In the seventeenth chapter of John we may read one of the most wonderful prayers ever given, the prayer of Christ Jesus which he prayed before his trial and crucifixion. Our Master foresaw and foreknew the ordeal through which he was called upon to pass, but his prayer gives no indication of either sorrow or anxiety. In studying the prayer we notice that the first five verses are devoted to the dedication of himself and his work to the Father. He declares: "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

In verses 6 to 19 the prayer takes on a wider aspect. Jesus is here praying for his disciples, that they might share the unity of the Spirit which he had already found for himself. In verses 20 to 26 the circle is again enlarged, and we find our Master praying to include all who should believe on him. Thus this great prayer, although beginning with his own need, does not remain in that circumference but extends in ever-widening circles to embrace all humanity.

November 20, 1948

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