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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, May 26, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  John 17:20–26

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (NRSV)

Let’s gather our attention on this one question—think of how you feel when someone says with intention, and especially with the gentle, caring touch of a hand, “I’m praying for you.” Reflect.

Do you feel relieved? Are your anxieties eased? Do you feel, for a moment, anointed?

There is one lovely member among us who has a “Saints and Angels” prayer group. That group lifts her out of “The Pit” and helps her “Press On”—against daunting odds.

Now consider today’s scripture. It is not another church member, family friend, or a prayer group; this is Jesus, praying for all of us in the prayer known as the Intercessory Prayer in this special passage of scripture also known as his “Farewell Discourse.” This is Jesus’ final prayer before the betrayal and crucifixion. He knew of his fate yet prayed for us and prayed for our oneness—the same oneness Jesus has with God.

Did you read Jesus’ prayer? Do you not feel buoyed? Who amongst us would pray for others at our darkest hour? Are we able to gather our faculties, set self aside at our lowest moments, and consider others? Selflessness—that is the high-bar trait to value. The belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the resurrection, the unyielding love for others, and the awesome power of prayer are bedrock pillars of our faith. This is the substance of what we believe. This precious buoy of Christianity is endorsed in John 17:20–26. Read it and read it again.

We remain in the Easter season. Otis Moss III steadies us: this is the time when “we will see God’s light break forth like the dawn.” This is our time of reckoning, when Shannon Kershner tells us to “hold space,” gather our turmoil, and rely on faith to raise us up. When I pressed one member about her faith journey emboldened by the Saints and Angels, remarkably, she prayed for me and then simply wrote, “I have no fear. God is so loving.” This is how we all should be: be like Jesus; pray for all believers; pray for our oneness. Press On.

Dear God, my prayer is not for them alone but for all of us. Let me be as one with you and Jesus Christ. Cleanse my heart; purge my burdens; make me selfless. Strengthen me to know no fear and press on, awaiting your dawn. Amen.

Written by Clyde Yancy, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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