The first in the “greatest prayer ever prayed” series of messages.
The first three Gospel’s reliably inform us that Jesus prayed (Mark 1 v 35 & Luke 6 v 12); but apart from the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11 v 2 – 4) and his prayer in Gethsemane (Matthew 26 v 36 – 46) we are ignorant of the content of Jesus’ prayers. That is until the fourth Gospel comes to our rescue by recording the content of three prayers, the first two being found in (John 11 v 41 – 42 & John 12 v 27 – 28) and the third one (John 17) we shall now consider in some detail.
Where was it prayed? (It’s PLACE.)
- In the upper room following the last supper (John 13 – 16.)
- On route to Gethsemane.
- In the garden itself.
Why was it prayed? (It’s PURPOSE.)
- To help Jesus ready himself for the cross (Hebrews 12 v 2.)
- To encourage the disciples as they listened in.
- To encourage the future church.
What makes the prayer so great? (It’s PROMINANCE.)
A – The PERSON who prayed it – None other than Jesus Christ the eternal Son, a primary emphasis in the fourth Gospel (John 20 v 31.)
B – The PREDICAMENT surrounding it – Prior to the agonies of Calvary and the cup of shame and pain.
C – The PETITIONS within it – Jesus prayed for himself (v 1 – 5); for his disciples (v 6 – 19); and for the church (v 20 – 26.)
It is prayed looking heavenwards, but it is not a standalone prayer; being linked instead to the so called “farewell discourse” (John 14 – 16) given by Jesus to his disciples in the upper room, with the opening petition being – “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”
Apart from on one occasion (Matthew 27 v 46) Jesus always referred to God as Father (see v 11 & 25) signifying an intimate and personal relationship.
Challenge – Are you praying to a heavenly Father?
“The time has come.”
The time or the hour is often referred to in John’s Gospel initially to signify that the appointed time for the death, resurrection, ascension and coronation of Jesus had not yet arrived (2 v 4; 7 v 30; 8 v 20); then later to underline that the time had now arrived (12 v 23 & 13 v 1) to coincide with the Father’s divinely appointed time table.
Challenge – When you pray are you seeking to know and implement the will of God?
“Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”
The word “glorify,” in this the first petition of the prayer, means to “clothe in splendour.” The Father glorifies the Son by reversing the self emptying (Philippians 2 v 7) that took place in his incarnation and returning to him the glory and splendour that he enjoyed with the Father before the creation of the world; while the Son glorifies the Father through his obedient suffering and death on a cross (John 13 v 31 – 32.)
Challenge – When you pray is God’s glory your primary concern?
Theme: “The primary concern of all prayer”
Reading: John 17 v 1 – 5
Led by: Chris Hughes
Preacher: Chris Hughes