“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.”
Abraham Lincoln pleaded for it, Helen Keller proposed it and J.K. Rowling wrote about it. Gandhi believed in it, Henry Ford franchised it and Martin Luther King Jr. fought for it.
And Jesus, Jesus prayed for it.
It is not something that many of us generally take into consideration but is absolutely essential in every relationship we have. Let alone in our general heart-ittude towards humanity.
Think about it- take a moment- what would you pray for if you knew it’d be your last prayer? At least your last prayer before everything fell apart. Possibly your last prayer on this side of heaven.
What would you pray for?
What do you think Jesus would pray for?
I can honestly confess when this question was first posed to me, my initial guess was wrong. And the answer hit my heart hard. Because while I may have been striving to love and serve and lead a life I felt fit in the guidelines- I could not recall ever taking unity specifically into consideration. I suppose I always assumed it was a byproduct of all the other things. Surely it would follow when I acted on those other principles.
I had never connected the dots that it was literally Jesus’ last prayer before he was arrested. He had fallen on the ground distraught not hours earlier, pleading with his Father, begging for his life; but not my will – let yours be done.
However that moment before it all began, before that hellacious day took place in order to achieve a heavenly victory Jesus didn’t pray for further strength. Although his eyes were probably still red from his earlier desperation, he didn’t call down the legion of angels on stand by. No concern on his own behalf passed his lips.
Thanks to John we know the who, what and why in Jesus last prayer with his disciples.
Jesus prayed for believers then and believers to come.
“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”
He prayed for their unity.
“-so that they may be brought to complete unity”
So that all would know they are loved.
“Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
His greatest concern, his final plea to heaven – was for you and for me and for every believer to live in unity. To never feel alone. To know that they were loved. To know that they had a family always by their side and continuously on call. Highs and lows. Thick and thin.
And you want to know what made my heart practically stop?
What was it about this prayer that could be anymore astounding than it already was?
The revelation- that Jesus prayed this prayer, that he pleaded in full faith to the Father, that we would never feel alone….
Moments before he would experience the greatest depth of loneliness and desertion ever to be felt.
His friends would flee.
Every advocate would hide.
And His Father would turn away.
As we celebrate Memorial Day and remember those who have given it all for all that we enjoy in the United States of America. As we remember those who believed in the good in this world and believed it was worth fighting for, even if the cost was their life- I hope we can all lean in a little closer.
Every year the division in our nation seems to be escalating. And as Lincoln stated, a house divided cannot stand. Aside from arguing, hurt feelings and high emotions not much is accomplished. Apart from the name calling and finger pointing we’ve spent more time in congressional “time outs” than in investing and supporting one another.
The point of this post is not to say who is right and who is wrong. I am not calling one out over the other. I am calling us together. My prayer is that of Jesus all those years ago.
Because those men and women didn’t fight for one over the other, they fought and fight for all. Basic human rights endowed by our creator.
Indivisible under God.
This Memorial Day lets redirect and realign, remembering those things which truly matter.