“[Father,] my prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” —John 17:15
On the night he was arrested, Jesus prayed this prayer to his Father, interceding for his disciples and all believers. This prayer is filled with compassion, revealing Christ’s mission for himself and his followers.
Does he ask that we may never face hardships? No, he asks that we may persevere. It’s a prayer for unity among believers so that others will believe. It’s a prayer of deep love, asking that all people may grow to believe in him.
Reflecting on this prayer of Jesus, we can see that as believers we have a mission—and we will accomplish it only by remaining in him who is the vine (John 15:5). The Bible’s message is designed to draw us into relationship with our Creator, who has revealed himself in his Son, Jesus Christ, and by his Holy Spirit.
It is appropriate that we close this month of lessons with this closing prayer of the Canons of Dort: “May God’s Son Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and gives gifts to humanity, sanctify us in the truth, lead to the truth those who err, silence the mouths of those who lay false accusations against sound teaching, and equip faithful ministers of God’s Word with a spirit of wisdom and discretion, that all they say may be to the glory of God and the building up of their hearers. Amen.”
Following Jesus’ example, let’s be faithful in prayer. May we love as God loves—and share his good news everywhere.