Praying for Others
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. ~John 17:9
John 17 records for us the great-high-priestly prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ. This prayer appears to have been prayed before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane. It is an important prayer. It is a passionate prayer for the men whom He trained and loved. It sets forth for us a pattern for prayer. In this prayer, we get a firm understanding on how prayer for other people is an indispensable duty of the Christian life. These men were about to engage in a whole new platform of responsibility. Jesus prayed for some things that these men needed.
He prayed for their safety.
He prayed in v. 11, “Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” In v. 15, He prayed that the Father would “keep them from the evil.” The attack of the evil one would intensify. Even though Jesus had taught them much, He knew that Satan’s devious methods would seek to distract, disengage, divide, and devour them. Jesus prayed that they would be kept through the powerful name of the Lord. We are only as safe as we hide ourselves in the powerful name of the Lord. "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." We must pray for our loved ones and those in ministry that they are kept safe.
He prayed for their solidarity.
“That they may be one, as we are.” The doctrine of the trinity or Godhead is difficult for us to understand. This doctrine teaches us that God is three in one. We see three distinct roles wrapped up in one. There is no conflict in the Trinity. There is complete uniformity. Jesus saw the constant power struggles and strife that went on among the twelve. He prayed that they would die to self when it came to ego, position, power, responsibility, and assignment. Oneness is essential in winning this world to Christ. Oneness is essential for a healthy church. Oneness is essential for doctrine. Oneness is essential in glorifying God.
He prayed for their sanctification.
He prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” He prayed that God’s Word would be a perpetual mirror to help them to see changes that they needed to make in their lives. He prayed that the truth would be continuously transforming. He prayed that the power of the Word would keep them separated from worldliness and a sinful lifestyle. It’s hard to walk the dusty paths of this world and not get your clothes and body dirty. In a similar way, it is hard to live in this world and not get our soul soiled by sin. God’s truth is what sanctifies us.
He prayed for their soulwinning.
In v. 20, Jesus also prayed for those who would believe on Him through their witness. His praying was multi-generational. He prayed that they would have fruit and that their fruit would remain. Jesus wants each of us to bring forth fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. He wants us to have fruit that remains. He wants us to focus on replicating ourselves in the lives of other people. The greatest testimony that we can have for the Lord is allowing the gospel message to permeate us and result in fruition in other lives. This is true spiritual reproduction.
Jesus teaches us a pattern for prayer. This same pattern is to be carried out in our praying as we seek the Lord every day. This is praying that changes lives. This is praying that touches the world for Christ. Study this prayer. Utilize the principles found within it to see God change those whom you pray for.
Have a prayer-centered God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 2-3