Okay. Please have a seat and very good evening to you. If we haven't met yet, my name's Tom. I'm 1 of pastors here. And if you would like to turn back to John chapter 17 in your bibles, that would be great.
And let's pray together as we begin. Further in heaven, we thank you for recording this amazing prayer of the lord Jesus in the scriptures for us. We thank you that in this chapter you invite us into it, to hear it for ourselves, to see what the lord Jesus said on the eve of his death when he raised his face to heaven and talked to you. We thank you for this incredible prayer. And for all that it reveals about your relationship with your son, And for all that it reveals about our task in this world, and for all that it shows us about your affection for your people.
And we pray that as we look at these things together, that Lord's, however, we're feeling that you would you would please speak to us that you would lift our hearts to you, that we would make these priorities in Jesus' prayer our own priorities. And we ask it in his name. Oh, man. Okay? So if you're new to to the church, we've been working our way through John's gospel, and we have come now to chapter 17.
And in this chapter, we are now just hours from the death of of the Lord Jesus Christ. The last supper has been eaten. The disciples have celebrated that meal together. Judas has gone out into the night to do that which he was appointed to do, to do that, which he chose to do. And Jesus has been teaching In this little room, he's been teaching the disciples, giving them a a long sermon about what life is gonna look like in the world after he's after he's gone.
And in chapter 16, at the end of chapter 16, which we looked at last week, he says, You will leave, I am not alone. My father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.
So he's honest with them. About how life is gonna be in the world. You are going out into the world and you are gonna have trouble. There are gonna be dangers that you're gonna face. There's gonna be temptations that you're gonna come across.
There's gonna be enemies that are gonna go against you, but I want you to know that I have overcome the world, that I am the son of God, that I am gonna die and rise again and win a great victory. And I'm gonna invite you into that victory and to live a victorious life in me over the world. And then in chapter 17, as he brings that sermon to a close, he looks towards heaven and he prays. Further, the hour has come. And what follows is just the most beautiful mixture of devotion for his father and teaching for his disciples.
There is an outpouring of love here, from the sun to the father, from the father to the sun, and an outpouring of love from the sun to his disciples. And within this amazing prayer is also a sermon. It's like a mixture of a prayer and a sermon, devotion and teaching. Jesus has clearly invited the disciples to hear this interaction between him and his heavenly father because recorded for us, for our instruction, and for our worship. And when you read through the gospels, of course, it's not unusual to find Jesus praying.
Very often they say he went here and prayed or he went up a mountain and prayed. But what we have here is truly unique in the sense that it's the fullest recorded prayer of Jesus in the bible. I mean, just occasionally, the gospel writers do tell us what Jesus prayed, but it's only 1 or 2 sentences if we're told anything. But here is a full chapter full of the lord Jesus' prayer life. And the the stunning thing about it, if you are a Christian here this evening, is that you are included in this prayer.
Amazing thought, isn't it? That 2000 years ago, in a small room on a rooftop, somewhere in Jerusalem, them. Hours before he died, the lord Jesus prayed for you. Prayed for you. Have a look at verse 20.
My prayer is not for them alone, not just the disciples. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. If you are here this evening, and you believe in the lord Jesus Christ and have believed in him through the message of the apostles. Then on this night, Jesus prayed for you and he prayed for me. And he prayed for all Christians who have come before us and he prayed for all Christians who will come after us.
On this night, he took us to the father. He laid us before the father. He prayed for us. And so wouldn't it be good for us to really know what he said, for us to really know what he wanted for us, for us to really know what he thought was important for us, for what he wants us to really know about our church and what our church is to be about. All of that is here.
And of the many things that we could look at. We're just gonna look at 3 things that he prays for his disciples. There's something that he wants us to know. There is something that he wants us to be and there is something that he wants us to remain in. Something he wants us to know.
Something he wants us to be. And something he wants us to remain in. And the first point is that Jesus wants us to know how loved we are. He wants us to know how loved we are. You just cannot you cannot miss his affection for his people in this prayer.
I mean, have a look at have a look at verse 8. Jesus says, for I gave them the words that you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me. And if you know anything about how the disciples are described in the gospels, you might think that's quite a generous judgment. You know, given what they've just said a matter of hours ago, show us the father and that will be enough for us.
