Hebrews 5: 7-10 & 7: 23-28
Take a moment to be still and to pray ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ before reading the scriptures. If you are in the company of others, invite someone to read the text aloud.
If you are gathering with your family, invite someone to read this reflection aloud.
One of life’s richest joys can be found when a fellow pilgrim looks you in the eye and gently asks, “Can I pray for you?”
Aware of life’s state of play, as your friend begins to offer up petitions and speak aloud their blessing, it’s clear that this isn’t the first time they’ve prayed for you. Through the nuance of their requests and the depth of devotion behind their encouragement, you can tell that they have been on their knees, repeatedly offering your life before the Lord. There is something about their cadence that speaks to the rhythm of prayer they have adopted behind the scenes. So much so that when they offer to pray for you, it becomes clear how utterly engaged they have been in interceding for you.
When I hear the deep prayers made for me by dear friends, I’m left feeling humbled yet eager to take one faithful step further forward.
What if I told you Jesus is praying for you like that, right now?
While we may not be able to draw close around the throne of God to listen in on the words of Jesus’ prayers coming from the right hand side, through Hebrews 7, we can clearly hear His heart. Jesus is interceding for you and He’s not going to stop. Applying what the atonement accomplished through intercession, as Dane Ortlund puts it, “the divine Son never ceases to bring his atoning life, death and resurrection before his Father in a moment by moment way.” Jesus never disengages in praying for you.
As you read these words, as you breathe your next breath, consider that Christ has you in mind in the givenness of this very moment. He’s praying for you, now.
Just let that sink in before you rush ahead.
We see this habit of fervent prayer throughout Jesus’ life on earth and today He continues in the same vein. His appearing amongst us has set Christ up to operate as the ultimate intercessor, for His prayers are informed by His incarnation. With the muscle memory of what it means to be human and still bearing the wounds of His sacrifice in His resurrected body, Christ prays from a unique perspective. Familiar with our frame, an expert in our experience, Jesus’ prayers are more engaged and more informed than you can imagine.
He knows you more intimately than you know yourself.
From this vantage point, Jesus prays for you. His cadence is quickened by His passion for you, His words strung together, laced with love.
As you pause to pray today, and especially if the best you can offer are merely wordless groans, may you remember that Jesus is always praying for you before you pray to Him. He’s praying for you, now.
Depending on which time of day you are practicing this office, you can use the morning or evening prayer. All to pray the following words aloud.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi
If you are gathering with your family, wait a moment and listen for the voice of God. Prayerfully share any words, pictures, encouragements or scriptures with each other by the laying on of hands.
Whether you are by yourself, or in the company of others, take time to pray for others that the Holy Spirit brings to mind, blessing them in His name.
Close your time by singing or saying aloud the Doxology.
“Fight back the dark with doxology. Doxology can detox the day.”
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, you heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Amen and Amen.