The High Priestly Prayer - Part 3
Topic: Prayer Passage: John 17:1–17:26
In Jesus’ high priestly prayer, He presented SIX PRAYER REQUESTS for His followers that reveal His SIX PRIORITIES for His followers.
1. COMPREHENSION/RECEPTION (vv. 6-10)
This is an implied request in that Jesus described the subjects of His prayer to God the Father. He explained why He was confident that the Father would grant His request and showed His disciples what God the Father is like (John 1:14). Jesus then prayed for those who had been given to Him by the Father. This is the church, and the bride of Christ (John 6:37, 10:27; Ephesians 1:4), which is comprised of those who have repented of their sins and believe the Gospel (Acts 18:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
2. PROTECTION/PRESERVATION (vv. 11-16)
This is a more specific prayer request by Jesus to God the Father. Jesus was about to leave the world, so He prayer that the Father would then watch over His disciples and protect them. He also prayed that His disciples would remain united as one, just as He and the Father (as members of the Trinity) are united as one. Moreover, He has promised never to lose any of those who have been given to Him by the Father (1 John 2:19).
3. SANCTIFICATION/DEDICATION (vv. 17-19)
When Jesus prayed for our sanctification, He was thinking about the act of sanctification, which follows the initial dedication and declaration of righteousness before God (1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:13). The work of sanctification is accomplished throughout our lives as we are exposed to God’s Word and enabled by the sacrificial love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. This is so that we may become more suitable to serve the Lord.
4. UNIFICATION/PERSUASION (vv. 20-23)
To all those who would become His followers in the future, Jesus prayed directly that they would remain unified, for this is the most powerful witness for the truth of the Gospel. This kind of unity is based on the triunity of the Godhead, and in practical terms, it is possible for us to have that kind of unity when we all remain focused on Christ and faithful to God’s Word (Ephesians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
5. REUNION/GLORIFICATION (v. 24)
Jesus asked the Father to bring the church, His bride, to be with Him in heaven (John 14:2). The Father answers Jesus’ prayer every time He takes a believer to heaven after death. This marks a reunion with Jesus.
6. COMMUNION/COMPLETION (vv. 25-26)
Jesus prayed for communion so that He can complete the task He has been given by the Father. His desire is that we enjoy the same communion with the Father that He does. This is possible because the person of Christ, God’s Son, lives always within each believer. Jesus’ prayer was for communion with God the Father so that we may experience His love eternally (1 John 3:1).
Thank God for including you in His answer to Jesus’ prayer. Ask Him to help you continue to be an answer to this prayer by realizing how much He loves you and that Jesus is always with you to help you persevere in an evil, antagonistic world as you proclaim and live the gospel so others will come to know Him and grow to be like Him.