After I became a follower of Jesus in my late teens, I wondered if someone had been praying for me to come to faith. Following Christ was not the obvious choice. Our family did not attend church. I thought about the people I knew and couldn’t think of anyone. But today’s passage reveals that at least one person prayed for me. It was Jesus Christ.
Jesus prayed on the night of His arrest. Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe how Jesus asked to be spared the cup of suffering if possible (Matt. 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42; Luke 22:39–46). John’s Gospel does not mention these things, perhaps because he was already aware they were written. Instead, John describes other elements of Jesus’ prayer. He reveals that Jesus not only prayed for Himself but also for those who would believe in Him.
When Jesus prayed for Himself, He asked the Father to glorify Him. This was not an egotistical request since the aim was to make the Father known (vv. 1–3). To know Christ is to know the Father. Those who know the Father through Jesus Christ possess eternal life. By glorifying Christ, the Father was restoring Him to the position He had “before the world began” (v. 5).
In His prayer Jesus describes His followers as “those whom you gave me out of the world” (v. 6). Believers, as Jesus defines them, are those who accept Christ’s words and believe that He has come from the Father (v. 8). Jesus is glorified through their faith (v. 10). As He anticipated His departure from this world, Jesus prayed for the protection of those who were His. He did not ask God to rescue them out of the world but to preserve them in the midst of it (vv. 13–16).
>> Jesus prayed for you! Let the message of this prayer sink deeply into your heart. Consider for whom you can pray today. Whom do you know who needs to come to the Savior?
Lord Jesus, Your prayer for us reveals Your love and care for us and our well- being. Please, bring Your Word in power to our unbelieving loved ones so they too can be saved and transformed by knowing You.