Summary: This prayer was addressed to the Father, but intended to be overheard.

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This remarkable model prayer contains none of the things that take up so much room in our prayers.

Boston newspaper reported on a prayer given by a noted clergyman:

“one of the most eloquent prayers ever delivered to a Boston audience.”

Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary, Bill Moyers, was saying grace at a staff lunch, and the President shouted, “Speak up, Bill. I can’t hear a thing!”

Moyers quietly replied, “I wasn’t addressing you, Mr. President.”

Remind ourselves when we pray, we talk to God.

I have always been irritated by such forms of prayer for it appears they were not intended for God at all. Having said this, I must recognize that some of the prayers of our Lord were addressed to the Father, but were intended to be overheard. Among other examples I would include the prayer of Jesus for the raising of Lazarus (John 11:41-42) and this prayer in John chapter 17.

The high priestly prayer of Jesus serves as a fitting conclusion to the upper room discourse of chapters 14-16. In verse one of chapter 17 John informs us that this prayer is to be understood as a kind of conclusion to the Lord’s teaching in chapters 14-16. “These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, he said …” (John 17:1a). It is my personal opinion that this prayer, the longest of Jesus’ recorded prayers, was intended to be overheard by His disciples. One purpose of this prayer was to bring comfort and hope to the troubled hearts of the disciples. It may have been more effective at the moment than all the teaching of chapters 14-16. . . . This prayer must have done much to calm the troubled hearts of the eleven. —Robert Deffinbaugh

“We have before us one of the most intimate glimpses anywhere in Scripture of the mind and heart of the Lord as He led in prayer.” —J. Dwight Pentecost

I. Jesus Prayer for Himself, 1-5

Christ prayed to be glorified.

1 ¶ These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:


“Father,” the address

there is a clear link between the Upper Room Discourse and this prayer.

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

By His upcoming resurrection He would prove that He could give eternal life to those who believed on Him.

Romans 1:4, “ 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:”

Curtis Hutson illustration:

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

This is not so much a definition of eternal life as a statement of the reason why Christ impart that life—so that we may know His Father, the only true God, as Christ knows him.

Christ was praying here concerning His resurrection. The Resurrection was to be God’s final and complete vindication of the person of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:4).When the Father thus vindicated, or glorified, His Son, the Son would glorify the Father. All that the Son had revealed of the Father would be proven true.

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