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Is This a Time of New Priorities?

April 7 – Gerry Gardner

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (John 12: 23) These words of Jesus in the week before His death seem to jump off the page at me for the time we are living in now. Jesus continues with profound imagery as He confirms His own mission and now ours……"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in the world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me, and where I am, there will My servant be also. Whoever serves Me, the Father will honor.” (vs 24-26) I get the part about needing to lose my life in one sense of the word….so many things that I have counted on and filled my day with are suddenly not so available and, I am learning, are not that important. It is a time of new priorities and letting go of much. I pray that I will remember what I am learning when this whole virus thing is over. The part that Jesus says about following Him and serving has made me think a bit more. Serving when we aren’t even able to go out and be with others? Oh, I know there are phone calls that can be made and notes of encouragement that can be written, but somehow I sense that Jesus is talking about something deeper for these days we are in. And then I saw it…."whoever serves Me”, and I ask Him, “How can I best serve You right now, today, in the midst of all that is going on?” As I asked, I had a glimpse of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and I knew in my spirit that this is to be a time of great prayer in agreement with Jesus….praying the Word…..believing His Word…….and, as the psalmist wrote, “I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14) Can I pray more? Indeed I can. I can trade the never-ending news reports for continuous prayer. I can set aside my urge to do the “killing time” distractions I have started to acquire and use my time to serve Jesus in prayer for those He brings to mind, for things that are on His heart, for this world that so desperately needs to depend on Him again. My own insecurities in how I pray are not what are important. Henri Nouwen, in his book With Open Hands, speaks to this: “The important thing about prayer is not whether it is classified as petition, thanksgiving or praise, but whether it is a prayer of hope or of little faith.” So, it seems, the psalmist knew of what he wrote. May that hope be so in my life….and yours. Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, it is our greatest hope to honor You and the Father in this holy and set-apart time. Draw us into You and hearken our ears to hear Your heart as You intercede at the right hand of the Father. Make us a people of prayer that we may truly be part of Your being “glorified again” (John 12:28b) in this world. We put all our hope in You and pray with open hearts for the glory that is to come….as we pray always in Your Name. Amen.

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