How Jesus prays for us (& how we can pray for others):
How Jesus prays for us (& how we can pray for others):
As we examine John chapter 17 we see an example of Jesus prays for us and a template on how we can pray for others. Before we look at the template let’s first review some of what we know about prayer and what we’ve larned about prayer in our study, Pray, through John chapter 17. By way of review:
*If Jesus made prayer a priority in his life on the earth, it should be a signal to us that we should make serious the priority of prayer.
*The only thing the disciples asked the Lord to teach them was to pray.
*Your prayer life will be an indication of how close you are to God the Father.
*When we pray, we are inviting God into our relationships.
*Jesus’ perspective and audience reflected where He placed His trust and confidence.
*Where did you place your trust this week?
- When you were helpless with your teenager?
- When you got some unexpected bad news?
- When you were upset or frustrated with your spouse?
*The more you know God, as your heavenly Father, the more likely you’ll pray.
*If you find yourself too busy to pray and have a conversation with God, chances are you’re too busy. Eliminate something and make time.
In this moment, we then hear how Jesus prays for those who are followers of Jesus Christ. This provides us an example and a template on how to pray for others who are followers of Jesus Christ.
How should we pray for one another?
#1: Jesus prays that followers would embrace the Word over the World.
John 17:6-8 (NIV)
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
When we embrace the reality of eternity, we don’t really live that long here in comparison to the length of eternity. If eternity is the destination, how do we live our lives until then? In the New Testament the word ‘world’ is used several different ways. It can refer to the…planet, people (John 3:16), specific group of people, specific nations, cultures, and lastly, fallen, corrupted world system. There is a real conflict between the system that the world has verses the truth of the word of God. What the word says is in direct conflict with the ow the world operates. If you live a life that pursues God and all He has for you à you will experience conflict, resistance and difficulty. And if you live a life where you experience no conflict, resistance or difficulty with your faith, there’s a good chance that there is room for you to yet pursue God whole heartedly. The world has fallen and corrupt system or way of thinking when it comes to: gender, sexuality, jealousy, sin, selfishness & morality. And so, it defines a new normal for how to handle those situations and those conversations, and what Jesus is praying for followers of Jesus Christ is that we would accept the Word over the World: that we would not change the word, but that the word would change us.
#2: Jesus prays for our protection and our unity.
John 17:9-12 (NIV)
9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
One of the words that we use to describe this local group of believers that gather as a church is ‘family’. We are a church ‘family’. Jesus acknowledges who followers belong to, and that is this…we belong to God the Father. We are part of a family. And in such, Jesus is praying for our protection. He is asking that we be protected from the fallen, corrupt world system. That we be protected from: temptation, jealousy, or the trappings of this world. The one exception to that protection that Jesus points out is Judas – ‘according to the fulfillment of Scripture.’ Not only does He pray for our protection, but he prays for our unity. Unity is difficult for many reasons, but it is worthwhile. When there is tension, difficulty, hurts – it should be our primary prayer requests (not that we get even) but that we run in the direction of forgiveness and embrace restoration so that unity is preserved. When we’re united, we’re stronger.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
That type of unity requires humility and forgiveness. One of the quickest ways to improve and deepen your relationships with others is to pray for one another and with one another. Praying with and for one another is a way to promote and encourage loving and serving one another. Prayer helps prevent gossiping and fighting.
#3: Jesus prays that our joy will be full.
John 17:13 (NIV)
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within the.”
Where does joy live? Here or there? When we live our lives as close to Jesus as we can and we pursue His will in our lives, we have a greater chance for our joy to be full. This is a matter of perspective. Joy is about weighting the eternal value of things.
#4: Jesus prays that we would live lives that are set apart with divine purpose.
John 17:14-17 (NIV)
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
When something is set apart, it means it has value, significance and special purpose. We celebrate holidays by setting them apart from every other normal day. In the same respect, Jesus is praying that would understand that we – as followers of Jesus Christ – are to live our lives as something special, set a part with divine purpose.
You have purpose.
You are significant.
You have value.
You are something special.
You have divine purpose.
What’s that purpose? Let’s continue…
#5: Jesus prays that we would embrace our purpose – to be sent in the world.
John 17:18-19 (NIV)
18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
This is a real theme for John’s gospel. The word ‘send’ is used some forty times in the Gospel of John. Our home is in Heaven, and part of our glorious opportunity and responsibility is to share that opportunity with others. We are a boat, finding people drowning in their sin, their own self ambition, their selfishness, their own devices and bring them to safe harbor. And as a boat, we go through the water. The moment the water gets in the boat, we have been compromised and we have trouble. Jesus is sharing is that he prays that would understand that we are to be sent in the world, not to be influenced by the world, but that we would find people and bring them to safe harbor.
This is how Jesus prays for us:
Jesus prays that followers would embrace the Word over the World.
Jesus prays for our protection and our unity.
Jesus prays that our joy will be full.
Jesus prays that we would live lives that are set a part with divine purpose.
Jesus prays that we would embrace our purpose – to be sent in the world.
***Based on how Jesus prayed for us here’s our opportunity to put feet to our faith: pray for yourself, pray for someone & pray with someone.
o Pray for yourself everyday using Jesus’ template found in John 17.
Write down your prayers for yourself in your prayer journal using the following template found in John chapter 17:
- Pray that you would embrace the WORD over the WORLD.
- Pray for PROTECTION and UNITY with other followers.
- Pray that your JOY would be full.
- Pray that you would live their lives set apart with DIVINE PURPOSE.
- Pray that you would embrace YOUR PURPOSE: to be sent in the world.
o Pray for someone every day this week. Who can you pray for? Pick someone in your life that you know well so you can pray for them specifically using Jesus’ template found in John chapter 17. Write down your prayers for them in your prayer journal:
- Pray that they would embrace the WORD over the WORLD.
- Pray for their PROTECTION and UNITY with other followers.
- Pray that their JOY would be full.
- Pray that they would live their lives set apart with DIVINE PURPOSE.
- Pray that they would embrace THEIR PURPOSE: to be sent in the world.
o Pray with someone once this week: Think about someone who you can meet with to pray with. This might be someone you view as a mentor. This might be someone you feel you could be mentored by. Call them and ask them for a time this week to pray with them. When you meet with them be prepared to ask and answer these questions:
- How close are you to God?
- Is there something preventing your closeness to God?
- What is giving you joy currently?
- Is there something specific I can pray for with you?
Record this questions & answers in your prayer journal and then pray with them using these answers in addition to the template used above from John chapter 17.
Will this stretch you? Yes. That’s what growth involves. This is about your relationship with God. Is it worth stretching yourself a bit to develop a closer, stronger relationship with someone?
A year from now you will have wish you had started today.
So, let’s not wait.
Until next time…