Jesus Prays for His Disciples

Open Your Bible

John 17:1-26, John 18:1-27, Jude 1:24-25

My husband’s parents have incredible records of their family trees, with some branches going as far back as the 1600s. I love looking over them. My family hasn’t kept records like that, but we have beautiful stories passed down for generations. And I want to share these stories with my kids so they can know where they came from.

Today’s reading records an event that we can look back on and see the origins of our spiritual family tree. How many people, from Jesus until now, were faithful for us to be Christians today? It’s astounding to consider. 

Think about the person or people who shared the gospel with you. Who shared the gospel with them? And who shared it with those people? And on and on—over continents, across languages and cultures, throughout different eras of history, etc. Jesus’s disciples can trace a chain of faithfulness that goes back to John 17.

In His final discipling moments before going to the cross, Jesus prayed what has been called His High Priestly prayer. He prayed over the disciples who were present, and He prayed over those who were to come. They got to eavesdrop, and so do we.

Jesus prayed that we would be one with Him and the Father, and He prayed for our protection, sanctification, and glorification. And God answered those prayers. That’s why so many have been faithful to the truth. Not solely based on people’s faithfulness but on Christ’s. Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said, “​​If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” Friend, He prayed for you in John 17 and is still praying for you.

He’s the faithful High Priest at the Father’s right hand, who lives to intercede for us even now (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25). And not only is Jesus the perfect High Priest in the order of Melchizedek (not Caiphas), He’s also the perfect sacrifice.

Jesus didn’t pray over bulls, lambs, or goats. He prayed for Himself because He was to be slain for our atonement. He’s the mediator humanity needs and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. We are children through His word because others have kept the Word, just as Jesus prayed. And through us, others will believe the Word of truth, just as Jesus prayed they would.

Are you part of God’s family tree? If so, then give Him glory! The Father has answered the Son’s prayers for you. Dear Christian, glorify Him right where you are because you are the fruit of Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer from over two thousand years ago. And He has promised to keep us from stumbling, able to stand in the presence of His glory without blemish one day (Jude 1:24–25).

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51 thoughts on "Jesus Prays for His Disciples"

  1. Chelsea Wilson says:

    I never understood John 17 like I did in our reading today. I went back and spent extra time reading over this praying, now realizing it was for me. This prayer is a beautiful picture of how we are to be in Christ as He is in the Father. We are not of this World as Jesus is not of this World. Let’s proclaim Jesus from the rooftops so we can see more added to our family tree in Christ!

  2. Rachelle French says:

    This is one of my favorite parts of scripture. Jesus praying I’ve these men that would continue to shape the course of history and seeing his prayer over ME…. It’s emotional for me every time.

  3. Noelle Worm says:

    Thank you!

  4. Claire B says:


  5. Kathy M says:

    I loved Dorothy’s comment about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit having our back. In a particularly rough period of time, I wore my cross near the clasp on my back. I needed the physical reminder of His protection of me.

    @Laurel oh, my, thanks for the reminder as my dad played Jesus Christ Superstar also. Going to listen to that again today. I am looking forward to the memories that will bring.

  6. Natalie Garrido says:


  7. Mary Roberts says:

    Amen and Amen

  8. Jeanie Mclellan says:


  9. Maria Baer says:

    In case you are here trying to figure out where Good Friday’s reading is— it is out of sequence. If you back to the plan overview, it is listed as Day 45. :)

  10. Kylee says:

    God gave me rest reading this tonight. Please pray that I would stay true to God and my beliefs in a world filled with evil. Can’t wait for Easter, he has risen! Let God be glorified!

  11. Rhonda J. says:

    Mercy-I have missed your end of the day comments, hope you are doing ok?!

  12. Tami C says:

    Your comments are all so profound. I am learning so much. I am overcome to think that the prayers Jesus prayed over 2000 years ago apply to us today. I am humbled. It is comforting to know I am never alone.

  13. Alayna P. says:

    I got goosebumps reading Jesus’ prayer in John 17 because, I think for the first time, it really sunk in that Jesus was prayer for me! And he still prays for me. Thank You Jesus ❤️

  14. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Just the thought – Jesus prayed for me. So humbling, and so awesome! May I glorify God in my life – every day. And may I do my part in passing the gospel on to others so they in turn can pass it on, and on, and on.

    Glory to His Name!

  15. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love to think about Jesus praying for me. I pray that I would rest in his prayers of protection, sanctification, and glorification. I love that he is the one keeping me holy and that I don’t have to be in charge of that.

  16. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Thank you Lord! I am so grateful for His story being passed down through the generations so that I too could be part of Jesus’s family tree.

