“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me;  for they are Thine” – John 17:9

The prayer of the believer’s High Priest is like all His redeeming work, effectual, particular and satisfying to God.  The intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of His people is always according to the perfect will of God (John 4:34).  Therefore, everything that He prays for shall be accomplished (Isa.46:9-12).  Here are at least six things that He prays for every believer.  This ought to encourage us greatly.

1) He prays for our preservation: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (v.11).  There is absolutely no possibility that one of His elect will ever perish (John 6:37-39; John 10:27-30).  His covenant (2 Sam.23:5), His word (Jas.1:18) and His atonement (Heb.9:12, 26) are certain guarantees to our complete and everlasting salvation (1 Pet 1:5). 

2) He prays for our jubilation; “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (v.13).  Every believer has abundant reasons to always rejoice in the Lord (Phil.3:3).  But mainly it is in this, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  He is made unto us all that we need to stand before God accepted (Eph.1:6; 1 Cor.1:30).

3) He prays for our emancipation“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (v.15).  Our Lord has set the believer free from the bondage of sin, the curse of the law, the grasp of the devil and the power of death (Gal.5:1). 

4) He prays for our sanctification“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (v.17, 19).  Our Lord has set Himself apart in the covenant of grace to be the believer’s sanctification, through His sacrifices (Eph.5:25-27; Heb.10:14). 

5) He prays for our unification“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (v.21).  No question that our sin has separated us from God (Isa.59:2).  However, because of the substitutionary work the Lord did for His elect, we shall be reconciled unto God forever (2 Cor.5:17-21). 

6) He prays for our glorification“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (v.24). Every time a believer is taken home this prayer is answered (Ps.116; Rom.8:28-30; Rev.5:9-12). Tom Harding

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