“I am praying for them.” John 17:9 ESV
We should pray for our friends. As we bring their needs to the throne, let us imitate Jesus’ prayer for His friends in John 17.
- Jesus reminds the Father of their obedience. Despite the disciples’ behaviour – they quarrelled, would not keep watch in prayer – He does not list out their faults. Faultfinding is the accuser’s job. Instead He reminds the Father of their faith and obedience. “Father, they have trusted in Jesus and obeyed His word. Remember them in Your mercy.”
- He prays for their protection. How much we all need this prayer! As Christians, the enemy wants to destroy us. He tries to make us fall away. The attack is relentless; but Jesus has shown us a way out. Simply pray: “Father, protect us by the power of Your name. Keep us safe from the evil one and help us not to give in to temptation.”
- He prays for their unity. When we are united, then we are strong. When the enemy sees the love between us, he trembles, for he sees an unshakable army. No wonder his agents work overtime to sow discord. So let us join Jesus each day in this heartfelt cry: “O Father may we be one, as Jesus is one with You. Help us to love and serve each other.”
- Jesus prays for them to be made holy. Each day our friends go out to face the corruption in the world; so we must pray for them to remain untainted. Jesus shows us that His truth sanctifies us. Pray then: “Father, please help us and them to be separate from this world. Keep us pure and holy in the truth of Jesus Christ.”
- He prays for them to remain in Him and see His glory. Stephen the first Christian martyr, as he was being stoned, looked up and cried: “I see heaven open and the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:56) His last prayer, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”, was identical to Christ’s. Seeing the glory of the Risen Christ spurs us on to love others and make sacrifices. So let us pray: “May our friends remain in Jesus and see His glory!”