We pray for a lot of things and we are invited to do so on a regular basis. We have a heavenly Father who loves to hear from us and if you listen, He also loves to speak to us. But have you considered how He prays for you? In John 17 on the night of his arrest, Jesus prayed for His disciples and He prayed for you and me. In this prayer, we see the heart of God for us and it reveals what He cares about for us.
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
What does Jesus want for you? He wants you to have eternal life and to know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. He doesn't call you to a religion, a church or a denomination. He invites you to know Him and to know the Father and this is eternal life. Knowing God and being in relationship with Him is the most precious gift we could ever have. This is why He died. This is why He took on Himself our sin. So we could genuinely know Him and live in a loving relationship with Him. It changes everything.
Then Jesus prays for His disciples. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
Did you catch what he prayed here for us? That we would have the full measure of joy within us. Even though we live in a broken, crazy world He says that we can live with the full measure of joy because the joy is found in a person - Jesus Christ. Not in our possessions, success or any other place, but in the person of Jesus. Then He prays for our protection from the evil one. You and I know that the evil one’s greatest desire is to derail our relationship with Jesus and our joy. So He prays for our protection and for our sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit changes our character into His character.
And then He calls us to a mission in our broken world. “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” His mission to bring the Good News to the world is now our mission. His work is now our work. We are now His ambassadors to a broken world. This is why he wants us to be sanctified. So that we represent His character and love to a world that is in desperate need of both.
But then He prays for you and I who will believe the message because someone was faithful to share it with us. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
What does He pray for us? He prays that we would be one. That just as He and the Father are one he prays that we as His children would be one. In fact He says I have given to them the glory that the Father gave me so that we could be one, “I in them and you in me” so that we would be brought to complete unity.” I am fascinated that Jesus would pray for our unity together as members of His family. Why? Because our oneness is proof to the world that the Father sent the son and has loved us as the Father loved Jesus.
There is something supernatural about the unity of the Father and the Son. And there is something equally supernatural about the unity of you and I together. Only the Spirit of God can take people from different ethnicities, social classes, political persuasions, disparate backgrounds with all our personal baggage and dysfunctions and make us one. That is the proof to the rest of the world of the divinity of Jesus. Unfortunately all too often we don’t live as one but that is what He calls us to and that is what He prays will be the case.
Finally, He prays “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
We will be known, Jesus prayed for our love.
Father, remind me today that I have been called into a living relationship with you and a supernatural unity with my fellow believers. May I love you well and love your family deeply. Amen.
The Question for today: How is my love quotient for my fellow believers?