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John 17 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

THE LONG PRAYER: This year we've really been focusing on praying using the Triple A prayer pattern because so many Biblical prayers, especially the Lord's Prayer, fit that pattern. For most of us, it's hard to pray really long prayers without our mind wandering off, so thankfully most of the prayers in the Bible are actually quite short. The way to fulfill the Biblical command to 'pray continually' then isn't to pray long, flowery prayers with lots of big words, but rather to constantly be praying short prayers.

Today's chapter is a perfect example of how Jesus' fairly long prayer is really three short prayers following the same pattern He set in the Lord's Prayer:

Prayer to share in God's Glory (v1-5)

  • JESUS ACKNOWLEDGES WHO GOD IS: God is the one who granted Jesus the authority to give eternal life to those whom God has chosen (v2)

  • JESUS ALIGNS HIS LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Jesus has finished the work God gave Him to do (v4)

  • JESUS ASKS FOR WHAT HE NEEDS: He asks to be glorified in God's presence (v5)

Prayer for Jesus' disciples (v6-19)

  • JESUS ACKNOWLEDGES WHO GOD IS: His Father is holy (v11), the one who sent Jesus to save (v8, 18), whose name is power (v12), who gave His elect to Jesus to save (v9)

  • JESUS ALIGNS HIS LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Jesus once again states He's done what the Father asked of Him (Jesus is the only person qualified to use past tense verbs in the 'align' section) - v6, 8, 12, 14, 18

  • JESUS ASKS FOR WHAT HE NEEDS: Jesus prays for blessing on those He's sent out into the world, that they will be protected from evil (v15)

Prayer for all believers (v20-25)

  • JESUS ACKNOWLEDGES WHO GOD IS: God is the one who gave Jesus glory (v22) and who loves believers in the same way He loves His Son (v23).

  • JESUS ALIGNS HIS LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Jesus has made God and His glory known to those who believe (v26)

  • JESUS ASKS FOR WHAT HE NEEDS: That all believers will share the same unity that the Father and the Son share (v21, 24)

OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: The Psalmist prayed a very similar prayer to Jesus' in Psalm 119:153-160.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In His prayer in this chapter, what names does Jesus use to address God? (See verses 1, 11, and 25.)

  2. From what you see in this prayer of Jesus, which one of the following words do you think best describes what the world is like: a prison; a mountain; a battleground; or a trail?

Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

Now it's your turn. Get in the habit of continually praying short, focused prayers all throughout the day.


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