Key Text: ” 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[a] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11, NIV)
The gospel of John gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ very important concerns as His time on the cross is near. John Chapter 11:1-5 provides us a beautiful narrative of Jesus’ prayer for himself, and on verse 6-19 he prayed for his disciple. This chapter is considered as high-priestly prayer. It is divided into three parts. Jesus prays for Himself (John 17:1-5), He prays for his disciples (John 17:6-19), and finally, he prays for those believers who will believe in Him later (John 17:20-26).
You may wonder, what would be the subject of prayer when Jesus prayed for His disciples. Jesus knew that His disciples will have doubts and in grave danger of losing their faith.
Jesus begins his prayer “I pray for them, I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” (John 17:9)
I. Jesus prayed for their protection while in the world. The disciples’ job is to preach the gospel to the world, and for them to be effective they need to be protected from the influences of evil in the world.
II. Jesus prayed for Unity (John 17:11). “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”
Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Unity is very crucial to an organization, much more to the youth who are commissioned to preach the gospel of salvation. That is why Jesus prayed for unity among believers and being one with Jesus.
III. Jesus prayed that they may have My joy (John 17:13). A true disciple of Christ is exposed to temptation and trials and without the Joy of Jesus – a disciple is bound to boredom, he is bound to stress, and even depression. It is a common experience for those preachers of the word, for the bible workers who are in the frontline of the ministry. But Jesus has prayed for the Joy, the joy in the service of the Lord, understanding that the outcome is salvation, regardless of how difficult the process will be.
IV. Jesus prayed for the sanctification of the disciples. In verse 17, in His words, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” He is praying to the Father for the sanctification of His disciples. In verse 19, He added, “And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. Jesus wants His disciples to have a sanctified life, a life that is bestowed in the life of Jesus.
It felt great knowing that someone is praying for all of us here and that someone is no ordinary person, He is the one who’s one with the Father, he prayed that we can be protected from the world, he prayed that we will be united in preaching the message of salvation, he prayed that we will have the Joy while serving God and mankind, he prayed that we can be sanctified.
When you are called to work for the Lord, some of you probably felt that it is hard, some of you probably have experienced intense trial, some of you probably felt bored or less interested in making disciples but Jesus already prayed for you. There is no need to be afraid because Jesus already prayed and we will be victorious.