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The Forty-Fourth (The Prayer)

Another interesting week! We have no fear though, because we have the spoiler about how this all ends! Speaking of endings, this week we're going to take a look at the prayer Jesus made moments before He was betrayed by Judas. As a side note before we get into that, I feel moved to remind of Judas' situation and how it shows Satan's modus operandi (the way he operates). Judas allowed him to influence and he betrayed Jesus. As soon as that act was complete, Satan had no more use for Judas and he moved on. Judas essentially "came to" and realized what he had done and regretted it. Satan and his underlings all operate according to their own motives and goals, with no concern for who they use, hurt or otherwise affect to achieve those goals. Remember that next time you're tempted, and turn to the Word of Yehovah to resist it!

On to the prayer! The most detailed account of Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is in John 17:1-26. One interesting aspect of this account is that it's the only one in which Jesus does not ask Yehovah if the cup will be taken from Him. In fact, throughout this whole prayer Jesus prays for everyone but nowhere is there even a hint of Him trying to confirm His role as our sacrifice.

So what does He pray for? Well, I think when you take a look you'll agree that in this prayer Jesus gives a great model of how we should pray ourselves. Obviously, other than the prayer of Matthew 6/Luke 11! But in this prayer you can see three sets of people He includes.

First, He starts with Himself. Or so it seems! While the subject is Him, the objective of talking about Himself is that Yehovah be glorified. And this is the common theme throughout this whole prayer: the focus on God. In this first portion, He recounts His purpose being to glorify Yehovah and complete the work He gave to Jesus. It's interesting because Jesus talks about things God Himself did, and things Jesus did, which of course God would already know about. This is not abnormal though, because we saw it when Moses advocated to Yehovah for his people and reminded Him of how He delivered them (Exodus 32:11).

So what can we learn and apply in this first part of the prayer? Our focus should always be to glorify Jesus and Yehovah in all we do. In order to accomplish this we should look to His Word for what He has given us to do. Then we should live this out day to day, and pray for Him to help us in those efforts.

Second, He prays about the next set of people closest to Him: His disciples. Once again, Jesus recounts what He did and what Yehovah did. God gave Him the disciples, and He gave them the words Yehovah gave Him. He talks about how the disciples have received those words and believed, and then He distinguishes them from the world. Not only to point out that He's not praying for the world when He's referring to them, but also to point out that the world hates them. He prays for God to protect them from evil and sanctify them through His Word, and likens the way God sent Him out to the way He sent them out.

In this second part, we can learn and apply the focus on those who have been called to be leaders in the body of Christ. They have been sent out into the world just as the disciples were, and as teachers are held to a higher standard than others. Again, we should focus on the glorification of Jesus and Yehovah by these people. We want to make sure their focus is on Them and not themselves. We also want to make sure they remain distinguished from the world, protected from its evils and sanctified through continual focus on and living out His Word.

Finally, He prays about the last set of people, those once removed from Him: those who believe in Him based on the word of the disciples. He prays that who He is will be shown to the world through them. He also prays that they will behold His glory.

For this, we focus on all those believers around the world. We should pray that we, and all other believers, show the world Jesus through words and actions. We should also pray that His glory is shown to us.

One other thing to mention is the unity Jesus prays for among the disciples and the believers. He wants all those that believe in Him to be unified, not divided. And why? Well, the same reason as everything else of course: to believe Jesus is the Son of God! Does this make sense to you? Because it took me a minute to add that up. Who other than the Son of God could truly unify people across all different nations, ethnicities, ages, backgrounds, etc.? To see all believers in Christ unified would truly be something just amazing enough to cause non-believers to at least consider the possibility of Jesus being the Son of God. Something we should most certainly pray for!

Bonus info: Another confirmation that Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God was with Yehovah from the beginning: John 17:5. Jesus refers to the glory He had with Yehovah before the world even existed! And He confirms it again in verse 24!

Have a great week! Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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