John 12:20–36 (NRSV)
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”
John’s account of Holy Week has this account of a conversation between Jesus, his disciples, some Greeks and God the Father. It is one of the most fascinating parts of Jesus’ narrative as captured by John in my opinion. Did you catch that God the Father interjects into the conversation? Almost like he was eavesdropping!!!
Jesus was following God’s will so closely and so in tune with God’s heart that every word coming from his lips was in fact prayer. This account has helped to develop my habit of praying before meetings and other conversations, “Please hear all that we say and do as prayer and worship to you.”
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. I find that difficult to do as a “compartmentalizer”and someone prone to distraction. But Jesus figured it out. He lived in a way that his life was a continuous prayer and as a result he stayed in lock-step with God the Father.
As a result, during Holy Week he continued to be comforted with God the Father’s presence that included his voice. And not only was Jesus brought comfort and affirmation, those around him were also blessed and taught by God’s presence. How cool would it be that our life of continual prayer would impact those around us in such a way! Jesus shows what is possible.
Lord, help me to follow you example to pray without ceasing. May my entire life be heard by you as prayer and worship.