How Do I Know if I'm Close to Jesus?

One of the songs my dad sang around home when I was a girl was "Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No, there's a cross for everyone and there's a cross for me."

When I read the story of the night Jesus was arrested, I wonder if the truest test of our intimacy with Jesus is this: Am I feeling the burdens on His heart? Am I praying for those things that concern Him?

Just before the crowd came to arrest Jesus, He and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He left all but three about a "stone's throw" away-far enough they would not have heard the burden on His heart. 

Then Jesus shared His deep distress with just His three closest disciples. "He took Peter, James, and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,' he said to them" (Mark 14:33, 34).

God was laying on Jesus the sins of all of us, and the burden was immense. Jesus wanted His three closest friends to share the heaviness He felt. He still does. 

It's an infinite honor for the Spirit to put any burden of prayer on us, even when it is for our own family. Each person who comes to Christ has had someone who has carried him in prayer. We should cling to any desire to pray for others the Spirit gives us.

Jesus, any burden You give me to pray for another is a gift I intend to cherish.

"Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27).