Summary: A look at Jesus’ prayer for His Disciples before He was arrested.
Jesus’ Prayer for Believers
Intercessory prayer is a powerful thing. It builds me up and encourages me to know that people take the time to pray for me. But what builds me up and encourages me even more when it comes to intercessory prayer is a truth that we can find in the Bible. Romans 8:34 tells us that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Isn’t that amazing? The Lord and Savior of the World, Jesus Christ prays on our behalf. 19th Century Scottish Preacher Robert McCheyne was once quoted as saying, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” These words should ring true in our hearts today also. What are we to fear or worry about, knowing that Jesus Christ is praying for us? This should uplift and encourage each of us today.
Our text today, John 17:6-19 gives us an account of an intercessory prayer from Jesus. Last week, we began looking at Jesus’ prayer shortly before he was arrested; we looked at the first five verses of John 17 and saw Jesus’ prayer for Himself. Today we will look at verses 6-19 to see Jesus’ prayer for His disciples.
John 17:6-9 says,
“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.”
Jesus clearly states in verse 9 that in this particular prayer, He is praying for His disciples—those who believe in Him—and not for the world—those who don’t believe in Him. Though He originally prayed this particular prayer for the Disciples, as those who believe in Him here today, we can take courage in and ownership of this prayer for ourselves also.
And I suggest to you today that there are three key things that Jesus is praying for on behalf of His believers in our text.
I. The first thing Jesus prays for on behalf of His believers is: Security (John 17:10-16)
A. The security that we have is found in Jesus
1. v. 11, 12
2. Jesus talks about how it is by the name the Father has given Him
3. What does it mean that our security comes from the name the Father had given him?
4. Well, it does not mean that our security comes from the name itself, but instead that our security comes from the one whom the name represents
5. A name is more about the person that the name represents than the name itself
6. When you hear the name Pastor Mike, you don’t think about my name, you think about me…what you think about me I don’t know, but you think about me—the person standing before you, not my name
7. When Jesus says that security or protection is in His name, He means that it is in Him personally
8. So, if we know that our security is in Jesus, it’s worth taking a minute to look at the credentials of Jesus
9. Read “Who is Jesus?”
10. I suggest to you that those are some pretty good credentials
11. Our security is in Jesus, and who better for our security to be in than the King of kings and the Lord of lords
B. This security does not mean that we won’t face hardship or trials, but that Jesus will be with us when we do, so that we will not be overcome by them
1. v. 15
2. He doesn’t ask the Father to take us out of the world, but to protect us from it
3. Dr. David Jeremiah in preaching on storms in our lives once said, “Security is not the absence of the storm; it is the presence of Jesus”
4. Jesus knew that we would face hardships and persecution; He mentioned this in the Scripture
a. v. 14
i. If we live for God, according to His Word, we will be despised by the world
ii. We must be unashamed to proclaim Christ crucified, and He promises that He will give us security, we don’t need to worry about that
c. Matthew 5:10 – “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
5. Jesus didn’t ask the Father to take the trials and persecution away, but instead He asked the Father to protect us through it