Lord, we don't know where you're going. Please, would you tell us the way you haven't made it plain to us? And yet here Jesus says, they believe the words you gave me, and they knew with certainty that I came from you. And you can imagine if the disciples were there listening to that, at that moment, they sort of open 1 eye and look at each other and think, he talking about is he talking about us? You know, it's hard it's hard to believe, isn't it?
And yet, actually, as Jesus stands back, and he surveys all that the disciples are and where they've come from and where they're going and the journey that they've been on he says father, despite all their failings, and despite all their faults, and despite all their wobbles into unbelief. This is the judgment over them. They believed me. They accepted my word, and they knew with certainty that I had come from you. And that same is true for you and you and I for Christians this evening.
That despite all our wobbles and despite all our faults, and despite all our ups and downs with the lord as he stands back and he looks at our Christian lives as he looks at all that he has made us to be. He says, father, they accepted my words. They believed me. They knew with certainty that I had come from you. That's a really loving, generous, assessment of us, isn't it?
And then verse 6, look what he says. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours. You gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. And he's not just talking about the disciples there.
Because if you look on to verse 20, my prayer is not for them alone. I pray for those who will believe in me. Through their message that all of them may be 1 father, just as you are in me and I am in you. Now the idea of giving in this chapter is is huge. There there is the idea of giving or the word giving 17 times in this chapter.
You've got the father giving to the son. You've got the son giving to the father. You've got the father and the son giving to the disciples. You've got a very generous God on display in this chapter. Our God is a giver.
He gives and he gives and he gives and he gives and according to Jesus, the best gift of all The height of god's generosity is the gift from the father to the son and it's and it's us. So like Christmas morning, come downstairs. There's a lovely present all wrapped up and there's a gift tag and you look at the gift tag and it says to my darling son from your loving father and you open it and it's us. It's us. If you are a Christian here this evening, Jesus counts you as a gift to him from the father.
See how loved you are. Verse 24, father, I want those you have given me. To be with me where I am and to see my glory. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory. You might imagine a a loving husband and father who gets a new job.
And he has to go overseas in order to take this new job. He's promoted. He moves across the globe. The company have provided a beautiful house for him. It's a nice location.
The job is gonna fit the family. But there's a sense in which that home is not complete until his wife and his children join him in that new place. It's not complete. However beautiful it is. It's not complete until his family are there.
Well, according to Jesus, heaven is not heaven until we're there with him. Glory is not glory until his bride join him Of course, before the creation of the world, he was fully satisfied in himself. But as you stand and look at the whole scope of eternity. That is a sense in which heaven really is not heaven until the bride of Christ is with their bride groom forever and ever. Charles Virgin in a sermon on this passage wonders whether the lord Jesus at this point got carried away in the fervor of his devotion.
Did he get carried away? Did he really mean that? Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am not gonna be complete. Glory won't be glory until they're all there with me. Is he getting carried away in the broomstick devotion?
Now, this is the gospel. Isn't it? This is the gospel. That God has beautified us in Christ and the whole of eternity is hurtling towards this moment when the bride is united with the bride groom forever and ever and ever. Do you see how loved you are?
There is nothing like this in the other religions of the world. You think of Buddhism. You know, is this is this what Buddha would want for his people? Is this what he would say about them? Or rather would he have them just dissolve into the universe?
To lose all of their passions, to lose all of their emotions, and just to become part of a great universal, impersonal soup. Or you think of Allah in Islam. Would he ever say this about his people? The paradise that he has on offer is 1 of material things. He wants to give his people that which they have denied themselves in this life.
But can you imagine him praying something like this for his people? Now Muslims might say that 1 of the great things about Paradise is that we are in the presence of God. But I can't ever imagine Allah saying The best thing that I can imagine is to dwell with you and to be with you forever and ever. I want you to be with me. Where I am.
Do you see how loved you are? This is what Jesus wants. These are the words from 1 who absolutely adores his his people and wants them to be with him. And so the question is, does this fit with your view of God. It's easy for us sometimes just to think about God as 1 who takes away things, isn't it?
