Devotional: April 21, 2020

Mission through Prayer, Part I

Without God’s help, we can do nothing. With God’s help, we can do anything God wants us to do.  As we follow Jesus, living daily as his disciples, remember that he regularly got away from the tasks of daily life to talk to the Heavenly Father in prayer.

Do you realize that Jesus even prayed for you?  He did; for all of us in fact. Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father – he prayed about us and for us; that we would be equipped for every good work, for the sake of our unity, the world’s salvation, and the Father’s glory.

Scripture: John 17:14-26 (NLT)

I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.  “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.”

Devotional Time
Sometimes when we face difficulties, such as with the Coronavirus, we are tempted to escape, to get away.  But notice that Jesus’ prayer for us is not a prayer of escape, but protection in the midst of danger: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (v.15).

Jesus is sending us into the world for a reason, so that we may be sanctified.  So that hurting people can be comforted and so that lost people can be saved.

I encourage you to ask yourself: how does this prayer from Jesus inform the way I think about my mission in the world? And: how are my prayers similar to or different from Christ’s prayers, especially this one?

Heavenly Father, When the world hates us, remind us that it hated Jesus first.  Let us not wish for easy lives, but we pray for your provision and protection.  Sanctify us by the truth of your Word, and send us to those who need the good news of Jesus. And may we be one, just as you – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are one.  We pray all this in Christ our Lord.  Amen.