Jesus Prayed For You

Title: Jesus Prayed For You

Bible Book: John 17 : 20-26

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Love of God; Jesus, Prayer of; Priestly Prayer



John 17:20-26:

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[a] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (NKJV)

John, chapter 17, sparkles with the radiance of a bright star on a dark night. It reveals the nature of the prayer life of our Lord. In the first part of the chapter Jesus prayed concerning himself (1-5). In the second section Jesus prayed for his immediate disciples (from 6-19). In the last section he prayed for all of us who would come to believe upon him in the succeeding generations. That means that those who were baptized today, because they have received Christ and are giving testimony to that fact, were listed here in the scripture from the lips of our Lord as he prayed for them. In fact, this is a prayer that Jesus uttered for all of us who know him as our Lord and Savior.

It is a comfort to know that someone is praying for you. It has been one of the encouragements that the Lord has given me as I have pastored through the years. Many people share with me that they pray for me daily. What a wonderful blessing that is to my heart. However, the fact that Jesus prayed for me, and always makes intercession for me, is a greater blessing by far. Jesus actually intercedes for all of us who are saved each day before the Father in Heaven.

When we look at the prayer Jesus prayed in our behalf prior to his death, resurrection and ascension, we get a sense of how Jesus intercedes for us even now. By no means can we say that this one pray is a complete example of our Lord’s prayers for us, but it serves to help us see the heart of our Lord in our behalf.

There are three elements within this prayer that should claim our attention.

I. He Prayed Concerning our Being Part of the Family of God

A. The Ground of our Unity

Note Verses 20-21 and you can see His desire for us to be unified. The ground on which we must unify is that of believing in Jesus and his message. Christ is all in all to a Christian. Jesus prayed that all who are saved would be in Him and in the Father. We are unified through the work of Christ in our hearts and lives. All saved persons are ONE in God!

This does not mean we will all go to the same church, nor does this mean we will interpret every passage in the Bible exactly the same way. It does not mean that we will agree on every church decision or every issue in our families. What it does state clearly is that we are one family united in Christ. We are to act like a family through love, forgiveness, assistance and joy!

B. The Glory of our Unity

Verse 22 shares the fact that there is a glory in our unity. It reads, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.” Wow! The glory Jesus had and has is ours. I don’t think it is easy for us to grasp the meaning of this. The word “glory” speaks of opinion or judgment of a thing. For example, you may see a movie and say, “Wasn’t that simply glorious?” Your friend may not agree with you and might say, “It was okay, but I didn’t find it to be all that great.” However, if God says something is glorious, it is glorious! Jesus states that He has given us the same glory that the Father in Heaven saw in Him. The opinion God has of Jesus is the opinion that God now has of you. How is that possible? It is true because Jesus has given that glory to you! He shared it with us. Everyone who is saved has this glory within. It is not something we earned or deserve, but rather it is something we have received through faith in Christ.

Some people seek the glory that comes from men. In John 12:43 Jesus pointed out that many people did not believe on Him as the Son of God because they were worried about what others might think of them. In fact, Jesus said that such people seek the glory that comes from man rather than the glory of God. You see, someone here today may be lost simple because he or she does not want to lose their friends. You may fear coming to Christ because of what others may think of your decision. You are seeking the glory of man and not the glory of God. If you will come to Christ, He will give you an everlasting glory – a glory that you can have now and will have forever with the Lord in heaven.

O, what wonder and joy to have the glory of Jesus in and upon our lives. That is what Jesus prayed and what He stated that all believers have.

C. The Grace of our Unity

Verse 23

Through him we have a grace, which is an attractiveness that can draw others to him. Jesus stated that He dwells in believers and that God dwells in Him. Now think about this for a moment. God is in Jesus, and Jesus is in us. He is pointing out the unity of the divine nature within all believers. He prays that we will have unity among ourselves just as the Father is in total unity with Christ and Christ is at total unity with us.

The unity we have is through the grace of God and is not something we actually deserve. We have it because of His love, mercy, and grace. Now take this to the next step. Are we to love each other because we like everything about each other? Certainly not! Personalities are different among Christians. We come from different backgrounds, education levels and have different likes and dislikes. We will not always agree and we will not feel really close to everyone we meet. However, just as the Lord loves us and is in unity with us, we are to love one another. It is an act of grace and not according to our feelings. This, I believe, is one of the greatest shortcomings of the family of God. We accept the fact that God loves us even though we are unlovely, but we don’t want to love people who seem unlovely to us. To love like Jesus loves, we will have to apply grace to others the way Jesus applies grace to us!

Jesus is praying for us now – this very day. Surely, one of the things He prays in our behalf is that we will learn to love each other the way He loves us.

II. He Prayed Concerning our Being a Part of His Future

Many prayers are about the future, for many of us call upon God to intervene in upcoming situations in our lives or in the lives of those we love. It is interesting to note that Jesus prayed for you and for me regarding our future. As Jesus was preparing for the cross that loomed before Him, He was lifting us up to the Father.

A. Where we shall be

Verse 24a

The prayer of Jesus for us is that we be with Him, where He is, in the glorious eons to come! Looking at the prayer of Jesus reveals His heart and soul to us. We note here how deeply He was thinking of us in His time of agony. A few minutes after this prayer, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane with sweat drops as blood dripping from his brow, yet prior to this He is praying for us to enjoy His presence in the Kingdom to come.

