WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 | JOHN 17
Prayer is an integral part of the Christian walk. In many churches, early morning prayer services are opportunities to start the day focused on God. We pray at meals. We pray in times of need. We should remember to pray in times of joy. In today’s passage, Jesus spends time praying for very particular things prior to the coming of “His hour”. As you read, try to imagine the emotional state of mind of Jesus as He is balancing between His physical departure from earth and His spiritual arrival in Heaven.
Read John 17:1-5
This chapter focuses on prayer. Jesus’ prayer reveals the depth of emotional and spiritual peace Jesus had with what was to come. However, the actual physical posture of Jesus is different than what we normally associate with prayer. Instead of bowing His head, He looks toward heaven. Why do you think Jesus did this? Also, Jesus is asking to be glorified. This is not a selfish request. But rather He is asking to be glorified so that, ultimately, it reflects God in the end as people must go through Jesus to gain eternal life in Heaven.
Read John 17:6-19
Notice that Jesus prays that He not only talked about God but He showed God to the disciples. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave Me out of this world.” In verse 9, why do you think Jesus explicitly says that He is not praying for the world, but for His disciples? His intent is to focus on the disciples as instruments of faith in Christ. Does Jesus want His disciples to live in community sheltered from the world around them, including Satan? Why wouldn’t God want His followers to be sheltered from the world around them so that they could solely focus on living lives that love God and keep their faith in their own community?
Read John 17:20-26
The Jewish people are often referred to as God’s chosen people in the Old Testament. Looking at what Jesus is saying here, is Heaven a realistic possibility for everyone? Or is this only reserved for the Jews? What proof from Jesus’ own words can reveal who God will allow to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus?
Did you notice that, through every part of the prayer that Jesus prayed, He mentions the work performed with it? He has revealed God to the world. He has given the word of God to the disciples. He has finished the work of God on Earth. Prayer is never something that is isolated from our lives. It must be intertwined with every aspect of our being. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:31. Then, look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. If both of these verses are commands from God, we need to live both of these out in our daily lives. Spend time today thinking about where are you needing to focus on today? Is today a day where you need to stop talking about the work God has called you to do and actually start doing it? Or, is today a day where you need to pray, give thanks, and ask for guidance from God?