Mr. Spurgeon, many years ago, made a parable. He thought he had a right to make one, and he did it. He said: “There was once a tyrant who ordered one of his subjects into his presence, and ordered him to make a chain. The poor blacksmith—that was his occupation—had to go to work and forge the chain. When it was done, he brought it into the presence of the tyrant, and he was ordered to take it away and make it twice the length. He brought it again to the tyrant, and again he was ordered to double it. Back he came when he had obeyed the order, and the tyrant looked at it, and then commanded the servants to bind the man hand and foot with the chain he had made and cast him into prison. And,” Mr. Spurgeon said, “that is what the devil does with man. He makes them forge their chain, and then binds them hand and foot with it, and casts them into outer darkness.” My friends that are just what these drunkards, these gamblers, these blasphemers—that is just what every sinner is doing. But, thank God, we can tell you of a deliverer. The Son of God has the power to break every one of these fetters if you will only come to Him. – Source Unknown
This post on prayer is critical for the Christian trying to find his or her place in this world. During times of trials and persecution, it is tempting to pray “Lord take us out of this situation and bring us all home to be with you”. Notice though that was not what Jesus prayed. He did not pray to God to put a fence around us, or for a big Chariot of fire to carry us all up to heaven. Instead, he prayed, “I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They are not part of this world any more than I am.” John 17:14-16
A Prayer for Deliverance
Twice in this prayer, Jesus reminds the Father, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Jesus’ prayer is asking the Father to “keep them from the evil one (Satan).”
Satan is the prince of this world. To illustrate: as parents, one of the fears we are faced with is, keeping our children safe from evil. We are aware of temptations in the world. When they were little, you kept a careful watch at the park, warning your kids never to talk to strangers. As they grew up the threats never lessened, they just changed. Now the warning is from strangers offering you things that would hurt you. Our concern was simple; we don’t want our kids to be exposed to the sickness that is lurking out there in the world. Once Christians have left the protective eyesight of the Savior we are exposed then to all the trappings the world has to offer. Our Lord prays for our deliverance.
A Prayer for Christians to be Pure and Holy
“Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth. As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself entirely to you so they also might be entirely yours.” John 17:17-19
This idea of holiness is often a confusing concept. Allow me to introduce this section with a bit of humor.
An old deacon used to pray every Wednesday night at the prayer meeting for his shortcomings in his Christian walk. Once the prayer was over he always ended the same way: “And, Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life. The things that are gathered there that ought not to have been there. O Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life.” It got too much for one fellow in the prayer meeting after hearing the deacon once too often; so when the old deacon said the same prayer the next time, the fellow jumped to his feet and shouted: “Lord, Lord, don’t clean the cobwebs. Kill the spider, kill the spider.”- Source Unknown
The lure of the world.
The weakness of the sinful flesh and the constant onslaught of the devil are daily battles. In the Old Testament, this concept of holiness is often carried out with the burning of a sacrifice. But that sacrifice was not able to purify from sin. Jesus cleansed Himself even though He had no sin by setting Himself apart. He was made separate (purified) as the sacrificial offering to God so that we, His followers, might also be pure and holy.
The key lesson this prayer is: “sanctification (purification) is not about avoiding or escaping the world but yielding and surrendering to God.” The word “world” is prominent in Jesus’ prayer, it occurs an astonishing 20 times in John 17.
Our weapons in this fight against the world’s beliefs, its value systems, and its destructive attitudes are prayer to God. (Jn 17:9) It is obedience to the word of God (Jn 17: 6, 8, 14). And the power of His name (Jn 17:11).
Being set apart does not mean we are hiding away waiting for Christ to return. God will allow you to be scraped and to be sore but not to be stabbed. You will be hated and hurt but not harmed. Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” For the Christian as the Apostle Paul reminds us, we are more than conquerors.
Other blogs in this series on Prayer: