Jesus Prayed for You: A Word on Christian Hope and Unity

Jesus Prayed for You: A Word on Christian Hope and Unity


Foremost, I’m very pessimistic about the project of racial reconciliation and harmony in American Evangelical Churches. It’s not working in contemporary Christian circles. The division is too wide, and the wound is too deep. From a sociological perspective,  American Christians feel more comfortable being with those who look like them and with those they share the same race, culture, experience, nationality, language, and lifestyle. Contemporary American Evangelicals are afraid of “difference” and do not want to be associated with anything or anyone who will disrupt their way of life and the way they understand how life should be. They want to maintain a monolithic story of the Christian faith in America, as well as promote a homogeneous Christianity, which could never be challenged or subject to transformation.

Nonetheless, from a biblical perspective, Christ has interfered in our lives and cultures in order to establish one people out of many people groups, and to create one human race out of many races  and ethnicities for himself and to the glorious praise of the Triune God. Christ’s goal for his church and the people of God lies in his utmost desire for genuine unity and radical spiritual transformation within the Christian body. It is for this very reason that the words of Jesus, as recorded in John 17, continue to instill hope and tenacity in me so I can continue praying for what seems impossible and unreachable by human power and wisdom. I have to remind myself constantly that the wisdom of God is foolishness to us.  While we must seek God for genuine Christian unity and harmony, and radical spiritual transformation for his church and our midst, we must never lose heart in trying to achieve those life-transforming objectives. Each one of us has a responsibility to work incessantly toward Christ’s utmost desire for his church and his people.


In John 17, Jesus prays fervently and earnestly for unity and harmony among Christians and his followers. By implication, he prayed to dispel division and tribalism in contemporary churches. By implication, he had also prayed for the triumph of racial reconciliation and harmony among Christians and in Christian churches. Jesus’ prayer cannot fail!
  Oh how much and desperate Christian churches in America that have been divided by race, ethnicity, and by culture and political ideology need to hear the words of Jesus!
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”–John 17: 20-26

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