An Article of Faith
You can know a person’s heart by what they pray. Thankfully, we have the privilege of hearing Jesus’ greatest prayer before His crucifixion: “After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so He can give glory back to You. For You have given Him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one You have given Him. And this is the way to have eternal life – to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth. I brought glory to You here on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. Now, Father, bring Me into the glory We shared before the world began.
“I have revealed You to the ones You gave Me from this world. They were always Yours. You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from You, for I have passed on to them the message You gave Me. They accepted it and know that I came from You, and they believe You sent Me.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You. All who are Mine belong to You, and You have given them to Me, so they bring Me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to You. Holy Father, You have given Me Your Name; now protect them by the power of Your Name so that they will be united just as We are. During My time here, I protected them by the power of the Name You gave Me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold [viz., Judas Iscariot].
“Now I am coming to You. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with My joy. I have given them Your Word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give Myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by Your truth.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one – as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me. Father, I want these whom You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see all the glory You gave Me because You loved Me even before the world began!
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know You, but I do; and these disciples know You sent Me. I have revealed You to them, and I will continue to do so. Then Your love for Me will be in them, and I will be in them’.” (John 17:1-26 NLT.) (Taken and adapted from: OneCry: A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening. Visit www.onecry.com.)
“If My people,” declares the LORD, “who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV.)
Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.