James 5:16, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”
What comes out of our mouths in prayer reveals what’s in our mind and heart when we pray. Have you ever asked yourself while praying, how would Jesus pray in and for a situation like the one you are praying for? Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” to have the mind of Christ will drive away any of our selfish desires that we may pray the heart of God in a situation rather than our own.
John 11 is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. John tells us of Jesus’ relationship to Lazarus, Mary and Martha (sisters and brother). John says, Mary is the one who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil. And when Lazarus was sick, vs. 3. “…the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” … Vs. 5. “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”. John stresses the word “love” for a reason. There was such a bond, such connection. Anything they may have needed the One who loved them would provide if they asked. Lazarus is now sick, they ask (pray) the Lord to come and heal. We would expect Jesus to rise up and rush to the aid of His friends He loved. Well, we are told He stayed where He was for two more days. Jesus knew Lazarus would die and He let him die, He did not even make it to the burial. What was the mind of Christ in this situation and how would others have processed all these according to His mind?
Let’s find out why He did not respond to their prayer when they needed Him the most. He had a bigger picture in mind than what Lazarus’ sisters and others would have thought. For them a brother alive and well was good enough while Jesus had a different way of looking at it, Point 1. This was a situation that would allow God the Father to be glorified in it and so was His Son glorified through it, vs. 4. “When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Point 2. He wanted the situation to build the disciples faith far beyond healing vs. 15, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe”. Point 3. He wanted to show those who were present that He was sent of God and had the power to resurrect the ones He loves (salvation) vs. 41, “Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” The sisters and the people who came to mourn did not have the mind of Christ otherwise they would have seen the bigger picture. Mary and Martha both said “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” at different times, vs. 36, “Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” minds limited to the natural human thinking.
Jesus on the other hand wanted to pray the heart of the Father in the situation. How about when the devil desired to sift Simon Peter as wheat, the Lord did not rebuke the devil, what did He tell Peter, Luke 22:31, “31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”, Again we see the Lord addressing a bigger picture. The bigger picture shows that it’s way bigger than us and our needs. When we have the mind of Christ, our approach to effective praying would be through His eyes and not ours. Making prayers that are Christ centered and for it to be Christ centered, it has to begin with the mind of Christ because it’s all for His glory. To continue, Blessings Ev