“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!
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
2,000 years ago in an upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus prayed with his disciples, and He thought about you and me. He looked far ahead, across all the generations of believers, and asked God to watch over his followers, to hold us together in unity and to give us the assurance of eternal life. What Jesus prayed for is without question his good and perfect will for our lives and for his church. Jesus desires that we walk closely with God, that we seek unity with other believers and that we hold fast to the hope of heaven.
Jesus also prayed that the world would see in his followers something appealing and transformative. When those who don’t yet know Jesus as their Savior look at the church and at individual believers like us, they should be able to see evidence of God’s power and love. Jesus prayed that we would be living proof of who He is and what He accomplished for us.
That may sound like a heavy responsibility for ordinary people like us, but Jesus has already covered us in prayer. What He expects from us is that we value what He says matters most, which includes unity in the body of believers and faithfulness to his teaching. Too often, we get distracted by the world’s ideas, sometimes even suggesting that the church set aside our evangelistic mission in favor of political or social agendas. Other times, we allow personal preferences or traditions we find comfortable to overshadow the work of sharing Jesus’ love and message. The church does many things and is made up of a widely diverse group of people with a variety of interests and ideas, but we should all agree that what Jesus prayed for in those final moments before his death must remain at the center of the church’s mission and identity. He prayed that we would love God, that we would be held together in unity and that we would hold fast to the hope of eternal life.
Jesus, thank You for praying for me. Thank You for calling me into Your church where I can worship, serve and love You alongside sisters and brothers of faith. Bless Your church. Help us to love You, to love one another and to love the world You created. I pray in Your name. Amen.
Thank you for reading these devotions. I trust Jesus’ words have settled deeply in your heart. As we approach our Easter celebration, may you feel God’s grace and know for sure that Jesus died and rose again for you. Pastor Mike
Pastor Mike Mirakian