Red letter prayer

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“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. John 17:20

John 17 is the prayer of Jesus with your name in it. The entire chapter, start to finish, is Christ’s prayer for His disciples at the end of His ministry, and not only for them, but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message, which, by extension, would obviously be you and me. Thus everything meant for the disciples in this prayer is also meant for us.

Jesus does not pray for the world at large (“My prayer is not for the world”), but for you and me (“those you have given me”). You are not only in Christ’s prayer, you are the subject of it. This prayer is all about us. Jesus knows He is going back to His Father, but we remain in the world, so Jesus is concerned about us. “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world,” He prays, “but to keep them safe from the evil one.”

One of the main things I notice about this prayer is the intimacy with which Jesus speaks about us. He says that we have been given to Him by the Father. Given by the Father. We are the prized personal possession of the Son of God, who has worked hard to get us, and so He promises to look after us. He’s not going to lose us. How does it feel to be the personal prized possession of the Son of God? How does it feel to have the Son of God praying for your protection by name? Pretty special. Pretty secure.

Jesus goes on to pray that we would be made holy by the word of truth, and then He sends us into the world even as He (Christ) was sent into the world. And He sends us with this mission: I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (23).

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to live in unity with God and each other through Jesus Christ so the world will know about God’s love. Our mission is to receive God’s love, and to demonstrate that love to every human being we meet. Sounds like Grace turned Outward to me. I think we can do that.

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2 Responses to Red letter prayer

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Another great read!

  2. I posted this the other day but must not have finished hitting “post”. To think that Christ is already praying for us, long before we become believers, is so powerful. I’m not sure I’ve ever noticed that before in this scripture.

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