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September 18, 2023 - John 17

John spends a good bit of ink telling us about the Good Shepherd and his ministry: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep” (10:11-15). What comforting words those must have been to his disciples! Here’s the thing for us, though; Jesus adds, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold” (10:16). We are those “other sheep!”

Jesus prayed for his disciples, and he prayed for us, also: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me . . .” (17:20). Now, that’s something to contemplate! That Jesus, two thousand years ago, prayed for me! Prayed for you! And that he continues to make intercession for me! And for you! We regularly pray for this one and that one, but to think that Jesus himself has prayed for us! I know I keep typing these exclamation points, but this thought is just incredible, that Jesus has and continues to pray for me! And for you!

My Jesus prayed for me,

had me on his mind,

took the time to pray for me.

I’m so glad he prayed,

I’m so glad he prayed,

I’m so glad he prayed for me.-- Dorothy Norwood & Alvin Darling (1999)

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