This chapter contains the most extensive and profound prayer of Jesus we have, the only long, continuous prayer of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
He knows his hour has come, and he begins by praying for His own glory. This petition was not selfish. His concern for Himself is actually a concern for the glory of the Father. Jesus acknowledges his purpose on earth and prays that his sacrifice on the cross will fulfill his divine mission.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. -John 17:4-5
Jesus next commits his disciples to the Father in prayer. He lived out the love and goodness and righteousness and grace and holiness of God the Father. Jesus did or said nothing on His own initiative, but did and said all in complete dependence upon His God and Father. He now prays for their protection and sanctification as He is restored to his rightful place in the presence of the Father’s unshielded glory.
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. -John 17:10
Jesus concludes by praying for unity among all believers. Knowing that sin is the great dividing element, He prayed that men would love their Lord and thus come into closer union with each other.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. -John 17:22-23
Throughout this farewell discourse, Jesus focuses on glory. Glory for him, through him, and by him; glory from the Father; glory for all believers. In His final hour, He prayed not for comfort in what he was about to endure, but for glory.
In this time of uncertainty on this earth, can you focus your prayers on glory?