“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17:4
One of my favorite coffee mugs bears a background image of a white-bearded, Moses coming down the mountain carrying two huge stone tablets, one under each arm. In the foreground, the words of one man speaking to another are inserted and framed in the iconic comic strip bubble. It says, “Oh, no! Not another mission statement.” Can I get a witness?
Jesus prayed and stayed on task. The Mission of His life was not to make a name for Himself, but to make a difference in the world by glorifying The Father. In His High Priestly prayer Jesus revealed the result of a life time of praying and staying on mission. He stated He had finished the work The Father gave Him to do on the earth. What a powerful statement.
Prayerful people stay on mission, by glorifying The Father. Prayerless people are prideful people who use The Father’s name to make a name for themselves. In doing so, they stray from The Mission. Self-glorification is one of the most common forms of idolatry.
The Mission of prayer is to glorify The Father. It is not about doing something for Him, or giving Him information, but in spending time with Him. The Father chooses to spend time with His children. When His children fail to pray, they fail to honor The Father.
“Though we cannot by our prayers give God any information, yet we must by our prayers give him honor.” Matthew Henry
Going on a mission trip is often confused with being on mission. Prolific photo ops with unreached people groups are no substitute for personal participation in private prayer sessions with The Father. Taking a trip once a year may increase a poser’s frequent flyer miles, but they will not make up for the precious sense of direction found in spending time in The Father’s Presence. But I digress.
When frantic Martha raced into The Presence of Jesus, she was exasperated that her sister, Mary was not helping her prepare a meal for His disciples. Surprisingly, Jesus rebuked her, and commended Mary. He said,
“But only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42
Note to self: When it comes to prayer, franticly working to accomplish your own mission, steals your joy of being on task to accomplish The Mission. Praying in The Spirit will draw you to The Father in the name of Jesus and keep you from straying from The Mission. Your mission, should you agree to accept it is impossible without prayer. Increasing your worries without increasing your praying reveals the “To Do List” of a fool. Prayer takes turns the impossible into MISSION: HIMpossible.
Praying in The Spirit keeps the prayerful from straying from The Presence of The Intercessor, and The Mission of The Father. Often life is inundated with with unexpected crises or unappreciated divine appointments ranging from the mundane to the insane. At the first prompting of The Spirit, the heart of child-like prayer warrior softly sings, “Tell It to Jesus.” Childish and prayerless posers take on the impossible, and proudly pout, “I do it myself!”
THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM of 1646:
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
The prayer life of Jesus glorified The Father, and gave Him great joy. His priority on praying, and staying on mission should inspire His followers to prayerfully begin each day, face any crisis, take every breath, and overcome each hurdle in The Presence of The Father. Praying led Jesus to glorify The Father. His followers should do no less.
The Mission is to glorify The Father on the earth, not to spend time giving God instructions on how to improve what He created or complaining to Him about what He has allowed to take place on the earth. Praying improves a prayer warrior’s capacity to see God at work, and make the best, even in the worst of times.
Prayer responds to God’s Spirit gentlest touch. Wise prayer warriors give Him the time and the elbow room to transform the impossible into the HIMpossible.
Prayer empowers prayer warriors to endure trials, pass tests, shed tears and celebrate triumphs, the way Jesus did. Jesus did not run around in panic, taking His Father’s name in vain, while trying to figure out what to do next. He faced whatever the enemy or life brought to Him, by placing it before The Father in prayer.
Prayer warriors stand next to The Champion and call out His name. Their dependence on The Son’s name brings glory to The Father’s name. In prayer, they receive The Father’s direction, protection and correction to carry out The Mission.
The Father’s Son was known for praying, not straying. The Father’s children honor Him by running to Him with anything that breaks their hearts or crosses their minds. They do not fear, when they sense The Father is near. Nothing glorifies Him more than praying children. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!