“What are you seeking?” Those are the first recorded words of Jesus in the Gospel of John (1:38). What we seek reveals our personal passion. Jesus is interested in my passion, what drives me, what motivates me, what fulfills me. Before considering passion in prayer it would be wise to identify what it is I am really seeking through prayer, thus answering Jesus’ question.
Jesus’ passion was the will of the Father: My food is to do the will of Him who sent me (John 4:34). His prayer flowed from the passion of trust and obedience in that good and loving will. Jesus had no personal agenda for His life or His prayer, did nothing on His own initiative, spoke only what He heard from the Father, and did only what He saw the Father doing (see John 5:19, 30; 8:28, 38, 42).
As we observe Jesus at prayer, our goal is to catch His passion for intimacy with the Father, which for us becomes personal passion in prayer. But pray-er beware! Jesus’ intimacy with the Father incited the religious establishment’s desire to kill Him. Intimacy with God is seldom a crowd pleaser. But it ushers us into the great passionate conversation called prayer. Personal passion in prayer is the difference between blowing a kiss and kissing. It is the movement from smelling bread to eating bread, from knowing about to true knowing.
We ask, “How?” Jesus says, “Come and see.” Come and see where He abides and join Him there. (Compare John 1:38-39 with chapter 15.) Jesus, we come. Teach us to pray with passion.
Holy God, my spirit longs to be filled with passion for all that you are; yet, so many other things in life are continually vying for my time and attention. May my desire to “come and see” grow so deep that nothing can separate me from Your love. Help me to stand firm against the traps of the enemy to draw me towards what is worthless. Keep my heart pure and focused upon life in Your kingdom as I seek more of You alone!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 23, Jesus as a Role Model of Personal Passion in Prayer by Howard Baker). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Pray for opportunities to build up and encourage any friends whose spirits may be sagging. Pray that the tongue will be an instrument of peace and not strife in your family life.
Uphold those who teach Christian doctrine in your congregation. Pray that they will be careful to teach the truth. Ask that they might communicate spiritual truths in an engaging and effective manner.