40 Days of Prayer – Day Fourteen
Famous Last Words
“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.”
John 17:20-21a (NIV)
Moments before the resurrected Jesus returned triumphantly to heaven, He left His disciples with this promise: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After He spoke these words, Jesus ascended before their very eyes.
With this scene fixed in your mind’s eye, consider this question: Was Jesus’ promise only for those disciples who were physically present that day and heard His actual words? The answer carries vital implications for us as believers in our church today.
Those who were assembled with Jesus that day were no doubt profoundly affected by everything He did and said following the Resurrection. They took it all to heart. But the promise wasn’t exclusively for them, any more than the hundreds of other promises in God’s Word were meant only for the relative handful of people who originally heard or read them.
In the New Testament there is what we might call a “pass-it-on” principle: What we receive in spiritual truth and blessing we are to pass on to others. The imperative of Jesus’ Great Commission is to make disciples – to impart to others the essentials of faith in Christ and obedience to him. That is our church’s primary commitment.
In the “true” Lord’s Prayer, recorded in John 17, Jesus prayed for spiritual fruitfulness and unity among the disciples. And He said, “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.” The plan and the promises of God encompass all believers, not just those who were blessed to literally see and hear the Messiah.
Pray today that our entire church family will have the spiritual vision to see the reality of these truths and to act in obedience to them.