After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.” (John 17:1)
Relate: Usually, when Jesus prays, it is a very private thing. Occasionally in the gospels we have glimpses of very short prayers. Two such examples are when He was about to feed the five thousand and right before the raising of Lazarus. Far more often we only hear of Jesus being alone when He is praying. Even if He brings a disciple or the three along, as He soon will at the Mount of Olives and as He did at the Mount of Transfiguration, He still separates Himself from them a bit and His prayer time is a very private matter. We don’t know what He is usually praying on the many, many times in scripture He is getting alone to pray. Even at the Mount of Olives we get only a glimpse or a summary of His prayer.
The first of two notable exceptions to this are what we call The Lord’s Prayer. It would actually be better named the teaching prayer. It is a tool and an example of how to pray on so many different levels it is staggering. On a literary level alone it is the greatest recorded prayer in human history. The other exception is His benediction here. This prayer would be more aptly named the Lord’s Prayer because it is not just a model for others to use but rather a genuine, heartfelt prayer that we have from Jesus to the Father. It is the only prayer we have of its kind and in it, He is praying for you and for me.
React: If you haven’t done so yet I would encourage you to hop over to John 17 and read this prayer in its entirety. In fact, as I’m writing and we’re reading out of this prayer over the next week or two, I would encourage you to do so daily. What are some thoughts and observations you have as you read through it? What jumps out at you? What are some things you saw that you could use in your own prayer time?
I have my own observations and I’m sure a few of them will be woven in to what I write as we dig deeper into the Lord’s Benediction, but I would love to hear from you. What are your initial thoughts? What are some points or verses you would most like to see highlighted?
God, I am so thankful that You didn’t just leave us with an instructional prayer but also that You modeled intercession both through Your lifestyle and through this Benediction as well. I confess that I am not coming to You, spending time with You nearly as often as I should. Help me to find myself seeking You through prayer far more than I have been. Give me a passion, a longing to be a man of intercession. Help me to live out a life of continual prayer just as You have done so before me.