As part of our sermon series, 40 Days of Prayer for Outreach, I have been studying the prayers of people who interceded for others. I wanted to learn from their examples so that, hopefully, my prayers will become more effective and fruitful. This week, my study took me to John 17:1-26. This passage is sometimes referred to as Jesus’ high priestly prayer, or the true Lord’s Prayer.
In this passage, Jesus prayed for himself (1-5), his disciples (6-19), and future believers (20-26). He prayed that he would glorify God with his life and death (1-5). He prayed his disciples would stay faithful (11b-16) and pursue holiness (17-19). He prayed that future believers would experience unity in the present (21-23) and heaven in the future (24-26). In so doing, Jesus provided a model for intercessory prayer, or how to pray for others.
From his example, I think we can and should pray five requests on behalf of other Christ followers. We should pray that they will:
- Accomplish God’s purpose and bring him glory
- Remain loyal to Christ
- Practice holiness
- Maintain unity
- Look forward to receiving glory in heaven