Protect My Followers From The Evil One
By Dave and Kim Butts
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name – the name You gave Me – so that they may be one as We are one. ...My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one” (John 17:11, 15).
Jesus prayed for the protection of His disciples and for those who would come after them because He understands the schemes of the devil very well. He knows from personal experience how Satan will attempt to divert or distract us from fulfilling God’s plans and purposes for our lives and for the life of His church. When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them to pray, one important element of His teaching was praying against temptation and for deliverance from the evil one (Matt. 6:13). Jesus came to “destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). Yet often we, His disciples, do the work of the accuser of our brothers (Rev. 12:10) rather than joining Jesus to intercede (Heb. 7:25) for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you have been a part of a church body for any length of time, you know that unity is essential, yet also difficult to obtain. Jesus knew that we would need spiritual protection from our self-centeredness and pride so that His church can reflect His image to a lost world.
Most of us can share about times when we believe the Lord protected us from the attacks of the enemy. In addition to physical harm, the enemy will always try to damage us spiritually in order to sideline us from effective ministry. However, if we believe in the sovereignty of God, we have to accept that sometimes the Lord allows us to walk through difficulty so that we might learn more about our dependence upon Him. If we struggle with the fact that at times there will be physical or spiritual obstacles, it may be because we tend to think more highly of our bodies and this life than we do of the condition of our souls and the world to come.
Jesus prayed that His followers would have maximum impact on the world in which we live, and asked His Father to give us divine protection in the power of His name. It is important that we stand upon the Word that tells us to be self-controlled and alert because the devil is looking for those he can devour (1 Pet. 5:8), and that we not give him a foothold in our lives (Eph. 4:27). As we ask for protection, however, our souls can triumph over the enemy, even with bodies that fail. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).
Father, I rest in the assurance that You are my fortress and my deliverer. No matter what this world or the evil one throws my way, I am confident of Your protection and power on my behalf. Amen.
Agreement with the Father
The thing that marked the prayer life of Jesus was His perfect submission to the will of the Father. Whether it was His acceptance of the Cross at Gethsemane or His powerful prayer for the church in John 17, we know that in all things Jesus was committed to His Father’s kingdom purposes. It is not always easy to discern the perfect will of God; however, as we seek His heart and increase our knowledge of His Word, His Spirit will teach us. As we lay our hearts alongside of God’s plan in the smaller things of life, He will gradually teach us how to pray in the larger, more significant times.
– From Pray Like The King by David and Kim Butts. © 2007 by David and Kim Butts. Published by PrayerShop Publishing. Used by permission.