Learning to Pray for Others Like Jesus Did

Imagine praying effectively like Jesus did! John chapter 17 records for us the longest prayer of Jesus in the Bible. Theologians describe it as the “High Priestly Prayer of Christ.” This is the actual prayer Jesus prayed as He walked from the Upper Room after the Last Supper, on His way out to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, where He would soon be betrayed.

Jesus was acutely aware that His death, resurrection and ascension to the Father meant His followers would be left behind to represent Him and His mission. He prayed that the Father would glorify Him by enabling His followers to do just that. As I considered how Jesus prayed, I was struck at how differently He prayed from the way we typically pray for others, particularly those near to us in the Body of Christ.

There are some things Jesus does not do in this all important prayer.  He doesn’t ask the Father to solve all their problems and dilemmas.  He doesn’t ask Him to fix everything that is broken. He doesn’t ask for God to make His loved ones financially secure or wealthy.  It would not necessarily have been wrong to pray about such things, but He focuses on the things that are most important, the things which ultimately matter most to Him and which should matter most to us as we pray for those dearest to us. What does He pray for?

Jesus prays that His followers:

  • experience the joy of intimacy with God (John 17:3, 13),
  • that they be kept safe from evil influences (John 17:11, 15),
  • that they be kept pure for productive service (John 17:17),
  • that they be of one heart and mind in the family of God (John 17:20-21),
  • and that they experience the presence of Christ and see His glory (John 17:24-26).

Oswald Chambers rightly speaks of intercessory prayer as “the ministry of the interior,” and cautions us against becoming “amateur providences” by dictating to God how He should work in the lives of others. One thing is for certain, we can be as effective in prayer as our Lord, if we pray His petitions for one another in Christ. Indeed, He has promised:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.                            John 14:12-14 NIV

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”  John 15:7 NIV

What would happen if we prayed like Jesus for those near to us, and those not so near to us in Christ? If you can imagine it, let’s do it!

Published by


Ed presently serves as the Lead Pastor of Leesburg Alliance Church, Leesburg, FL. He has had over 30 years of ministry experience, sixteen of them at Greenwoods Community Church in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. More recently he has fulfilled transitional interim assignments for the Alliance Southeast of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Englewood and Spring Hill, Florida. In addition, Ed has had nearly 13 years of experience in the field of geriatric healthcare. His wife, Lynn, is a true partner in ministry, having served Greenwoods Community Church as its Children's Ministry Coordinator for over ten years. She is a decorator, colorist, instructor in furniture painting, and an artist in her own right. For over 20 years she had her own business, Whimsical Brushes, teaching and traveling throughout the Northeast. Ed’s passion and heartfelt prayer remains for genuine revival and awakening in our nation. One of the keys to past workings of God especially in New England has been related to pastors mentoring pastors. God has given Ed a burden to be a mentor pastor, developing leaders for the church in the 21st Century. One way in which he is fulfilling that calling is through Rockbridge Seminary, where he serves as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation. Ed has earned degrees from Cairn University (B.S. 1971), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. 1979), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. 2007). He has published several articles on the Spiritual Heritage of Litchfield County, Connecticut, and led several tours of sites associated with the Village Revivals that spawned the Second Great Awakening in New England. In his spare time, you are likely to find Ed at the piano or pecking out a blog on his blog page https://hiddenarrows.blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s