(I preached this message on our Prayer Meeting last January 2, 2012. I hope and pray it will be a blessing to you)
John 17:9-10 KJV “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine: and all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am glorified in them.”
It’s been said that when we pray we are talking to God. We should consider that a joy and honor for a believer to talk to his Creator. What’s more blessed is when God prays for His redeemed ones. That’s what Jesus has done in our passage. Considering that He will die the next day and He should pray for Himself but that’s not the case. He prayed for His disciples. He prayed for us. He continues to intercede for us in heaven. What an honor that is.
As we check our text we shall see that prayer is a holy covering for us to protect us from the wiles of the devil and this wicked world. Jesus is so concern to us that He prayed for us. Looking at John 17: 9-10, we see that this kind of prayer offers levels. Levels that we should know and acknowledge. Levels that brings us deeper in every steps to know how God protects us and love us:
1.) Privilege– “I pray for them” (v. 9), Jesus praying for his followers. People prays for you well being, that’s a privilege. But how much more if you’re God is praying for you. Take that as a privilege. Many unbelievers who are “religious” pray to God. They are fervent in their petitions (although God doesn’t hear them.) Our privilege is that knowing Christ is interceding for us let us grab that privilege to be more effective Christian in whatever field or ministry we are called to.
2.) Exclusive– Still in verse 9 we read “I pray not for the world”. This is the second level of this prayer. Here Jesus zeros in on who is He praying for protection. He will not pray for the world because His prayer is specifically for the saved. There is separation. There is a wedge. So the question is why is Jesus not praying for the world? Here are the reason:
- They hated God (John 17: 14)
- We are the ones to do God’s will (John 17:18) and they are not. They will not do it because they are in rebellion with God.
If you’re given a VIP ticket to a concert or basketball game, you won’t sit at the farthest seat of the venue. You will sit on the VIP box. You are exclusively watching the event closer that anyone else. That’s why Christ prayer is exclusive. We are closer to Christ than the world.
3.) Intimate– this is the last and deepest level of the prayer of Christ for the believer. Read verse 9-10 “but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine: and all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine”. Couples, you won’t dare to share your husband or wife to anyone. And I mean not to anyone. Because your relationship with your husband or wife is intimate. There is an agreement in marriage between both of you and as witness by the public in that you will pursue that life together, that is intimate. As the Bible states you’re one. For now on that you have is now own and shared by both of you.
How much more is this prayer of Christ showing us love and protection? There is a mutual exchange between God the Father and God the Son. His elect is what the Father gave to Jesus and Jesus acknowledge it because they are His. What a prayer that is! Many of us keep saying Christianity is not religion, it’s a relationship. And as we have seen here is proof. An intimate prayer for the believer.
Now that we know the levels of such precious prayer for us believers what then shall we consider. What then happens for knowing such truth? Let’s look at two of them:
- Jesus is glorified. “and I am glorified in them” verse 10. Praying such petition is glorifying Christ. It’s exalts him. The privilege, exclusiveness and intimacy of the prayer that protects and loves us glorify Jesus. So we are walking in holy ground in this. We should no live and die for that prayer that glorify our Lord and Savior.
- Exceeding Joy. “that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” verse 13. Jesus holy covering of prayer brings joy to Him. Protecting and loving us through prayer brings joy to Christ and in that joy we might savor it also as our own very own joy. It is a blessing to have Christ praying for us!