This is a sermon my Dad, Jerry Trammell preached on August 15th 2004 at the church he pastored, First Assembly of God, Dumas Texas.
JESUS’ PRAYER FOR HIS OWN
John 17:6-21 NKJV – 6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may 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.
INTRO: There are numerous passages of Scriptures where the Bible records the prayers of Jesus. There can be no doubt but that Jesus was a man of prayer. In fact, I believe that He prayed a lot more than it is recorded in the Word of God. I believe Jesus, while on earth, was a man of constant and continual prayer. And you know it hasn’t changed. Even seated at the right hand of God on the throne of heaven, Jesus is still in constant prayer.
Romans 8:34 – He is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.
Now for a few moments I want us to consider the prayer that Jesus prayed, which is recorded in my text. The prayer prayed in this passage of Scripture is possibly among the most important of the prayers of Jesus that is recorded in the Word of God. In this passage of Scripture, Jesus does not pray for the sick, neither does He pray for the salvation of the lost, He is praying for His own, those who are His followers, and those who will become followers of His. And this is the subject I want to preach on tonight.
1. First of all, Jesus prayed for the keeping of His disciples and those who were followers of Him.
John 17:11 NKJV – Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
Now when Jesus prayed this prayer, I do not believe that He was just praying for His immediate disciples. I believe with all my heart that He was praying for them, as well as all others who would come to know Him in the future.
What was His prayer? Well, according to verse 15 it was so that they might be kept from the evil one. Listen brothers and sisters, the prayers of Jesus I believe are always heard by Almighty God.
If I had someone praying for me, it would certainly be the Lord that I would want to be praying for me. For His prayers are always prayers of faith.
John 11:42 NKJV – I know that You always hear me.
So church we do not have to be afraid of the enemy, or afraid that we will be overcome by the world. All you have to do is commit your way totally unto the Lord, and walk in obedience to Him, and trust in His prayers for you. The prayers of Jesus are still effective toward us. Through every adversity that you face in life, the Lord Jesus Christ is praying to the Father in your behalf. “He is forever making intercession for us.” “He is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.” According to Hebrews, He is our High Priest. And as our High Priest every time we are attacked by the enemy He is praying for us. Every time we are surrounded by difficult circumstances in this world He is praying for us. In fact, even when the enemy isn’t attacking us, and when our circumstances aren’t bad, He is still praying for us. For He is the great High Priest of our souls who forever makes intercession for us who confess Him as Lord and Savior. In fact, Hebrews 3:1 calls Him, “The Apostle and High Priest of our confession.”
2. Jesus not only prays that we will be kept from the evil one, but He also prayed that we might be one.
He was concerned about the unity of those who were following Him.
John 17:11b NKJV – Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
Jesus knew that one of the major difficulties among believers is division. The devil loves to bring division within the household of faith. Because it destroys the testimony of believers when there is division. Division among the church makes the church a laughing stock to unbelievers and the world. Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The devil knows that if he can cause division among believers that he has won a major victory.
Jesus, knowing this, prayed not only for His disciples, but also for all believers that we may be one.
John 17:20-21 NKJV – 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may 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.
Oh Church, let us develop a stronger love and appreciation for one another than we ever have before. And let us be on guard not to allow the enemy to put any animosity in our hearts towards any other child of God, whether they are a part of this church or another church.
There must be unity in the household of faith. There must be a oneness among believers even as there is between the Father and the Son.
Jesus prayed for us that we could have that oneness; so don’t ever be guilty of rendering His prayer for us as ineffective.
3. He prayed for the joy of His followers.
John 17:13 NKJV – But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
I cannot stress too much the importance of possessing the joy of the Lord. It is that joy that much of our spiritual strength lies.
Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
Oh Church, do not allow the enemy of your soul, or the circumstances of life steal the joy of the Lord out of your heart.
Jesus prayed for you that, “His joy would be fulfilled in us,” and I’m here to tell you the devil, the world, circumstances, nor anyone else can rob you of your joy in the Lord. If you lose it, its because you willingly gave it up, because Jesus prayed for you that you would have it.
If you start losing the joy of the Lord in your heart and life, get back into His presence.
Psalm 16:11 NKJV – In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
When the enemy tries to rob you of your joy just keep pressing on.
Psalm 30:5 NKJV – Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Don’t let the devil keep you down. When the devil tries to rob you of your joy, force yourself to begin to rejoice in the things of the Lord instead of wallowing in your feelings.
Psalm 132:9 NKJV – Let the saints shout for joy.
Remember, Jesus prayed that His joy would be fulfilled in us. I believe His prayers are effective, don’t you?
CONCL: The devil cannot overcome the prayers Jesus prayed for you and I. If we fail it is because we have chosen to fail.