June 4, 2000

John 17:6-19 (CEV)

Jesus prays:

...You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. They know that you gave me everything I have. I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know that I came from you, and they believe that you are the one who sent me. I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me.

Holy Father, I am no longer in the world. I am coming to you, but my followers are still in the world. So keep them safe by the power of the name that you have given me. Then they will be one with each other, just as you and I are one. While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost, except the one who had to be lost. This happened so that what the Scriptures say would come true.

I am on my way to you. But I say these things while I am still in the world, so that my followers will have the same complete joy that I do. I have told them your message. But the people of this world hate them, because they don't belong to this world, just as I don't.

Father, I don't ask you to take my followers out of the world, but keep them safe from the evil one. They don't belong to this world, and neither do I. Your word is the truth. So let this truth make them completely yours. I am sending them into the world, just as you sent me. I have given myself completely for their sake, so that they may belong completely to the truth.


1. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke Jesus goes from the Upper Room and Communion to Gethsemane. There he prays for the Cup of Suffering to be taken from him if it be GOD's desire.

2.This is the equivalent spot in John. Jesus continue the conversation in the Upper Room after the Foot Washing. Here we hear Jesus praying in a different tone. Jesus is in charge here, none of that "if it be your will." Jesus prays not for himself but for his disciples. Who are your praying about these days? Are you balanced between praying for yourself and others as the Gospel stories let us listen in on both sides.

3. There is so much to be focused on here. Perhaps it is enough to know you are being prayed for by Jesus. Perhaps it is enough to reflect on the being kept safe by the power of the name GOD gave to Jesus - that of "beloved child of the light." This name brings together the Synoptic tradition (Mark 1:11 and 9:7) and the tradition of John (John 1:9 and 12:36). We may be aided by looking more closely at what Jesus understood his nature and his name to be. According to Charles Wesley's hymn "Wrestling Jacob" which is in the United Methodist Hymnbook as "Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown" (#387) we hear over and over again, "thy nature, and thy name is Love." GOD's love prays for you. Will you lovingly pray for others?

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