Robert McCheyne states that the words of Jesus reveal that heaven would not be heaven to our Lord if we were not with Him. I personally think that Jesus determines to pay the price so that we might join Him in glory and He is praying to the Father as a prelude to His later prayer, “Not my will but thine be done.” In other words, the prayer in John 17:24 is a preparation and commitment to the cross that stretched out before Him in His mind. To gain any victory on a spiritual level, we must determine our resolve before we face the enemy. Daniel, for example, determined in his heart that he was going to be faithful to the God before he faced the trial in Babylon!

We also see here the tender mercies of our Savior. He is thinking of us! All of us wish to have those with us when we come to a pinnacle of success. At a graduation, the entire family is invited. When an award is given, one wishes the family and close friends to be present to share in the victory. Likewise, our Lord desires to have us with Him when He wears the crown of victory in Heaven. What a day that will be! His prayer will definitely be answered in the affirmative, for we shall behold Him. We shall sing in the great choir, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Revelation 5).

B. What we shall see

Verse 24b

What shall we behold once we are with Him in the hour and day to come? We shall see His glory! He came to this earth and lived in poverty. He was born in a manager, trekked off to Egypt to escape Herod, came back to live in Nazareth (a one-horse kind of town) in a carpenter’s home and lived to age thirty with no recognition in this world. When he stepped forth to assume His full purpose, He was attacked by the devil in the wilderness. The leaders of his day tried to stone Him, sought to catch Him in a crime worthy of death and despised Him at every turn. Finally, they arrested Him on false charges, beat Him to within an inch of His life, forced Him to carry His cross up Calvary’s hill, and crucified Him naked in front of a howling mob. How they shamed Him! Then, after His resurrection, He sent His disciples and followers into the world to often be treated the same way. Many have been imprisoned, beaten, and put to death in the name of Jesus. Even in recent days Christians have been beheaded in the Middle East for merely claiming Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Ah, what a day is coming! He will bring us to Himself in His heavenly Kingdom and we shall see His glory and share in it. Oh, my soul, what a glorious day that will be. Jesus wants everyone one us to share in the victory. It takes my breath away to think of what a glorious day will be ours in the not too distant future!

But, let’s look at one more element that was part of His prayer as recorded in our text today…

III. He Prayed Concerning our Knowing the Father

Jesus turns now to pray concerning our knowledge of the Father in heaven. We know that there is only One God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three in One. Yet, Jesus is concerned that we know the Father’s heart. I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up my mother was softer and my father was much more harsh in his manner. Sure, my mother was occasionally the one to discipline me but I never feared her the way I did my father. When she said, “What till your father comes home,” I started to get serious about my behavior. Some today look at God that way. They think of God the Father as some white-haired old man sitting on a seat of authority with a great hammer in His hand. They see Jesus as tender and God the Father as mean. Jesus prays that we will know the Father’s heart. How can we read John 3:16 without understanding the love of God the Father for us! Yet, many still do not grasp the importance of seeing God as a merciful, loving, redeemer.

A. We know Him

Verses 25-26a

Jesus clearly states that “we know Him.” In other words, those of us who are truly redeemed know that God’s love sent His Son to redeem us from our lost condition. We know Him – the Father – when we see the Son whom He sent to us. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” 1 John 3:1. We do not know God because we became “good” enough to be accepted, but because God was loving enough to send His Son to redeem us from a life of rebellion.

B. We can Know Him better

Verse 26b

Yes, we know Him! We know Him in love, grace, kindness, comfort, promises, peace, hope, redemption, joy, service and we shall know Him in eternity all the more! But, what about right now – in the here and now!

Jesus prayed that the love with which the Father loved the Son might be in us. In other words, the desire of Jesus is not that we fix all our attention on the glory to come but that we devote our lives to live out God’s love in this world – right now – right here!

How do we know the Father? Jesus concludes this prayer with these words, … “I in them.” It is Christ in you, the hope of glory! It is Jesus in us that reveals the Father’s love and shows us how to live in this hate-filled world.

Have you noticed lately how much hate is manifested on the Internet? People write things that one might never imagine a person saying, and they do it without a thought. There is much hate, bitterness, strife, and anger in the heart of the worldly person; however, those of us who know Jesus must refrain from such behavior. We must have Christ in us, and we are to project that to the world. Jesus prayed that our hearts be different and that we reflect the love of God that sent Jesus into this world to redeem sinners like us.


It is such an encouragement for someone to say, “I’m praying for you.” To know that prayers are being lifted up in your behalf is comforting. Just think – Jesus prayed for you, as if you were the only one to pray for, He prayed for you. But, that is not all. He is still praying for you. Look at Romans 8:34, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Just now, Jesus is interceding before the Father for you. I don’t know what you are going through, but He does. Furthermore, He cares about you. In 1 Peter 5:7 we read, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” We also read in Hebrews 9:24, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…”

There is someone here today who has never trusted Jesus as your Savior, but I want you to know that He loves you, He died to save you, He rose to justify you, and He is calling your name today. Come to Him! Turn from your own way and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are many here who have been saved for years, thus we must never forget how good our Lord is. How He loves us! How He prayed for us! How He intercedes for us right now. Whatever you have done or whatever you are facing, He is calling you to His side. Come to Him now.

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