September 30, 2020
John 17:20-24
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

New International Version (NIV)
How would we live today if we knew that Jesus was praying for us?  Robert Murray McCheyne, the great Scottish preacher, wrote, “If I could hear Jesus in the next room, praying for me, I would fear nothing in the world”.  He has a point!  All of our fear is caused by calculating without God. 

What is Jesus praying for us today?  Is he praying that we will always be healthy, get more wealthy and be incredibly wise?  In John 17, we have the real Lord’s prayer, where he is praying for us.  I would call the other prayer which Jesus taught his followers, “The Disciple’s Prayer”.  So what did Jesus pray when he prayed for them?  First, he asked that they might have eternal life by knowing God (John 17:3).  Next, he prayed for protection from the evil one (John 17:15).  Then  he prayed that the Father would sanctify them in the truth as they fulfilled their mission in the world.    Finally he prayed for the ones who would believe through the disciples’ message (us!).  He prayed that we would be one in complete unity.  Jesus says, “If the church became one, the world would be won to Christ”.  

So is Jesus’ prayer for us coming true?  Are we growing to know him better?  Is God protecting us from the evil one?  Are we becoming more holy?  Is the church of Jesus growing in unity?  You have likely noticed how divided we are in our country these days over many things.  I would list the names and issues, but you might think I was being divisive just by mentioning them.  The evil one would love to divide us over politics, over race, over the pandemic, over the economy.  As far as I can tell, he seems to be succeeding. 

How can we “put feet” to Jesus’ prayers?  We all have our own thoughts about divisive issues.  But every time we choose to love our brothers and sisters more than we love our own point of view, we are becoming the answer to Jesus’ prayers.  A good friend of mine gave his point of view about a controversial subject on social media.  Immediately another attacked him for disagreeing with God and her (she and God were in complete agreement, apparently, or so she assumed).  He responded by saying, “I value our friendship more than I value being right.  We don’t have to agree.  I wish you peace”.  This defused the argument.  A gentle answer turns away wrath, if we will let it (Proverbs 15:1).

Imagine if we could hear Jesus in the next room praying for our unity with other Christians as we were giving a piece of our minds on Facebook or Twitter.  How would we post or tweet?  Would we post or tweet at all.  Robert Murray McCheyne completed his thought about Jesus with these words, “The distance makes no difference.  Jesus is praying for me!”  Jesus ever lives to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father!  He is not alone.   I am praying for us today, too.  
Pray with me:         
Father, may all of Jesus’ intercessions for us come true today.  We want to know you more.  Please protect us from the evil one.  Sanctify us by your truth as we fulfill the Great Commission by making disciples of all nations.  Please Father, for our sake, for the sake of the world, make your disciples one in perfect unity today.  Deliver us from the fear that someone else sees things differently than we.  Cover us and fill us with your hate-eclipsing love.  In the name of our great Prayer Warrior, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:3-4
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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