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Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are John 17:7-11 and 20-21, where Jesus says,   

Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; 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. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one…….20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.


It’s been a crazy last few months, hasn’t it? In the midst of it all, I’ve really appreciated the calm voice of some of our leaders, the caring voices of my wife and daughter, and the concern of friends and family. It makes a difference when people who care for you, when people who have knowledge, expertise, and real heart-felt concern connect with you just when you need it. Can you remember times in your life when someone called just at the right moment to lend an ear and it made all the difference? Can you remember a time in your life when you were overwhelmed and a special friend or family member was there by your side as a helpmate for the duration? I’m sure that we can all look back and see those times when help and concern were there right when we needed them. In fact, looking back, such things were there all along.

That’s just a glimpse of the help and concern that we have from Jesus. How do I know? Just look at today’s reading again. Jesus Christ is praying on the night before His crucifixion. Amazingly, before facing the cross on Good Friday, what’s He doing? He’s praying for His disciples, and He’s praying for you and me. You are more than “on His mind.” In this prayer, He’s committing His followers into the Father’s care as He heads to the cross. He’s going there to overcome our sin so that we might indeed be reconciled to God and to each other. Then, as well as now, He leaves His followers with His Word. It is the power of God for salvation, the power of God to create and sustain faith, and the power of God to bring together what had been divided.

Today, my friend, I want you to think of a special person in your life. Now, please think of them as engaged in fervent prayer FOR YOU. What an incredible thing to envision them lifting up your concerns to God, right? What a joy to see them asking God for the strength to be a good friend and partner to you, willing to be in anguish with you so that you don’t ever feel alone. Can you see the picture of those hands? If you can, shift your focus from that comforting thought to the actual hands of Jesus in prayer for you. When he prayed the words above, His hands would soon be scarred by nails because of HIS willingness to let sinners nail Him to a cross. In fact, His hands may have already become gnarled and calloused from all the times He had prayed for His people, for all the ways that He lived His life in service to others. Trust me today on this: Jesus IS praying for you; He’s interceding for you before the very throne of God (Romans 8:34)! That’s a powerful message of faith and joy FOR YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. Receive it, reveled in it, and put it to work with your hands folded in prayer as well.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, what a joy it is to receive the help and concern we need in times of trouble. What an awesome thing it is to learn again and again that You are that for us and more. Give us courage to face the issues in our life with confidence that You are praying for us, and that Your Word will comfort and sustain us no matter what. We pray with confidence in Your Name. AMEN.

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