In John 11, Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that “the one you love is sick.”

It interests me that there is no mention of Lazarus’ name, just “the one you love.” No long formal preamble or begging for an audience with the Master Teacher. Just a simple and confident request, “Lord, we have a need, the one you love is sick.”

This got me thinking along these lines. Have you ever known someone who was so well-liked, such a joy to be around, that everyone felt they were their very own, exclusive “best friend”?

I have a friend like this. She is a wonderful, caring person, and when I am with her, I get the feeling that she is exclusively my friend and I am hers.

In my head, of course, I know that isn’t really possible. She has so many friends—whom I imagine must have the same thoughts about her. But in my heart, that is how I feel. She is my best friend.

Who is she? Well, I won’t tell you, because you’ll want to be her best friend too!

But seriously, that thought struck me when I read that Lazarus was “the one Jesus loved.” You see, earlier in the Gospel, I noted that John had that kind of relationship as well. As he tells the story, he never refers to himself as John, but as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Hmmm, that makes two followers who felt the same way. Then I recall how the apostle Paul—in the midst of a tremendous teaching on justification by faith to the Galatians—could no longer contain his joy and proclaimed Christ’s love for him: “He loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

When you pray, do you understand that this kind of confidence in His love is not reserved for a few select followers of Jesus? Even though He is the second person of the Triune Godhead, holy and perfect, He wants the kind of intimate relationship with you that makes you feel like you are the only one and that you have his undivided attention because He loves you.

If He loves you, then you can pray with the confidence that He hears you and is working things for His glory and my good.

Remember, though, this is never to be based on your great love for Him, on the things you do, or even because of who you are, but because of who He is—our loving Savior and Lord.