Hello readers, I missed my post last week because I had some troubles with my back that put me down for most of the week. I’m here again and continuing with the prayer series.
Today we will look at a prayer found in John 17:1-26. It is the longest recorded prayer of our Savior. In chronological sequence, it occurred before Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane and his prayers on the cross, the subject of my previous two posts.
Due to the length, I will cover this in multiple posts. We will start with the introduction, verses one through five, where Jesus prays for himself.
Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:1-5, CSB).
The Father’s Authority
“The hour has come…” Jesus is acknowledging agreement with the Father, it is time—the time of revealing the fulfillment of the Father’s plan. Jesus, the Son of God, one person of the Holy Trinity, obedient in all things submits to the Father’s authority, he does not dictate to the Father. Let that simmer a bit. Do we willingly wait for the Father’s timing in our lives? When something feels long in coming, do we wait, or do we push ahead by our own means and ways? Jesus waited 33 years for this moment, always trusting and surrendering to the Father’s authority.
The Son’s Focus
In the midst of prayer for himself, Jesus had holy, pure motives in his request. He had a Kingdom focus. His desire was so that the Father may be glorified. Every facet of Jesus’ life in human flesh was driven by his desire to magnify God Almighty—the Creator.
The Son’s Purpose
Humanity’s fellowship with God was broken when the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) sinned in the Garden of Eden. They were exiled from the Garden and sentenced to death with every human thereafter. All humans are mortal beings subject to death. Jesus came to reconcile sinful mankind with our Maker. He affirms that, “I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” What work? The work of the cross.
What can we glean from this portion of Jesus’ prayer? Make it a life priority to submit to the Father’s authority in everything. Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words” (John 14:23-24a, CSB).
We see Jesus had a Kingdom focus in both his prayer and in the way he lived life. Do your prayers have a Kingdom focus or are they more me-focused? Do your prayers ever sound like you’re talking to a voice-activated vending machine rather than the Sovereign God—Creator of everything.
Like Jesus, we each have a purpose. In basic aspect it is the same as Jesus: to glorify God and make disciples. We honor God with our lives in various ways through our gifts from Him. “And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11, CSB). Jesus commissioned the first disciples to make more disciples—to reproduce. That command has not been revoked. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, CSB).
Readers let’s ask, do my prayers reflect genuine praise and submission to the Father’s authority? Does my life acknowledge and reveal the majesty and splendor of God? Am I reproducing disciples by fulfilling the plan and purpose the Father has given me?
Father God, thank You for preserving this prayer of Jesus so that we can observe Him and learn from Him just like the first disciples. Thank You for endowing each person of Your creation with a plan and a purpose. Give us patience to wait for Your timing in the fulfillment of that plan. During that unfolding cause us to live as Jesus did, obedient to You in all things. Make us bold enough to invite others as Jesus did. Make us committed to never waiver from Your ultimate call. Transform our minds and hearts to align with Your Kingdom. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Image of Jesus sculpture by 499585 from Pixabay.
Scripture text added by Manette Kay.