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3-Part Prayer of Jesus in John 17

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


The Bible records Jesus praying 25 different times during His earthly ministry. John 17 is the longest one where Jesus prayed for three distinct groups. The three parts of John 17 are clearly seen by anyone who reads it. In Study Bibles, the divisions are separated so people can see the three parts even more clearly.

The three parts of John 17 are clearly seen by anyone who reads it. Study Bibles show how the three divisions are separated. People can no doubt see the three parts very clearly.

Jesus knew His hour had come so His prayer list included the followings in this order.

  1. He prayed for Himself.
  2. He prayed for His disciples.
  3. He prayed for all believers then and those to come.

This particular prayer spans three tenses. First, Jesus talked to His Father about His past when He prayed for Himself. Then, He prayed for His present day disciples. Finally, He prayed for future believers. In other words, Jesus covered all of God's people in one prayer.

Jesus' Prayer List was one that included those He wanted God to take care of after His departure. He did this without asking for material things or financial blessings for anyone. He prayed for so much more for all.

1. Jesus Prayed for Himself

Jesus' earthly work was coming to an end, and He prayed that His Father would give Him the glory He enjoyed before He gave it all up to become a human. He prayed that He would be glorified to confirm that He had completed His mission for doing what He had come to earth to do.

Jesus prayed for Himself: "Glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you." (John 17:1)


2. Jesus Prayed For His Disciples

Since Jesus would soon be leaving His disciples, He prayed that their needs would be taken care of after His departure. He prayed that they would especially be protected from the evil one because He knew how much they would be hated by the world because Jesus Himself was hated.

Jesus prayed for His disciples to be protected from the evil one. (John 17:15)

3. Jesus Prayed for All Believers

Jesus did not pray for the entire world. Instead, He prayed for all believers and those who would become believers in the future.

He prayed that believers would be united as one in Christ to be an example and proof that Jesus was sent by His Father.

Jesus prayed for all believers: "I pray that all may be one, as you Father, are in me and I in you; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." (John 17:21)

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Isn't it amazing that Jesus didn't pray that believers become successful or to accumulate material gains? Instead, believers were on Jesus' Prayer List because He wants all believers to be ONE. Jesus' prayed for complete unity among all believers.


Jesus' Prayer

Jesus prayed for Himself first, then for His disciples with him at the time and lastly for believers tp come.

Who Jesus Prayed ForScriptureWhat Jesus PrayedScripture


John 17:1-5

For God to glorify Him

John 17:5

His Disciples

John 17:6-19

Protection from evil one

John 17:15

All Believers

John 17:20-26

That they become one because of the love of God

John 17:26

Life Application

When you think no one has prayed for you, remember you were on Jesus' Prayer List. When you sing the song, "Somebody Prayed for Me," make sure you include a stanza about Jesus praying for you like Dorothy Norwood sang in the video below.

Listen to her sing, "Jesus prayed for me; He had me on His mind. He took the time and prayed for me . . ."

Aren't you glad YOU were on Jesus' Prayer List?

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Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on September 06, 2017:

Thank you for asking about Houston. The land here is very flat, but there are ripples of high and low land. My little neighborhood is mostly high and we were not affected. However the overall damage is enormous.

Houston/Harris county needs to forbid rebuilding in known flood areas such as Addicks and Barker areas as well as near bayous and streams. Turn those areas into green spaces and parks to absorb the water. The Army Corpse of Engineers needs federal funding to rebuild both Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Both reservoirs were built in the 1930's are are in danger of breaking. They are made of dirt. We need to rebuild as mid and high rise apartments and condos to conserve displacement of land.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 06, 2017:

Jay C OBrien, Thanks a lot for reading my article and for your comment. I will check out some of your articles.

By the way, I noticed that you are from Houston, Texas. How are you and your community after Hurricane Harvey?

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on September 06, 2017:

"Jesus did not pray for the entire world. Instead, He prayed for all believers and those who would become believers in the future."

We need to pray for everyone. That is the meaning of, "Love your enemy." For it does not profit you to pray for those who are good to you. Pray for those who use you and are spiteful to you. Those are the people who need it.

My step-father terrorized my mother and me until she divorced him. I was angry with him until I realized mom and me only got the overflow of his PTSD. He suffered from PTSD continually. He was tormented and now I feel sorry for him.

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