John chapter seventeen records a prayer that falls from the very lips of Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus prays this prayer, knowing that His time on earth is about over. He is thirty-three years of age when He prays this, and knows full well that He is about ready to face the horrible torments of the cross. He knew all about the day in which we find ourselves: with all the ungodliness, permissiveness, and worldliness. Upon reading this complete prayer, the Christian will soon discover His love and concern for them—that they are to be insulated and not isolated.
A Prayer for His Possession
In verse nine Jesus specifically says His prayer is not for the people of the world, but for His Own possession—believers. Being saved is a very special privilege. It provides an unmistakable relationship between God and man.
There are some things money can’t buy—peace, health, and a right relationship with God. This takes faith and God’s grace. Salvation means a radical transformation of one’s life: from darkness to light, from death to life, from Hell to Heaven, from the old man to the new man. Praise God! Christian, mark it down, God is on your side, praying for you to have a victorious life.
A Prayer for Our Protection
God is not interested in taking us out of the world and isolating us from ungodly influences. He is not interested in putting us in a monastery somewhere to keep us untainted by the world. His plan is not a plan of isolation, but insulation: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
After all, the world is a wicked place and one from which we are to be separated. As a man, I want to provide all the protection I can for my wife, children, and grandchildren. So how is the Lord going to protect us from the world, and for what purpose?
He said believers should be sanctified (verse 17). That is, we are to be set apart for the indispensable work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just how are we to be sanctified, or insulated? Through the Word of God.
This reveals the importance of daily Bible reading and study, attending all church services, and the importance of conforming our lives to the entire Word of God.
Scripture memory is a must if you want to insulate yourself and your children from the world. Parents, you are responsible for teaching and instructing your children in the Word of God which will insulate them from the outside world.
We are all familiar with Psalm 119:11 which says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” However, are you familiar with the two preceding verses? “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Memorizing and meditating on God’s Word is key in keeping our hearts insulated against the world.
He said believers should be sent (verse 18). Every believer has the responsibility of instructing others in the things of God. All of us should be praying for the souls of men. We should be doing whatever is possible to influence others for Christ.
He said believers should be serving (verse 19). Here again is the purpose for being insulated from this world. We are in the world but not of the world. When we start focusing on the needs of others, it has a way of taking the focus off of ourselves. Being separated unto God is not an easy process and living for God is not an easy proposition, but it is a necessary one.
Believers, God wants you insulated, but not isolated: get involved!