We call the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray in the Sermon on the Mount, “The Lord’s Prayer”. However, it is not truly “His” prayer. To be His prayer connotes that He is praying for Himself. Jabez’s Prayer is a very good example of this. Jabez prayed about himself and made his requests to God for the desires of his heart, therefore, that prayer belonged to Jabez and it is called “The Prayer of Jabez.”
The prayer that Jesus taught in The Sermon on the Mount was definitely not about Him. Just the phrase “Forgive us our debts (transgressions or sins) as we forgive our debtors (those who have transgressed or sinned against us)” is definite proof of that. Jesus had no debts or transgressions or sins. The prayer that Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount should more correctly be titled “Our Prayer”. Yes, He taught it to us, however, it is not about Him at all, it is about us and what should be the requested desires of our hearts, and how to pray in love and power to Almighty God our Father.
However, there is a wonderful prayer recorded in John 17 that Jesus prayed. It is beautiful and precious and powerful. I love it. In that prayer He prayed for himself and made His requests to God His Father for the desires of “His” heart.
In the first five verses of that chapter Jesus acknowledges God as His Father and that His (Jesus) power over all flesh and all those that follow Him are both gifts from His Father. The Lord goes on to say that He has glorified His Father and finished the work that His Father gave Him to do and asks His Father to glorify Him with the glory that was His before the world was created.
The Lord then went on to discuss with His Father God about what He had taught His disciples and that they had believed Him and kept God’s word. Again He acknowledged that those who followed Him belonged to His Father first, and it was His Father who had given them to Him and who had given Him all things including the words He taught them.
And then Jesus makes a very important statement to God, a statement that we should meditate on and ask for God to give us clarity concerning. That statement is in verse 9. He said that He did not pray for the world, but for those that God had given Him because they belonged to God. And what God had given Him; He gave back to God with the acknowledgement that they belonged to God and to Him.
Then He made His requests to His Father for the desires of His heart. He knew that He was leaving earth, but that His disciples would still be here. So in this special prayer, He said to God these things:
- Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.
- I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world but,
- Keep them from the evil.
- Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The Lord made the statement more than once that His disciples are not of this world just as He is not of this world. Therefore, the world hates them. And that as God sent Him into the world He sent them into the world. Therefore, He sanctified Himself, being the example as to how to be sanctified, that they might also sanctify themselves through the truth.
Then in verse 20, He made a statement that we should truly rejoice over. He said that He wasn’t just praying for the followers that He already had, but for those who would believe in Him because of the words of those who already believed in Him. Dear ones, that means He also was praying for you and me, for truly it is through the words of scripture, which are His disciples and apostles words that we have come to know and believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, His prayer is very personal and most precious. It is for us, as well as, for those who followed Him when He was here. He prayed that we may all be one, in the love of God, with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and with one another. Through this will the world know that God did send Jesus Christ and does love the Lord’s followers even as He loves the Lord.
The Lord also said that the glory that God had given Him, He has given to those who believe in Him, and that He wants us to be with Him where He is.
Dearest ones, there is so much in this glorious prayer, that there is almost “not room enough to receive it.” But, we must receive it. It is glory. It is unspeakably wonderful. So as you read His Prayer in John 17 (The Lord’s Prayer), from the KJV of the Bible, open up your hearts, your minds and your very souls to receive the glory of all that it is.
The True Lord’s Prayer
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
“Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
“And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
“As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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.
“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
“And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John, Chapter 17)
— Vance Payne