One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer. It almost seems as if we are eaves dropping on our Savior as He is praying. First He prays for Himself, teaching us to remember to do the same, which I so often forget to do.
This is The Lord’s Prayer
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
John 17:1-5 before moving on I have a short comment. : The hour had come for Jesus to face the cross and He was asking that it be through His work on the cross that His mission be spread throughout the world. He always pointed everyone to the Father, but it was His humble heart that forgiveness of sin would come and provide eternal life for those who would believe in Jesus. Jesus called out to the Father to restore Him to the glory that Jesus once held in heaven, before He had left. I find it so amazing still, that Jesus would have went to the cross, even if it had only been for one single human being. I often ponder too the fact that He is the first fruit offering and it was God who sent Jesus as His seed of faith, into the womb of Mary (Jesus Mother), that would one day grow a very large family. Amazing Love, How Can It Be?
Moving along in John Chapter 17, Jesus prays for His disciples:
“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
Just so we are all on the same page, even though Jesus is at this time, praying for the disciples that followed Him at the time of His prayer, I believe that this part of His prayer, aslo pertains to those who have chosen Him as their savior, those who have made their own ‘personal choice’, those whom have repented and have begun to follow Him.
My thoughts on this passage: John 17: 6-19
In John 17 Jesus has much to say about who these people are. They are the people “given him” by God (vs 2).
He says, “I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me” (vs 9). Yet, says Jesus, these people remain in the world (vs 15). So the people Jesus is praying for are in the world but not of the world. They are people who have been set apart from the world. People who have been set aside for His purpose.
We hear something else in His prayer. The people for whom He prays have obeyed the Word, (vs 6 His commandments and His teachings) ), they accepted it (vs 8), they believed it (vs 8,20), and they know that Jesus was sent by the Father. (vs 8) Jesus is very sensitive to the plight that lies ahead of the disciples and this is why he is praying for them.
There is no universalism here. There is nothing to suggest that Jesus is praying for the unity of all men everywhere, or even for the unity of all religious folk everywhere. It’s not like the unity of let’s say, The National Rifle Association. It is not even a matter of friendship. It is deeper than that. It is not something voluntary. It is something from God and in Christ. He had kept them in His Father’s name. (vs 9 & 12)) It is about being one with the Father and the Son, I am thinking the best I can describe what it means to me is how a man and a woman when they are married, become ‘one’ through the union of marriage. Eventually, we can often finish one another’s sentences because we think alike.
Jesus would soon be leaving them behind because He would soon be resurrected and would later ascend back to His Father, whom He is praying to. They would then have a new relationship avenue, with the Father and the Son, through the future indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If the unity of Christians is like the unity of the Trinity, then it must involve a unity of essence, of being. Deep down, at the core of our being, we are all the same. I think the best description I can share is that we are all on the same path to holiness in preparation to live in the Kingdom of God.
We are all made new in Christ.
We all participate in the divine nature.
When Jesus mentions that He had lost none, with the exception of the son of perdition, I believe that He is describing Judas, the one who betrayed Him. That makes perfect sense to me. I also believe that Judas represents many who might follow Him for awhile and then decide that living according to the path of Jesus, doesn’t allow for freedom in the world and freedom in Christ at the same time. One must choose to yield to the will of God, surrendering all self desire and will. Sounds plenty easy, but I am here to tell you that it is not. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to follow, fall and get back up to follow again rather than fall and give up.
I do not know for sure, positively that the disciples heard Him praying for them. I like to think so. If the author John has kept this time sequence in alignment with Chapter 16, then I could say beyond a shadow of a doubt that yes, they had because in the previous chapter He had been teaching them. This chapter 17 begins with these words, ( I think meaning the previous teachings in chapter 16) Jesus spoke these word, lifted up His eyes to heaven. Then He began to pray. This leads me to believe that yes they had heard Him praying because in the next chapter 18, it tells us right off the bat that He went out with His disciples and went over the brook Kidron, where He was met with the detachment of troops that arrested Him.
