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April 2 | John 17:20-26

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


Death Bed Prayers

by Mary Alice McGinnis


If someone you love was on their death bed praying for you, what would that prayer sound like?


In today’s reading, we get a glimpse of Jesus earnestly praying to His Father, knowing what lies ahead. He had washed His Disciples' feet, shared with them the Last Supper, and now right before He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, at the precipice His coming crucifixion, He prays this prayer.


What is primary on His heart and mind? He does not pray for Himself. Instead, we find Jesus pouring out His deepest longing in intercession for those He loves: His eleven disciples, and all of US who were yet unborn.


How does it feel to know that Jesus was praying for YOU even as He faced going to the cross?


What was the primary focus of Jesus heart in that moment of prayer?


He prayed, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.” (v. 21)


That they may be one! What does that mean?


Jesus qualifies “being one” by saying “as” He and the Father are One. Have you ever considered how God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet are ONE? They have complete unity, their connection to each other is displayed in perfect harmony and in singularity of purpose.


Jesus goes on to say, “I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one as we are one.” (v. 22)


What is this glory that Jesus was given that He has given us? Why is this the most important prayer on Jesus’ heart?


In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve too lived in this perfect connection with God before the fall. They freely walked with God, lovingly served each other, and cared for the earth God created. They were made in God’s image and reflected His Glory – His perfect harmony.


I don’t know about you, but nothing brings more disharmony in my family than when we are not following the same agenda! We each have our own way of thinking, think our way is the “right way,” and we put serving ourselves above all else. At the center of every quarrel, is a selfish heart.


Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”


Since the fall, we have ALL sinned, which literally means we have “missed the mark” of God’s glory. We “fall short” which literally means to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end. To fail to become a partaker of what was the ultimate purpose.


In Jesus’ intercession for us, He is praying that this very Glory - the perfect love between Him and His Father - be OURS once again. AND that we, being filled with His Spirit, may be brought together in His Divine singularity of purpose – bringing Glory to God.


How is God the Father answering Jesus’ prayer, of making us one?


Philippians 2:1-4 says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”


What is at the center of God’s perfect unity? Love! Jesus embodies the very essence of Love. The Father loves Jesus. Jesus loves the Father, even going to His death in obedience to the Father, and in love toward us. Together, along with the Holy Spirit, their focus is to continue to reveal God’s love to us! We in turn are commissioned to reveal God’s love to a lost and hurting world.


We are not left to ourselves to accomplish a seemingly impossible task.


Jesus prays, “I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” (v. 26)


 

Forgive me Lord for all the ways I am self-centered and miss the mark of Your Glory. I often seek my own sort sighted glory, instead of the glory that You have won for me! You have died for me, and live in me. Live through me today! Make us one, as You and the Father are one!





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robin.lorms
Apr 02, 2022

Good morning, Mary Alice. Like Dottie, that statement struck a chord in my heart as well. I will try to remember that on Easter Sunday when the Lorms clan assembles. Lots of opinionated people in our family, LOL! Myself included.

Your opening comments about Jesus praying as he approached death takes me back to something I have felt in my heart for a long time. I pray that I may have an awareness of surroundings and people when it comes time for me to die. We have 2 children who act Christian in so many wonderful ways but are not born again and saved. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit wil give me a final parting comment, a last…


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Dottie Haggard
Dottie Haggard
Apr 02, 2022

I love the statement “ At the center of every quarrel is a selfish heart”. That’s something to hold onto.🙏🏻

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