Before going to the cross- even before the garden in Gethsemane- what did Jesus pray for?
He prayed for His disciples. He prayed for us.
Jesus was sent by the Father. He was sent with authority to give eternal life.
Jesus asked the Father to “keep them in Your name.” He was asking that their faith would be preserved. Jesus guarded them and “kept” them while He was with them. He loved the Twelve (well, now Eleven). He knew the Enemy wanted to destroy them, so He asked the Father to now continue to protect them.
Jesus asked the Father “that they might be one as We are.” He wanted them to experience unity, to be family. Jesus knew that one of the Enemy’s tactics is to drive a wedge between us because it is easier to attack us when we’re isolated and alone. Disunity makes us vulnerable. Unity makes us strong!
Jesus asked the Father “that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” He’s not just asking for them to have joy. Jesus was asking for them to have the same joy He had. So where did His joy come from? It came from the intimacy He experienced with the Father. It came from His obedience and knowing He had “finished the work the Father gave Him to do.” And I think Jesus’ joy also came from His disciples. He had poured His life into them and that gave Him great joy. He knew as they discipled others they too would experience great joy.
Jesus asked the Father to “keep them from the evil one.” In this context, Jesus says, “I have given them Your word.” Then He said, “Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.” The Word of God is powerful. Jesus knew that the truth of His word is transformational. To “sanctify” is to set apart, to keep pure. Jesus was praying for the transformational power of His word to keep His disciples pure and thus protect them from the Enemy.
Jesus asked the Father to sanctify and prepare them as He “sent them into the world.” Jesus had a mission for His disciples, just as the Father had a mission for the Son. To “sanctify,” as in to set apart, means that Jesus had a special purpose for His men. Others might look at them and call them “ordinary, unschooled men,” but Jesus saw them as much more than ordinary. He saw them as special, set apart, having a purpose.
Jesus then turned His attention toward us. He asked the Father that we would be one. He knew that our unity would have a profound impact.
“That the world might believe that You sent Me.”
Our unity is a display of God’s glory.
Our unity is perfected as we remain in Him.
Our unity is evidence of the Father’s love for us.
Jesus then asked the Father that we would “be with” Him. His disciples were with Him. This brought Jesus great joy. Being with us will also bring Him great joy. “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”
To “be with” is to experience God’s glory.
To “be with” is to experience God’s love.
To “be with” is to experience confidence in knowing God by name.
To “be with” is to experience God’s indwelling presence.
Jesus prayed all this and more for His disciples. Jesus prayed all this for me. Jesus prayed with intentionality. Jesus prayed missionally. Jesus prayed relationally.
I should pray like this for myself. I should pray like this for those the Father has given me… my wife, my children, my family, my own disciples.
To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit: SONLIFE.COM