Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus prays to His Father for protection for His disciples. He prays that the evil one would be kept at bay; that unity would rule the day; and that His disciples would be set apart for the work of the Kingdom. This sanctification comes through the word of truth.
Life is dangerous. Following Christ is not all roses – there is trouble! Following Jesus will lead us as He went… and He was always creating trouble and disequilibrium in the hearts of people – especially leaders who were determined to protect the status quo. The danger comes because of the epic battle between God and Lucifer. God has already won the victory in Christ and Satan’s doom is sure, but he doesn’t operate as if that’s the case. There is trouble and heartache in life delivered from the pit of hell. Satan is going after those who are following Christ. He is attacking leaders in the church… and he will take out whole congregations, if he can. So Jesus prays for His disciples, that they would be protected from the evil one so that they would be one, just as He and the Father are one. Image the gloat of hell when churches are divided and split. How many months or years will it take for the Kingdom to advance again through those disciples? For some, never. Unity is to be protected at all costs. Jesus prayed for our protection.
Lord, give me eyes to see how the enemy is trying to gain a foothold in my life, in my family and in your church. Protect us by the power of Your Name, I ask.