When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:1-12.
What we often call The Lord’s Prayer is not really His prayer at all. He was teaching His disciples to pray, and gave them that famous outline that begins, “Our Father, which art in heaven,” (Matthew 6:9). As a boy growing up in the Catholic church, I was usually sentenced to a number of “Our Fathers” to recite, along with some “Hail Mary’s,” an Act of Contrition, and at least one lap around the Stations of the Cross by the priest who heard my equally perfunctory litany of sins since my last confession.
The time of actual prayer, detailed and intimate, contains a number of declarations. There are no questions or requests. It is Jesus speaking the will of God. He already knows the will of God, but He speaks it to invoke it, to make it happen. His prayers are not, “Would you please?” They are more like “Make it so.”
This “High Priestly Prayer,” as it is called, is an example to us. After all, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light,” (1 Peter 2:9). We are here to declare God’s word, to make it so. Let us seek to know how the kingdom works in heaven, so we can invoke it here.