Daily Devotions


Day 248


Day 248 – John 17


Jesus spoke in the most positive tone, when He taught His Disciples how to improve their prayer life. Always, He spoke of God as “Father”. Always, He taught His Disciples to exercise great faith in God as One who heard and answered prayer. How would Jesus pray as He entered into the darkest patch of His life? John devoted much time to recording a prayer that Jesus offered. It was fitting that Jesus commenced His public ministry in prayer. It is also as fitting to see Him closing His ministry on a note of prayer.


Whether Jesus broke into spontaneous cry, or offered a deep well-meditated-upon prayer, He would be sure to speak to God as “Father”.

As Jesus stood by the tomb of Lazarus, He breathed a quick word of prayer.

“And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said,
‘FATHER, I thank you that You have heard Me.
And I know that You always hear Me,
But because of the people who are standing by
I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.'”
John 11:41b-42

How close Jesus was to His Father. How precious that relationship of love must have been! Each time He prayed, there was that consciousness and assurance that His Father heard Him. How Jesus must have treasured that relationship.

On another occasion, as Jesus spoke to His Disciples about how they must be prepared to lose their very life for His sake, He offered another spontaneous prayer. A flitting thought traversed His mind, causing His soul to be “troubled” momentarily. Swiftly, He offered a prayer.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?
‘FATHER, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose
I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name.”
John 12:27-28a

On this occasion, God answered just as swiftly, in an audible voice.

“Then a voice came from heaven, saying,
‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.'”
John 12: 28b

Jesus never took for granted His close relationship with His Father. He treasured it. He sustained it. He thrived in that closeness of relationship. In the darkest patch of His life on earth, once again, He called on God, His Father in trusting prayer. John once again, carefully noted how Jesus prayed.

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to
heaven, and said, ‘FATHER, the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
also may glorify You.'”
John 17:1

“Jesus…lifted up His eyes to heaven”

What a beautiful symbolic picture John painted with these words. In a prayer made in public, Jesus lifted up His eyes to Heaven (John 11:41b). In private communion now, He also lifted up His eyes to where His Father dwelt.

He lifted up His eyes to heaven not because His Father was not there beside Him. He lifted up His eyes because He acknowledged who His Father was! He had submitted Himself to His Father’s will and donned flesh. It was His role to submit Himself fully to God. It was His role to acknowledge His lowly position as a Servant (Philippians 2:5-8).

Had He not taught His Disciples to begin their prayers with a consciousness of God in Heaven?

“Our Father in Heaven…”
Matthew 6:9

His Father was indeed in Heaven. Did not the Psalmist write a special poem that reflected His awe as he looked at the heavens?

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork”
Psalm 19:1

The prophet Isaiah described God seated on His throne.

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool…

But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.”
Isaiah 66:1-2

Jesus was correct to the minutest detail – even to the matter of lifting up His eyes to Heaven. Even as He entered into prayer, He stood in loving awe of His Father. He was Father indeed, but He was also the One whose throne is Heaven itself!


How many times had this word fallen from the lips of Jesus? How the mere breathing out of that word brought its own special sense of joy, encouragement and strength. How wonderful it was to know that His Father had said that He would look on those who had “a poor and contrite heart”. The mere breathing of His Father’s Name brought a sense of peace. Thus Jesus began His high-priestly prayer.