40 Days of Prayer: Day 21
Today’s post was written by W. Daniel Smith, DMin.
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17:6-19)
What do you suppose the first thing most people think of as Christmas approaches? For kids, that’s an easy answer, presents… Probably for most adults the answer’s the same. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I began to realize the greatest gift that we can receive is the blessing we get as we give of ourselves.
In the second part of Jesus’ prayer in John 17, He thanks our Heavenly Father for the gift of these men, these disciples, these partners in ministry. Jesus in return, gave Himself to them teaching them and living before them the Word of the Lord. Jesus’ prayer was a prayer for thanksgiving as well as a prayer for protection as He was preparing to give the greatest gift of all for all. The Gift of His Life…
12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Years ago, I used to work as an armed guard and driver for the Armored Car Company working out of Louisville, KY. I transported and guarded millions of dollars through the years I worked for Armored Car. As a guard, I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences. I’ve experienced a close call with a bank robbery, where the reality of my job came to a crystal clear focus, and I’ve experienced the opportunity to deliver to and pick up currency at one of the most well protected facilities in the world, Fort Knox. I didn’t get to see the “Gold,” but through all the experiences I’ve encountered, the most incredible, is God’s divine protection through the Power of the Holy Spirit.
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Are we living in the Truth of God’s Word as Jesus prayed for us?