Family Bible Study lesson for March 24: Fulfilling Jesus' Prayer
March 1 2002 by Lisa Horton , John 17:6-11, 15-18, 20-26

Family Bible Study lesson for March 24: Fulfilling Jesus' Prayer | Friday, March 1, 2002

Friday, March 1, 2002

Family Bible Study lesson for March 24: Fulfilling Jesus' Prayer

By Lisa Horton John 17:6-11, 15-18, 20-26

A newspaper recently reported that the ACLU had challenged Virginia's new Moment of Silence Law. This law provides schools the opportunity to open "each day with a moment of silence, during which time students may silently meditate, pray or even daydream since none are compelled to pray." The ACLU had challenged the law, which is now in effect, declaring that "such a moment of silence would irreparably damage children."

Prayer for His Disciples (John 17:6-11)

Can you imagine a moment of silent prayer irreparably damaging a person? To the contrary, I believe a "lack of prayer" causes irreparable damage!

Jesus certainly places a high priority on prayer. Although sinless and perfect, He consistently prayed throughout His earthly ministry. In John chapter 17, just hours before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His disciples. He asked God to protect them and to keep them united as one, in the same way that He and His Father are one. It would be essential for His disciples to be one in spirit, in purpose, and in love, in order to complete the mission He had given them.

Prayer for His Disciples' Mission (John 17:15-18)

In verse 19, Jesus prayed for His followers to be sanctified. To be sanctified means to be set apart unto God for a special mission or purpose. Jesus set Himself apart for God's purpose of providing salvation to every person who would believe in Him.

He desires that we also be sanctified. What mission are we to be sanctified for? The awesome task of carrying His gospel to every nation (Matt. 28:19-20).

Jesus said in verse 17 that we are to be sanctified by the truth of God's word. Having God's word in our hearts sets us apart from the world and prepares us for God's purposes. The best way to know God's will is to know God's word. It is impossible to live a sanctified life apart from reading and implementing God's word in our life. D.L. Moody wrote on the inside cover of his Bible: "This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book."

Prayer for Future Disciples (John 17:20-26)

In verse 20, Jesus prayed for you and me! It is just as though Jesus said, "I pray also for Lisa Horton who will believe in Me through their message." If you know Christ as your Savior, you can insert your name in that verse as well.

Robert Murray McCheyne said, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me: He ever liveth to make intercession."

Jesus prayed that we would be one. Why? Because everything we do as the body of Christ is affected by our unity. A united group of Christians is a powerful witness that Jesus Christ really came from God. After all, only God can cause a group of people with many backgrounds and personalities to love each other unconditionally and work together for a common purpose.

Unfortunately we are often like the man who spent many lonely years on a deserted island. He was miraculously discovered one day. His rescuers noticed three huts on the island, and since the man was obviously alone, they asked him to explain the three huts. The man answered that the first hut was his home. The second hut was his church. And the third hut was where he used to attend church before he got mad and left!

The world notices and responds when Christians are truly united. But they also notice when we fight and argue over everything from budgets to the color of the carpet - as if God really cares whether the carpet is burgundy or blue! It has been said that we sing "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" and then let the least offense sever it. Col. 3:14 says to "put on love" which binds us all together in perfect unity.

Jesus prayed that we would be one so the world would know that God sent Him. Does our unity prove to the world that Jesus is God's Son? Or does our disunity convince the world that He is not?

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3/1/2002 12:00:00 AM by Lisa Horton , John 17:6-11, 15-18, 20-26 | with 0 comments
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