Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14 - Jesus Prays for Us

Today's Reading: 
Numbers 26:52-28:15
John 17:1-26
Psalm 44:13-26
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Focus Verses:
John 17:20-21

20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 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.

Though it may sound confusing at first, I like to refer to John 17 as "The Lord's Prayer." No, it's not the model prayer Jesus gave his disciples when they asked him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1-4). It is, however, the longest, most personal, and deeply relational prayer of Jesus recorded in Scripture. John 17 gives insight into Jesus' sense of mission, his hope for the world, and his love for his disciples.

Jesus asked his Father God to help him accomplish his purpose in a way that would demonstrate divine love and glory. He asked God to protect, sustain, and guide his disciples. He asked God to help them know the truth and to live holy lives. He prayed for the unity of believers—not just for those who were following him at that point, but for all believers who through the testimony of the disciples would subsequently come to believe in him.

Response and Action:
In this prayer of Jesus, I can recognize his claim to divinity. He calls God his Father and claims to have been present with God in glory before the world began. I also recognize Jesus' call to his disciples to follow him in faith, to walk in holiness, to be witnesses of the truth, to share the gospel, and to live in unity with other believers.

O God, thank you for Jesus and his prayer for all who believe in him. Thank you, Jesus, for interceding for your people at God's right hand. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, help me to grow in my faith, to lead a righteous life, to be a light, to live in harmony and shared purpose with other believers, and to give glory to God. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:
Psalm 133:1
1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Thinking About Church Life
by R. Paul Stevens and Robert Banks

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