What Would You Pray?

by Dawn Aldrich

Gethsemane“…he looked toward heaven and prayed…” John 17:1

There’s no turning back the clock. Your time on earth is running short and you know it. You’ve said all your good-byes. What would you pray for? 

Not knowing for sure what lies beyond life’s veil drives us to hold on as long as possible to the only life we know and the people we love most. Pain sometimes pushes the dying to wish for relief but sadness always accompanies their departure. 

Jesus knew life from both sides-heaven and earth-life with Creator Father and life with the created and he loved both. In his last hours Jesus retreated with his  twelve disciples to a quiet spot in Gethsemane asking his closest friends, Peter, James and John to accompany him while he prayed. 

Like us, he feared his inevitable death-the agonizing sacrifice on Calvary’s cross-begging Father God for another way. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…”(Luke 22:42). Yet, being God’s Son, he continued “yet not my will, but yours be done.” 

After Jesus gathers strength by the ministering angel, his prayer shifts:

Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to those you have given him

This is Jesus’ purpose: to freely offer all humanity eternal life.

And what is eternal life? “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

God’s greater purpose, to redeem His Creation and set His kingdom right was Jesus’ sole purpose for living and dying. Faced with the hardest choice of his ministry, Jesus chose the Father’s will for the sake of humanity-that we would know the Creator Father like he knew Him. 

For those of us who know the saving grace of Jesus, who know the Father like Jesus does, shouldn’t our daily prayer be that of Jesus’ dying prayer? Shouldn’t we pray that those we love and invest our lives come to know the only true God and his Son, Jesus because of how we live?

And when we find ourselves ready, at the end of our days we too may finish our prayer like Jesus: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

Dear Jesus,

How we thank you today for your sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. Because of your unselfish love, we are able to call God our Abba, our heavenly Father and truly know Him like you do. Thank you.  May we, too, love others-those you’ve entrusted to our care-like you love us. May we glorify our Father God in our daily lives and in so doing, shine your light into their darkness and draw them to you that they may know eternal life. Amen.

(To learn more about Dawn or visit her personal blog, please visit our Contributors page).