How Jesus Has Prayed for Us

How Jesus Has Prayed for Us
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” – John 17:20-21

John 17 records one of the final times of prayer Jesus had on earth between Him and His heavenly Father, known as Jesus’ high priestly prayer. This name comes from Leviticus 16:1-34 which describes what the high priest performed for the Day of Atonement in which a lamb was offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. In this prayer, Jesus was preparing to offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice prayed for His people.

In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus specifically prayed for His disciples. In verse 20, Jesus changed His focus, saying, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word (John 17:20).” In other words, Jesus started to pray specifically for you and me. He prayed primarily for two things: unity and perseverance.

Jesus prayed for unity with fellow believers and with Him and God the Father. He prayed that we, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (John 17:22-23).”

Jesus prayed next for our perseverance, that we will remain faithful to Him, be in fellowship with Him in heaven so that we can see Jesus’ full glory that we have not yet seen. He said, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24).”

These words were among the last recorded words we have from Jesus before His trial and execution. He knew the suffering He was about to endure, but what was primarily on His mind were thoughts of unity and perseverance among His followers. Jesus obviously knew that it would be a struggle for believers in all generations to stay in union with Him and each other and that there would be temptation to fall away from the faith. It should be a great comfort to us when we struggle to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and face temptations to compromise our faith, Jesus has already prayed for us.

Prayer of the day:

Dear heavenly Father,

Thank you so much that you sent Jesus for us. He is the author and finisher of our faith, and we are eternally Yours. It is a great comfort to know that while Jesus was facing His darkest moments, He was praying for us. Help us to remain faithful to You through the strength You give us through Jesus. Amen!