I know many of you say your prayers before you go to sleep at night. Jesus prayed too; in fact, He prayed a lot – about anything and everything to His Father in heaven. On the night before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus prayed a wonderful prayer about all of us in John 17: 1-26. This is Jesus’ longest prayer we know about, but the prayer is not about Himself. It is a prayer asking God to help people who follow Jesus: His Disciples and us!
He firsts asks God to take care of His Disciples because He knows they are going to have to face many difficulties as they witness to others about Christ. Jesus says He taught them and protected them while He was in this world, but now He will be gone, so they will need the Father’s protection and help. He wanted them to be able to have faith, preach the truth, and have joy doing that. He also wants them to continue to stay friends and to love and care about each other, even if they didn’t always agree about everything. (This is a good thing for us to remember as well.)
Then Jesus prayed for all those who would come to believe in Him; that’s you and me! Jesus knew His church would grow, and there would be many followers to come. He also realized that we might have a hard time staying faithful and finding joy in serving Him in this world, so He asked His Father to help us too. Jesus didn’t forget us even on this dreadful night when He knew what was about to happen to Him.
What a wonderful thing to remember that Jesus prayed for us then and prays for us now. He never forgets us and wants us to be faithful and happy in all we do. Take time to thank Him for doing that and talk to Him often – just like He did with His Father in heaven.
Let’s pray too. Jesus, thank You for including us in Your prayer to God. We know You loved Your Disciples and wanted them to preach and bring people to You. But we can also know that You prayed for us as well and wanted what was best for us as Your followers. Help us to be good Christians as we live a faithful and joyful life for You! In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.