Summer Daily Devotional - John 12

What Our Prayers Reveal

What Our Prayers Reveal

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27-28)

Jesus knew that His victory would look like defeat and that it would involve excruciating pain.

But He also knew the glory that would result. Glory that supersedes our temporal comfort and secures our eternal comfort.

We humans love it when God’s will looks and feels like victory, don’t we? Who doesn’t love to be on the winning team?

But what happens when the wheels fall off?

How do you respond when life looks and feels like defeat rather than victory?

Here’s the uncomfortable truth: Our deepest prayer reveals the answer.

Jesus gives us two options here and shows us the ultimate heart of a servant of God.

Option 1: “Save me from this!”

Option 2: “Glorify Your name!”

How do you pray in those moments when things turn for the worst? And what is the ultimate request at the heart-of-hearts of your prayer?

It’s a challenging and convicting question, isn’t it?

Is it wrong to ask God to deliver us? To change the circumstances?

Absolutely not. Jesus had just responded to the plea to raise Lazarus from the dead (though not as they initially thought or desired).

What’s the ultimate point? Our comfort? Or God’s glory?

The answer is “yes”. But it’s not always how we expect or how we would choose.

God’s glory is the ultimate aim that brings about our eternal comfort and joy… but it regularly travels through the path of pain and suffering in this broken world.

The time to prepare your minds and hearts for that reality is now. In your mind and in your heart, grapple with the truth that God’s glory is the ultimate and highest aim, even if it means your temporary suffering.

Jesus was riding the wave of popularity coming away from Lazarus’ resurrection. The crowds were ready to crown Him the King of Israel. But Jesus knew the hour had come for the Son of Man to be glorified (12:23). And what would that involve? What would that look like? Victory? Or Defeat?

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25).

A wise friend has often repeated during this last year, “The kingdom of God often advances along a series of victories cleverly disguised as defeats.”

With that axiom in clear view, let us continually seek to align our hearts and our prayers with the ultimate request of the Father, “Glorify Your name!”

Wherever you’re facing trouble today, by all means, pray for relief, but above all, pray for God to glorify His name!

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