Day 24: Experience Jesus' Prayer
John 17:20–23, “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. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Thought: (Adapted from Max Lucado, https://maxlucado.com/pray-for-unity)
On the last night of his life, Jesus prayed a prayer that stands as a citadel for all Christians. Knowing the end was near, he prayed one final time for his followers. He did not pray for success, prosperity, safety, or even happiness. He prayed that His followers would be unified in love.
Of all the lessons we can draw from this verse, don’t miss the most essential: unity matters to God. Why? Because “all people will know that you are my followers if you love each other” (John 13:35 NCV). Unity creates belief.
How will the world believe that God sent Jesus? The world won’t believe because we agree with each other, solve every controversy, are unanimous on each decision, and correct on every doctrine. Instead, they will know we are believers by our love for each other.
Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ? The world will be won for Christ when the Church is one in Christ. If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in our prayers? Shouldn’t we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 NIV)?
God’s ship is a grand vessel. Just as a ship has many rooms, so God’s Kingdom has room for many opinions. But just as a ship has one deck, God’s Kingdom has a common ground: the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Do you see yourself as a part of the unified Body of Christ?
How do you think we can encourage unity within the local church so that Jesus is glorified?
Pray that Jesus prayer in John 17:20-23 would be answered for the sake of the Kingdom of God.