He takes away rights and he takes away privileges and he takes away opportunities and he takes away joys. But according to John 17, he is a 17 times giver. He's a giver and the best gift of all is you as a Christian to him forever. He counts you as a gift. He loves you.
His affection for his people is so plain in this in this wonderful chapter, isn't it? So that's the first thing. He wants us to know how loved we are. Secondly, he wants us to be protected from evil. Wants us to know how loved we are and he wants us to be protected from peep from evil.
And I hope you can see from that first point how much Jesus Christ does love his people. But he's also very clear that they are going into a world which does not feel the same way about them. Now if you're new to John's gospel, this idea of the world might be a little bit strange. You know, what does Jesus mean? What does John mean by the world?
Well, what he doesn't mean is just planet earth, this globe that we live on. They are going into planet earth. That's not what he's saying. What he does mean by the world world is is the people in the world who live in opposition to God. He's describing a sort of system of thought and a way of living that is in rebellion to its creator.
That's what he means by world in this chapter. And if you are a Christian here, that is something that you used to be but have been saved from. So you used to belong to the world in that sense in that your life was lived without reference to God and in opposition to God. We belong to that system of rebellion. And yet now in Christ, and it's very clear in this chapter, we have been saved out of the world.
We now do belong to the king of kings. And we we live for his glory. And yet for now, we still live within this system in opposition to God. And so look what he says with me in verse 14 to 18. I have given them your words and the world has hated them.
For they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil 1. They are not of the world Even as I am not of it, sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world for them I sanctify myself that they too may be truly sanctified It's interesting in Luke's gospel at about this time in the story, Jesus has an amazing conversation with Simon Peter.
And he says to Simon Peter before the cross. He says Simon Simon. Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon. That your faith may not fail. I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.
Now the interesting thing about that is there's a sense in which Peter's faith did fail, shortly after that. He would go on to deny the name of the lord 3 times. And yet as Jesus stands back and looks at his whole life, He says there is also a sense in which your faith will never fail. You will never fall beyond redemption. There will be reconciliation.
You will be stored, you will go back and strengthen your brothers. Jesus prayed that his faith would not fail. And it's the same thing in John 17. As the disciples go into the world, Jesus wants us to know that our opponent is real. That Satan is real and he wants to shake the faith out of us.
That's what the wheat illustration is about. They used to have in ancient times these big sieves and they would put the wheat on it and they would shake it to try to separate that which was good from the dirt. That is what Satan wants to do to us. He wants to shake our faith so that the faith bottoms out of us. It falls out of us and we're left without it.
But Jesus says, that which I prayed for Simon Peter, I have prayed for you, that you would go into the world and be protected from the evil 1. As you go into the world, my disciples, and as you battle against sin, which could destroy you. And make a wreck of your soul, I want you to know disciples that I have prayed for you, that you would be sanctified by the truth. That you'd be made holy as you go into this world full of error, which is gonna temper you because it will sound exciting and you and you might think Well, let's build the church on this new teaching. The disciples, I want you to.
I prayed for you that you would remain in the truth, that you would remain in me. Designals, as you go into this world and you're tempted to cowardice, so few of you, such a big world, as you attempted to retreat and withdraw, I want you to know that I have prayed for you, that you would go into the world with our name and our message and that the gospel would spread. As you're tempted to joylessness, which could sap your energy and make you feel hopeless I want you to know disciples that I have prayed for you verse 13 that the full measure of my joy might be in you. I prayed for you. In other words, the disciples are not going to be in this little room forever.
They are going out into the world and there is going to be danger at every turn. But Jesus says I have prayed for you. I have prayed for you. It's interesting when we pray, we we naturally anticipate things that could go wrong in the future. Don't we?
You know, if you if someone's going on a long journey, we might pray. We pray lord that you would keep them safe as they travel. Now why do we pray that? Well, because we know that's not guaranteed. We know that there is a possibility that travel can go wrong.
If you've got a meeting tomorrow or coming up this week, you might say, I pray lord that you'd help me to speak honestly, to not fear what other people think, to say what is right, and to say it lovingly. Why do we pray that? Because we know that in the meeting, we might be tempted to fear man more than god. In other words, we anticipate future dangers and we pray in light of them. Well, Jesus knows what's coming.
