Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:1-5)
Praying For Self
Jesus was facing the cross and the dread of what He was going to do overwhelmed His spirit. As He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane he was filled with sorrow and deeply distressed. Judas had left the group to find those who come and take Jesus away to be tried and killed on a cross. There was a lot that was going to happen in the final hours the Son of God would spend on earth and much of this was spent in prayer by the Lord. He told His eleven apostles He would be going away but their hearts should not be troubled. There would be a Helper that would come and comfort the hearts of the disciples leading them in the way of understanding and truth. Much of what Jesus told the eleven did not register as these men could not imagine what would happen in the next few hours. As they made their way to the mount of Olives Jesus offered prayers for the eleven and all those who would believe on Him. Before asking the blessings of His Father upon everyone else Jesus asked for the Father to bless Him. He speaks of the time long before the world was created when the mind of God revealed to the Son the plan to redeem man. His hour had come that had been formulated in eternity. The purpose of His coming was to glorify the Father showing the incredible love and wisdom of the One who formed all things and gave the breath of life to man. Jesus wanted to do everything in His death that would glorify the will of His Father. The reason the Son of God came to earth was to bring salvation to fallen man. All authority would be given to Christ to show men the way, the truth and the life in the Father. Jesus did not come to glorify Himself but to lead men to the Father. Eternal life was found in the knowledge of the great God and Father whom Jesus served as Son. Through the sacrifice of His own body, Jesus offered Himself as the sacrificial lamb and in His blood men would find the redemption of their souls. More than thirty years had passed when Jesus came to earth and now with the shadow of the cross hanging heavy over His heart He acknowledged He had done the will of the Father. Everything they had planned had been carried out save the cross. His work was almost finished. It was time for Jesus to die. He asked His Father for that last measure of courage to endure His final hours on earth to complete the task and finish the work. Jesus prayed for Himself. He needed the blessings of His Father to endure. The Father granted His prayer.
The prayer of Jesus is remarkable for the strength of character it shows in the Son of God seeking the favor of the Father upon Himself. There are many things to pray for and Jesus had talked at length with the eleven about what was going to happen. Whether these men fully grasped the meaning of the hour is doubtful as they could not imagine Jesus would be dead within hours. In the midst of the greatest needs the world would ever know Jesus prays for Himself. He needed strength. His heart was in need of courage. The things He would face were overwhelming to His spirit and He prayed for the Father to bless Him. What must be seen in this prayer is that if Jesus Christ the Son of God saw the need to pray for self; what man among men does not need the same measure? Prayer should involve many things and many people. What is often left out of daily prayer is time spent asking God to bless the important needs of self. It is not seeking a self-centered desire for self-gratification but a realization that everyone needs to spend time asking the Father to bless their personal needs in a personal way. Jesus knew He needed help and He asked His Father to glorify Him by His death. Praying for self has the motivation of giving God the glory and letting others see the glory of God living in them. When a man prays for self to glorify God he is praying a prayer of divine involvement in his life so that others can see Christ living in his life.
Praying for the needs of self shows a reliance on the favor of God to guide the heart, soul and mind of the individual. If Jesus saw the need to pray for Himself there can be no doubt the needs of man are greater. Seeking the blessing of the Lord upon the will of self is imperative to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Son and have courage to face the dark hours of the cross. Prayer is a powerful tool to change the world but it is a very imposing power to change the life of the individual. Never neglect the time to spend time in prayer asking the Father to bless your heart with faith and to do all things that will bring glory to the will of the Lord. Ask the Father to use your life to show others the plan of salvation, the grace of Christian living, the glory of the church and the hope of eternal life. If every child of God prayed for individual blessings from the Father to use their lives to glorify Him there world would be turned upside down. Lift your eyes to heaven and pray the Father, “Glorify your child, that your child may glorify You.”