I’d been dangling the end of an uncast fishing rod in the lake when my grandpa smiled and whispered into my little ear, “Watch this.” With one rhythmic swoop he cast the line way beyond what my awe-filled eyes could follow and transformed my fishing experience completely. Prayer is like that.
Prayer is the outward manifestation of a different kind of hope that isn’t anchored in humanity but in Jesus. In John 17, we see that the time of Jesus’ crucifixion had come and He prays for the good of others and for the glory of God. His hope was not placed in His physical strength, mental resilience, or a supportive community. His body would break, His anguish sweat blood, and His closest people betrayed or ran scared. He endured the cross’ immediate agony by prayerfully gazing onto the eternal joy that it would secure. Prayer set His heart beyond worldly preference to godly obedience, beyond humiliation to reconciliation, beyond certain death to ultimate victory. He placed His hope where failure and disappointment are impossibilities. When our prayers centre on God’s glory in each ‘hour’ that comes to us, we will be empowered to submit and endure all circumstances because our gaze has been cast beyond earthly things and onto what is glorious.
Since Christ modelled a life of continual, communion with God, even leading up to His darkest hour, we have such great hope in connecting with the same presence and power of God in prayer today. In Jesus, we do not have an insecure hope that depends on human ingenuity but a trustworthy hope in divine infallibility. Ours is a hope Who lives. The Jesus who stepped out of an ancient tomb, will walk into our modern circumstances and carry us into eternity. He’s the One who we long for, the One who we’re willing to die for, and the One who – even in crisis – we’re privileged to live for.
Lord, cast our hearts beyond what’s temporal to what’s eternal, beyond the rescuing to the Rescuer, and beyond our circumstances to display Your glory.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4