Baseline Weekly - What is Jesus Up To?
For this week’s blog post, I want to share one simple thought. It’s so simple that you might miss the profundity of it. Here it is: Jesus is praying for you right now. That’s it. If you feel overwhelmed with this reality that Jesus cares so deeply about you that he is praying specifically for you right now, then feel free to close this tab and spend a moment thanking Jesus for his prayers. However, if you’re like me and you need some further explanation, feel free to read on.
To state the obvious, sometimes it’s hard to pray. Even if you want to pray, sometimes it just feels like there aren’t any words. Sometimes the loss is so great and the pain is so deep that our only prayer is “God, help me.” Whether you find yourself in a place of pain or in a place of celebration, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
In the past few weeks, there have been a few painful moments where I haven’t had any words to pray. I show up to meet with God and I just don’t even know what to say.
Thankfully, just last week the Lord brought to mind a book that I read a couple of months ago called Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland (I would highly recommend it). There’s one chapter that delves into the theology of Christ as our intercessor. Put simply, Ortland says that justification has to with what Christ did in the past (His work on the cross), while intercession has to do with what Christ is doing in the present.
Ortlund draws from Hebrews 7:25 which reads, “Therefore he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them.” He further explains that Jesus is currently interceding on our behalf to God the Father.
Sometimes theological language is a bit over my head. I like Merriam Webster’s “kid’s definition” which defines intercede as “pleading for the needs of someone else.” Jesus is pleading for your needs. He actually knows exactly what you need right now. Not only does he know what you need, but he actually is praying for you. That’s incredible!
Ortlund writes this, “One way to think of Christ’s intercession, then, is simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now. ‘It’s a consoling thought,’ wrote theologian Louis Berkhof, ‘that Christ is praying for us, even when we are negligent in our prayer life.’ Our prayer life stinks most of the time. But what if you heard Jesus praying aloud for you in the next room? Few things would calm us more deeply” (Gently and Lowly, 84).
In case you missed it, when we are negligent in our prayer life, Christ is still praying for us. I really resonate with that quote. The truth is, my prayer life stinks a lot of the time too. But I am so comforted to know that Jesus is still praying for me. He is still beckoning me back to Himself. He is still patiently waiting for me to show up even when I don’t have any words.
So I just want to encourage you as you are resting in God’s presence this week to know that Jesus is praying for you. If you’ve been negligent in your prayer life or if you’ve tried but no words come out, don’t fret. Jesus already knows the deepest needs of your heart. Don’t worry about getting the right words out. Just take a moment to remember the tender heart of Jesus and thank him for his prayers for you.