I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you
have given me, for they are yours.
Pastor Chuck McKinney
Valley Christian Church (Concord)
Oh, how we see the love of Jesus in His prayer for His disciples! He repeatedly refers to them as a precious gift from God. Take a moment to read the entire chapter, especially verses 9 through 19. Jesus had carefully, prayerfully chosen these men. He had spent countless hours in intimate fellowship with them. He had taught them, trained them, prepared them, and now He was going to trust them with the responsibility of the salvation of mankind. This was to be a huge undertaking, but Jesus knew they were ready.
Jesus knew, too, that they would be severely tested. He knew they would face deprivation and rejection. He knew there would be resistance and persecution, so He poured out His heart in prayer for them. Are you surprised that Jesus did not pray for their prosperity, for their health, for their protection from an antagonistic world? No, He prayed for their unity; for their sanctification; for their strength of spirit; for their protection from their own weaknesses, so that they might have the full measure of His joy and that their lives might bring glory to God.
Jesus expanded His prayer to include you and me. His wonderful love was poured out in prayer for us, as well. He is still praying for us. We, too, are called to the ministry of reconciliation. And still today, His disciples face resistance and antagonism. How are you responding to this urgent responsibility?
Jesus, thank You for praying for me in ways I would never consider. Help me live up to the responsibility each day with which You have entrusted me.