This morning after praying for guidance about our church and the changes that are taking place, I opened the bible to Jesus’ prayer in John 17. This prayer was said by Jesus right before his betrayal by Judas and crucifixion took place. He looked up to the sky and spoke to his father. As I read it, I was struck by Jesus’ prayer for unity among his followers after he went up to heaven. His desire is for us to be united:
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
“Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 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. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! John 17:9-24
This prayer gives me a stronger drive to work together with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ; to not let change or anything else put a spirit of division in the body of Christ.
I also needed comforting this morning and God gave me these words:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Thank God for his grace. Thank God for this gift. The gifts that we have received from God are worth more than anything this world could ever offer. Thank you Jesus!