In verse 13, it is very subtle, but it says this in the King James version: “ And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” Two things I notice here. The ever subtly that tells me He is speaking out loud, ‘in the world‘ does suggest to me that those whom He is praying for at this time, is in ear shot. The second thing I notice is that He is saying His joy is what He is asking that be fulfilled in them. Not there own joy, but His. It is His joy that gives us strength. It seems that He is passing on His own mantle of joy to His disciples.
That is something else I wanted to pick up on is that when we read of Jesus praying, He lifts His eyes towards heaven. I have often wondered why we bow our head and close our eyes when we are told to come boldly to the throne of grace. No doubt it is out of respect that we bow our heads but I wondered this when I first read this chapter so now when I am alone, out in the field or anywhere out doors, I do occasionally look up with my eyes open while in conversation with Jesus. It just seems more appropriate to me to do so out doors.
In verses 14-16, Jesus is confessing that He has done as He was sent to do. He has given them the word of God, and the world now hates them because of it. He doesn’t want God to take them out of the world but that God keep them safe from the evil one, whom I assume is satan and any of those who follow that darkened path. I know that Jesus is not expecting His disciples to be isolated from the world because it became their mission to preach the Good News. In order to do that, they would use the words and the teachings that Jesus had shared with them and would do so until their lives ended. They gave their lives to spread the gospel. I ‘think’ it was only this writer (John) , 1 out of the twelve who did not die a cruel death because of their faith.
Finally, Jesus says they are the people for whom He sanctified Himself (vs 19). They are the people, in other words, for whom Jesus died upon the cross, whose sins He paid for, whom He has made right with God. Those who have with their own mouth, confessed and repented of their own sin and confessed that He is their savior and are now following Jesus in faith towards His Kingdom and His righteousness.
As we listen in to the last part of the Lord’s prayer, I want you all to know that Jesus is praying for all future believers here. Please read how Jesus pours out His heart, and prays for you.
John 17: 20-26 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
Exciting developments took place when Jesus prayed for others. His prayers changed not only the situation of those in need, but His prayers also changed the lives of those involved and still does today. Jesus prayed for others even as He prayed for Himself. While Jesus walked this earth, His prayers were anchored in unbroken communion with His Father. Through out the Disciple’s writings, early mornings and late nights we can find Him engaged in prayer (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16) and sometimes Jesus would spend the whole night in prayer. (Luke 6:12) At His baptism He prayed and the heavens opened. (Luke 3:21)
When Jesus was about to suffer the punishment which we should have suffered, He went into a place called Gethsemane where He raised His eyes to heaven, pouring out a prayer before the tremendous and staggering challenge that was awaiting Him in His ministry, It was here that Jesus prayed from His heart, being in an agony, that Jesus prayed more earnestly and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Matt. 26:36-44, Luke 22: 39-46) He finished that prayer, just minutes before Judas would give Jesus the kiss of betrayal, which led to His arrest by the chief priests and elders of the people.
But this prayer, Jesus prayed before even crossing the river Kidron, where He met up with those who would arrest Him. It is this passionate prayer that overflows from a heart of pure love for all mankind… those who would ever come to believe in Him through the message of the Apostles, Matthew, Mark, & John; who would write their testimony of having walked with the man we call Jesus, whom they called Yahushua.
It was John the Beloved, a man who recorded the words of this prayer. In this last part, I really want everyone to gain clear insight of the thrust of this mighty prayer. His ardent and burning desire for His disciples and all believers is that they too, share what He enjoys with the Father: the unity, mutual love and loyal trust, impassioned faithfulness, truth, constant joy, consecrated and steadfast relationship, of being One with the Father as we are One with Jesus.
Lets dig deep and see what we can learn.
