Our scripture this morning is John 17:9-20.

My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 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.

While nearly all of us know The Lord’s Prayer, this passage is titled The Prayer of Jesus in many translations. Here Jesus prays for all of His followers, that God would protect them as they go to share the Good News without His being physically present with them. This is the beginning of the Great Commission, in which we are called to go in His name and make disciples of all the world.

Read carefully the important last verse of this scripture: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message” (v. 20). “All who will ever believe” means everyone over the centuries who has heard the Gospel and all those yet to come until Christ returns for us. Jesus is praying for each one of us individually!

God has called us by name, Jesus came to save us and prays for us all. Now it is up to us to continue the ministry He left to us. We must be one in Him and go to share the love of God He has shown. May we take our mission seriously and show the world we are the body of Christ.

Heavenly Father, bless us to be the people You created us to be. Strengthen us in faith and let Your holy spirit guide us as we go to the world in love. Amen.

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