I pray for them

Seventy-nine years ago on June 4th, the “Miracle of Dunkirk”—the largest evacuation in military history—was completed.   In the early months of World War II, a fierce onslaught from Hitler’s army pushed hundreds of thousands of Allied troops back to the beaches of Dunkirk, France.   Seeing the danger, the British government declared a national day of prayer. Churches overflowed with people.   Then came the miracle: perfect weather conditions allowed a massive civilian rescue effort to deliver the troops safely across the English Channel.   Joy and hope were kindled as the day of prayer was followed by a national day of thanksgiving.

If the prayers of a nation could set such a miracle in motion, imagine how powerful the prayers of the Son of God can be!

In today’s Gospel (John 17:9), Jesus was praying for all the people God had given to him.   You are one of these people.   Think about that.   What could be more encouraging than knowing that Jesus is always interceding for you?

Jesus prays that you will be protected and kept safe from the evil one.   And his prayer is being answered.   Because he has defeated Satan, the powers of darkness have lost their foothold in your life.   Because of Jesus’ cross, the judgment of sin has been lifted from you.   And because Jesus rose again, death has been defeated, and you can begin to experience eternal life here and now.

Does this mean that Christians never get sick or die or struggle in any way?   No, it doesn’t. But it does mean that, ultimately, you are safe in God’s hands.   Jesus is praying for you constantly, and his prayers are strong enough to carry you across this life into heaven.

Jesus’ prayer for protection is also about knowing God’s love today.   It’s about being kept safe from anxiety and insecurity, for they can be fierce enemies as well.   Jesus wants you to be able to rest secure in his Father’s love for you.   He wants you to know that no sin is so big that it overpowers his mercy.   There isn’t any distance too far for his outstretched arms to reach.

In light of all that God has done, how about declaring your own personal day of prayer and thanksgiving?   Try to pause several times today to remember that Jesus is interceding for you.

Word Among Us