Verse 20: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”
It is clear here that anyone who comes to believe in Jesus, He has already included that person in the last part of His prayer. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know? Chances are, you are reading this because you want to learn more about Jesus and already have a relationship with Him or you are being drawn to Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Either way, you are a believer or beginning to believe in Him. He has already prayed for you. In addition, is still praying for you right at this very moment.
“Even though Jesus was praying for his disciples that were there with Him, He didn’t stop with them. He said “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their words.”
Most definitely and that is a great point. He didn’t have to include those that He had not yet met in His prayer, but Jesus did. Without a doubt, this prayer of intercession was–and continues to be the effectual fervent prayer of the most righteous man that ever walked this planet and He is praying for the lives of believers all around the world. And not only that: every time Christ’s faithful followers unite themselves with Him in this prayer, His petitions will be fulfilled in their lives.
Verse 21; I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
This is a very crucial part that I do not want to just run over too quickly. Jesus once said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) I believe there is another meaning of this verse but I think it also may have direct link to those who were not yet believers yet, way down through many generations of time, in the here and now and in the future before us.
I believe by the words in this prayer that this is how we can really trust and believe in the relationship that Jesus desires for all of the people who would call upon His name. He wants us to become one not only with Him, but one with His Father, just the same that He is.
As I pointed out earlier, Jesus spent a great deal of His life in prayer. Here we are in such a very busy and fast paced world, it seems that we use the excuse that we are too busy to stop and pray. Jesus didn’t even try to function with out prayer. He couldn’t let much time go before He was down on His knees, so how can we think that we do not have the time to pray?
In effect we are saying we have no time to live. Since prayer is the “breath of the soul,” any excuse not to pray makes no sense. How ridiculous it would be for a some one to be suffocating for lack of air to protest that they have no time to breathe. By the way, I am speaking to myself here. Jesus constantly made prayer a top priority. It was the breath of His soul as well as the living connection with the Source of power that made His perilous mission possible. Can we do no less?
Nothing has changed since satan first waltzed his way into the garden and used the very word of God and twisted it to cause Adam and Eve to give away the dominion that God had given them. It still remains his primary focus to steal the identity that we have with Jesus, to kill us and destroy the faith of Christ’s followers. I am thinking that on that basis alone, we could at least start out each day with even a short prayer to thank God for our breath that we can even whisper a prayer and that He lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the power and thoughts of the evil one.
Another thought comes to mind based on this scripture: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one, members one of another. (Romans 12:5) Since we are all connected as kindred, by the Spirit of God, we are all one body in and through Jesus, we are all connected by His precious blood. Couldn’t we pray His blessing upon each other each day for one another’s safety and peace of mind for just a few minutes?
Again, I am speaking to myself here because it wasn’t until today that I think I have finally figured it out for myself. We are connected by His DNA. We are all now blood related, no different that we are to our own families that He has graced us with to raise and share with the rest of the world.
It is in this way that we teach our children the commandments of God and they are able to go out into the world and be upstanding human beings, knowing their creator, having no other God before them, not make for themselves idols and bowing down to them, remembering the Sabbath day and to keep it Holy. Knowing the boundaries He has given, that we honor or parents, not to go around coveting other peoples property and their spouses, that they don’t steal from their fellow man or kill them or lie to anyone or about anyone and once married, not to commit adultery. Teaching them that above all, they are to love themselves and those around them with the love that Jesus shares with us as individuals and to love our neighbors too, even those we have not met yet. To be kind, courteous and respectful participants as we share this same earth and the air that we breathe.
It is in this way that we treat one another that the world actually comes to believe that God did in fact send His Son Jesus and that we begin to mirror a man who first loved us so much that He gave His life so that we might find peace and eternal life beyond what God has given us here on earth, a very small example of what He really has planned for us.
This really is a lot to soak in.
Vs. 22: “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me.
Jesus wants us united as powerful tools; witnesses to the reality of God’s love, instruments of His righteousness.
