I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
Relate: “I’m praying for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” That iss us Jesus is praying for. That is me. If you are a follower of Jesus then that is you. If you aren’t yet… then that will soon be you. I would love to say a lot more on that but it would be a rabbit trail. Just let me say briefly that if you are reading this but have not yet chosen to surrender your life to Christ, I am praying for you. Daily. I am also incredibly grateful that, for whatever reason you have chosen to read my blog.
Back to the subject at hand… Jesus was praying for us. Either directly or indirectly, every person who is a follower of Christ is so because of the words, the teachings and writings, of the apostles. Because of their words, we believe. Because we believe through their message, we are part of those that Jesus is praying for. How cool is that? Two thousand years later and we, the millions of us who are followers of Christ, are included in Jesus’ last corporate prayer.
So what does He pray for us? “That they will all be one, just as [the Father] and [Jesus] are one.” Oh… Ouch.
I guess Jesus knew exactly where we would need the most prayer, didn’t He? We are a fractured, splintered group, aren’t we? Martin Luther King Jr said, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.” That was fifty years ago. Today it is still true. We could be talking about race or culture or socio-economics or doctrine… it does not matter, in all these ways we are a horrifically divided group.
React: The sad truth is that most of the time, most of us don’t even see this as a problem. We are ignoring what Jesus prayed when we place a greater premium on doctrinal purity than we do on unity. It is nothing less than sin when we pride ourselves on our independence, our “doctrinal distinctives”, or our “non-denominationalism”. We go to our (almost) all white, or all black, or all hispanic church and we are completely comfortable with the monoculturalism even though we live in communities that are far more blended. What can we do to change this? How can we break down the cultural and racial barriers that we might truly become one church even as we meet in many locations? How can we take part in becoming part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer? How can we become one?
God, for my unwillingness to get a little uncomfortable for the sake of unity, forgive me. For my ignorance and apathy in not trying to extend a hand to those outside my social and cultural circles, forgive me. For my pride and arrogance in believing that I have doctrinal superiority, God forgive me. Help me to be a minister of reconciliation. Help me to actively pray, and work, and live for a unified church. Help us to be one.