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Daily Devotional John 17:1–23

Anybody who has played organized team sports has probably heard a proverb along the lines of “the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Coaches use this phrase to motivate players never to let down the team and always give their all. Ideally, links in a chain provide continuity and strength.

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

JOHN 17:20

After eating the Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus gave some final words of encouragement and then prayed. What did He pray about at this important moment? First, He prayed for Himself (vv. 1–5). Notice that Jesus spoke not only of the work set before Him, but He also referenced His existence with God “before the world began” (v. 5).

He prayed for His disciples (vv. 6–19) and for His future followers (vv. 20–26). He prayed for those who would eventually believe because of the word spoken through those early disciples (v. 20). This is remarkable that the word spoken by Jesus was spoken through His disciples to others who continued sharing it until it reached you and me. In essence, Jesus prayed for us!

When we read the book of Acts, we see the challenges that the early church had to endure to ensure the spreading of the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest parts of the earth. We have heard and believed the word because of those faithful early disciples. However, Jesus also prayed that we might be unified for the purpose of bringing glory to God (v. 21). A unified church is a powerful witness to the world (v. 23).

>> We live in a very divided time. Cultural, moral, and political strife seem to be at an all-time high. As Christians, we can be pulled into unintentional conflict with a brother or sister in Christ. Jesus prayed that we might be unified. Reach out to a fellow believer today who might see things differently on a particular topic and pray together for the resolution of your differences. Strive to give your all for unity in the church.

Pray with Us

We are so grateful for the early disciples whom You used to spread the gospel in the world! Without their labor, how could we know the truth? As we embrace the gospel, Father, keep us in unity with other believers.

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