30 Oct 2012
As we carefully consider prayer in the New Testament, Jesus gives us two primary instructions. First when His disciples ask Him to teach them to pray. The second is at the core of what we desire to examine together. Please observe the opening of Jesus’ prayer below.
John 17:1-5 (AMP)
1 WHEN JESUS had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You.
2 [Just as] You have granted Him power and authority over all flesh (all humankind), [now glorify Him] so that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.
3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.
4 I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.
5 And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed. (emphasis added)
Considering this entire prayer ( vs 1- 26 ) we see that Jesus prayed for several things. He prayed for His disciple’s permanence, for their pleasure, and for their protection from the son of perdition and for their ministry. (for all those down through the centuries who would believe on Him through their word)
But Jesus had a hard and fast habit, keeping the main thing the main thing. His priority in this prayer was consistent with His earlier instruction as He responded to the disciples request to teach them how to pray. In that context Jesus instructed that the Father was first. His glory and His kingdom and His will are to be considered first.
In this prayer, as in all that Jesus taught, the solitary characteristic concerning the Father that Jesus fixed His focus upon was bringing His Father glory. God’s glory came just before His own glory and Jesus’ glory had its sole purpose in bringing glory to His Father. As needful as His disciples were of prayer, these needs did not sway Jesus from His determination to pray first for the glory of His Father.
When you carefully consider this prayer in its entirety from the perspective of Jesus’ fervor for His Father’s glory, can you find behind Jesus’ requests His zeal for the glory of His Father?
John 17:9-26 (AMP)
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.
10 All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me; and I am glorified in (through) them. [They have done Me honor; in them My glory is achieved.]
11 And [now] I am no more in the world, but these are [still] in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep in Your Name [in the knowledge of Yourself] those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are one].
12 While I was with them, I kept and preserved them in Your Name [in the knowledge and worship of You]. Those You have given Me I guarded and protected, and not one of them has perished or is lost except the son of perdition [Judas Iscariot—the one who is now doomed to destruction, destined to be lost], that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts].
14 I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world.
15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.
18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19 And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.
20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,
21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.
22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:
23 I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
24 Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me] may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
26 I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.
Do you catch the sense of how our humble intimacy and oneness with the Father and with His Son bring glory to God? Did this prayer of Jesus demonstrate to your heart the passion that Jesus has for His Father’s glory?
Do you know why the angels in heaven rejoice exceedingly when one sinner repents and receives Jesus as Lord and Savior? Is it not because one sinner saved brings great glory to God? Do you believe that to pray for revival is to pray for our Father to receive amazing glory? Have you begun to grasp the reality that in order to bring maximum glory to our Father we must humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways?
Oh Father, we urgently ask You to lead usinto a prevailing portion of Jesus’ passion for Your glory. Grant us Father a growing passion for Your glory!