This week, my hiking Guide is focusing my attention on the "walkie-talkie" tool divinely provided as He leads me onto the path of prayer. He introduced these open connections with Home through His continual communication, and for my benefit speaks loudly and publicly on several occasions. His outspoken purpose is to teach each hiker how simple communication can be, and show His thankfulness when specific words are quickly heard.
Before He shows His reaction to an earthly crisis, His public connection is a simple conclusion of his private continual communion with Home. Our trek takes us to the family and enclosed grave of a beloved friend. In the valley of Death, we become part of the crowd smelling decay and trapped in grieving unbelief. We catch a glimpse of the Guide's heart in unison with Creation among those who grieve, yet we also see his deep intimacy and confidence speaking aloud to His Father God.
In John 11:41-42, Jesus prays aloud and publicly "for the benefit of others". His spirit, constantly in communion with "Home", concludes his communication on this crisis with a glance upward and "Homeward" to thank His Father for the response which creates belief in the hearts of his followers.
Knowing that Jesus was in constant communion with his Father, I believe this time in front of Lazarus' grave is just a continuation of His spiritual talks with His Father. Along the path, Jesus and his Father communicated the reason for what happened, the timing of his arrival, confronting unbelief, and the hope of showing who sent Him. His concern is for the spectators who need to believe.
The Bible declares Jesus was greatly moved two times in this scene of death. He was moved deeply when he saw death's grief in his friends and the bondage of death at the enclosed grave. Disobedience against God caused death to invade His Creation, and confrontation with this enemy moved the heart of the Creator.
Jesus lifts his eyes toward "home" and speaks aloud. Through his words, he draws the crowd, family, disciples and me into his ongoing conversation with his Father. I believe his public prayer was intertwined with His private communication with His Father.
"Father, I thank you that you have heard me (discloses intimacy along the path). I knew that you always hear me, (confidence) but I said (aloud & publicly) this (conclusion of this conversation) for the benefit of the people standing around (drawing others into our conversation) SO THAT they may believe that you sent me." (from Home to be their victory over death).
Christ's example teaches me that my path conversations with the Guide are encouraged to be constant and unceasing. During occasions when I'm given the opportunity to draw others into our ongoing conversation, may it be to strengthen their belief that God sent Jesus to give Life.
Praying aloud and publicly should be to draw others into His Presence where I'm already in communication with my dearest Friend.