Yahushua’s Prayer for His 'In Covenant' Followers
Written by Diane Bills , Dec 2021

 Many today are aware that Yahushua prayed a prayer to the Father for His disciples when He was here on earth before His crucifixion. But, what many may not be aware of is that Yahushua’s prayer may have also included them. That’s right. Yahushua’s prayer for His disciples ALSO included anyone in the future, which would include me and you and our descendants after us. That is, if we believe in Him by faith and we keep/guard His commandments. Yahushua said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” 

We see a great example of something similar with Moses in Deuteronomy 29:14-15, “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before YHWH our Elohim, and also with him that is not here with us this day…” Those who weren’t there that specific day, but would come into faith in and obedience to YHWH through the words of Moses and the children of Israel (proclamation of the Gospel), would be included in the promise that was made to them that were there that day. Compare this to Yahushua’s prayer. It was for those who were standing there that day, but also included those who would come into faith in and obedience to Him through the proclamation of the Gospel by the disciples. 

Isn’t it exciting to know that our Savior said a prayer for us?! What could be more exciting than knowing that our Savior asked things of the Father on our behalf? Well, KNOWING what he asked the Father on our behalf! John gives the details of what was in Yahushua’s prayer…
John Chapter 17
These words spake Yahushua, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true Elohim, and Yahushua the Messiah, whom thou hast sent. 

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Set-apart Father, keep through thine own name which thou hast given me that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name which thou gavest me, and I have kept them, and not one of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” 

There were 12 specific things that He asked of the Father on our behalf. A closer examination of what they were is listed below:

1. that we would be kept through the Father’s own name
2. that we may be one, just as He and the Father are
3. that we might have His joy fulfilled in us
4. that we should not be taken out of the world
5. that we should be kept from evil
6. that we would be sanctified through the Father’s truth
7. that we may be one with Him and the Father
8. that we may be made perfect
9. that we may be where He is
10. that we may behold His glory
11. that the love wherewith the Father has loved Him may be in us
12. that He, Himself, may be in us

Yahushua also made 6 statements about those whom the Father had given to Him. What are those things that He said?

1. that they (and, we) have kept the Father’s word.
2. that they (and, we) have known that all things whatsoever the Father has given Him are of the Father
3. that they (and, we) have received the words which the Father has given Him
4. that they (and, we) have known surely that He came out from the Father
5. that they (and, we) have believed that the Father sent Him.
6. that they (and, we) are not of the world

Let’s examine some key words in the above statements a little closer to help acquire a deeper understanding to the meaning they convey. 

For number 1, the word ‘kept’ is Strong’s G5083 τηρέω Transliteration: tēréō
Derivation: from τερός (terós) (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); Definition: to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), i.e. to note (a prophecy; figuratively, to fulfil a command); by implication, to detain (in custody; figuratively, to maintain); by extension, to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively, to keep unmarried); by extension, to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively, to keep unmarried). 

That definitely sounds like some serious keeping of the Father’s commandments, to guard His words as if it would cause loss or injury if we didn’t. We cause injury to ourselves as well as others when we don’t keep the Father’s commandments. To apply this to ‘real world reality’, Proverbs 8:36 says, “But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death.” The word ‘wrongeth’ is Strong’s H2554 חָמַס châmaç, khaw-mas'; a primitive root; to be violent; by implication, to maltreat:—make bare, shake off, violate, do violence, take away violently, wrong, imagine wrongfully. So, we do violence (which, causes injury) to ourselves. It also causes injury to others because if we don’t guard His word, that leads to us not proclaiming the Gospel (our example of living according to the Father’s instructions as well as telling others the Good News of Yahushua), which would potentially affect someone else by that person not being presented with an opportunity of coming into a right relationship with the Father by Yahushua. I say that because Romans 10:14-18 says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And, how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And, how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the glad tidings of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the glad tidings. For, Isaiah saith, YHWH, who hath believed our report? So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of YHWH. But, I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” 

We also see that creation itself proclaims the Gospel. Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens declare the glory of El; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world…” So, even if one were to remain silent, not sure how they could though, the wonderful works of the Father’s hands, His creation, cries out. That is most likely why John the Baptist said what he said in Luke 19:35-40, “And they brought him to Yahushua: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Yahushua thereon. And, as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. And, when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise YHWH with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of YHWH: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And, some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And, He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” The Father is adament that the Gospel be preached! His will WILL prevail!

