St. Mark's Episcopal Church

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Easter 7 2018 Sermon
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Rev. Lorraine Dierick

You may be relieved to know we are nearly at the end of the Easter season, with all the Gospel readings taken from the book of John.  John’s words can be very challenging and also very beautiful. Today’s Gospel is known as Jesus’ Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer or the Prayer of Consecration.  Or Jesus’ prayer for his friends before he leaves them because that’s what it is.
 
Actually this week’s Gospel passage is drawn entirely from this familiar prayer of Jesus.  So this might be an opportunity to consider our own prayer life.  It’s not all about how beautiful our words of prayer are, or how lengthy they might be; it’s not about the need to somehow get it just right.
 
Jesus prayed any time he felt the need, anywhere he happened to be.  In the morning, in the evening, on a high mountain or a low plain, whether it was dark or whether it was light, whether he was alone or with friends.  Scripture tells us Jesus prayed many times to get away from large crowds.  Prayer isn’t only for church or meal times.  You can pray any time, anywhere for any reason, and God will always be eager to listen.
 
Prayer wasn’t intended to be extraordinary, saved only for certain places, or reserved only for really important moments.  Prayer was meant to be ordinary, yet part of the fabric of our daily lives.
 
It’s quite simple.  Prayer is about what’s on our heart.  When you read Jesus’ prayer from the Book of John it’s easy to get lost in the language of “mine and yours” and “they are in me as I am in you”.
 
That language signifies the tremendous intimacy Jesus shared with the Father and that he is inviting his disciples into.  This prayer simply Jesus sharing what is most deeply on his heart at the moment—that he is coming to the end of his earthly mission, and God would see him through to the end and that he would take care of his friends as he must leave them behind.
 
So, what should we pray about?  That’s easy—it’s whatever you’re worried about or thankful for or need support with, whatever is on your heart.
 
However, in Jesus’ prayer as we read this morning, he is not praying on His own behalf, not even on behalf of the world, but he prays for his disciples as well as all those who believe, that is all Christians since then, even including us.
 
When we pray, we do not pray alone, but be assured to know that Jesus is praying to God for us.  These prayers of Jesus are for us always; we can depend on his love for us and that he has never stopped praying for us.
 
Actually, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to pray, there is no right or wrong way to pray.  Just pray, pray, pray often—always!
 
Amen.


 
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