When Jesus spoke of His Church, He spoke of a people and not a building (Matt. 16:18). We are not called to come to church but to be the Church.
In John 17, we get insight into how Jesus prayed for the universal Church and how that applies to each expression of a local church. Our hearts should be comforted by the fact that – of all people – Jesus Christ has prayed for us as a church. The better we understand how Jesus prayed for us, the more we will comprehend how we are to live for Him.
10 Things Jesus Prayed For
- Unity (John 17:11, 20-23) – We glorify our Father when we unite as His children.
- Assurance (John 17:12) – The assurance of my salvation is as steady as the hands that hold it.
- Joy (John 17:13) – Disciples of Jesus who endure are those who follow based on a sense of delight and not drudgery.
- Resistance (John 17:14-16) – Followers of Jesus must learn how to live in the world without being of the world.
- Truth (John 17:17) – The progress of our sanctification is dependent upon our exposure to the Word.
- Mission (John 17:18-19) – We have been changed by the gospel so that we can change others with the gospel.
- Intimacy (John 17:24) – Don’t resort to working for Jesus when you can be working with Jesus.
- Belief (John 17:25) – If our faith is in Jesus, our footing is secure even when the culture is slipping.
- Discipleship (John 17:26) – If there is a true profession of faith, there will be a true progression of faith.
- Love (John 17:26) – It is hard to express the love of Jesus to outsiders if we can’t experience it with insiders.
How are we doing as a church? How are you doing as a part of this church? How should Jesus’ prayer change the way we pray together and work together as a church?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.