It is possible to hear in Jesus’ high priestly prayer, a prayer he offered shortly before his death, the petitions of the ascended Christ for his own throughout history—to our day—and beyond. Jesus prays for us. In holy baptism we become believers in God, have our robes washed in the flood of Christ’s forgiveness, and receive the gift of life forever with all the saints.
Readings and Psalm
- Acts 16:16-34
While in prison, Paul speaks to the jailer, who is then baptized
- Psalm 97
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous. (Ps. 97:12)
- Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
Blessed are those who wash their robes
- John 17:20-26
Jesus prays that the disciples will be one and abide in his love
Praying for You
Today’s gospel reading is first and foremost a prayer. It is Jesus’ prayer, and we are given the privilege of listening in as he prays on behalf of his disciples and people of all times and places. Listeners are given a glimpse of Jesus’ mission for the world—that all may be drawn into the life of the triune God. On the eve of his death, Jesus entrusts this particular community of disciples—but also our communities, our lives, and our world—into the care of God.
What is it Jesus is doing when he prays? What is it the church does when it prays on behalf of the world and other people? To be prayed for by another is to know one’s life is cared for and has value to the one praying on your behalf. It is to know that much of the future is out of one’s own control but rests instead in the care of the Triune God. To be prayed for is to be vulnerable, dependent, and deeply loved.
Here is the astoundingly good news: Jesus prays for you, and for the communities in which we find ourselves. Whether your cup is empty or full, whether your community is in crisis or experiencing joy, whether your future is foggy or clear, Jesus loves you deeply and your life is bound to the God who loved you before the foundations of the world. On the eve of his death, Jesus entrusted your life and the church’s life and its entire future to the Father. What glorious good news that the future rests in the care of the Triune God, and that we, the church, are set free to make God known to the world.