He knows what's coming for the disciples. He knows the world that they're going into. He knows dangers ahead of them, and so he prays. He doesn't pray they'd be wrapped up in cotton wool, and he doesn't pray that they'd be free from all harm. That would be an impossible prayer request because if the world hated Jesus, then, of course, it's gonna hate those who side with Jesus.
But in this ultimate sense, he prays for their protection from devil, from sin, from terror, from cowardice, from joylessness, praise for them. And here's the thing when a disciple hears that, they don't think, safe. Just relax now. Do nothing. Jesus has prayed for me.
Don't have to fight. When a real disciple hears that, they think I'm a double my effort. I'm gonna double my efforts against Satan. I'm gonna double my efforts to remain in the truth. I'm gonna fight against joylessness, which robbed me of the happiness of my salvation.
I'm gonna fight against cowardice and pray for opportunity and courage to take the opportunities that God gives me. That's how a disciple responds. They think if Jesus has prayed for that, and I'm gonna I wanna make that my fight and my focus. That's what I'm gonna do as well. So Jesus wants us to know in this prayer, how loved we are.
And he wants us to be protected from evil. And thirdly and lastly, he wants us to remain United in him. He wants us to remain united in him. If you look back to verse 11, and ask yourself what what is the greatest threat facing the disciples? Of all the things that I've just listed, you know, Satan, sin, error, cowardice, cowardice, joylessness.
What is the greatest error that they are sorry, the greatest danger that they are facing. Well, have a look at verse 11. It takes from verse 6 to verse 11 for him to actually get to a to a prayer to a prayer request. And here's what he says, I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world and I am coming to you holy father. Holy father protects them.
By the power of your name, the name you gave me so that they may be 1. As we are 1. That they may be 1 as we are 1. Now why is that so important that the disciples then and all who follow would remain 1. What it's a huge deal for our witness in the world, isn't it?
Our unity. You see in some ways, the main subject of this chapter is the unity of the father and the son. That's what the first bit is really all about. That the father and the son are united in glory. They are united in purpose.
They are united in their desire for their people. There is glory and unity between the father and the son. And here Jesus says, and that must spill over into my people. The unity that father's son and spirit enjoy must be a feature of their life together. 1 writer says this unity in the church breeds atheism in the world.
This unity in the church breeds atheism in the world. And there's a sense in which that's both true and not true. I mean, it's not true in that what breeds atheism in the world is actually what comes out of my heart. My sin breeds atheism in the world, not what seems to be going on in churches. And yet the point is well made, isn't it?
That there is something about our unity which speaks which speaks out to the world. You know, you think of what Jesus said in John 13. He said to his disciples, I want you to love each each other with this servant hearted love that the world may know who you belong to and who you love. There is something about our life together which says something about the Savior we worship. Same in John 17.
I pray that they may be united so that the world would see the unified God that they love and serve. I want the world to look on at them, see their bond, see their unity in truth and to think there is a father son spirit unity that must give power to their life together. It's a big deal for our witness in the world. The second reason I think he prays or makes such a point of praying for our unity is that it doesn't come naturally to us. It doesn't come naturally to us.
Here's the thing about fallen people. Foreign people want to build their identity, generally speaking, on what makes them different from other people and what makes them better than other people and not what makes them similar to other people. Our fallen instincts drive us to self centeredness and splitting and dividing. And this is 1 of the reasons why movements that are not built on the gospel, inevitably collapse. It's interesting I was reading this week about a lady called Julie Blindle if you've heard of Julie Glendale, she's a she's a journalist, and she's also a lesbian feminist.
And in 2008, She was actually nominated as journalist of the year by Stone Wall. And Stone Wall is a gay rights charity city, and she was nominate she was nominated as the journalist of the year in 2008. And yet, she has also been canceled and and de platformed and no platforms by Manchester University and York University City last year and Nottingham City Council. She is being canceled all over the place by members of that community? And what is the reason for her cancellation?
Because she has said publicly that referring to women as wombbearers doesn't do much for female identity. In fact, it's pretty belittling and pretty terrible. She said publicly, we shouldn't talk out. Because she's a feminist and she thinks women are so much more than wombbeatrice. She said publicly that men, some men who so called transition to become women may use their biological strength to impress biological women.
