Jesus: The One Who Prays For Us (John 17)

Have you ever had anyone tell you that they pray for you everyday? In my ministry as a pastor, I have had several people tell me that they pray for me everyday. It is a humbling and a powerful thing. Intercessory prayer is a wonderful way to serve one another—spouses praying for one another, parents praying for children, children praying for their parents and siblings, church members praying for one another.

As wonderful as it would be to have another person praying for you, imagine if Jesus was praying for you.The truth is, you don’t have to imagine it. He did and he still does. That is what we see in John 17. Jesus has come to the final hours of his life on earth. He has accomplished the work that the Father sent him to do. Now, he is finished talking to his disciples, and he talks to his Father.

With a desire to be very clear and helpful, let me give you an overview of this prayer emphasizing the main points.

Jesus is praying for three things:
1. The restoration of His glory. (1-5)
2. The security of His disciples. (6-19)
3. The unity of His Church. (20-26)

And in each of these prayers, he has a goal:
1. He wants his glory to be restored so that his people might see it and worship. (5,24)
2. He wants his disciples to be secured so that they might feel it and go. (15,16,18)
3. He wants his Church to be unified so that the world might see it and believe. (21)

I make two additional notes (1) Jesus prays differently than we pray in this sense; he prays based on his merit. We do not pray based on our merit, we pray based on HIS merit. Second, Jesus prays because there is a real need. Someone has to keep, protect, guard, sanctify, unity this New Covenant People. These are not commands disguised as a prayer. These are real requests because they are real needs. We cannot do these things for ourselves; God must do them for us.

Jesus: The One Who Prays For Us
John 17

1. Jesus prays for the restoration of his glory so that we might see it and worship. (17:1-5)
    a. MERIT 17:4 “I glorified you on earth having accomplished the work you gave me to do.”
    b. REQUEST 17:5 “Glorify me...”
          i. A glory shared with the Father. (1)
         ii. A glory based on what Jesus accomplished. (2-4)
        iii. A glory laid aside for the mission. (5)
    c. PURPOSE 17:24 “Father, I desire that they...see my glory that you have given me.”

2. Jesus prays for the security of his people so that we might feel it and go. (17:6-19)
    a. MERIT 17:6 “I have manifested your name to the people you gave me out of the world."
    b. REQUEST 17:9 “I am praying for them...”
          i. Secured by God (11) “Keep them in your name.”
         ii. Secured from Satan (15) “Keep them from the evil one.”
        iii. Secured by Truth (17) “Sanctify them in your truth; your word is truth.”
    c. PURPOSE 17:18 “As you sent me in to the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

3. Jesus prays for the unity of his Church so that the world might see it and believe. (17:20-26)
    a. MERIT 17:22 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them...”
    b. REQUEST 17:21,22,23 “That they may all be one”
          i. Our unity is created by the message of the gospel. (20)
         ii. Our unity reflects the unity of the Godhead. (21-23)
        iii. Our unity witnesses to the mission of Jesus. (21-23)
         iv. Our unity displays the love of God. (24-26)
    c. PURPOSE 17:21 “So that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
                          17:23 “So that the world may know that you loved them even as you lovd me.”