What Jesus Prayed

Read: John 17:1-5

Glorify your Son. (v. 1)

I learn best how to pray by hearing mature believers pray. Imagine what the disciples learned from hearing Jesus! They were privileged to hear Jesus’ final prayer before the cross. There is so much to see, but observe three things in today’s verses. First, Jesus begins with “Father.” Of Jesus’ 21 prayers recorded in the gospels, all but one begin with “Father.” God is not some distant king ruling over far-away subjects. The all-powerful creator of the universe reigns as a loving father.

Second, Jesus’ main request is for glory. It may sound egotistical, but glory is God’s chief concern: “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other” (Isa. 42:8). We notice in John 17:2 that by linking his glory and the Father’s, Jesus claims divinity. And by referring to the glory he shared with the Father “before the world existed” (v. 5), he makes it clear that he existed from all eternity. This sounds like John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is God.

Third, Jesus glorifies the Father by giving eternal life to God’s children (v. 2). That is, the Father receives glory by the salvation of sinners like you and me! This is the end for which God created us: that he be praised for all eternity by believers “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Rev. 7:9). This includes us! Thanks be to God! —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, speak to God as Father.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Jesus' Last Prayer