In the gospel of John, at the time of the Last Supper, we find some of Jesus’ most compelling words.  He speaks at length, and out of love and compassion – both for His disciples and for all of us yet to come.  (John 17:20) His words are soothing and drawing. 

Jesus explains much, part of which is how to be a follower of His.  It means committing ourselves to His will, His plan, and His purpose.  It requires total devotion to the ways of the Lord and that will mean getting to know Him through scripture and putting into practice what we learn there.  It will mean getting into the mind of Christ. 

But Jesus says we have this, His promise, if we choose Him:  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified.”  (John 15:7-8)  Then John echoes that in another of his records found in 1 John 5: 14-15:  “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 

Therefore, the key to answered prayer is getting into the mind of Christ and that can be a high mountain to climb.  It will come only as we seek Him with every fiber of our being.  We will need to cast off all personal desires until and unless we know they are His desires as well.  It will mean a constant state of self-examination of our loyalty to God.  It will sometimes mean accepting things that make no sense to us at all, and trusting with all we are that His way is perfect and will bring about a greater good than anything we can imagine.  We can do this only when we know with absolute conviction who God is, and firmly and completely believe that God loves us, and that His plans for us are for good and not evil.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

When we learn to do a new thing, such as a sport or art, it requires our setting aside doubt and fears and worries.  We must want that new thing so much that we grasp a sure belief in its accomplishment, and then we set out with passion to achieve it.  It is the same with attaining the mind of Christ and trusting His will.  We must fervently want it to be victorious.   

We can take heart that we are not left alone to achieve this close relationship to the Lord, but have been provided the Holy Spirit, another part of Jesus’ talk with His disciples that night.  Jesus called Him the Helper and the Spirit of truth, and it is through Him we gain the triumph.  Our part is to be zealous in wanting the mind of Christ; the Holy Spirit’s part is in revealing it to us.

Jesus, life is a difficult and hazardous journey.  Sometimes we hit obstacles that obscure the way beyond.  We like to know where we are going, to have some control.  But often that isn’t Your way.  You ask us to walk by faith and not by sight.  On this day, may we grip Your hand more firmly and trust in our hearts that You love us and will never forsake us.  Help us to remember past blessings, to recall how You have answered other prayers and brought us through the floods and the fires.  Pour Your mind into us today that we may cast aside every fear, every doubt, and every worry, and walk by faith.  Yet even then, remember that we are but dust, O Lord, and favor us with glimpses of victory along the way that we may be encouraged.