"Tychicus will tell you everything." Ephesians 6:21

March 29th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Jesus four prayer requests

Are you familiar with the four requests Jesus prayed in John 17?  This longest recorded prayer of Jesus not only lets us know what was on His heart during His last hours, it also shows what can and should be on our hearts as well.  These requests were so important to Him that He prayed each on twice.  His prayer can become our prayer.  Let’s look at each of these requests.

  • Glorify Your Son (V. 1 & 5)

The Old Testament word for “glory” is also translated as “weighty” or “heavy.”  Perhaps the hippies of the 60’s had it right after all.  When they would see or hear something very impressive, they would say, “heavy, man!”  That really does capture the idea behind this word.  Glory is that part of God that, when we see or hear it, causes us to be impressed!  The New Testament word for “glory” comes from the same word as “to think or consider.”  Glory is that part of God, that when we see or hear it, it causes us to stop and think more about it/Him.

When Jesus prayed that the Father would glorify the Son, He was asking that God would let people see and hear truths about Jesus that would cause them to be impressed and cause them to stop and think more about Him.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, in this situation right here, right now, let me see and hear more of Jesus.  Let me be more impressed with Him and think more accurately and deeply about who He is and what He has accomplished!”

  • Protect the Saints (V. 11 &5)

Jesus knew that we needed to be protected from the schemes and tricks of the evil one.  Twice in this prayer and in other places He warns us to pray so that he would not have his way in our lives.  In fact, most of the NT authors repeat this thought.  Here it is, plan and simple.  The evil one hates us because he hates God.  If he can, he will hurt us so that he can hurt God.  He plays hard and he does not plan fair.  He is stronger than we are.  If we seek to fight him or flee from him in our own strength, we will fail.  We need help from the One who is greater and stronger than we are.  Since He is in us, we always have access to Him.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, protect me and those under my care from every influence of the evil one.  Let me be aware of his schemes.   Let me be strong enough to recognize I need help beyond myself.  Let me be humble enough to call out to you and trust you to deliver me.”

  • Sanctify the Saints (V. 17& 19)

What was Jesus praying here?  What does “sanctify” mean?  Yes, it means to “be holy.”  But what does that mean?  Yes, it means to “be set apart” but what does that mean?   My favorite way to express the meaning here is “to be distinct or distinguished.”   It means I am “different.”  I am different from what I used to be and I am different from those who do not follow Jesus.  Your Word (not my word) is now the standard for my life.  It is not a list, it is a lifestyle.  It is recognizing that when Jesus changed me, He actually did change me.  I now live differently than I used to live.  My thoughts, my motives, my attitudes, my words, my actions, everything about me is now different.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, sanctify me and the other believers around me.  Let me, and us, no longer be conformed to our words, but rather to Your Word.  Bring all of who I am into conformity with Your Son.  Don’t let the way I used to live be the standard for me today.  Don’t let the way others live be my standard.  Let the character and the nature of Jesus be my standard for living.

  • Unite the Saints (V. 21 & 23)

Jesus cared passionately about the unity of His Body.  His last request in this prayer was for those of us who would believe in Him through His earthly apostles would be united.  And the standard of our unity is not that we would attend the same meeting or sing the same songs.  His standard for our unity was and is the unity of the Trinity: the unity He and His Father enjoyed.  This is a unity that leads with love and true transparency, stirs in great mutual respect and appreciation for the differenced of others, and ends with a full agreement and commitment of the mission.

And this unity is not without clear purpose.  There are two “so thats” of this unity.  He wants people to see our unity so that they would believe that He really did come from the Father and that those who don’t know Him yet would believe that the Father loves them as much as He loves His Son.

What a great prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, we agree with Jesus’ prayer.  Let those of us who believe in You be one with one another.  Our unity matters to You and it matters to those around us.  So, let us know one another.  Let us love one another.  Let us like one another.  And let us know we need one another.  As we are committed to You and Your mission, let us walk in good relationship with all others who are committed to do the same.”

These four requests were important enough for Jesus to pray at a critical point in His life.  May they also be important enough for us to pray on a regular basis.

Thank you, Tychicus

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