Did you know that Jesus prayed for you? He did, in the conclusion of his longest prayer. You can read the entire prayer in John chapter 17. I find the concluding verses, 20-26, particularly moving as Jesus specifically prays for those of us who would come after the disciples. It is amazing to know Jesus had us on his mind shortly before his arrest and crucifixion.
“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation. Righteous Father, the world has not known you. However, I have known you, and they have known that you sent me. I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them” (John 17:20-26, CSB).
Unity and Oneness
The petitions for us are similar to the petitions Jesus made of the Father for his disciples. There was emphasis on unity for the disciples and those that would come after the disciples—you and me. Not just occasional solidarity but continual unity. How do I conclude that? Jesus defines his request, “as we are one.” The oneness between God the Father and God the Son is everlasting—never disrupted.
Unity was so important to Jesus he states it three times in reference to us, as noted in the passage by my bold type. Three times within the span of three verses, that’s a big exclamation mark. I imagine the lack of harmony in our world today must grieve his heart. Yet, Jesus knew confusion and discord were coming.
We can see the reason unity was of such importance. He clearly states it, “that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.” He knew people would begin to live life their way rather than fully yielding to the righteous Father’s sovereignty. That is why he prayed earnestly for us to have what he and the Father have.
People are our lives, our churches emanating unity and oneness like Father and Son’s? What does it look like to live in unison with the Holy Spirit? This prayer makes a case that it would look like the indivisibility of heart and mind that Jesus and the Father have.
Father God, thank You for teaching us how to pray through the recorded prayers of Jesus. Father, forgive us for the discord and chaos in our world brought about by selfishness and our rebellion against You. Create in us a clean heart willing to live as Jesus did, obedient to you in everything. Strip away our arrogance and pride replacing it with the fruit of righteousness. Make us a people that are living examples of Your holiness in this world so that You will be made known to all peoples. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Image Brooklyn Museum – The Pharisees Question Jesus (Les pharisiens questionnent Jésus) – James Tissot. Public domain. Picryl.com