TEXT: John 17:1-4
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:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 184 messages in this series.
This is message #185 titled, The Prayer that Jesus Prayed, Part 1
The passage we will begin looking at and learning from today is not so much instruction on prayer, but a record of a prayer Jesus prayed. This chapter has been referred to as “the longest prayer” in the New Testament, and it is. Some have called it the New Testament’s “holy of holies.” The leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian Church, John Knox, said this chapter was the place “where I first cast my anchor.” Philip Melanchthon, another Reformer, said, “There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime, than the prayer offered up by the Son to God Himself.”
Jesus prayed this prayer at the Last Supper, right after He had encouraged the disciples to let God turn their sorrow into joy through prayer in the previous chapter.
The first thing we are told of is Jesus’ posture: “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven.” We associate bowing our heads and closing our eyes with prayer; but in the Jewish religion, the custom of prayer is to turn the face to Heaven as if the eyes could see God. Some commentators have stated that this posture implies that, despite the gloomy circumstances surrounding Him at the moment, Jesus had hope and confidence in God’s plan. He was not downcast and saddened.
Here, Jesus does not make mention of the difficult events that He knows are ahead for Himself and His disciples. He is praying entirely with the will of God in mind. He says, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee…” Addressing God as Father shows the closeness of their relationship and is an example we should follow as well. This relationship will bring comfort to us when we realize that our hour of decision, or trial, or conflict has come.
Jesus’ “hour” was His betrayal, trial, and crucifixion, which would begin that very night. He refers to it as “the hour”, indicating that it is something already set, something that He and the Father have already worked out. Several times before this Jesus had told people, “my hour is not yet come.” Here He has finally reached the point where “His hour has come” and God says, “Okay, it’s time to do what You came into the world to do.”
Jesus’ request is, “glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” Jesus knows that what happens next will be hard for Him. But He also knows that it will be useless if He does not follow through or if God is not pleased with His sacrifice. D.A. Carson said, “It will bring no glory to the Father if Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is not acceptable, or if the Son is not restored to his rightful place in the presence of the Father’s unshielded glory. That would mean the divine mission had failed, the purposes of grace forever defeated.”
This prayer for glorification is Jesus’ request that He be sustained, strengthened, enabled, and empowered to complete the task at hand. Thus, His sacrifice will be pleasing to God, and in turn will bring glory to the Father. Today, people look on Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension in awe at the divine plan that began back in the Garden of Eden, took hundreds of years to culminate, and is still being carried out today. Jesus’ death brought glory to God, and in His prayer, we see that this was Jesus’ desire.
From Jesus’ example, we ought to make up our minds to pray with God’s glory in mind. Instead of praying for the outcome of every situation to be only for our benefit, we ought to pray for the outcome of every situation to be to the glory of God and the benefit of God’s church. Then, we will truly be praying in the will of God.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.