  17. Dorothy says:

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! Beverly’s devotion was…..I don’t have the words….maybe GOD AND CHRIST-INSPIRING. She really said it all in her last paragraph; “Are you part of God’s family tree? If so, then give Him glory! The Father has answered the Son’s prayers for you. Dear Christian, glorify Him right where you are because you are the fruit of Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer from over two thousand years ago. And He has promised to keep us from stumbling, able to stand in the presence of His glory without blemish one day (Jude 1:24–25).”
    So according to my study Bible the other disciple in John 18:15 they believe was John because he knew the high priest. Once again I have found Scripture that somehow I must have previously skimmed over — John 17:11b “Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.” When I read this today I was in tears. To know my Jesus asked God to protect me/us before we were even around —- WOW!!!!
    Be blessed and God, Christ and the Holy Spirit “have your back” don’t forget that sisters.

  18. JMW says:

    My tears are flowing too SEARCHING! He prayed for me…. WOW! Even for me…. And you all prayed for me and my situation at work, so so heartwarming. I can not expres in words How much that means to me. And I wanted to let you know that all your prayers lifted me up. Thank you sweet sweet sisters! I still have to have a difficult conversation with my boss next week so will you keep me in your prayers? So that I can hear Jesus voice over everything and making me see what He wants me to do and say. I’m comforted that Jesus will be there right by my side to help me through it.
    I am praying for you too and are so thankful for you all ♥️

  19. Rhonda J. says:

    Good Morning! Thank you all for the comments Shes! I too was struck of HOW from this prayer forward did it take, generations upon generations for faithful followers to pass on! Are we? So easy to get lost in this world of working and striving to “do” what we think is the next step in life. Must get out of school, must go to college or get a job, must get married (although that seems to go way side today), have kids, have a big house, have two cars, have things….then you get to the last part of your life and say “where did the time go, and why did I put so much importance on things that don’t last eternally”! I, being 54, am already questioning, thankfully, of How I spend my time, my money, my words. How am I feeding into my family, son, and grandkids, AND husband? What do they see when they see me? I thought I would be living large here with our move to SWF, and I am, living large with Jesus as my priority! Just look what He has done for us, and I don’t want to ever forget this.

    Lord, I need thee, Every hour I need thee…
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh Lord, how I need thee.

    (P.S. I have a migraine today, prayers please that it will go away! We only have today and tomorrow left with my grandson! He flies back home tomorrow night!) Rebecca- prayers that your daughter and grandson go to church, if not her, that she allows your grandson to go!! What a special time it is! I sure miss my son being with me on these special Holy Days.

  20. Angela Van Dyke says:

    It just gives me chills to know that Jesus prayed for us all the way back in history before we were even born.

  21. Sarah Ritchie says:

    I love this Allison and am putting it into my journal this morning !

  22. Laurel says:

    Growing up, my father, who was not overtly a Christ follower, frequently played the Jesus Christ Superstar album, which closely follows the events of Holy Week. Now, each Lenten season, I play the album and remember both my earthy father and heavenly Father. I am humbled by those who laid the foundation for my faith and pray that I am a part of another’s faith foundation.

  23. Molly R says:

    I don’t even know where to start this morning! In the best way possible! It’s been a very Psalm 23 morning for me, in that I have been, and am, in such a hard season, but the grace you all have extended me in prayers and encouragement is so humbling. And then to read this morning of a prayer I never remember reading in such an illuminating way that includes me….I feel so truly covered and carried. I broke down in tears thinking of you all interceding for me, and that JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, then and now, is doing that on my behalf. I was overwhelmed at the thought of God literally laying me down in green pastures beside still waters, and OH THE PEACE AND JOY that restored my soul this morning!!!
    And your comments today, especially MARIA BAER, SEARCHING, and SANDI NIETO, I was high-fiving and AMEN-ing you all! What a powerful time of study and devotion this morning as we head into Good Friday and the best weekend ever. I am so so thankful for this faithful community of strangers in the physical sense, but SISTERS IN CHRIST. You all know me, you love me, you lift me up when I call out….in essence, you are Christ to me. What a beautiful testimony and all glory to God that He can orchestrate this unity in our midst, even without the physical fellowship we sometimes think is necessary.
    I am praying for you all as well, that your needs would be seen to, your hearts would be comforted in the many areas that have been mentioned, and that your JOY WILL BE COMPLETE!

  24. Mari V says:

    Jesus prayed for me! It’s almost as if the blinders were removed from my eyes and my heart. He prayed for me. And continues to pray for me.  He loves me so much that he prayed for me. Wow! I’m so thankful for this ministry of SRT, where I’m growing, and learning and part of this beautiful community. I was just talking to someone about this ministry yesterday. I may never meet any of you in person. I look forward to the day that I will when we all are with Jesus! Happy Holy Thursday sweet sisters. I admit, I’m looking forward to the day off tomorrow (and Monday) and enjoying my family.

  25. Sandi Nieto says:

    *goosebumps ❤️

  26. Cheryl Blow says:

    So thankful that Jesus’ prayer included those to come after His earthly ministry. Also, to be reminded that He is ever interceding for us!

