This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Don't Pray for the World?

QUESTION: Explain Christ's word's "I pray not for the world." (John 17:9).

ANSWER:  They are not to be understood as an absolute refusal to pray for the world which he came to redeem. In his last prayer, in full view of the cross upon which he would die on the morrow, he focalized his prayers upon the few who believed in him, whose faith would certainly fail unless supernaturally strengthened by divine power, when the Messiah King should yield to the powers of darkness, and die as a malefactor. Verse [9] must have reference to a world that was yet in alienation from him. Says Luther, "To pray for the world, and not to pray of the world, must both be right and good. Paul certainly was of the world when he persecuted and killed the Christians. Yet Stephen prayed for him. Christ also prays in like manner at the cross, Luke 23:34." His prayer for the world is that it may cease to be what it is; his prayer for believers is that they may be perfected in the love enkindled in them when they were born from above. For this chiefly his high-priestly prayer was made.

— From Steele's Answers pp. 11, 12.

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