What Did Jesus Pray for His Disciples in John 17?

The prayer of Jesus for His disciples in John 17 is one of the most powerful and profound prayers in the Bible. In this prayer, Jesus prays not only for His disciples but also for all believers who would come after them. Let’s dive into the details of what Jesus prayed for his disciples.

The Context of John 17

Before we delve into the specifics of Jesus’ prayer, it’s important to understand the context in which this prayer was made. Jesus knew that His time on earth was coming to an end, and He had just finished delivering His final teachings to His disciples.

As He approached the end of His ministry, He knew that His followers would face many challenges and trials in their mission to spread the Gospel. It was with this awareness that Jesus prayed for them.

Jesus Prayed for Their Unity

One of the main themes of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is unity. He prayed that His disciples would be united in their faith and mission, just as He and the Father were united. In verse 11, Jesus says, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”

Jesus knew that unity among His followers would be critical to their success as they faced persecution and opposition from those who opposed their message. A united front would help them stand firm in their faith and continue spreading the Gospel despite any obstacles they might encounter.

Jesus Prayed for Their Protection

In addition to praying for unity among His disciples, Jesus also prayed for their protection. He knew that they would face many dangers as they carried out their mission to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

In verse 15, Jesus says, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.” This prayer acknowledges the reality of the world’s dangers but also expresses Jesus’ desire for His disciples to be protected from harm.

Jesus Prayed for Their Sanctification

Another important aspect of Jesus’ prayer was His desire for His disciples to be sanctified. Sanctification is the process by which a believer is made holy and set apart for God’s purposes.

In verse 17, Jesus says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” This prayer emphasizes the importance of God’s Word in the process of sanctification. As believers study and apply God’s Word to their lives, they are transformed and made more like Christ.

Jesus Prayed for Their Mission

Finally, Jesus prayed for His disciples’ mission. He knew that they had been called to spread the Gospel throughout the world and make disciples of all nations.

In verse 18, Jesus says, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” This prayer acknowledges that just as Jesus was sent by the Father to carry out His mission on earth, so too were His disciples sent to carry out their own mission.


In John 17, we see a beautiful example of Jesus’ love and concern for His disciples. He prayed for their unity, protection, sanctification, and mission.

These prayers are just as relevant today as they were when Jesus first prayed them. As we seek to follow Christ and carry out our own mission in this world, let us take comfort in knowing that our Lord has already prayed for us and continues to intercede on our behalf before the Father.