In John 17 Jesus is praying to His Father about His disciples. In the midst of the prayer He says these intriguing words.
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.“
Jesus does not pray for the world.
I find that fascinating.
We spend much time being concerned for the world, for our nation, and for things of this world. Jesus did not. He came to die that He might deliver us from this world.
One main difference between Jesus and us is that for us, this world is all we know, therefore, we tend to think it’s pretty awesome and worth preserving.
Jesus knows heaven. He knows creation before sin messed it up. Jesus has a low view of this world. He wants what is better than this world because He knows what that means.
Jesus does not pray to have this world preserved; He prays for His people in this world that THEY would be preserved.
I don’t think this means we can’t pray for unbelievers to be saved. Paul, after all, prayed for the salvation of Israel.
In another fascinating passage Jesus says, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
We are not praying to do the labor, nor to send laborers. We are praying that the Lord will send forth laborers. I imagine the precise wording means something.
I wonder if our view of the unsaved is skewed more by our flesh than by God’s view of things? These are issues that deserve some thought, and there are, of course, many other relevant verses.
I offer few answers but plenty of questions! Don’t be afraid to think on them.