John 11.41-42 cont.
41 Then they took away the stone. Then Jesus raised up His eyes and said: “Father, I thank You that You heard Me.”
42 “I knew that You always hear Me, but I said this because of the crowd standing around that they might believe that You sent Me.”
4 Jesus prayed for the benefit of the crowd. We must take note that Jesus, although praying for the benefit of the gathered crowd, still, addressed His pray to the Father. Jesus was not ‘playing to the gallery’, as we might say. He was praying so that the crowd might be built up.
Perhaps all of us have from time to time been guilty of ‘playing to the gallery’ in our praying. That is our prayers may have been constructed in our minds to have an impressive affect on those around us, rather than been the sincere outpouring of our heart to the Father. It is easy to fall into doing this, because of the pride that at times invades our hearts. When this happens the motive of our heart maybe to let others see how well I pray; see how beautifully I put my words together.
Jesus was not doing this, although He was praying to have an impressive affect on those gathered around Him.
Paul urges us all with these words: Always be praying by making request at all times in the Spirit, also be attentive in perseverance with your requests for all the saints – Ephesians 6.18.
Before we pray it is good for us to invite the Holy Spirit to inspire our thoughts to pray as Jesus wants us to pray. In this way our prayers will be acceptable to God, honouring to Jesus, and an inspiration to those who hear us.
We can all learn from the Spirit filled prayers of others.
5 The object of the prayer of Jesus was that the crowds would believe that the Father had sent Jesus into the world. The prayer of Jesus was evangelistic. The objective of the prayer of Jesus was to build up the faith of the crowds; it was to bring them to accept Him as the Son of God.
There is a quality of praying in this prayer of Jesus that we also need to embrace. It was not a long prayer. Long prayers can often leave behind those who are listening. The brevity of the prayer of Jesus would catch the attention of those listening.
May the Holy Spirit guide and lead us into the same pattern of praying that Jesus displayed.