How amazing is it to think that Jesus took time to pray for His followers, including us? In John 17, we read Jesus’s prayer—a conversation between Jesus, who is God the Son, and His Father in heaven. Jesus knew that He was going to the cross in a matter of hours, that He would die, rise again, and then ascend into heaven while His followers stayed on earth. He knew they would have struggles. He had seen the darkness this broken world holds, the darkness He came to save us from. And though Jesus promised to be with us always through the Holy Spirit, and to one day come again and make all things new, He knew there would be hardships before He returned.
So, Jesus asked His Father to look out for His followers and protect them after He ascended. Jesus went on to pray not only for the followers who were with Him at the time, but also for us…for those who would someday hear and believe the message His first followers would share.
This chapter hit me differently when I read it recently. I don’t remember knowing that Jesus took the time to pour out His heart regarding us and that He asked for help for us. John 17 shows how much Jesus cares about us. It can encourage us and remind us of how much He loves us. Jesus knew how difficult life could be (Hebrews 4:14-16). He knew that trouble and persecution would come for those who follow Him. He reached out to the Father to ask for help for those people. For us. • Emily Acker
• Have you ever had someone tell you they were praying for you, such as a friend or family member? How did it make you feel? How similar or different does it feel to know that Jesus prayed for you? (In fact, Jesus continues to pray for you. See Hebrews 7:25 and 1 John 2:1.)
• Consider taking some time to read John 17:11-26 slowly and imagine Jesus’s voice praying these words for you. What sticks out to you?
“I [Jesus] am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” John 17:20 (NLT)