As Jesus prepared to leave this earth behind Him and return to His Father in Heaven, He not only gave His disciples instructions for after He was gone; He not only promised to send them a Guide, Comforter, and Encourager; but He also prayed to His Father for them. They were with Him as He prayed for them that last night together.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You. All who are Mine belong to You, and You have given them to Me, so they bring Me glory.”
“Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in the world, but I am coming to You. Holy Father, You have given Me Your Name; now protect them by the power of Your Name, so that they will be united just as We are. During My time here, I protected them by the power of the Name you gave Me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction as the Scriptures foretold.” John 17:9-12 NLT
Kept by the power of the Name of God! So powerful is the Name of God, that when Jesus proclaimed “I AM” in the Garden of Gethsemane, the posse who had come to arrest Him fell backwards from His presence. The crowds had tried to stone Him before, when He proclaimed “I AM” from the temple steps, but He had disappeared out of their reach. Nothing can stand against the power of God; no one can touch the one who is kept by the power of His Name.
Jesus had not only chosen and called the disciples to be with Him, but He had kept them throughout His ministry. Many others had fallen away, but these eleven had stayed with Him through good times and troubled times, even when all they had was the certain knowledge that they could not live without Him Who had the words of Eternal Life.
Now on this night, their last time together before the cross and the resurrection, Jesus made a special request of His Father to keep them by the power of His Name. He asked God to keep them in unity, the same unity Jesus Himself enjoyed with His Father.