My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.John 17:20
In John 17 we have one of the most powerful parts of scripture as Jesus prepares his disciples for his arrest and death which is only hours away. When we think of the context of this prayer it is amazing. The weight of the world quite literally is on Jesus shoulders. He is aware of what is about to happen. Throughout John’s gospel Jesus repeatedly says the hour has not yet come.
Each time John presents Jesus in a situation where his life appears threatened or that the crowds might take him and make him king by force, we read the hour has not yet come. A reference to Jesus crucifixion. In John 12: 23, just before Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples, the eve of his arrest, we read him saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’ In John 17:1 Jesus prayed, ‘Father the hour has come.’
Jesus knows he is about to be taken, falsely accused, mocked, beaten, and killed. Yet he takes the time to pray for his disciples. ‘I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.’ (John 17:9) It is not only his disciples Jesus prays for, he looks beyond them into the whole of time and in John 17:20 prays, ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.’
Do you struggle in your faith? Do you struggle with life and wonder how you will cope? Do you question how people can say it will be OK? Here is the answer, regardless of what we are facing; difficulties at home; struggles with one sin or temptation; sadness; ridicule; persecution; doubt; Jesus has prayed and is praying for you.
This was not a one of prayer, Paul writing to the Romans said this in 8:34, ‘Who then is the one who condemns? No-one, Christ Jesus who died – and more than that, who raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.’
To understand Jesus is to understand that he does not look at un in despair, or from a distance, he looks at us and prays. He strengthens us because his prayers are in the perfect will of the Father. Whatever your experience of life, church, prayer – know this. To understand Jesus is to understand that he is praying for you.
Prayer Lord Jesus thank you for the reality that I do not face this life alone. Thank you that you are not distant or separate from me. Thank you that you do not look on my life in despair. You look at me and pray. You pray for those things I struggle with. You pray into my hurts and fears. You pray for those things that endanger me. Lord Jesus, thank you for your prayers.