The Greatest Prayer Ever Recorded

Article by Prof. Erick Aseka, Senior Pastor at Divine Grace Ecclesia, Nairobi.

We should know that the greatest of all recorded prayers of Christ is prayed as He set out towards the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross of Calvary. This prayer gives us the most astonishing insight into the heart of God, the glory of God, the plan of God and the will of God. It was offered as the only begotten Son of God took on the role of sin substitute, on behalf of fallen humanity, so that we who believe on His name might be reconciled to God through Him.

We should understand that Christ came to earth as the sinless Son of God to live life as God intended man to live, a life perfect in God’s sight, fulfilling every aspect of God’s Law, submitting to guidance of God’s Spirit, depending entirely upon God the Father and desiring to do His will.

However, because of man’s rebellion against God and man’s imputed sin nature (due to His disobedience), Christ came to live as God intended man to live, so that the life of God could be lived through a man, the Man Christ Jesus. Although He was fully God, Christ lived as fully man so that God Himself could live His life through His only begotten Son and for our sake He learned obedience through the things that He suffered.

John 17:4-5 says: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began”

This prayer was prayed prior to His going to the cross, but, in its scope, it reaches beyond and includes the cross. Our Lord knew where He was going, He knew what He would be doing in the next few hours and what would be accomplished. That work included more than the cross. It encompassed His ministry of healing and mercy, and even those thirty silent years back in Nazareth. They were all part of His life, His work, which the Father had given Him to do. He included this in His prayer to indicate to us the character of His work while He was here on earth. He is suggesting that His work was characterized by a continual self-emptying, that is, a laying aside of glory. Now that He has reached the end, he was ready to resume the glory which was properly His, but He was thinking back over thirty-three years of His life and recognizing that all during that time He had voluntarily surrendered His right to be worshipped, His right to the glory that belonged to both the Father and the Son. Jesus was pointing out that His work that glorified the Father was essentially one of self-emptying.

Throughout His life He had a heart that was ready to obey, an ear that was ready to hear, a will that was ready to be subject to the Father. It was His willingness to be always available, to forever be giving of Himself greatly glorified God.

Knowing how much it cost Him to secure our salvation, we need to put Him at the centre of our lives. We should know that it is only this obedience that glorifies the Father. We should consciously and gladly offer Him obedience so that He leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Prof. Erick Aseka, is the Senior Pastor at Divine Grace Ecclesia, Nairobi.


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