Unity Through Prayer – Jesus Prays For His Disciples and Believers
Scripture: “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.” – John 17:20-23
I love this scripture because Jesus is praying for his disciples. Not only that, he is praying for those who are taught by their messages. Since we read the Bible and are being taught by them, Jesus is praying to God for me and you! He is asking God that we become one with him, just as he is one with God. He is praying that we can be in unity of God through Jesus, “I in them, and you in me.”
Merriam Webster says that unity is “the state of being united or joined as a whole.” Some synonyms include “union, unification, integration, amalgamation.” Amalgamation is a great word, it means, ” combination, union, blend, mixture, fusion, coalescence, synthesis.” Some other synonyms include, “oneness, singleness, wholeness.” So Jesus is praying for us as believers to be as one with God our Father, him, and the Holy Spirit. And through this unity we can experience the love of God our Father, as Jesus continues to make himself known to us. – (John 17:26)
Can we even fathom the blessing of being in complete unity with Jesus, as He is with God? What kind of blessings does this mean for us? I try not to even speculate, because I have learned that every time I try, I just limit God. No matter how big I think, His plans are bigger. When I think things are going poorly, Jesus turns around for good what the enemy intended for harm. (Genesis 50:20)
The other thing that I really love about these verses is that Jesus prays for his disciples. If Jesus is our model of how we are to live, should we not pray for each other? And we should even pray for those who are going to be impacted by those who we are praying for as well. So if I am praying for my friend Jim, then I also need to pray for the people who Jim influences, whether it be people he knows, or people he doesn’t know but who the Lord brings across his path.
Another interesting thing about this verse was timing. When Jesus knew that his death was right around the corner, he spent it praying. It’s not like that was the only time that Jesus prayed, he prayed all of the time. However, I think the fact that Jesus prayed all the more during these times gives us a great example of what we are to do in times of concern. We can pray and pray all the more. And when we think we haven’t prayed enough, pray yet some more. In Luke 18:1 the Bible says that, “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Will we grow weary when our prayers are not answered? Or will the Son of Man “really find faith on the earth?” – (Luke 18:8)
Let us pray without ceasing. Let us not grow weary. And let our faith grow as we continue to pray, no matter what we might see with our eyes.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Lead our hearts to desire more time to pray Lord. Help us to be diligent in our prayer. Even if we don’t think that prayer is helping, help us to remain diligent. Help us to see your goodness in motion. Reveal to us your Will, that we might be renewed and refreshed. We know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us. Help us to remain in you, and you in us, with God our Father, according to Your Will. We believe and receive the unity of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
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