A parting prayer


If this were your last day on earth, what would you pray for your friends?

John records what Jesus said as he prayed for his friends at the last supper. It is almost as if Jesus is reminding God the father about the essence of his mission trip to earth and how Jesus has been pursuing and will continue to accomplish it.

He begins by recapping how he came to seek and find the people whose hearts God had prepared to hear and respond in faith to the good news about God’s eager plan not to hold our sin against us but to forgive our sin, joyfully welcoming us into his Kingdom: his family.

John 17:6 (from the NIV) reads

“I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world.7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.... 

After this Jesus prays (vs. 9-12) protection over all his disciples in his coming absence. Then he reveals one answer to the question of why he came to earth, mentioning two “next steps” in his continuing mission plan.

·         Why does he say that he came? That we all might have His Joy!

·         Jesus shared the Father’s words. Now he sends us to share the Father & the Son’s words.

·         These words (embraced and put into practice) are part of what sanctifies us…. But then

Jesus says a curious thing. “For them, I sanctify myself, that they may be truly sanctified.” What “truly” sanctifies us? His upcoming death on the cross would provide the only path for our complete sanctification before the throne of grace and judgment.

 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.14 I have given them your word.... .... 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Father, as I encounter others today I pray for ears to hear, and courage to speak the words you give me for them. Words of kindness, hope, truth, trust, compassion, reconciliation, and new life.

- Pat O'Connell