Maundy Prayer, Then and Now

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word… I have given them the words that you gave me, and… they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours… Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them… But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:6,8-9,11-17

“Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34

“Maundy: a ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday; alms distributed in connection with the maundy ceremony; from the Old French mande, in turn from the Latin mandātum, which means ‘mandate or command.’”

The night before the crucifixion, Jesus gathered with His disciples for the Passover meal, washed their feet, dismissed His betrayer, issued a new commandment to love one another, promised the Holy Spirit, then bathed them all in His magnificent high priestly prayer. What He prayed for them prior to the cross this Maundy night He continues to pray for us today, revealing His heart toward His children and His mandate for our living in the world. (John 13-16)

Keep them in Your name, which you have given me. The name of Jesus is a stronghold where we are kept and guarded from the onslaught of the world and devil and their lies and temptation. (Proverbs 18:10; Matthew 4:4)

That they may be one, even as we are one. Jesus’s people are by calling unified in purpose, in the image they bear to the world, connected by a common grace and love that comes only from God.

That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. Jesus came to give abundant life, and His Spirit in us abounds in joy. (John 10:10; Galatians 5:22)

Not that you take them out of the world, but keep them from the evil one. As long as we live, we deal with the devil’s tactics and minions in this world. But Jesus prays for us in this world not to be of the world, but set apart in spirit and mind, fully armed for the battle, light in darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 6:12-13; Philippians 2:15)

Sanctify them in truth. God’s word is inerrant and true. It convicts, fortifies, and teaches us all righteousness. (Psalm 18:30; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

What vision, what comfort, what resolve, these prayers inspire. How will we fulfill our part in their answer?

Thanks be to You, Lord, for Your ministry of prayer. For every one, so be it!

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