Jesus’s Prayer for Us

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

John 17 is all about Jesus’s prayers for his disciples and his people, for those who followed him and believed in him. However, Jesus prayed not only for his followers, but “…for those who will believe in me through their [the disciples’] word” (John17: 20, NKJV).

What a powerful truth! Jesus’s phrase “those who will believe in me” includes you and me. Jesus was praying for us when he walked this earth in the flesh. Centuries ago, we were on his mind. He even recorded this prayer in his Word, knowing we would be reading it. He wants us to know he was interceding for us to the Father. 

Beloved, this prayer which Jesus prayed for us did not vanish into thin air. It has been burning on God’s altar all this time, and God has accepted Jesus’s prayer for each of us. Our salvation is the result of his prayers. We are in him today because God answered his prayer for us.

“But he, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Right now, Jesus is praying for transgressors who haven’t yet turned to him. Scripture says he can save to the uttermost, meaning to the end of time, all who will ever come to him.

Throughout my years in ministry, I have seen many drug addicts and alcoholics get gloriously saved. Each time, I would think, “This one had to have a praying mother or interceding grandmother somewhere in the past. God is answering those holy warriors’ prayers.”

Now I see something better than that, something far more powerful and effective. It wasn’t just a mother or grandparent who was praying for those who now believe. Jesus was praying for them all along. “I pray for them…who will believe in me through their [the disciples’] word” (John 17:9, 20).

If you have been running from the Lord, you will never get away from his prayers. The Father answers his Son, and all who resist him are hardening their hearts to the prayers of Christ who prayed for them on earth and is praying for them still.

The Blood of Jesus

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Most Christians know about the blood Jesus shed for us. When Christ lifted the cup at the last Passover, he said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20, NKJV).

We memorialize his sacrifice every time we have communion, but that is the limit of most Christians’ knowledge of Jesus’s blood. We know only about the blood being shed and not about it being sprinkled.

The first biblical reference to the sprinkling of blood is in Exodus 12:22. The Israelites were commanded to take a bunch of hyssop (a purifying plant), dip it in the blood of a slain lamb, and sprinkle it on the lintel and two side posts of their front door. That night, when the death angel came and saw the blood on the doorposts, he would pass over the house.

Please understand that as long as the blood was left in the basin, it was of no effect; it was merely blood that had been shed. The blood had power to save only when it was lifted out of the basin and sprinkled.

Why couldn’t the Israelites have simply laid the basin of blood at the threshold and said, “It doesn’t matter what we do with it. After all, blood is blood”? Suppose they had put the basin on a linen-covered table or on a pedestal just inside the door. If they had done that, the death angel would have struck that home. The blood had to be lifted out of the basin and sprinkled on the door to fulfill its purpose of protection.

This blood in Exodus 12 is a type of the blood of Christ. The blood that flowed at Calvary was not wasted; it did not fall to the ground and disappear. No, that precious blood was collected in a heavenly fountain.

If Christ is Lord of your life, your doorposts have been sprinkled by his blood. This sprinkling is not for forgiveness only but also for protection against all the destroying powers of Satan. Jesus’s blood has not been left in the basin but has been lifted out and sprinkled on your heart.

The Stone’s Other Side

Gary Wilkerson

“Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away” (Matthew 27:59–60, ESV).

Jesus had just been crucified and was now lying in a tomb. As a massive stone was rolled to seal the doorway, everyone had a sad sense of finality. Scripture says a group of women was sitting opposite the tomb. Those women must have been heartbroken. I can almost hear the despair in their voices. “What will happen now that Jesus is gone? How do we go on?”

Today, we know the end of the story. When Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished,” he had conquered sin. We know that with his resurrection he had conquered death.

I do not think we can fathom what Jesus’s death meant to his passionate followers. They had believed their master was the hope of the world, the salvation of Israel, the light to the Gentiles. He was the great healer, raising the dead, setting captives free, preaching the good news to the poor. He was the embodiment of the new kingdom that he preached about. As they thought back to his words, “It is finished,” they must have thought he meant, “It’s over. This is the end of the story.”

All too often, as Christians endure the trials of life, this is the message they believe. They see no hope beyond their difficult situation. All they can see is a stone permanently rolled into place separating them from hope. However, they are seeing things from this side of the stone. If only they knew what God is doing for them on the other side of the stone.

Maybe life has presented you with a hard, impossible situation. As you read this, do you wonder, “Is God at work in my circumstance? Is Jesus really triumphant in me? Can he really save me from this situation? I just don’t see a way forward.”

God is on the move in your life at this very moment. The stone is being rolled away. Light is breaking forth, and your hope stands there in the doorway: Jesus! He has triumphed over all the powers of darkness, and his victory is yours by faith.

The Word Carved in Hearts

Carter Conlon

When African American and forward-thinking white pastors in Alabama streamed the services live from Times Square Church, they were astonished to see over one hundred ethnicities worshipping together in peace and Christian love. One glance at our choir loft confirms that. So the Alabama pastors contacted Times Square Church and asked me to come speak in Selma and bring our multinational choir.

The evangelical rally in Selma was packed, the message God gave me to deliver was powerful, and there appeared to be genuine breakthrough.

Afterward, though, when the mixed group of white and black pastors gathered together in the home of a prominent Selma socialite for a meal, the white pastors ate in the elegant dining parlor, and the black pastors ate on the screened porch. 

It was as if no one heard the message. They simply left it behind when they left the auditorium. I was shocked by the seating arrangement and took my plate out to the porch and sat with the black pastors. This, I was told, offended our white, socialite hostess. 

One lesson I learned from the evangelistic rally in Selma, Alabama was that the need for spiritual awakening and unification exists in our own backyard in the United States. A pastor I know from Rwanda would have heard all of this and nodded his head. I could almost hear him saying, “You see? Preach and celebrate without carving the Word into people’s hearts, and the old evil comes back.” 

Consider what the scriptures say: “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24, NKJV). 

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020, he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.

Drawing Closer to Him

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The strongest feature of true, saving faith is a desire to draw closer to him. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, NKJV).

Why did Jesus suffer and die? Why did he provide justification for us? Why is his perfect righteousness accounted to us? It was that he might bring us to God. It’s all about intimate fellowship with the Father.

When Adam sinned, he lost the most precious thing any man or woman could possess: intimacy with God. Sin drove Adam away from closeness with the Father, and he actually hid from God’s presence. Ever since, whenever man sins, he has a tendency to run and hide just as his forefather Adam did.

The reason God so hates sin is because it robs us of his fellowship. He created us for intimacy with him, and he so yearned for our fellowship that he sent his own Son to die on a cross, to justify us and tear down the walls that blocked that intimacy from taking place.

The power of justification is that it made a way back to God’s original purpose in creating man: fellowship with the Father.

This present world is full of evil, slander, satanic lies, seductions, guilt, fear, condemnation; all of it is designed by Satan to keep us feeling unworthy to come into God’s presence. The devil would have us hide as Adam did to keep us from intimacy with God.

We have been delivered from all that. We have a right to God’s presence, an invitation to his throne, because we stand with a perfect righteousness before him. God invites us to the throne of grace because he accepts us as being holy in Christ. Our sin is under the blood, forgiven, and now we have a right into his holiness.

Beloved, Jesus did not die just to take you to paradise. He died so that every day you could live in beautiful, close fellowship with the Father.