Iwrote a prayer for the Clearfield County Fair Vespers services, which took place this evening. The prayer was a response to Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Here’s the prayer, along with words from John 17 that I was specifically responding to (the parenthetical statement, “Make us one,” was a response by the congregation) ….
Quotes from John 17
- I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do (4).
- Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world … protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are (11).
- … the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. … keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. (14-16, 18).
- I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one … And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. … May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (20-21, 23).
O God, how awesome — how awesome, indeed — it is to think about what you are up to in the world! What you have already done in the world is simply amazing. And nothing compares with the gift of your son, whom you sent into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it! For that, O God, we are extremely grateful and eternally indebted to you! Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
O God, you have revealed yourself to us and everything we have is a gift from you. You have given us your message. Help us to faithfully pass on your message to the world. Help us to reveal you to the world so that they, too, will know that you are God and that you are the hope of everyone on earth. Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
We are your body, Lord, the people you have called out from the world. We ask you to protect us by the power of your name so that we will be united just as you are united, God, Three-in-One. Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
Keep us safe from the evil one. Protect us from division — division caused by those among us who are more interested in their own agendas and building their own kingdoms than in building your kingdom. Keep us safe from the evil one, O God, so that we will be united in building your kingdom! Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
O God, it’s quite an astounding statement Jesus made, that we do not belong to this world just as he doesn’t belong to this world. We do not belong to this world any more than he does. You have set us apart, called us to be a holy people, and you send us into the world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, to restore people to right relationship with God! Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
But God, this is such an awesome task that you’ve called us to, and we acknowledge that we cannot do it without you. Make us one, O God; may we experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you are God and that you love them as much as you love your own Son, Jesus Christ! Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
And when we come to the end of our time, may we be able to say, as Jesus did, that we have brought glory to you by completing the work you gave us to do! Lord, in your mercy, (make us one).
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy spirit. Amen.