Jesus shared with His disciples everything that His Father wanted Him to share with them. He didn’t say anything to them that was not on God’s agenda to share. Jesus said in another place, at another time: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” God told Jesus what He wanted Him to share. I think the bulk of what Jesus had to say, came to Him during His few treks in the wilderness where He often went to pray. He says in this scripture that the Father dwelt in Him, so I am making a guess here, based on this text alone, that what Jesus is saying is that the Spirit of God, did the work through the Son, which became evident.
The glory that Jesus must be mentioning here is that God gave Him, I am guessing is the power to work miracles, and to preach unadulterated truth. Jesus had taught His twelve brothers, things that would cause them to pursue the same interests and the same purpose. To teach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all peoples, to all tribes and to all nations until their last breath. What they taught and what they had learned was later written down into what we now hold in our hands, which helps to teach us too. (The Holy Bible)
However, what He presented for them to teach is spoken of in Luke. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:46-48
He never intended as far as I can tell to preach the gospel of salvation. How could we and what is the point of that? It is the Holy Spirit who calls upon whom He will. We can preach about salvation until the cows come home but it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict. I believe what Luke said that Jesus spoke. That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Salvation is the inheritance, the goal of where we are running towards.
While they went about teaching this gospel, they were prepared for what faced them in their future, as we too are prepared to what faces us in our future. But, we focus on the glory of God and not those things. We are just made aware of them so that we are not caught un-aware. The reason the word of God is able to help all generations is because the words written are alive through the breath of the Holy Spirit. They are living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword and what we read, pierces deep into our being, separating it’s joints and morrow, (the human side of us) from the soul and the spirit. (The spiritual side of us). It is the Holy Spirit who is able to discern the thoughts and the intents of our heart. O, if we had this discernment in all of our possible choices, how far we could advance in out path towards holiness huh?
This is the union between the Father and the Son. Always, in the creation, preservation, and redemption of the world, the Father and the Son have sought the same object. The power of doing mighty works in the heart of humankind for the fulfillment of the doctrine and manifestation of the glory of God in us, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27 The indwelling Spirit of Christ, in those who are the believers or future believers that He is praying for in this short study of John chapter 17.
We, in a word, bear His cross, and are ready to offer up our lives for Him. That in our preservation, the success of our ministry, and the miracles we work, we might be able to give the fullest demonstration that Jesus is risen again from the dead. We are strengthened by Him to do all these mighty works, in and through His name.
VS 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
We can know unity among fellow believers based on the unity that we have with Jesus if we are in fact, in union with the true vine.
We really are all created equal, but we all have a choice to make. That choice is to believe in the God of Israel that sent His Son Jesus, into the world. Not to condemn the world, but that the world and its people who live in it, through Him (Jesus Christ) that we might make the choice to be saved by His grace. The same perfect possibility of that perfect union that some in the world already know of and some that do not yet know about.
VS 24-26: Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
O to know the love of the Father… the glory of the Lord God Almighty. To know that He loves us, no different than He loves His own Son Jesus. To be with Jesus where He is now. WOW! To consider and behold the honor of knowing a God who first loved us before we were even created, even before God spoke to the darkness and called the light to come out of that dark and chaotic void that was without form. Sounds like us when He found us huh? In a chaotic mess with out form, with out meaning? God gave His light (Jesus Christ) to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace. Paul said, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Co 5:8) Paul is not saying that when we are absent from the body that we are with Christ. No, not at all. He is saying that this is the place that we ‘rather be’, not that we ‘are there’ when we are absent from our bodies.
He wants us with Him always. We as His obedient followers are already hidden in Christ Jesus, but not with Him in our spiritual bodies, YET! We will one day, see all the glory that God gave the Son, simply because of His love for Him. All the disciples, including us who call upon His name, know that God sent Jesus. His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus did reveal The Father to us. Never before, did we relate to God as our Father, until Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
A few verses back, Jesus spoke these words: Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15
All the things that Jesus shared while He walked the earth, He still shares now, through His spirit. Jesus communicated then and now, the knowledge of the Father with His own, little by little, the knowledge of His love made full by Christ Jesus, that we are beloved by the Father, with the selfsame love with which He loves the Son.
