We are clueless on the hour or the day, but death will come for us. But let’s pretend for a moment that we knew the day we were going to die. What would we spend our time doing the night before? I imagine that most of us would gather with the ones that we love. We would want to share memories, express our heart to the people we have surrounded ourselves with, and then we would say goodbye.
However, our one true last act would be to pray. It would be the most intimate, real, and heartfelt prayer we have ever uttered. We wouldn’t hide anything anymore, and for the first time we would lay it all at the feet of our Father in Heaven with our emotions fully displayed.
On the last night of Jesus’ life, he gathered with his disciples, then went to the garden to pray. He prayed for himself to be glorified, then he prayed for his disciples, and then he prayed for us. That’s right. In Jesus’ last night as a free man, on the eve of his crucifixion, in his last prayer, he chose to pray for you and me. We were on his heart in the midst of his darkest hour. Full of emotion, and with sweat drops like blood dripping from his face (Luke 22:44), Jesus looked to Heaven and prayed,
“My prayer is not for them alone [his disciples]. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:20-26)
In this emotional and powerful prayer by Jesus on the eve of His arrest and Crucifixion, we learn three desires he brings before his father on our behalf.
1) That We May Be One
The very nature of Jesus is unity with the Father, and he desires the same for us. Our purpose on this earth is to express that Jesus is the son of God and this can only be accomplished if we understand and recognize what Jesus did. As a result of his crucifixion, we, as believers, will live a life of peace, love, and unity with the Father. Once we receive this new life, our mission is to tell the world, and as a result the world will know that Jesus is the one God sent as a sacrifice to bring all believers back to Himself.
2) That We Behold His Glory
Jesus prays that we will be in heaven with him one day, and that we would behold all of his glory that was given to him by his Father. He also expresses that we get to share in that glory, that he has given us the same glory that God has given him. What an honor that it is to know that we will share the glory of the Lord as we are ushered into his presence for eternity.
3) That We Be Loved By His Father
The Father has always loved us; we see this expressed in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But in this prayer Jesus asks that God will love us the same way in which he loves His son, Jesus. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and The End, The Beloved son of God, The Bread of Life, The Creator of All Things, The Everlasting Father, The Great I AM, and on the last night of his life here on Earth, He prayed for us.