Today we come to the passage that came alive to me afresh and anew as a mother and a disciple maker.
Jesus’ hour has come to lay His life down for His friends and He begins to pray what we call the High Priestly Prayer, one of the most beautiful passages of scripture that I know and one I like to pray portions of for my children.
Jesus says, “Glorify Your Son so He can give glory back to You. For You have given Him authority over everyone.” John 17:1
He reaffirms that Jesus gives eternal life to each one God has given Him.
Are you in this number? Do you want to be in this number?
“This is the way to have eternal life–to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”
He brought glory to God by completing the work He gave Him to do and is ready to go back to the glory He shared from the before the world began. He begins to pray for His disciples and how He has stewarded His time with them pointing them to the truth. They have kept God’s word. “They accepted it and know that I cam from You, and they believe You sent me.” John 17:8
This prayer He is praying is not for the world, but for His followers because they belong to God. He talks to God about His leaving this earth and asks Him to protect them from the evil one by the power of the God’s name so they will be united as the Father and the Son.
He reminds God that He did not lose a single one God sent Him to reach. “They do not belong to this world any more than I do.” John 17:16
Here is the most powerful prayer I pray for my children.
“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” or “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth”
My mama heart prays the prayer of Jesus for my children, “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” John 17:18
I spent most of my day yesterday listening to the SBC annual meeting. The highlight of the whole day for me was the report on missionaries, a testimony of an unreached people group being reached after two generations had ministered to them. One salvation from this tribe that had never heard the words of Jesus was being excitedly and genuinely celebrated, just like Jesus going after the one sheep.
As I recounted this testimony to my children and how the SBC speaker traced back the missions team’s steps to when they were just kids, like my kids, who grew up in Southern Baptist Churches, faithfully memorized scripture every week, and had teachers and disciple makers pouring into them, I then explained to my kids how they shared the gospel with the lost by teaching key portions of scripture and specific doctrine.
My seven year old replied excitedly, “Mom, that’s what you do with us.” Spiritual formation can’t always be measured like physical goals, but when I hear my kids express things like that I feel the Lord’s encouragement in my heart that my prayers are being heard and my work to sow the seeds of truth in their lives are not in vain.
Here’s my second favorite part of this chapter, a promise for you and me and those we will reach with the gospel.
After promising to give Himself a Holy sacrifice for His followers so they can be made holy by God’s truth, he prays
“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 be as one, just as you and I are one.”
He expresses His desire for unity between the Trinity and the people of God so that the world may believe God sent Jesus. He wants the world to know that God loves them just as He loves Jesus.
So, today I encourage you to meditate on this prayer and see how you might can personalize it to pray for your friends, family, and the lost people you are praying for God to reach. Then maybe even testify to someone that you are praying for them just as Jesus prayed for them.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace,