John 17:9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.”
John 17:20 “I do not pray for those alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.”
John 17 is sometimes called the High Priestly Prayer. Jesus prayed these words for His disciples during their last moments together in the upper room.
Jesus knew He would shortly be taken, placed under arrest, and that death would come soon. But in these last hours He prayed for His friends. His focus was on their well-being. He prayed specifically for them. Read the account in John 17. He prayed these things not only for the disciples, but for those to come who would believe in Christ through their word.
Jesus showed by His example the path of the intercessor. His prayer was for others. His thoughts were focused on their needs, their well-being. He was aware of the problems, heartache, and difficulties they were to face. The full record of the prayer shows Jesus’ relationship and understanding of the difficulties His friends would endure. To use the language of today, “He feels their pain!”
This is the prayer of the intercessor. It is a prayer that comes from deep within your soul; it is a prayer that is fervent, not lightly offered to God. Be assured dear Christian, God listens to prayers offered as intercession for others. The life of Christ was lived as an offering for others. His death was the ultimate sacrifice for others.
The prayer of intercession is for others. In this prayer you assume a greater kinship with your Lord than at any other place. There are many righteous acts; giving, Bible study, kind deeds, teaching, and even preaching. All that is good, but the prayer of intercession, seen only by God with no benefit for self, yet carrying the weight of others’ pain, this prayer is very close to the heart of God.
You are close to Christ when you intercede for others. Are others on your heart today?