Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"1 (Lyrics)
John 17:17,20 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. (KJV)
During my growing-up years, Christianity was an integral part of my lifestyle. Very soon after I met the young man who was to become my husband, I was taken to his family home to be introduced to his loved ones. I quickly learned that the expression of Christianity that I was accustomed to was perhaps a little less exuberant than theirs, which appeared to include every aspect of their daily living. At any rate, I immediately became aware that I did not possess their joy.
It was their approach to prayer that opened a door of revelation which I had never experienced before. Following the evening meal, it was their custom to have a family altar. We all knelt down before our chairs, forming a circle around the table — indeed, a spiritual link in the chain of prayer. Many strangers, friends, and loved ones were prayed for regarding their many needs. It was some years later that my husband told me of his family's prayers on my behalf about my heavy smoking habit. A number of times, I had tried to stop without any positive results. I believe that my being able to overcome the habit successfully was due to the direct result of prayer.
Today, there are very few remaining prayer participants who were present during those early experiences that I shared with the Poole family. Regardless of their absence, the essence of those prayers lingers in my mind and, indeed, have become part of my Christian experience. I believe that I am spiritually richer because of their approach to prayer.
Regardless, the great and final link in the chain of prayer is Jesus, our Mediator, the One Who promised, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." In reading this promise, I am overjoyed that these words of Jesus include you and me, and that at this very moment, Jesus is representing us in prayer before His heavenly Father. What a tremendous source of strength enfolds us in whatever serious situation we may be facing, being assured that we do not face these circumstances alone!
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we come to You through Your Son, the great link and representative of all our prayers, knowing that nothing can be accomplished without this eternal link. Heavenly Father, help us to remember that our responsibility is to be that special link in the chain of prayer wherever we are on earth, and that all the results are accomplished in heaven by Your Son, Christ Jesus, the final link in the chain. Amen.