The Prayer of Jesus
Prayer is speaking to God. One of the many misconceptions about prayer is that you only communicate with God when you are asking for something. Of course, asking God for things we need is called supplication in our prayer. But asking God for your personal needs is not the very core of biblical prayer. It is part but not the core. Aligning our will, to God’s will, is the essence of prayer. We take the example of Jesus’ high priesthood prayer found in John 17. It is revealing as Jesus illuminates his deity, the glory he had before the world began. It is intimate as it seeks answers from His Father. And it is also comforting, as Jesus prayed for the safe keeping of his disciples and the disciples that would come after.
1. Jesus revealed His divinity.
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come.Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
· God the Father shares his glory with no one, except to His own Son. v.1; cf. Isaiah 42:8.
· Jesus veiled His glory when he came to earth. v.5.
· Jesus was well aware of who He was even before any creation was made.
· As an obedient Son, Jesus submitted to His Father’s timeline given to him while on earth.
· He knew exactly the things which would unfold – “the hour has come.”
· Jesus is the only way to God since he was the only One whom God has given authority to rescue His people from God’s wrath. v.3
2. Jesus prayed for his current disciples.
“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. 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.”
· Jesus prayed for His disciples’ protection and the preservation of His ministry on earth.
· As Jesus had been rejected and hated by many, the disciples would also be hated by the world, thus, divine protection for their faith was necessary.
· The disciples would soon start the new testament church, so the preservation of Jesus’ ministry is of utmost importance.
· Except for Judas, Jesus protected the faith of his disciples, and none was lost. And this would also be the pattern of divine protection from ages to come, until Jesus comes for His church.
3. Jesus prayed for his forthcoming disciples.
“20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
· Very comforting to know, Jesus prayed for us, and for others, even before we were born and were able to make a conscious decision to believe in Him.
· Jesus prayed for the unity of His future disciples – unity in love, purpose, and the Word.
· As Jesus is united to God the Father, so are we united to Him, through His Son.
· United in love – that people may know, God with us.
· United in purpose – to know Jesus and make Him known.
· Unity in the Word – together, we embrace all biblical doctrines and allow these teachings to take root in our hearts and inform our decisions.
· A united church loves like Jesus, studies the Word together, and reaches out to the community together.