For number 2, the word ‘known’ is Strong’s G1097 γινώσκω Transliteration: ginṓskō
Derivation: a prolonged form of a primary verb; Definition: to "know" (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds: to become acquainted with, to know. I really like Thayer’s definition. It makes me think of how when you become acquainted with someone, you really get to know him/her by forming a relationship. Unlike, when you just know who he/she is, but you aren’t acquainted with him/her in any specific way, but, only in passing. You only know his/her name, but don’t have any relationship with him/her. Praise Yah that we are able to have a relationship with Him through and by Yahushua!

Some examples of things that we will know that the Father has given to Yahushua are:

1. John 5:26-27, “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; And, hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” 

2. John 17:2, “As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him.” 

3. Philippians 2:9, “Wherefore YHWH also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” 

4. Daniel 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And, there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” 

5. Matthew 28:18, “And, Yahushua came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” 

6. John 17:11, “And, now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Set-apart Father, keep through thine own name which thou hast given Me that they may be one, as We are.” 

7. Acts 2:32-33, “This Yahushua hath YHWH raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore,  being by the right hand of YHWH exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Set-apart Spirit, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

8. Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out his soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” 

For number 3, the word ‘received’ is Strong’s G2983 λαμβάνω Transliteration: lambánō
Derivation: a prolonged form of a primary verb, which is use only as an alternate in certain tenses; to take, in very many applications, literally and figuratively (properly objective or active, to get hold of). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds: to receive a person, give him access to one's self. 

For number 4, we have the same word ‘known’, but have the adverb ‘surely’ attached. It is Strong’s G230 ἀληθῶς Transliteration: alēthōs Derivation: adverb from G227; Definition: truly. Again, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds a bit more to the definition: truly, of a truth, in reality, most certainly. Again, I really like Thayer’s definition. It makes me think of how we can be most certain, without any doubt, of the things that the Father has given to Yahushua. And, that they are a true reality. 

For number 5, the word ‘believed’ is the Strong’s Greek G4100 πιστεύω Transliteration: pisteúō Derivation: from G4102; Definition: to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to the Messiah). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds this for G4100: 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in. And, it adds this for G4102: 1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to Elohim (God the Father) and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. 

So, we are persuaded of, have given credit to, and placed our confidence in the truth of anything, or belief in reference to our relationship to the Father. The truth is the Father’s word, which, Yahushua defined for us in His prayer above, “…Thy word is truth…” The Father’s written word is truth. Yahushua is truth because He is the Father’s word made flesh. John Chapter 1 verses 1 and 14 tell us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with YHWH, and the Word was YHWH”, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of favour and truth.” 

Lastly, in regards to number 6 of not being of the world, how do we know if we are of it or not? Well, John 15:19 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” We know that we are not of the world if we are hated by the world. Yahushua had told His disciples in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” James 4:4 also tells us that if we are friends with the world, we are enemies of the Father, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with YHWH? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of YHWH.” So, that applies to us as well as the original disciples, since we are of them also which have believed on Him through their word.

How are we to respond to the world’s hatred of us? The answer is found in 1 John 3:13, “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” The word marvel is Strong’s G2296 θαυμάζω
Transliteration: thaumázō Derivation: from G2295; Definition: to wonder; by implication, to admire. So, we don’t need to wonder why the world hates us. We should already know. It’s exactly as He told us, because the world hated Him first. And, it hates us because we are not of the world, because He has chosen us out of the world, therefore the world hateth us. Yahushua also told His disciples (and, us that are in the future) in John 15:20 to remember the word that He told unto them, that the servant is not greater than his master. And, that if the world persecuted Him, they will also persecute them (and, us that are in the future). 

So, even in Yahushua’s prayer, we see that those who are His keep the Father’s commandments AND believe (in Him) that the Father sent Him. How wonderful that our Savior took time and prayed to the Father on our behalf. What a blessing that is. My original intent was to just post Yahushua’s prayer for others to read, so they could see what He prayed for them. But, after I did that, I was led to dive deeper and examine His words and am very thankful for doing that. It has greatly encouraged and blessed me. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it has encouraged and blessed you as well.