We truly are a blessed people being prepared for a greater place. Greater than what we can ever hope for… or even think. Unfortunately, many people are still living under the grand illusions of religious tradition: “Go to church, claim to be spirit filled, born again Christians, sing and dance to fine praise and worship songs, leaving all the praying to the pastor and everything will be O.K. I think not. I myself lived under this spell for many many years, even thinking that I was born again. We are not truly born again until we get those new bodies. Yes our lives were changed in a huge way when we got plugged in by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yes we are new creations, but our conversion from earthy body to heavenly birth is yet to come.
We sure do not see this moving along the plan of God now do we? If this plan was working, we would be living in the Kingdom of God by now don’t you think?
The power of prayer affects our lives and others and the power of prayer can affect a nation. We have to position our prayers to receive the answers we are seeking intervening between heaven and earth releasing the power of agreement.
What would have happened if Eve had stopped to pray when she fell into temptation? When Eve handed the fruit to Adam who was standing there beside her, what would have happened if he had stopped and prayed? If we do not present our prayers into the will of God, how then can we expect that His will be done?
It would behoove us to remember that He is in our midst when we are praying. I don’t remember how I ever stopped doing this or why but I used to imagine His feet of fiery brass in front of me and I even struggled in how to approach Him, because I kept it in my mind that He was right there in front of me, while I was bowed in prayer. It was very humbling.
Luke spoke of a time when he must have witnessed Jesus praying and this is what he wrote: And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:44
Do we ever sweat out because we have been in prayer for hours? Has anything ever moved us to this kind of intercession? What does the Bible tell us? Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Remember how the disciples had tried to go about their witnessing and did not see much results in the way of healing powers? Do you remember what happened after Jesus had met up with Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration? Jesus took Peter, John and James up on that mountain to pray with Him. When Jesus prayed, they witnessed not only that His countenance changed, but His clothes changed too. Jesus was still a man of flesh at the time that this occurred. His physical body and His appearance changed. The three men’s vision was apparently changed that day too because they saw His glory and the two men that stood with Jesus.
The very next day a man brought their demon possessed child to them to be healed. Try as they might, nothing worked. They asked Jesus how come and He told them that they needed to fast and pray first. It was not long after this that they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. This new dimension changed their ministry.
I seriously do not believe that we have even begun to unlock the gates that hold the power of prayer and the abundance that lies beyond the gate. It almost seems to me that there is still so much hidden behind the veil.
s ways to show just how much He loves them. We serve the most awesome God!
I pray that we don’t ever get too busy or too comfortable to take our Holy Father for granted! God bless you, Eudora! s ways to show just how much He loves them. We serve the most awesome God!
I pray that we don’t ever get too busy or too comfortable to take our Holy Father for granted! God bless you, Eudora!s ways to show just how much He loves them. We serve the most awesome God!
I pray that we don’t ever get too busy or too comfortable to take our Holy Father for granted! God bless you, Eudora!
O Lord, help us to see, to know, and to truly grasp the power of prayer. O God arise and in the name of Jesus, destroy every evil gatekeeper who has been assigned against our lives. Set the captive free, releasing Your Spirit with in us to move about this earth with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to know and to believe in spirit and in truth that what so ever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and what so ever You loose on earth shall be bound in heaven. Teach us O Lord, Your ways that are higher than ours so that we might learn to press in behind the veil and the power that is hidden in the MIGHTY name of Christ Jesus and the hope that makes us not ashamed because the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. In Jesus name I pray.
Christ is still on the throne, no matter what we do. He is still in control when we feel out of control. We just have to stay focused on the task at hand and stay in the battle for the sake of the whole family, the body of Christ into which we are called.