And she's written publicly that she thinks that's a danger. And so she has been called for those statements a transverb, a bigot, a homophobe, a Nazi. She has had her talks canceled while she's been on the train. And I just think it's interesting, isn't it? That within what is called a community, The cancel culture can be even more fierce within the community than it is to those outside the community.
It is more fierce. The in fighting is greater and more bitter and more vicious than it is to those outside. And look, that is just 1 example of many of what the human heart does. It wants to retreat into ever smaller communities where self is more prominent. That's the truth.
Doesn't want to find itself in a bigger broader identity. It wants to split and split and get smaller and smaller. So I can be more central to what is going on. That's the self centeredness of the human heart. And Jesus says holy father, please don't let them be like that.
Please don't. Please don't allow them to just pursue their own spiritual agendas at the expense of the truth. Please don't allow them to break away into ever smaller groups. Don't let them carry on on arguing about who's the greatest. Don't let them try to stop other people who are doing good work in our name.
Don't don't let that be a feature of their community. Unite them farther in the truth. So that the world may see that there is something powerful to produce this unit so that the world may see the power of our name to produce something altogether different in the world. Such a joy, wasn't it the other week in the morning service? To have all the nationalities standing up, 30 31 nationalities, all who come from all over the globe, would be so hard to get a group like that together for almost anything, yet alone to stick together.
And yet, this is what Jesus This is an answer to Jesus his prayer, unite them that the world may see, the power of our name to produce something different. Have a look at verse 11 again. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world and I am coming to you holy father protect them. By the power of your name so that they may be 1. As we are 1.
And verse 20, my prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in moving through their message that all of them may be what, that all of them may be 1, father, just as you are in me and I am in you. Now at this point, you might think Well, if Jesus prayed like this and if this is so important, why does the church seem so divided in the world? And it's worth dealing with that question, isn't it? Why does the church seem so divided if this was such a big part of Jesus is prayer.
And there's a sense in which actually the church is not divided at all. We were thinking about this this morning. The church is made up of people all around the world who have come to know and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is a spiritual unity that binds us to every other true believer in this world. Any from any language if they confess Jesus Christ to be lord and believe in their hearts that he's been risen from the dead, they are saved and we're 1 with and we're united with Church is not divided.
How can the church be divided? We're bonded by the gospel to believers all over the world. Church is not divided. But if people mean by that question, well, okay, why are there 14 different churches in Kingston and not 1? Why is there 14 and not 1 megachurch if Jesus prayed like this?
And the answer to that has 3 parts to it. Firstly, and this is the reality in this prayer, not everything that calls itself a church is a church. Not everything that calls itself a church as a church. There is only 1 kind of Christian unity according to Jesus and it's put in 3 ways. Have a look at verse 11.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world and I am coming to you holy father, protect them. By the power of your name, the name you gave me so that they may be 1. Where is the unity amongst Christian believers? It's in the name. Is in the name of God, father son and holy spirit.
Where else is the unity? Verse 20 to 21. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them may be 1. Where is the unity?
Well, it's in the name, but it's also in the message. Christian unity is in the message of the gospel. That's where it is. Now, where else is the unity? Well, look at verse 22.
I have given them the glory that you gave me. That they may be 1 as we are 1, where is the glory? Where is the unity there? It's in the glory. And so do you see what Jesus is saying?
The unity between Christians isn't in the letters, c h u r c h. The unity isn't in the name church. It is in the revealed truth of God. That's where the unity is. It's in the name.
It's in the message and it's in the glory. If the gospel of Jesus Christ is not believed and the name of the father is not loved and his glory not cherished, then you can call yourself a church or just about anything else you like, but it doesn't make you want. Just like me moving into my garage wouldn't make me a car k? You can you can call yourself what you like. But the unity is in the name, it is in the message and the glory, not everything.
Is called a church is a church. Secondly, even among genuine Christians, not all families are the same, and that's okay. That's okay. If I think about my uncle and aunt, you know, there are lots of family customs that they have that we could just not get on board with. They do things differently.
They organize themselves differently. They eat differently. They have times to do things. And, you know, we we just could we just could not unite with them. That's the truth.
