Two of my favourite stories in Scripture involve Christ and prayer. The first is near the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, when He pauses to teach us to pray — “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done...” (Matthew 6:9–13). The second occurs much later in His ministry, at the most difficult time of His earthly life, mere hours before His arrest, trials, scourging and crucifixion. In this instance, we get to listen in as Jesus prays for us.
The Apostle John recounts the words of this special prayer in the 17th chapter of his Gospel. Christ prayed for all those who would believe on Him, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (v. 21). He then continued, repeating the word one to emphasize His point, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one..." (vv. 22–23, emphasis mine).
I often pray Christ’s prayer from John 17 as I work to make His concerns my own. As I do so, I become filled with purpose and resolve to make His prayer come true. Let us seek the reality He describes — one in which His followers display the same unity that is eternally existent between Father and Son. No expense should be considered too great, no road too hard, no government’s restrictions or persecutor’s threats too intimidating to stop us from pursuing the perfect fellowship Christ described in His prayer.
Our Christian brothers and sisters are a treasure. In Christ, we are meant to enjoy a richness of joy in relationship with other members of God’s family, and we needlessly impoverish ourselves if we remain unaware and isolated. I can assure you that your efforts to know, pray for and support our persecuted brothers and sisters will always reap a great harvest of joy in your heart.
I pray that this month you will more fully experience this wonderful joy in fellowship — the fellowship that is the answer to Christ’s prayer. We are fulfilling His prayer when we rejoice along with our Christian sisters in India (see p. 4) and contemplate the difficulties faced by many of our Indian family members who have left a life of idol worship within Hinduism to follow the one true and living God. We are fulfilling Christ’s prayer when we add our gifts and prayers to our family members’ Bible distribution efforts in hostile areas like Colombia’s guerrilla-controlled “Red Zones” (see p. 6). We are fulfilling Christ’s prayer when we support the efforts of our Christian family members in Iraq and Syria (see p. 10) who, having been driven from their homes and robbed of all their worldly possessions at the hands of Muslims, choose to love those same Muslims enough to share the Gospel with them.
May we become perfectly one.
From our CEO,