To me probably the boldest prayer was prayed from Jesus in John 17. Even the heading calls this the “High Priestly Prayer”. It is worth reading and mediating on the whole chapter. Later I may pray through the John 17 prayer, verse by verse. But today, lets summarize and look at John 17:28
26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus talked about Glory, keeping the disciples, prayer for unity, prayer for protection and hope while they remain in this world. He even prayed for us who believe their message. So why is this a bold prayer. Jesus was about to be removed from the earth. He physically would not be able to see the answer to this prayer while he was alive on the earth. He also would not be able to help “make it happen” He was fully trusting his Father to bring about the results.
He prayed that ALL believers would live in unity. This unity would be a “witness” to the truth that Jesus is who he says that he is…a savior to the world. How would this unity happen. We strive for unity and fall short why? Because we think Unity starts with same beliefs. When we don’t believe the same…we part ways because we think our particular doctrine, theology, practice is “closer” to what God wants for us. But Jesus revealed that Unity is necessary, but the currency is not same beliefs, but LOVE. The same love that the Father expressed toward the Son and the same love that Jesus has for us, should be expressed toward each other.
It is an incredibly simple formula. Be changed by love from God in that while we were yet sinners, enemies, haters of God and his ways, broken through our unworthy actions, God chose to see us as valuable, someone one worthy of dying for. When you experience that kind of unconditional love…it changes you.
Now that love is available to be expressed through you to the lost world and especially to the other members of the body of Christ. Let it be said and true of us that we loved just like Jesus and the Father.