  27. Traci Gendron says:

    John 17:20-26. We have a job to do. “May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.” Do others see God in me? Do I behave appropriately to honor God? More and more, yes. It took heartache for me to be willing to openly share my faith, but I willingly do where I didn’t use to.

  28. CMS says:

    I pondered the question posed in the reading “How many people, from Jesus until now, were faithful for us to be Christians today?” I am so thankful for all those that have gone before us and been faithful in their walk with God, leaving a testimony and witness for those around them. I pray I may always be faithful and pass on the love of God to my children and others around me, that they may also know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

  29. Allison Bentley says:

    Jesus knew what was asked of Him and did it well- we know what is asked of us (LoVe one another) and struggle everyday! Lord help us to keep our focus on your command to love so we may reach others for you!

  30. Michelle Patire says:

    @Searching — yes and amen to your prayer. I love how you worded that. We look at what we’ve done instead of what Christ has done to cover that.
    Thank you, also, for praying for me and my youngest sister so often. You are a faithful woman. <3

    It's so good to end this Lenten study with the gospels. It's beautiful to read the communication between the Son and the Father. It helps me in my own prayer time with God, knowing He loves me as He loves the Son. Thank you, Jesus <3

    I have been meditating a lot on the repetition of "joy fulfilled" through these chapters and notice it comes with abiding in Christ and recognizing His love for us. True joy is present in all circumstances from recognizing how deeply we are loved by God. It takes our eyes off circumstance and gives us true vision — Christ. This is something I really need to hear. I have been praying for more joy (and happiness). What is better than fully realizing how loved you are? I want to remember this all the time!!! That way when my circumstances take away happiness, I have a deep joy bubbling inside of me. Reminding me of what is ahead and surfacing as fruit to other people.
    Thankful for all God is teaching us.

  31. Elizabeth McGee says:

    He prayed for us, and wanted us to know he prayed for us ❤️

  32. Candace Smith says:


  33. Allison M says:

    It’s so humbling that Jesus loves us so much that he prayed for us to be one with Him even then.

  34. Libby K says:

    I guess I never looked at that as a personal prayer for me. Thank you, Jesus.

  35. Jeanie Mclellan says:


  36. Cee Gee says:

    SEARCHING, THANK YOU for the prayers! The kids made it back home safely yesterday afternoon! Bless you for praying with me!

    BEVERLY BERRUS – how you have blessed my heart this morning… such a beautiful tribute to our Lord and Savior. Thank you!

  37. Danielle B says:

    I was struck today by how often Jesus said May they be one as we are one. Sadly, the Church is not one often. How can we take these words of Jesus and break down the walls of the churches to be the Church to reach the lost?

  38. Elaine Morgan says:

    I’m so grateful for Jesus today! Thank you Jesus for all you do for me!

  39. Charlene Witherington says:

    The love of our God is immeasurable ✝️

  40. Maria Baer says:

    Oh my goodness—- I honestly do not remember reading this prayer ever. I have read John, but can’t recall reading this. And I’m moved to my core that Jesus, the Son of God, the Highest Priest, prayed for me— for us— thousands of years ago. Thank you Jesus for you prayers!

  41. Aimee D-R says:

    Oh Jesus, what You did for me. For us. What comfort to remember You pray for me still! Amen

  42. Taylor says:

    Thank you Jesus, thank you <3 Thankful to be counted among the family tree of Jesus and thankful for those who poured His love into my heart that I would believe in Him.

    The part of Jesus's prayer that stood out to me that I echo for all of us is I pray that the body of Christ would be unified so we can better disciple non-believers. May we be unified in You, Lord! I pray everyone has a blessed day <3

  43. Carissa Strum says:


  44. Searching says:

    The tears are flowing this morning. These words of Jesus Christ, the one and only son of the one and only Almighty God, include me!

    Especially touched this morning by John 17:20
    “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; …”

    I believe. Thank you, Jesus.

    Praying for the lost and hurting this morning, for those clinging to Christ in the hard times and in the valleys, and for those for whom the lines have fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6) and have taken their eyes off of you, thinking “look what I’ve done”.


  45. Jill Ford says:

    Such a great reminder that Jesus prayed for me and still prays for me. ❤️

  46. Jessie Fehland says:

    Thank you Jesus for this prayer and for continuing to pray for me and my family. ❤️

  47. Erica Christian says:

    Thank you Jesus for praying for me!

  48. Blessed Beth says:

    How comforting there are times we think and feel we are alone, but we aren’t Jesus is always, yes always with us.

  49. Hannah Turner says:

    “He prayed for Himself because He was to be slain for our atonement.” WOW!! Praise the Lord that Jesus carried out the Father’s perfect plan. ❤️

  50. Kelly (NEO) says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus prayed for me then and still prays for me. I’m so thankful for His lavish love and mercy toward me, especiallywhen I can be so easily distracted.

  51. Antoinette Burnett says: