy life, to go away, physically or figuratively, to come apart to a lonely place, to a solitary place, to a quiet place, to just spend time with you, to talk with you, to listen to you. Help me, Father.

Father, as we read of the rulers who believed in Jesus but wouldn’t confess it because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue, the even more disturbing statement is that they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise. God, I thank you for helping me to understand that your praise is so much better than man’s praise! I look forward to that day when Jesus will say, “Welcome, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” That’s the praise I want to hear, Father, the praise of Jesus, telling me that I ran the race well, that I finished well. Help me, Father. The temptation is always there to do things for the praise of man. Help me to turn from that and, instead, to do what is right because it is what you want me to do. If, as a result of that, praise comes from man, so be it, but don’t let me bask in that praise. Let me, instead, turn people to you and tell them that I did what was right because that’s what God would have me do.

Lord Jesus, you spoke what your Father sent you to speak. Help me; guide my words, my thoughts. Help me to speak the words of the Father. Jesus, you gave me the Holy Spirit, your Holy Spirit. Help me now, to allow your Holy Spirit to guide me; to guide my thoughts, my actions, and my words, so that I, too, will think, do, and say only what the Father wants me to think and to do and to say. Help me, O Lord. Help me. In your name I pray. Amen.

Copyright © 2007, Star Ferdinand.

Star Ferdinand is the author of The Prayerful Bible Study Series of study guides, numerous devotionals, and other Christian writings. You can read more of her writings at starferdinand.wordpress.com.

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