“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” (John 17:20-21, NIV).
Did you know that when Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago that He prayed for you?
Yes, Jesus actually prayed for you….
At the end of a lengthy “Last Supper” after-dinner discussion in John 13-17, Jesus prayed for His disciples and then He prayed for those in the future who will believe the message of His disciples.
His prayer was for every Christian that has ever lived or ever will live.
So, that’s you and me….
The Gospels record Jesus praying at least thirty-eight times! Undoubtedly, Jesus frequently praying to the Heavenly Father had as much to do with Him being an example for His followers to imitate as for His human need for heavenly intervention.
But, Jesus final prayer was a prayer for unity among His believers (vs. 21-23) and an appeal for His followers to be with Him where He is (vs. 24).
Jesus first prayed for the unity of believers. Not a unity of alliance, but a unity of allegiance….
Jesus wasn’t praying for Christians to be united in doctrinal statements or denominational structures, but united in their relation to Him as He is to the Father. “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” (vs. 22-23).
It’s a unity of mission intended to demonstrate to a lost world that there is God who loves them and that God has demonstrated that love by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to the earth. “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (vs. 23).
Then, Jesus prayed for your salvation!
Before Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins He prayed for yours and my salvation: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (vs. 24).
Yes, Jesus prayed for you. When Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago He prayed that you would be His follower and He prayed that the life He shares with you, you would share with others to demonstrate to the world that God loves us!
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)