Reading: John 17:1-11
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.
And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
These beautiful words we read today from Jesus are the beginning of the High Priestly Prayer, the prayer that Jesus prayed just before he leaves the disciples and this world. It is hopeful and encouraging to the disciples and to us, as well.
Jesus has taught the disciples the way of love and grace and has equipped them to spread the gospel when Jesus himself can no longer be with them.
My youngest child will graduate from high school in a few weeks. While she will not be leaving the nest in the fall, I think back to the first time I was on my own. The first summer I worked at camp, I was still in high school, and even though camp was basically in my backyard, I was not at home. My parents were no longer there at night in case I needed something. I would have to figure things out on my own. Which meant finding my way some nights in the middle of the night from cabin 8 in Maple Village to the restroom, where, it just so happened, a huge black snake resided for the summer as well. (All the fun of living at camp). But, I was on my own. All that my parents taught me over the years about life and faith, and being independent would now have to be enough to sustain me not only for the summer, but for the rest of my life.
Jesus taught the disciples well and made them ready to minister without him physically there. We, as well, are included in Jesus’ final prayer. That prayer is timeless and encouraging for us today. Long after the words have been spoken, we still hear Jesus pray. For us. What greater gift than to know we are prayed for by our Lord and savior!
Much like a praying parent prays for their children, whether they are leaving home for the first time or just beginning a new job or endeavor, our savior prays for us as well. Prays for us to continue his works and encourages us to continue the journey.
Lord Jesus thank you for praying for us. May we always remember and be encouraged by that prayer. As our children grow, may we never cease to pray for them and their lives of faith. We thank you Lord for the gift of prayer.