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Summary: The prayer of Jesus

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Jesus prayer John 17

It’s good to know that God is always there looking out for us. A little boy once prayed, "Dear God, I hope you’ll take good care of yourself because if anything should happen to you, we’d be in an awful fix."

I heard a story about a guy who stopped in a department store on his way home for work. It was his wife’s birthday and he told the sales lady at the perfume counter that he would like to get her something really special. So, she reached under the counter and took out a really decorative bottle and said, “This is a new fragrance and it sells for $300 an ounce.” “Nah,” he said, “Do you have something a little cheaper.” She reached in and got another one that looked just as nice but it was a little smaller. And then she said, “This one was the top seller in Paris last year and it sells for $150 an ounce.” “Nah,” He said, “Do you have something a little cheaper.” She reached in again and found a quarter ounce bottle that also looked nice and said, “This one comes from Rome and it’s only $75 an ounce.” And he said, “Lady, I’m looking for something really cheap.” And then she reached under the counter and got him a mirror.

Now, as I was said a few weeks ago, it seems like the message Jesus gave that was associated with the upper room took place both in that upstairs room and then as He and His disciples were moving from there all the way to the garden in Gethsemane. And for some reason I think I remember reading that the distance was around a mile to a mile and a half. I say this message took place over the course of an evening because we see at the end of John 14:31 where Jesus said, “Come now, let us leave” and the assumption is, that they left the upper room and He continued His teaching as they were traveling along the road.

So, after the meal was finished Jesus taught in the upper room which is covered in chapters 13 and 14 and then when He used the illustration of the vines in chapter 15 we assume they were passing by a vineyard and then they continued on until they got to the Garden of Gethsemane where the prayer of chapter 17 took place. And, I know that we can’t be too dogmatic about where and when everything took place but this is certainly how it could have happened.

And so, today, we come to chapter 17 and someone said, chapter 17 is like holy ground. John Calvin said, “Here we see the soul of Jesus.” He had just finished pouring out His heart to the disciples in chapters 13-16 and now He focuses His attention on His Father in heaven and you and I are fortunate enough to be able to observe this one-sided conversation which in fact is a prayer.

Prayer is a difficult subject for any of us from the standpoint that we all assume that everyone else finds it much easier than we do. I mean, how many times do you find yourself sitting down to pray and end up picking lint off your clothes or cleaning your finger nails? But, then again, maybe I’m the only one.

I think a lot of us can relate to Charlie Brown who on many occasions expresses a great deal of difficulty when it comes to getting his act together. And what does he do when he can’t seem to handle the pressures of life and nothing makes sense? He goes to Lucy’s psychiatric booth and we all know he’s got to be pretty desperate to go to someone like Lucy.

And the conversation goes like this. Charlie says, “Lucy you’ve got to help me out. I don’t know anything about life. My life doesn’t have any meaning or purpose. You’re just going to have to help me get my act together.” Lucy looks at Charlie and with her typical sarcastic expression she says, “Charlie Brown, life is like a deck chair on a ship. Some people take their deck chair to the back of the ship, they unfold it and they sit there looking at where they have been. Other people take their deck chair, and they unfold it, and they put it at the front of the ship so they can look and see where they are going. Now, Charlie Brown, life is simple, where is your deck chair?”

Lucy looked at him and she saw an expression of desperation and frustration on his face and then finally Charlie scratched his head and said, “Lucy I don’t know, because I have never been able to get my deck chair unfolded.” And many of us might feel like Charlie Brown because we think that everyone has it all together except us. And that we are the spiritual pygmies who dwell in the land of giants.

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