A Prayer for All Believers

John 17: 20-26
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 / Ps 16

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word. – John 17:20

Lord Jesus, we pray for unity,
Bind us together in Your Word;
Let love reign in our community
That we may live in one accord.

(Jesus continued His prayer): “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17: 20-26)

Reflection

The prayer of Jesus extends to all Christians who will be His followers through-out the generations, and who will abide by His teachings. The central theme of His prayer is unity, and the common denominator is the belief that Jesus is the One sent by the Father, that He is the Christ, the Messiah and Redeemer. All who believe this are made members of His Mystical Body, and will one day share in His glory.

But Jesus’ prayer for His followers and for Christians of all generations was not only for their benefit alone, but to fulfill the will of the Father, which is the salvation of the whole world. As Jesus clearly stated, “My prayer is not for them alone… (but) also for those who will believe in me through their word…” (Jn.17:20) meaning, those who are still outside the Church, but whom His followers must evangelize with the Gospel.

As disciples of Christ, how do we effectively draw others into His flock? By showing them the true love that binds us in our community of faith. Selfless, unconditional love is a powerful magnet that never fails to attract souls in search of meaning in their lives. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn.13:35) Many have been transformed or renewed in their faith when they joined communities like Couples for Christ, Bukas Loob sa Diyos, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP), etc. The reason they joined these communities was primarily because they were touched by the genuine love that the members had for each other. They soon discovered that this love was borne out of a common abiding faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Father God, we join our Lord Jesus in praying for unity in the Church, so that all Your children may be one in Your love, and those who are still in the world may also be touched by this unity and love, and encouraged to join Your flock. Amen.

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