John 17:1-11 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Jesus Prays for Himself
17After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed. He said,
“Father, the time has come. Bring glory to your Son. Then your Son will bring glory to you. 2You gave him authority over all people. He gives eternal life to all those you have given him. 3And what is eternal life? It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth. I have finished the work you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, give glory to me in heaven where your throne is. Give me the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6 “I have shown you to the disciples you gave me out of the world. They were yours. You gave them to me. And they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8I gave them the words you gave me. And they accepted them. They knew for certain that I came from you. They believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world. I am praying for those you have given me, because they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. Glory has come to me because of my disciples. 11I will not remain in the world any longer. But they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name. It is the name you gave me. Keep them safe so they can be one, just as you and I are one.
- Foam sports finger in the shape of #1
Where have you seen one of these foam fingers? That’s right, we see them at sporting events. Some people wear them to cheer on their favorite team. They chant things such as, “We’re number one!” We get so excited that we think we are on the team. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves. Each of you belongs to a school, but also to one classroom. We’re all in this worship together and are part of one church family. Jesus loves me this I know, but I am part of one family. We all come from one family, but we all are also a part of God’s family. We are all part of the one true God’s team.
We love to share with someone when we are excited. In today’s Scripture passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus shows us that prayer can be like that. Prayer is how we can tell God when we are excited, nervous, or worried.
(Ask all the people gathered to shout out what time of day they pray. Before a meal, bed or other times? Do they use a prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer? Or their own words?) Jesus reminds us that we are all together on God’s team. Jesus also teaches us that we can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything. We don’t have to use fancy words, and we don’t have to pray at a certain time of the day. God reminds us that each of us is on God’s team, and we are number one when we put God first in our lives.
Loving and Gracious God, we know that you love each of us like you love all of us. Thank you for hearing our prayers—prayers of excitement, prayers of worry, prayers for others. We are glad that we can talk to You anytime, anywhere, about anything. Amen.