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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Jesus' prayer


John 17:20-26

 20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."


 Exhortations 
 When you pray what do you usually ask for - God's help, blessing, guidance, and wisdom? One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities we have been given by God is to pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well.

The Lord Jesus lived a life full of prayer, blessing, and gratitude. He prayed for his disciples, especially when they were in great need or danger.

 Mark tells us in his gospel account that when Jesus was praying alone on the mountain he saw that his disciples were in great distress due to a life-threatening storm that was beating against their boat.

Jesus immediately came to their rescue - walking on the waves of the rough waters before he calmed them! Luke records in his gospel account the words of Jesus to Simon Peter shortly before Jesus' arrest and Peter's denial of the Lord three times.

 Jesus' prayers were personal, direct, and focused on the good of others. The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in the Gospel of John, the "high priestly" prayer which Jesus prayed aloud at his last supper meal with his disciples.

 This prayer most clearly reveals the heart of Jesus - who and what he loved most - love for his Father and love for those who believed in him.

 His prayer focused on the love and unity he desired for all who would believe in him and follow him, not only in the present, but in the future as well. Jesus' prayer concludes with a petition for the unity among all Christians who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

 Jesus prays for all men and women who will come after him and follow him as his disciples. In a special way Jesus prays here for each one of us that as members of his body the church we would be one as he and his Father are one.

 The unity of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, with the eternal Father is a unity of mutual love, service, and honor, and a oneness of mind, heart, and spirit.

The Lord Jesus calls each and every one of his followers into this unity of mutual love, service, honor, and friendship with all who belong to Christ.

 Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his sacrifice shows the great love and trust he had for his beloved disciples. He knew they would abandon him in his hour of trial, yet he entrusted to them the great task of spreading his name throughout the world and to the end of the ages.

The Lord Jesus entrust us today with the same mission – to make him known and loved by all. Jesus died and rose again that all might be one as he and the Father are one.

Do you love and accept all baptized Christians as your brothers and sisters in Christ? The Lord Jesus included each one of us in his high priestly prayer at the last supper.

He continues his high priestly office this very day as our intercessor at the right hand of the Father before the throne of heaven.

Do you join in Jesus' high priestly prayer that all who profess Jesus as Lord may grow in love and unity together as brothers and sisters who have been redeemed through the precious blood shed for us on the cross?

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