Jesus Prays for His Disciples
“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. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 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. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 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 your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17:6-19)
Sorry for a slightly longer blog today as we set up our study of the Discipline of Prayer. The Discipline of Prayer is probably one of the most confusing for believers. Why do we pray? How do we pray? What do we pray for? How long should we pray for something? The list goes on and on. We could literally spend months studying the topic. However, our discussion will be very focused. In an attempt to strengthen our resolve to pray, we will examine this Discipline through the lens of love (just like we did for Bible Study and Creation). Our examination will be based on some powerful prayers from the Bible.
Have you ever considered how prayer should be an act of love for God, others and self? How much does prayer feature as an act of love in your life?
Jesus was committed to prayer – He loved talking to His Father. So, we will start with one of Jesus’ prayer (captured above). The entire chapter of John 17 is a beautiful prayer but we will focus on just a subset where Jesus prays for his disciples. Please pay special note to how love is demonstrated in this prayer.
Today’s Questions for comments:
- How would you describe how love is displayed in this prayer?
- What inspires you to pray with this kind of passion?
While we are considering the topic of prayer, please don’t forget to spend time praying. How about creating a prayer list this week and being disciplined to pray for specifics.
On Friday, our feature Discipline will be Fasting. I am giving you a heads-up now so you can consider dedicating Friday to a food fast if your health will allow.