John 17:6-19, NIRV
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. 12While I was with them, I guarded them. I kept them safe through the name you gave me. None of them has been lost, except the one who was headed for ruin. It happened so that Scripture would come true.
13“I am coming to you now. But I say these things while I am still in the world. I say them so that those you gave me can have the same joy that I have. 14I have given them your word. The world has hated them. That’s because they are not part of the world any more than I am. 15 I do not pray that you will take them out of the world. I pray that you will keep them safe from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to it. 17Use the truth to make them holy. Your word is truth. 18You sent me into the world. In the same way, I have sent them into the world. 19I make myself holy for them so that they too can be made holy by the truth.
Today’s scripture contains the words Jesus tells his followers right before he ascends, which means that he goes up into heaven to be with God. Jesus offers a prayer over them. In the prayer, he teaches his disciples how to live and love in this world. He talks about how we should show the love he offers to those who don’t know about his love. He talks about how we share and offer help to others. Jesus reminds us of how we should treat and honor one another. Jesus demonstrates how we should pray for others in our lives when they are either struggling or celebrating good times.
Let’s pray over someone right here and now. (Select a few people in the congregation and gather the children around them and pray for them. Then take your group of children to another person and pray over that person. Perhaps gather the children around the pastor and pray for him/her.)
Loving and gracious God, we pray for name of person. May you fill name of person with the love of Jesus. Help _______ when he/she struggles and celebrate when they he/she finds himself (herself) filled with joy. (If you are aware of any specific prayer requests, add them at this point.) Amen. (A powerful suggestion would be to have a child say the prayer over the individual.)