The Lord’s Personal Prayer for His Believers
John 17:6 “I have manifested Thy name unto the men Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me; and they have kept Thy word.”
They were still in the upper room where they had the Last Supper.
Before they left to go to Gethsemane, Jesus “lifted up His eyes” and prayed to the Father for these gathered here.
He prays for them to be “kept” (How much we need this; we are so weak and helpless against sin, self, the malice and temptations of the world, and the devil.):
First, they would be kept through the word that He had spoken to them when He was on earth.
John 17:8 “For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I have come out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.”
Notice that they had “received” it. This is truly an amazing statement about these unlearned men.
Thousands had heard Jesus. But these men had received the words and message that He had given.
They received that He was the Son of God (Matthew 16:15–17).
They received the call that He gave them: Peter, Andrew, James and John from fishing boats; Matthew from collecting taxes; others from the lives they were living.
They received His corrections for their unbelief in the storm (Luke 8:23-25), and when they sought prestige (Mark 10:35-37).
They had received His Words and by these Words of knowledge and guidance, they could be kept safe; when Jesus went back to heaven.
Second, they would be “kept” by God’s Name.
John 17:11 “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given to Me, that they may be as one, as we are.”
When we are said to be under the Name of God, that means that He has declared that we are His, and by His authority, we are under His protection.
“That they may be one, as we are.”
That we may be one with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; in love.
John 17:26 “And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
What stronger band, surrounding us in strength, can we have, then that of love?
And that is the band that Jesus prayed to the Father that they have. God’s band of love would keep them.
Praise God, Jesus did not leave us out of this prayer:
John 17:20 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word;”
He prayed for all who would believe the word that was preached and written by these disciples.
He prayed for us.
Next, Jesus would go to Gethsemane, and pray for Himself : “Father, not my will, but Thine be done.” That He might finish the work. And He did, “It is finished.”
And it was: His atonement for all who come to Him.
But, first He prayed for those who believed in Him. What a Savior we have!