Just before Jesus is arrested, he prays to his Father. His prayer serves as a reminder of how to live God’s way.
As Christians, following is what we know and what we might ask ourselves as we read through his prayer, as noted in my Life Application Study Bible: (FYI, I don’t know why the font changes, bolding where I didn’t bold, the html language does weird things.)
v. 3 – Jesus tells us clearly how to have eternal life – by knowing God the Father himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. Eternal life requires entering into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When we admit our sin and turn away from it, Christ’s love lives in us by the Holy Spirit.
10 – God’s glory is revealed through his character and presence. The lives of Jesus’ disciples reveal his character, and he is present to the world through them. Does my life reveal Jesus’ character and presence?
11 – Jesus was asking that the disciples be united in harmony and love as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united – the strongest of all unions.
14 – The world hates Christians, because Christians’ values differ from the world’s. Because Christ’s followers don’t cooperate with the world by joining in their sin, they are living accusations against immorality. The world follows Satan’s agenda, and Satan is the avowed enemy of Jesus and his people.
17 – We become pure and holy through obeying and believing the Word of God. Daily application purifies our minds and hearts, renews, and guides us.
18 – Jesus didn’t ask God to take believers out of the world but instead to use them in the world. Because Jesus sends us into the world, We should not try to escape from the world, nor should we avoid all relationships with non-Christians. As I am called to be, am I salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and am I doing the work God sends me to do?
20 – Jesus prayed for future believers, including each of us who are followers. He prayed for unity, protection from the evil one (17:15) and holiness (17:17). Knowing that Jesus prayed for us should give us the confidence as we work for his Kingdom.
(Me) – How cool is that?!
In v. 21-23, the theme is unity.
Jesus wanted the disciples to be unified as a powerful witness to the reality of God’s love. Am I helping to unify the body of Christ, the church? We can pray for other Christians, avoid gossip, build others up, work together in humility, give our time and money, exalt Christ, and refuse to get sidetracked arguing over divisive matters.
This unity is based on our unity with him and the Father. We can know unity among ourselves if we are living in union with God. For example, each branch living in union with the vine is united with all other branches doing the same.
As copied from BibleGateway.com (NLT):
1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you[a] to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name;[b] now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me.[c] I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”