Jesus' Prayer for the Church
As found in John 17
August 31, 2003
5 Things Jesus Wants for the Church:
- The Word
Filled with joy.
"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them."
Making pure and holy.
"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."
My character revealed through their obedience.
"All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them."
Same objectives as myself.
"As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world."
"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.""
Their unity mimics the unity I and the Father have.
"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-- the name you gave me-- so that they may be one as we are one."
"that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
- Effect on Outsiders
Their unity causes outsiders to realize that the Father sent Me and loves them.
"I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
People believe in Me because of their testimonies.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,"
The people know the Father's love.
"I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
They look forward to seeing my glory.
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
The evil one poses no threat to these people.
"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."
What About Me, What About Now?
Our role in the answers to Jesus' prayer
Measure my steps:
Does my stance result in godliness?
"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."
2 Tim 2:23-26(NIV)
Reassess my purpose:
Who am I in this for?
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Who do people say I am?:
Do others see the Father's love in me?
"He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."
1 Tim 3:7(NIV)
Mark my calendar:
Is Sunday my only "God time"?
"Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
1 Tim 4:7-8(NIV)
Back my team:
Am I a peacemaker or a troublemaker?
"There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."
Prov 6:16, 19(NIV)