Looking Forward to Sunday: Jesus' Prayer

Rev. Daniel Eggold

May 18, 2020


Acts 1:12–26; Psalm 68:1–10; 1 Peter 4:12–19, 5:6–11; John 17:1–11

Jesus saying farewell to his eleven remaining disciples, from the Maesta by Duccio, 1308–1311.

From time to time, she repeats the bedtime prayer she has never forgotten: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” What follows is a list of names. “God bless…” she begins, then lists mom, dad, grandmas,grandpas, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, all by name. Then teachers she liked, friends nearby and hungry children afar, the sick neighbor, the old man in the library, the blind lady at the post office, the lifeguard at the beach. Sometimes there is an “Amen,” but often, sleep comes first.

    Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, shares a farewell meal with them, and teaches for the last time about his way of love. He promises the presence of the Spirit and the coming of God’s peace. Then, at the end of the day, he prays that God will be with his followers, praying for each of us. Jesus prays for his disciples that they might know the love of God the Father just as much as they know Him.

    Jesus’ prayer is also a prayer for unity. Jesus prays that we may be one just as he and the Father are one. Jesus prays, “All mine are yours, and yours are mine” (John 17:10). Following His example, we pray for the unity of all people with God. We pray that what the world rejects God will receive. We pray that what the world divides God will make one. We pray that what the world threatens God will protect.

    May we be comforted by Jesus’ prayer for us, and may we be so emboldened to pray ourselves for the blessing, presence,and unity found in our risen Lord and Savior.


O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.