There have been many great prayers prayed by many great men. Notable supplications have been made by Solomon (1 King 8), Abraham (Gen. 18), and Moses (Exodus 32).
Naturally, the all-time greatest prayer was made by Jesus Christ, Himself.
You might be thinking of the prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4. You know, the one that starts out with: “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy Name…” That’s the one commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” However, a more accurate title might be “The Apostle’s Prayer” seeing as it was the prayer Jesus gave the apostles when they asked how they should pray.
I am talking about Jesus’ prayer in John 17. This one is sometimes called, “The High Priestly Prayer.” Take a second to look it up and read it today. I’m not going to quote the whole prayer here, but I will give you a quick outline.
Jesus “lifted up His eyes.” We tend to bow our heads and close our eyes, don’t we? Whether we lift or bow our head doesn’t matter as long as we are praying with humility, praise, and love. Customs are not essential. A right heart is.
First, Jesus prays for Himself. Do you pray for yourself? I know, it may seem selfish. But it’s OK to pray for yourself. Jesus did. But notice that He prayed for Himself so that the Father would be glorified. If we are petitioning God for ourselves with the end result being the glorification of God, then by all means, pray for yourself!
Second, Jesus prays for His disciples. He taught them all that He could and now He commits them to His Father. Often we are hard on the Apostles, but here Jesus gives His assessment. “They have kept Your word, they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You and they believed that You sent Me. I have been glorified in them.” Not too bad. I hope Jesus can say the same about me!
Third, Jesus prays for YOU. Say what now?! Me? How is that? He extends that scope of His prayer to all who would come to faith by the testimony of these disciples. That would include you and me! It’s pretty cool to think that Jesus prayed for us specifically.
There is a common thread throughout this prayer. Did you notice it? Oneness. “That they all me be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” Jesus prays that every race of every social class of every language would be united. We are to be equally unified just as the Trinity is equally unified. We do this not just for our benefit, but also so the world may believe in Jesus. If we are always fighting among ourselves, how can we be one? The world is watching.
Finally, Jesus ends His prayer in triumphant love. “That the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus and His Love lives in every believer. We serve a living God. We serve a loving God.
Simple. Beautiful. Perfect.
May God’s Love be with you