If ever we need encouragement, this verse is certainly one to hold on to. The thought that Jesus continually prays for us is very comforting indeed.
The NLT version of this verse is worded differently, but the truth of it remains the same, and is just as powerful, ‘Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through Him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf’.
We all need prayer and will often ask our Christian brothers and sisters to pray for us when going through various trials in our daily lives, whatever form they may take. When others do pray for us, we feel strengthened and uplifted, even if an immediate answer to prayer doesn’t occur. But to have Jesus praying for us is better still. His prayers for us will be just right and will cover exactly what we need at that particular time.
Jesus ‘stands in the gap’ between us and God as our advocate when we stumble and fall into sin. ‘If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks (prays) to the Father in our defence - Jesus Christ the Righteous one’ (1 John 2:1).
Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for our sin, having died on the cross to pay the penalty that was due to us. He rose again and is still alive today, presenting us as faultless and blameless before God our Father. Jesus knows our weakness and understands our temptations. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15).
In John’s gospel, Chapter 17, we read that Jesus prays first of all for His disciples (who were alive at that time) then for all who would become believers later on. He prays, ‘My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one’. It’s worth taking the time to read the whole of John 17, because the truth it contains is so profound.
I have to be honest. For the past couple of weeks I’ve really been struggling and feeling quite low with the current Covid situation, especially as Christmas is rapidly approaching and it’s still uncertain whether we will be able to spend the day with family as we normally do. Being reminded of the fact that Jesus is always praying for me has uplifted me and I feel encouraged and strengthened once more.
I hope you too will be encouraged and strengthened, knowing Jesus is always praying for you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for praying for me. Knowing this, I am strengthened when I’m struggling. Most of all, I thank You for being my Saviour and setting me free from my guilt and shame. All my hope is in You. You have the words of eternal life. Amen.
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