The Lord’s Prayer…
“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed.”
— James Montgomery
The real “Lord’s Prayer” is not found in the synoptic Gospels but here in the seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel.
It is offered from the wide and loving expanse of the Lord’s heart.
The prayer focuses on a series of relationships that provide a beautiful picture of how God expects His people to live.
The capstone of this prayer lies before us now, as we listen to what one member of the Trinity says to another about what it is like to live “in the world.”
(Wuest An Expanded Translation)
1 These things spoke Jesus, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son in order that the Son may glorify you,
2 even as you gave to Him authority over all flesh, in order that all that you have given Him as a permanent gift, He should give to them life eternal.
3 And this is the eternal life, namely, THAT THEY MIGHT BE HAVING AN EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF YOU, the only genuine God, and of Him whom you sent on a mission, Jesus Christ.
4 I glorified you on the earth, having carried through to completion that which you have given me to do.
5 And now glorify me, Father, beside yourself, with the glory which I was constantly having with you before the universe existed.
6 I made known your Name to the men whom you gave me out of the world.
They were yours, and you gave them to me, and your word they have held to firmly.
7 Now, they have known that all things, as many as you have given to me are from you,
8 because the words which you gave me, I have given them, and they themselves received them and recognized truly that from your presence I came forth, and they believed that you sent me on a mission.
9 As for myself, I make request concerning them. Not concerning the world do I make request, but concerning those whom you have given me, because they are yours,
10 and all things that are mine are yours, and the things that are yours are mine, and I stand glorified in them.
11 And as for myself, no longer am I in the world, but they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to you.
O holy Father, maintain a watchful care over them in your Name, which you have given me, in order that they may be one even as we.
12 When I was with them, I constantly maintained a watchful care over them in your Name, those whom you have given me, and I guarded them, and no one of them was lost except the son of perdition in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now to you I am coming, and these things I am speaking in the world in order that they may be constantly having the joy which is mine, which joy having been filled full may exist in the state of fullness in themselves.
14 I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world.
15 I do not ask that you should take them out of the world, but that you should guard them safely from the reach of the Pernicious One.
16 Of the world they are not, even as I am not of the world.
17 Consecrate them in the sphere of the truth.
The word which is yours is truth.
18 Even as me you sent off on a mission into the world, so I sent off them on a mission into the world.
19 And on behalf of them I am setting myself apart, in order that they themselves also, having been set apart for God in the sphere of the truth, may continually be in that state of consecration.
20 But not concerning these only am I making request, but also concerning those who believe on me through their word,
21 in order that all might be one, even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, in order that they themselves also might be in us, to the end that the world may be believing that you sent me on a mission.
22 And as for myself, the glory which you have given me, I have given them, in order that they might be one even as we are one,
23 I in them and you in me, in order that they, having been brought to the state of completeness with respect to oneness, may persist in that state of completeness, to the end that the world might be understanding that you sent me on a mission and that you loved them even as you loved me.
24 Father, that which you have given me as a permanent gift, I desire that where I am, also those might be with me, in order that they might be continually beholding the glory which is mine, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the universe.
25 O, righteous Father, though the world did not know you, yet I knew you, and these knew that you sent me on a mission.
26 And I made known to them your Name, and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me might be in them and I might be in them.
A Mother’s Prayer
Kenneth Gangel recalls as a child how he would be lying in bed at night, listening to his mother praying aloud in the next room.
Along with the prayers he could also hear at times the curses and anger of his atheistic father, who tried to interrupt her communication with God.
He says, “I always felt on those occasions that I should not be able to listen, since prayer is a private and sacred domain one ought to maintain in secret.”
It does not seem right to be able to listen to your mother praying, especially when she is praying for you.
Yet that is precisely the type of experience every Christian can have when reading the seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel.
Here, of course, it is not a mother but the Son of God praying aloud, praying for the record.
And not only for the benefit of His disciples, who may have been within earshot, but also for every reader of the New Testament right up to the present time.
The Lord was just hours from the cross.
A final evening of instruction began in the upper room at mealtime, and Jesus had explained to His disciples all the matters recorded in chapters 13-16 of this Gospel.
Foremost among the themes of the evening had been an emphasis on the coming of the Holy Spirit and the continuing relationship the disciples would have with their Lord, even though he would be in heaven while they would extend his work on earth.
These five chapters of John (chapters 13-17) are a golden repository of truth to which Christians have come for guidance and blessing for almost two thousand years.
In Jesus’ moment of grief as well as triumph, our Lord turned His eyes from earth to heaven and asked the God of the universe to heed His petitions on the authority of His relationship to His Father.
One of Jesus’ current ministries in heaven is to pray for us, and we may sometimes wonder what He says.
Certainly there would be some difference between His current advocacy and what we find in this chapter, but John provided some general clues about matters that concern the Lord about the life of believers on earth.
Max Lucado’s Life Lessons…
This is the longest prayer of Jesus recorded in the Bible.
It marked the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry but looked forward to the ongoing ministry of the immediate and future disciples.
Prayer was an important aspect of Jesus’ ministry.
Whenever a strategic time approached, Jesus spent time in prayer.
The world is a battleground. Constant spiritual and physical warfare wages between the forces of God and Satan.
Jesus prayed that God would keep His people pure, give them abundant joy, give them peace and unity, and protect them from Satan’s power.
“Immanuel” – the name appears in the same Hebrew form as it did two thousand years ago.
“Immanu” means “with us.” “El” refers to Elohim, or God.
Not an “above us God” or a “some-where in the neighborhood God.”
He came as the “with us God.”
God with us. Not “God with the rich” or “God with the religious.”
But God with us. All of us.
Russians, Germans, Buddhists, Mormons, truck drivers and taxi drivers, librarians.
God with us. God with us. Don’t we love the word “with”?
“Will you go with me?” we ask. “To the store, to the hospital, through my life?”
God says He will. “I am with you always,”
Jesus said before He ascended to heaven, “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Search for restrictions on the promise; you’ll find none.
You won’t find “I’ll be with you if you behave . . . when you believe.
I’ll be with you on Sundays in worship . . . at mass.” No, none of that.
There’s no withholding tax on God’s “with” promise.
He is with us. God is with us. Prophets weren’t enough.
Apostles wouldn’t do. Angels won’t suffice.
God sent more than miracles and messages.
He sent himself; He sent His Son. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). (From Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado)
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Come join the Adventure!