And yet, they're still my family. And I still want them to grow and I still want them to be blessed as a family unit and I'm not gonna spend my hours requesting that they change to be more like my family. Want them to be blessed. I just can't move in with them. I just can't move in with them.
And I don't want them to move into me, with me. And that's okay. That's okay. They are my family and we do love them and I want them to grow. I just couldn't move in with them.
Not not all families are the same. And that's key here. Jesus is not praying for our uniformity, but he's praying for our unity. He's not praying that we all have to look to name and dress the same and speak the same, but he is praying for our unity in the name and the truth and the message. I mean, this was 1 of the lovely things about the Marc drama, wasn't it?
Know, when we got together with the other churches of the borough who love the name and the message and the glory of Christ, they all they all loved those those things. Now could we all join up and make 1 mega church in Kingston? We could, should we? We probably shouldn't. Because, you know, we're different.
We different families. We do think differently. And to be honest, it's actually better that we don't because they can reach areas and people that we can't reach, and we want their families to grow and be blessed. What Jesus is saying here is not that you have to form 1 big church, but that you cherish your unity in the name and the message and the glory. Thirdly, this is still in response to that question about why is the church certified it.
Thirdly, the answer is we're not in heaven yet. And sometimes, within the same family, tragically sinned does sin does lead it does lead to splits. I mean, whatever you think of the, you know, the Harry and Meghan and the Royal family, stuff at the moment wherever your sympathies lie with all of that. You know, it is tragic to see a a family coming apart in public, isn't it? Saw an article just this week from from Harry about about what he could have said.
And he said, I left out some of the details as I feared my family would never forgive me talking about his book. I left out some of the details as I feared. My family would never forgive me. And as I say, wherever you wherever you sit on the sympathy scale for them. It is just sad to hear families talking like that, isn't it?
And sometimes in this world, even within genuine believers, even within the same family, sin does lead to split. Thomas Brooks, who was an old puritan said for a for a wolf to worry a lamb is no wonder, but for 1 lamb to worry another. Is an unnatural and monstrous thing. You know, to be worried about the wolves and the opponents outside, well, that's no wonder. But for 1 lamb to worry another, well, that's unnatural.
That's monstrous. That shouldn't happen with the same nature. And yet tragically it does. And yet this prayer is Jesus' weapon to help us to fight against that. This prayer is what he gives us to help us pursue unity so that we might not lose sight of the name and the message and the glory, but that we might remain united.
It's just a very interesting thing about this passage that if If we aim at unity and make unity, our main target will probably miss it. But if we make truth our target, then we will remain united. That's what Jesus wants. Look at the name, look at the message, look at the glory, and you will find yourselves sticking together. And if Jesus thinks that's worth praying for, it's worth us fighting for, isn't it?
He wants us to know how loved we are. He wants us to be protected from evil. He wants us to remain united in him just hours before he died. The lord Jesus prayed these things for us. He brought all of these things to the father.
He considered us before the father. And according to Hebrews 7, that praying work is not over. You know, Jesus is the priest who always lives to pray for us. But right now, he is in heaven, in the presence of the father, interceding for us, praying for us, and it's fair to assume, isn't it, that these are the things that still matter the most. That we would know how loved we are, that we would be protected from evil, that we would remain united in him Should we try.
Father, we thank you for the amazing love which you have for us. We thank you that through the work of Jesus, you have dealt with our sin and you have beautified us. And we thank you Jesus. We can hardly believe you said it, but we thank you that you prayed on this night to the father. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me.
We thank you lord for that amazing prepared for what it reveals about your affection for us. We pray that you'd help us to be aware of the dangers of this world the lies of Satan, false teaching, cowardice that can grip our hearts, joylessness that can put our light out. We thank you Jesus that you prayed for our protection from these things, and we pray that in that assurance, we would fight all the more against them. Help us to take this message into the world safe in the prayers of Jesus. And we pray lord Jesus that you would help us to remain united as brothers and sisters, that we wouldn't be lambs who worry and trouble each other, but that we might remain united in the name and in the message of the gospel and in the glory which you have given us.
And we ask all these things in Christ's name, amen.