Summary: Christ, while facing His crucifixion, offered a prayer to the Father for His disciples as well as you and I that ends showing Christ' desire for us to be forever with Him in Glory someday. His prayer is a beautiful reminder of His love for us and a desire for us to do well.
THE PRAYER OF OUR SAVIOR
Text- John 17:9
Looking at our text, it is important that we understand what is occurring during this time in the life of Christ as well as what his disciples are about to encounter in their walk. It is important to understand that this is potentially hours or even moments before Christ would be taken by the officers and Pharisees beginning the process of His trial and ultimately, His crucifixion. We must understand that Christ, while entirely willing to be obedient to the will of God and His plan for the salvation of mankind, was 100% human while living on this earth as well as 100% God. Due to this, He was experiencing great grief, worry for His followers, no doubt dread for what was about to occur (Mt 26:39 - And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.)
So by taking a look into the life of Christ and digging into His mind just a little if you’ll allow, we can determine that He was distressed and His concern was for His disciples. In the previous chapter, we can observe as Christ is warning His disciples – who had become His friends (John 15:15 - Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.) of his very soon to come departure from them and His ultimate death.
With these thoughts in mind, let’s dig into the prayer Christ prayer for his disciples that continues to reverberate for us as well.
I. HIS RECOGNITION OF THE FATHER (vs 1-8)
Looking at the prelude of Christ’s prayer, we can quickly observe his honor to God the Father. He recognizes and vocalizes that fact that God has given Him (Christ) all power and the ability to provide eternal life to all who would receive it.
We can also see as Christ requests that God would glorify Him (Christ) as He completes the task He was sent to earth to accomplish. No doubt, during this time or sorrow and possibly even dread that Christ was feeling, He needed the strength of the Father in His life and mind.
We should certainly use this as a model for our prayers as well. Notice how that Christ opens his prayer with honor, recognition and praise to God. Looking at the “Lord’s Prayer”, we see the same model for prayer depicted by Christ – “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name”. We should always initiate our prayers with honor, praise and thanksgiving to God.
II. HIS REQUEST FOR SUSTAINMENT (vs 9-14)
Looking at these lines in the prayer of Christ, we see His genuine concern for His children.
As parents, during the times that we are going to be separated from our children, (while initially the break may be very welcomed), we becoming very concerned about their safety. We worry about their wellbeing, are they being taken care of, are they getting hurt, is anyone being mean to them, how is their day going. Same with our spouses. This past week, I came upon an accident that appeared to be fairly severe. Upon approaching the accident, I noticed one vehicle looked exactly like Stacy’s and fear gripped my heart. I got to the car as quickly as I possibly could to reassure myself that a) it’s not her and b) if it is her, that she was ok. The whole time, I was in prayer that it wasn’t her but also praying for whomever was involved. I do pray each morning for the safety of my family and each night as well, but the fact of the matter is, while I am not with them, I am genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.
We see this same mentality in Christ during this portion of His prayer for His followers. He realizes that His time on this earth is nearing its completion as His work is coming to an end and while He will be returning to the Father in Heaven, He expresses His concern about the fact that His believers will be left in this world that is full of sin, sorrow, trouble, worry, heartache…the list goes on and on. It is due to this genuine concern that He had for His disciples – and ultimately us as modern day followers – He ask the Father to sustain us during this time. Note vs 11 – Keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me…
III. HIS REQUEST FOR UNITY AMONG BELIEVERS (vs 11b, 21a)