TEXT: John 17:20-23
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 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.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 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.
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 196 messages in this series.
This is message #197 titled, The Profound Prayer that Jesus Prayed, Part 13
Throughout our time in this passage, we have pointed out that, while Jesus was praying specifically for the eleven disciples present in the upper room with Him, He was also praying for us as well. That fact is brought out in the portion of Jesus’ prayer that we are looking at today.
Jesus prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” After three years of preaching, with only twelve disciples (one of whom had betrayed Him) and just a few others who truly believed on Him at that time, Jesus’ movement may have looked like a failure from the outside looking in. But Jesus had a long term vision for the success of the Church. He had come to plant the seeds, and He was grooming His followers to cultivate the crop.
Jesus knew that others would believe on Him in the future which is why He prayed for those “which shall believe on me through the word” preached by the disciples. Jesus’ specific request for us is “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” When we consider the immense amount of time, geographical distance, language barriers, cultural barriers, and ethnic barriers between us today and the first century disciples two thousand years ago, we can understand why this prayer is so important. It would have been easy for a huge disconnect to develop between us and them. By human standards, it would have been nearly impossible for the Gospel to be carried down intact through the centuries.
Yet, we are as tightly bound to God through Jesus Christ as the disciples were. We are just as much the children of God as they were. We have the same Gospel, the same salvation, the same baptism, and the same Holy Spirit. The fact that the Gospel has survived and is still being preached today is a testament to the prayer that Jesus prayed which God saw fit to answer. Merrill C. Tenney said, “The last section of Jesus’ prayer shows that he expected the failure of the disciples to be only temporary. The entire tone of the farewell discourse is built on the assumption that after the resurrection they would renew their faith and carry on a new ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Although the disciples would initially falter during the dark night of the crucifixion and the subsequent days of uncertainty, Jesus knew that they would pull through and become firmly grounded in the faith. That is why He prayed for them. We, too, will face dark nights and days of uncertainty. It may seem that, at those times, we are far from God and we cannot see the way ahead. But we can have the confidence to pull through if we remember that Jesus prayed for us as well. And God will see to it that we are restored, strengthened, and made servants fit for His use.
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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.