The hour has come. Jesus is to be betrayed by Judas, and the time Christ has remaining in His human body on earth will prove more painful with every hour. Thought they still don’t understand it all fully, Jesus has prepared His disciples for the hours pending. He’s preached everything they need to hear. He’s promised great things to come. There is only one last thing he must do before Judas and his murderous gang arrive.
There is much about this remarkable prayer for us to pay attention to, including who He prayed for. Jesus prayed for me. He prayed for you, too.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word …” John 17:20 ESV
What Jesus Prayed for Me
1. Unity. “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:11 ESV
Jesus knew that the wheels were about to fall off the bus for the disciples, and quickly. With their world shattered, and their Teacher gone, they would need a new unity to rally around. Jesus asks for them to be kept through the strong name of God. He knew I would need that same source of strength. Regardless of my circumstances, I too can find a wholeness and unity through the strong name of My God.
2. Protection. “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15 ESV
How often my prayers are centered around the removal of my difficult circumstances. Instead, Jesus gives me the example to pray not for the extraction of surrounding evil, but to plead for God’s protection through all the evil one throws my way.
3. Holiness. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 ESV
This small prayer packs a punch. I am to be set apart in this world, holy in thought and action, with a readiness to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I cannot make myself holy on my own. It is a work of God, and one He has chosen to accomplish through the truth I find in the Bible. Why do I ever think I can get by on my own? My efforts are worthless without the power of the Holy Spirit and the mind-renewing work of His Word. Jesus knew I would desperately and continually need time in God’s Word to live a life set apart for God.
Why Jesus Prayed for Me
“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world … so that the world may believe …” John 17:18 ESV
In the moments to come, I will take my next breaths for a reason—because God allows it. Life is fleeting. I am not promised tomorrow. So if God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, allows me to continue living this life, it is for a great purpose. Jesus prayed that I might be unified with God and His people, protected from the evil one, and set apart to live a holy life for a reason; God’s glory is yet to be displayed in the heart of every man.
I’m glad we have this prayer recorded in the Scriptures. It gives me much hope for good things to come, helps me see my God-given purpose in life, and provides a model for how to pray for myself and others.
Questions to ponder:
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor's wife. Mommy of 3. As a Bible study writer, retreat speaker, and local women's ministry leader, Katie is passionate about equipping others to walk intimately with God for a lifetime. Katie currently serves as the Social Media Specialist and Community Manager for Flourish.me, a ministry of the North American Mission Board to ministry wives. Learn more about Katie on her website KatieOrr.me.
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