John 17:1-26

Jesus' Prayer

John 17:1-26
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message”
John 17:20
Jesus prayer for us in this chapter is amazing. That on the night before his most challenging day Jesus should turn his prayers towards others is yet another example of God’s love for the world. Not only does Jesus pray for the disciples who are about to desert him and hide away for fear of the Jews, he also prays for us – for you and me. What is more he continues to intercede for us in the heavens (Romans 8:34). We unpack Jesus’ prayer in this week’s sermon.

In this devotion let us look at Jesus’ prayer as a possible model for our prayers. As followers of Jesus we often struggle or feel guilty about our prayer life. This is sometimes because we mistake prayer for a religious practice, whereas it is simply a conversation with our heavenly father. Remember prayer is meant to be relational not religious.

However, sometimes we struggle with prayer because we don’t know what to say. This is where models of prayer can be so helpful. Throughout church history believers have used models of prayer, forms of prayer, to help unlock communication with God. Jesus gives us a model of prayer in this prayer.

First he prays for himself. This might seem a bit self-centred, surely we should be praying for others first? Why does Jesus start with himself? I wonder if it is a recognition that our first thoughts will tend to be about the issues at the front of our minds – and they tend to focus around what is going on in our own lives. Until we have chatted to God about these things it is hard to move on. We should also note what Jesus prays – that the Father would bless (Glorify) him, so that he can be a blessing to others. In this he is following the biblical model, God blesses those in relationship with him so that the blessing they receive will flow out to those around them.

Secondly Jesus prays for those closest to him – his disciples. These men, this small community of men and women, have been his family, friends and colleagues for the previous three years. He prays for their protection, their relationships, and their ministry. Having prayed for ourselves it is so good for us to pray for our faith community, those we are working out our faith alongside.

Finally Jesus prays for future believers. I love the faith of Christ in this moment. Even though he knows that the disciples will be devastated by his death and for a period of time will either deny him, doubt him or be devastated by their grief, he still believes that other people will believe in him because of their preaching. Because of his faith in their future ministry he prays for those who do not yet believe.

Having prayed for ourselves and for our church it is so important to pray for those who will hear our message. John Wesley famously said that God does nothing except in response to the prayers of the saints. Church history tells us that faithful and persistent prayer is the foundation for revival.


  1. How would you like God to bless you in this season that you might be a blessing to others and bring glory to God?

  2. Who within your faith community needs your prayers right now? How might you be the answer to those prayers?

  3. Have you grown weary in praying for friends and family who do not know God? If so rewrite your list and ask God to provoke you again with compassion and a commitment to pray regularly for them to encounter the love of God. Spend some time now praying for them.


Father God,

Thank you that Jesus prayed for me the night before he died and he still intercedes for me now. Help me by your Holy Spirit to follow his example and to intercede for others.

This Everyday Devotions was written by Simon Elliott, our Lead Elder.

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