There are many beautiful passages of scripture in the Bible that give us comfort and hope. There are many beautiful prayers in scripture that reveal the thoughts of faithful servants of God like Abraham, David, and Paul. But of all of these, my favorite passage of scripture in all the Bible is John, Chapter 17. It is beautiful, it is insightful, and it is extraordinarily relevant to those who believe in Christ even today because he prays for us.
John Chapter 17
Jesus is praying alone just hours prior to being arrested and put to death on the cross. In this passage, we not only read the prayer of Jesus, but we get a look into his private thoughts, his feelings, his concerns, and his hopes. We get to know exactly what was on his mind and what was on his heart when he was about to face the biggest trial of his life on earth.
In verses 1-5, Jesus addresses concerns about himself to God the father.
“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: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:1-5
In verses 6-19, Jesus addresses concerns about the Apostles.
“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:6-19
In verses 20-26, Jesus prays for every person who would believe in him in the future.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26
Prayer, especially private prayer, is when we pour out our most intimate thoughts, fears, hopes and concerns to God. In John Chapter 17, we have an invitation into the private prayer of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. What a beautiful, insightful gift from God to help us understand how Jesus prays on our behalf as our mediator and how much he cares for us.