Journey of the Soul – Part 9

John 17:20-26

Journey of the Soul – Part 9

What Jesus Prays for Us

I. A prayer for UNION and COMMUNION. (v.20-23)
A. UNION (unity) is more than AGREEMENT. (v.21; Rom. 12:4-5)
B. Glory GIVEN is the PATHWAY. (v.22; 2 Cor. 3:18)
C. The FRUIT of this is MISSION. (v.21b,23)

The final stage of the Journey of the Soul is called “Transforming Union”. This obviously is what happens when Christ returns, but we can get glimpses of this now as we mature in our spiritual life. This is what Jesus prays for us that night in the garden. It starts with a deeper connection with God and each other.

1. Kid’s question: Who is your best friend? How do you know that someone is your best friend?
2. How would you describe the “glory” of God and what does it mean to you that it is given to us? (v.22)

II. A Prayer for AWARENESS of PRESENCE. (v.24)
B. And a LONGING for future FULFILLMENT. (Rev. 21:3)

Jesus also prays that we would be with Him. He wants us to aware that He is with us each and every second of every day. The presence of the Spirit is God within us. The challenge is often our awareness of what actually is.

3. When have sensed an awareness of God’s presence with you? What was that like?
4. What things do you think might be hindering you from cultivating a growing awareness of God’s constant presence with you?

III. A prayer for KNOWING. (v.25-26)
A. Knowing as a RELATIONAL PROCESS. (v.25-26)
B. When we KNOW, we LOVE. (v.26)

The goal of the spiritual life is knowing. Fully knowing God; Father, Son, and Spirit. As it is with any relationship, it takes time to mature – time to know. But as the knowing deepens, it can’t help but produce love. That’s because God is love.

5. What things do you do to grow human relationships? How do those apply to our relationship with God?
6. If we know God, we love. Is it that simple? Is our lack of love for others a symptom of our lack of knowing who God is?

IV. LIVING into the ANSWER to Jesus prayer. (Mt. 25:23)
A. A process of “DE-THRONING” the SELF. (Mt. 16:24; Phil. 2:3)
B. Making SPACE to develop ATTENTION to presence. (Ps. 46:10)
C. CULTIVATING a LONGING for what isn’t yet. (Lk. 18:41; Ps. 42:1-2)

This is a challenging text to provide application for, but I think it helps if we realize that Jesus is praying for us to grow in our relationship with God. So if we look at what we need to do to develop any relationship, that can provide some guidance in how to move forward with applying this text to our lives.

  1. What areas do you find it hardest to “de-throne” the self in your own life? What steps can you take to move forward in one of those areas?
  2. What are some ways you could “cultivate a longing” to know God in a deeper way? Try to think of some specifics. How does the community of faith help with this?