To lead a life pleasing Christ our Lord we need to know what he expects from us. For this we need to look at his prayers for his disciples.
Prayers are expressions of our hopes and aspirations. This is true of Jesus Christ as well. John 17 records the lengthiest prayer of Jesus, which is also known as his high priestly prayer. In this passage, Jesus prays for himself (verses 1-5), for his disciples whom he is going to leave behind (6-19) and then for those who will believe in Jesus through the ministry of his disciples (20-26).
This model prayer reveals two important aspects of the life of his followers that Jesus was concerned with.
First, Jesus prays for our security. In his prayer for the disciples (verses 6—19), Jesus used the word “protect” three times (17:11, 12, 15). He is concerned about the safety of his disciples. They are in a hostile world (16:33) who oppose the gospel. This truth that my security is the prime concern of Jesus brings a lot of comfort, especially to those who are facing opposition in their life and ministry. Empowered by this assurance Christ-followers venture in to the dangerous, the risky and the near impossible tasks.
Second, Jesus wants us to be sanctified by God (17:17—19). Sanctification is setting apart ordinary things for God’s exclusive use. For example, the sanctified vessels of the tabernacle that are taken from a larger lot of vessels but chosen for use in God’s temple. They are considered sanctified since they are now owned by God and used by God. Jesus prays that his disciples are fully set apart for God’s use and owned by Him. Whether they serve Christ in the church, the parachurch, or in any secular field, all Christ-followers need to be aware that they are belong to Christ and serves his purposes in their engagement. Christ has lent us to the places of our work. This demands that we need to conduct in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:27).
Christ is looking for strong, sanctified lives who live fully surrendered to him.