Military Devotion – Jesus Prays for You, Military Spouse – May 10, 2024

Based on John 17:11-19

Jesus prays for you, military spouse, and what Jesus prays for, he gives to you.

Today, Friday, May 10, is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. And this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. Probably not a coincidence. But I do know that there are plenty of military spouses who aren’t mothers, but they are fathers and husbands.

I don’t know what you personally are going through as a military spouse. But I do know quite a few military spouses, and these are some of the things that they’re going through. Maybe you can identify with them.

The military spouses that I know have husbands or wives who oftentimes don’t get home from work until they are getting ready for bed. There are military spouses that I know that can count up not just the months but the years that their spouse has been away from them on deployments or TDY or at school or training. There’s one young couple who celebrated when they reached the milestone in their marriage where they had been together in person as a married couple longer than the spouse had been away on deployment or training or schooling or TDY.

I know military spouses who care for the necessities of their children with special needs. I know military spouses who have run the FRGs, and they deal with the drama and the rumors. And I know military spouses who have consoled not one but several other military spouses whose marriages have suffered from the rigors of military life. I know military spouses who pray and pray and pray some more for their marriage and for their children and for their fellow military spouses and for their spouse when they deploy.

I want to share this with you: I pray for you, military spouse. But more importantly, I want you to know that Jesus prays for you, and what Jesus prays for, he gives to you.

I want you to listen in on Jesus’ prayer. This is the prayer that Jesus spoke the night he would be betrayed by Judas, abandoned by his disciples, arrested, crucified, and die. He pauses on that night to pray for you. And he says in his prayer, “Heavenly Father, protect them by the power of your name.” Jesus prays to his Father in heaven, his holy Father, and asks him to protect you, to keep you unharmed or undisturbed, to guard you and keep you. And he asks his Father to protect you by the power of his name.

Now a name is everything that you know about that individual. So when I, for example, hear the names of some of the military spouses that I know, names like Morgan or Rachel or Holly or Katie or Jenny or Carlos, it reminds me of who they are, what kind of people they are. So when you hear the name of your Father in heaven, let it remind you of what kind of Father he is for you.

He has a Son, Jesus, who prays to him to protect you by that name: father. You have a Father in heaven who claims you as his daughters and as his sons. You have a Father who loves you and graciously proves that love to you by forgiving you again and again when you come to him in repentance for all those times that you have not felt that you have done a stellar job as a military spouse or as a mother or as a child to your mother. He forgives you, dear child. That’s one of the ways that your Father in heaven protects you by his name.

You see, he convinces you that you are his forgiven child so that when the devil and your own sinful flesh try to convince you otherwise, you know better—because you can rest in that identity as a child of your Father in heaven.

On that night, Jesus continued to pray for you, and he said, “I’m speaking in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” Think about what Jesus is praying here. When he goes to the betrayal and abandonment and denial and suffering and cross and hell itself and the grave, he does it for your sake so that you, by believing in his name, have his joy and his goodness—all of the goodness of God. He prays this for you because he knows that there are going to be days that you don’t feel the joy of Jesus, that you don’t feel the goodness of God. But Jesus prays for it so that you know that you have it, because saving faith lacks nothing. You have everything in Christ.

He prayed for it, he won it by going to the cross, and he loves to give everything to you. So find your joy in him. Jesus fervently prayed these things for you so that when you don’t feel the joy, when you don’t feel God’s goodness to you, open up your Bibles to John 17. Read these words of Jesus’ prayer out loud so that you hear it with your own ears, from his mouth. Hold on to those words with your whole heart and take comfort in them.

And in that prayer, you will hear Jesus say that he sends you out into the world so that you might be his truth, that you might be his daughters and his sons and set an example for other military spouses. So when their lives are difficult, when you see them sacrificing so much, when you see them despair, when you see them struggling with their marriage and as parents, you can go to them and say, “I get it. I understand.” But the reason that you can and will continue in this vocation as a military spouse is that Jesus prays for me, and he prays for you. And what Jesus prays for he gives to you, and he gives to me.

Jesus prays for you, dear military spouse. And what Jesus prays, he gives.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, you are the source of life and wisdom and all good things. Bless all military spouses with faithfulness, patience, and an unswerving trust in your promises to do what Jesus prayed for them. Look with favor on all mothers who have given life to their children and who nurture them with loving concern and faithful instruction. May their children honor them and call them blessed. When they become weary, sustain them with physical and spiritual rest. Hear us for the sake of your Son, Jesus, who cared for his earthly mother and in whom you are well pleased. Amen.

Written and recorded by Rev. Paul Horn, WELS National Civilian Chaplain to the Military, San Diego, California.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.

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