I do not pray for these alone, but for those who will believe in Me through their word – John 17:20
The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is a quite revealing insight into the purpose and power of prayer. I believe it is important to note how Jesus is not weeks, days, or even hours from His sham trial, scourging and crucifixion. He’s just minutes away from the end of His earthy life and He knows this is coming. So, this prayer carries considerable weight as one of His final instructions or models of prayer for us.
In the first five verses He does pray for Himself, but the majority of His prayer in John 17 is about others. His disciples and close followers occupy His petitions. He knows the world will hate them, because He was hated by the world, and He prays for God’s protection for them.
But what strikes me the most is how He prays for us! Notice in verse 20 how He prays for “those who will believe in Me through their word.” Since we believe in Jesus through the words of the disciples (Matthew and John come to mind), we are the people He is praying for here in verse 20.
I find this so amazing that Jesus, minutes away from death, is thinking and praying about us. He prayed for me and He prayed for you.
In fact, Jesus seems so considered with the plight of others, that He uses the word “world” 17-19 times in John 17, depending on the version of the Bible you use. So while He is facing the beginning of the cruel overnight/early morning torture and His own crucifixion in just minutes, He is prays for others.
While we can pray for ourselves, how often do we pray for others? Even when faced with grave difficulties or had times? His prayer in John 17 is a great reminder of how even when faced with adversity, we need to think about and pray for others.
Blessings My Friend!