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Sermon Notes + 5.12.2024



He Lifted Up His Eyes to Heaven
John 17:1
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer. It is unlike any other prayer in the Bible in light of the fact that it is the longest of Jesus’ recorded prayers and it takes place just prior to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. Although it is not a model prayer such as is found in Matthew 5:9-13, it is an instructive prayer because it shows us what was on the heart of Jesus during the final days of His earthly ministry. It also forms the basis for Jesus’ continuing intercession in heaven. Taking the chapter as a whole, we can observe the importance of prayer, the posture of prayer, and the content of prayer. Most importantly, we find that Jesus’ heart for His church is expressed through this prayer, and we should, therefore, seek to order our lives accordingly.

01. Jesus demonstrates the importance of prayer by praying to the Father as the incarnate Son; we, too, should pray to the Father in light of our creatureliness and feebleness.

02. Jesus demonstrates the posture of prayer by lifting His eyes to heaven; whether we bow our heads, bend our knees, or lift our eyes, we should be mindful of the majesty of God as we pray.

03. Jesus outlines the content of prayer by seeking God’s glory, the church’s good, the extension of the gospel, and the consummation of history with Christ as King; we should pray for the same.


1. How does this prayer stand out among all other prayers in the Bible? Do you have a favorite prayer from the Bible besides this one? What lessons on the importance of prayer and the content of prayer do you take from other prayers of the Bible?

2. Since Jesus is divine, why did He pray? Did He pray simply to show us how to pray, or to underscore the importance of prayer, or did He pray because, in His incarnate state, it was necessary for Him to pray in order to commune with the Father? What does Jesus’ posture suggest about our posture in prayer?

3. It has been said that we should pray to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Even if we do not always follow this order, as there are exceptions to the rule, what is helpful about learning to pray this way? Why do we need to pray “through the Son” and in His name? What does the Spirit do for us in our praying?

4. If someone were to say that God knows all things that are going to happen, therefore, we have no need to pray, how would you respond? If someone were to say that all things depend on us such that God only helps those who help themselves, how would you respond? Why is prayer so necessary even though God is sovereign and we are responsible moral agents?

5. Take some time reading through this prayer and meditating on the things that Jesus prayed. How can you, as an individual, and we, as a church, become part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer? In what ways can we become better followers of Christ by reading through this prayer and praying for God’s grace to become what He has called us to be?

For Further Reading: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Assurance of Our Salvation: Exploring the Depths of Jesus’ Prayer for His Own (Crossway, 2000)