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Jesus Prays for Us

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Yes, Jesus Prays

The text for this week is John 17:6-19.  This sees Jesus engaging in a prayer for all of us.  It might seem odd at first thought to think of Jesus praying.  Aren’t we to pray to Him?  There are many instances of Jesus praying.  Most notably, in the garden before He is arrested, and most poignantly of all, on the cross when He prays from Psalm 22.

Since we know that Jesus prays it should not be surprising that He prays for us.  In this passage He is specifically praying for those who believe in Him, but we know that the living word of God contained in the Bible applies just as much to us.

A Template for Praying for Others

This prayer is a perfect template for praying for others.  At the same time, it underlines our relationship with Jesus and through Him, the Father.  He reiterates, in praying to the Father, that He is praying for “those whom you gave me out of the world” (Verse6).  They were given to Him because they obeyed the word, that is they believed.  Verse 8 makes this clear.  “or the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.”.

Jesus in this prayer is submitting to the will of the Father.  Verse 9-10 show this: “I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.  All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.” 

Jesus then goes on to state that since He will no longer be in the world, He desires God to protect them.  This is as beautiful as it is powerful.  Jesus acknowledges that the Father is supreme, details the reality of the situation, and then asks, not for Himself, but for the care of others.

The whole prayer is both submission to the Father and sacrificial service on behalf of others.  This should be for us the template that we use when offering up prayers on behalf of others.

At the same time Jesus is giving us words of fortification and strength.  We are not of this world; we belong to God in His Kingdom.  The world may hate us for that, but this does not matter because we are baptized children of God, and we belong to Jesus Christ.  We are sent out into the world, to be in it not of it, to proclaim the Good News of God’s merciful redemption of humanity through the faith that His Son Jesus the Christ has given us.

We can now go forward, confident in our eternal relationship with the Father through the Son.  We can respond with this type of prayer for those God has placed in our lives and in so doing remember that we are only in the world but in reality, belong to God’s Kingdom.  So, trust God’s word and pray and act as Jesus taught us.  You know, believe, and then obey.

Praise Be to God

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