Mid-week Bridge 22 May 2024

From John with thanks

“What would you like me to pray for you?”
During the Monday and Wednesday “Fun Times” at St Christopher’s, a “Prayer Box” is available. People can write their prayer requests on slips of paper and put them in the box, so that we can include them in Wednesday morning prayer-times. Those requests vary widely – including a prayer for a particular team to win the league!
In our mid-week Bridge series, we have recently been considering the prayers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we ponder the part of Jesus’ wonderful prayer recorded in John 17:6-26. In these verses Jesus prays for his disciples – for the apostles who were with him at the time, and for all who would come to faith through their message. So this is what Jesus prays for us who trust in him.
What do you pray for yourself? What do you pray for others? If we pray “in Jesus’ name”, we should be praying for what Jesus wants; that is God’s will. So let’s learn from Jesus’ prayer, as he prays for us and for all who believe in him.

He prays that we may
1) Be Protected from Evil (vv11-12, 15)
Jesus prays “Father, protect them by the power of your name….protect them from (the) evil (one)”.
Throughout John’s gospel and many times in this prayer, Jesus refers to “the world”. That means human culture and society organised without acknowledging God. The world does not know God (v25). “Though the world was made through him (the Lord Jesus Christ), the world did not recognise him” (John 1:10).
Like Jesus, all his followers are to be “in the world” – not withdrawn into a Christian ghetto. But they are not to be “of the world” (vv13-18). Think of a boat on the sea: the boat is in the water, but the water should not be in the boat.

2) Be Sanctified (vv17-19)
That word means consecrated, set apart for sacred use, made holy. This is what God created us for – to be holy, wholly his. 100%. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…..May God himself sanctify you through and through” (1 Thess.4:3; 5:23).
N.B. this is not mere human “self-improvement”. It is God’s work, by his word of truth (v17).

3) Be United (vv11, 20-23)
This unity reflects the unity of Jesus and the Father. It is unity of will and purpose, not just of organisation. It is unity with the apostles and their message – i.e. unity through the gospel (v20). It is unity for a purpose – that the whole world may know Jesus is the Son of God, sent into the world.

4) Be with Jesus (v24)
Jesus prays for the ultimate destiny of all his followers, whom the Father has given him.
What a prospect! to see the glory of Jesus, to see him face to face! “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). In this prayer of Jesus we see his deepest desires for us, his people.
What do you pray for yourself, for others? May our praying be more like Jesus’.
P.S. If you want help in praying for others – as I certainly do – may I highly recommend the leaflet “Praying for Our Children”? This is a great resource for us to use, as we pray for for people of any age. Do pick