READ: John Seventeen
So let’s talk John 17 today! I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who is naturally inclined to being just plumb nosey. I’ve tried to rebuke myself and change my selfish ways, but this girl always has to be in the know. I mean, one of my favorite things in the world to do is eavesdrop on people. Coffee shops are the best places to do that. So many people come and go and if you listen well, you’ll hear the needs of our society. You’ll hear their struggles, their pain, their regrets, but most of all, you’ll hear their hearts.
I love it! It excites me. It grieves me. It inspires me and challenges me. Being nosey has a payoff. I want you to hear me when I tell you that John 17 gives us an opportunity to be nosey and the payoff is huge. Like way ginormous. A really big deal.
All through scripture we see that Jesus has a solid prayer life. Multiple times we read that he went off and prayed and that’s about all the information we get. My nosey nature always wonders what he prayed and how he prayed. Have you ever thought about that? Like, what’s his secret sauce in prayer? He was obviously pretty good at it. I want to be ‘good at it’ too.
So, for all the nosey girls that get me, here’s good news: the entire seventeenth chapter of John is an opportunity for us to eavesdrop on the prayers of Jesus Christ- the Son of God- the Messiah. Please, please, puh-lease don’t miss how precious these words are. The prayers Jesus prayed were less about information and more about transformation. In this particular prayer, he had three specific targets: himself, his disciples and all believers. It’s funny how the things we pray for have the ability to reveal our heart. Jesus prays for people. His heart beats for people. Picture what he would have looked like in this moment: on his knees, focused, open-handed and more heartfelt than we can imagine. And the words start to flow from his tongue…
John 17:1-5 : Jesus Prays to Be Glorified
“Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” John 17:1
I dig this prayer. He knew he was going to be a sacrifice. He knew what his love for people would cost him and he prays that his actions would bring glory to God. Maybe we should really pay attention here. Maybe we should get up every morning and pray that God would pull us so close that we start to get lost in where He ends and we begin. Maybe we should set aside what our own agenda to accomplish His.
John 17:6-19: Jesus Prays for His Disciples
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” John 17:9
There are some words here that make my heart leap: for those you have given me. Don’t tell me Jesus didn’t see strategy. He saw that the people in his life were placed there on purpose. And then he prayed for them. God brings people together for a reason. We can’t miss it and we most certainly can’t miss that a huge part of that reason is to pray for each other.
John 17:20-26: Jesus Prays for All Believers
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21
What does He pray for all believers? That all of them may be one. Unity. When we are for each other, it works. More importantly, when we put the message of Jesus first, it works. Unity is held together by prayer.
When it comes to prayer, there’s no such thing as ‘getting it right.’ Let’s not worry about being ‘good at it.’ Let’s worry about being diligent in it. We pray because it draws us closer to God and it draws us closer to people.
Lord, if there’s any good in me, let it point to you. Open my eyes to see the needs of the people you’ve placed in my life and increase my capacity to love them. Help me to make unity a top priority.