By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: John 17:1-5, 21-26
There is no denying that Jesus is our ultimate example of what intimate praying to God the Father looks like. Jesus’ prayer life is the prayer life we should all aspire to. And while Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 are often called, “The Lord’s Prayer,” this high priestly prayer of Jesus here in John 17, is truly The Lord’s Prayer.
It is His prayer for Himself, for His disciples, and for all believers throughout the ages who would come to believe on Him. So, in our text for this week, we see some of the things we should pray for.
First, we pray for God’s glory to be revealed (John 17:1-5). Jesus knew that in His own glorification, God would be glorified. And we know that He was referring to His death on the Cross. Jesus as the “Son” of God desired He would glorify God.
Matter of fact, we see that the reason for Jesus’ glorification of the Father through His suffering was that the Father would enable the Son, by the authority given to Him, to grant “eternal life to as many as” the Father has given Him. In other words, this is about eternal life. It is about people from every nation, tribe, people and language receiving eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. As children of God, how often do we pray that God would be glorified in our own lives? And that even if we must suffer for God to be glorified, we are willing to do it?
Second, we pray for Christ’s followers to be unified (vv. 21-23). In verse 21, Jesus makes it clear why He prayed for His followers to be unified. It is in the unity of Christ’s followers that the “world may believe” that the Father “sent” the Son into the world. In verse 23, Jesus also states that the unity of believers reveals that God “loves the world.”
In other words, God’s goal is to reach the lost world through a unified church that would clearly and confidently proclaim, Christ came into the world to save sinners (I Timothy 1:15). So, are we praying to the Father, and by faith believing that God’s people will be one so that the world would know that God sent Christ into the world?
Finally, we pray for Christ’s reward to be known (vv. 24-26). And what is His reward? His reward is the redeemed of all the ages gathered around the throne. Jesus tells the Father that He desires to have with Him all “those” the Father has “given” to Him.
Matter of fact, Jesus says this twice in verse 24. And there is only one place that happens — heaven. So, in this final section of Jesus’ prayer, He passionately pleaded to the Father that He would spend eternity with those whom the Father had given Him. Do we understand how amazing this statement is?
John MacArthur wrote, “Humanly speaking, there is nothing to warrant such a staggering, overwhelming privilege.” In other words, that Christ would desire us as His possession in heaven for eternity is simply unfathomable. Yet, it is the fulfillment of the Moravian motto: “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!” May we pray for the world to know!