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Devotion: Praying to the Father

Today in the Word
Read John 17
Praying to the Father

The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13 has been a beloved part of Christian faith and worship for millennia. Many believers pray weekly or even daily, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

John 17 recounts another prayer by Jesus to His Father, this time anticipating His death on the cross, and asking that God’s will be done. Jesus first appealed to His Father directly on His own behalf. He asked that His death would bring glory and honor to God. He was completing the job that the Father had given Him: “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). Now He prayed to be rightfully returned to His former glory.

Next, Jesus turned His attention away from Himself and prayed on behalf of the disciples, whom He loved (vv. 6–11). He asked that God would keep and protect them, even after He was gone from the earth. He commended them for their belief in both Himself and the Father who sent Him. Jesus knew that since they must remain in the world, they would need God’s protection from Satan (v. 15). He asked that God would continue to sanctify them and keep them close (v. 19).

Finally, Jesus extended His prayer to include future Christians. Through Jesus, we too can have unity with God. Jesus looked forward to the day when Christians would be reunited with Him in glory (v. 24).

This is a sobering prayer; Jesus was just moments from His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Yet His concern was not for Himself but for those for whom He would soon die.


Today, follow the example of Jesus and spend time in intercessory prayer on behalf of others. You might have a list of requests from your church or small group. You can mention friends and family members by name, and ask the Lord’s blessing on both your church and political leaders. Finally, pray for those who are sick or in need of salvation.

Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries