When Did Jesus Pray for His Disciples?

The Background

Jesus Christ is known to have prayed for his disciples on several occasions. However, one of the most significant instances of his prayer for his disciples is recorded in the Gospel of John.

This prayer, often referred to as the High Priestly Prayer, is found in John 17:1-26.

The Context

The High Priestly Prayer was offered by Jesus Christ just before he was betrayed and arrested. He had just finished giving his farewell discourse to his disciples and was preparing to leave them to face his trial and eventual crucifixion. The prayer offers a glimpse into the heart of Jesus as he intercedes with the Father for his disciples’ welfare.

What Did Jesus Pray For

In John 17:6-19, Jesus prays specifically for his disciples and their mission. He prays that they may be protected from the evil one (v. 15), that they may be sanctified by God’s truth (v. 17), and that they may be united in love (v. 23).

Jesus also prays for those who would believe in him through the message of his disciples (v. 20). He asks that they too may be united in love and that they may see God’s glory (v. 22).

The Significance

The High Priestly Prayer is significant because it reveals Jesus’ concern for the welfare of those who would continue his work after he had left them physically. His concern extended beyond their immediate physical safety to their spiritual wellbeing and effectiveness in carrying out their mission.

By praying for them, he demonstrated that he cared deeply about their success and wanted them to fulfill their purpose on earth. The prayer also serves as a model for believers today, reminding us of the importance of intercessory prayer and our responsibility to pray for others.


The High Priestly Prayer is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ love and concern for his disciples. It offers us a glimpse into his heart as he intercedes with the Father on their behalf. As believers, we can learn much from this prayer and be encouraged to pray for one another, knowing that our prayers have the power to change lives and advance God’s kingdom.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • Jesus prayed for his disciples just before he was arrested.
    • The High Priestly Prayer is recorded in John 17:1-26.
    • Jesus prayed specifically for their protection, sanctification, and unity in love.
    • He also prayed for those who would believe through their message.
    • The prayer demonstrates Jesus’ care and concern for his followers’ success in carrying out their mission.