Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation

I love it when our kids call home. Often, it becomes a three-way (or even four-way) conversation, but sometimes our sons call and ask specifically to speak with their dad. When that happens, I know there’s likely a decision in the pipeline, or they’re working through a wrinkle in a relationship and want to vent and pick up some wise counsel.

Listening in to one side of a father/son conversation, I gain delightful insights into the unique relationship that exists between my boys and their dad, and I am reminded that the father/son bond is the oldest relationship in the universe, having its origins in the Trinity from before the creation of the world. The seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel is an overheard interaction between God the Father and God the Son, a face-to-face communion rooted in unbroken fellowship and perfect unity.

Susan Shipe has done the work of careful listening to this passage of scripture, and in John 17: The Real Lord’s Prayer, she travels verse by verse through the thirty-two sentences of Jesus’s heartfelt prayer. Even as he was nearing the end of his earthly ministry and the beginning of his suffering that would lead to his death, his chief concern was for his first-century disciples and for us today! Just as I learn what’s important to my sons by paying attention to what they bring to their dad, Jesus’s heart is revealed in his poured out prayer to his own Father.

Focus on the Glory of God

Shipe begins with the glory of God because that’s where Jesus began with his first request:

Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you…”

John 17:1

In this, I’m challenged to make that my focus when I come to God in prayer, and the challenge is reinforced by well-chosen quotes from Oswald Chambers with each section heading:

It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”

Jesus Prayed for YOU!

Jesus knew the “end” for him would not be pleasant, and yet he persevered in his equipping prayer for his disciples then and his disciples today. As I consider each specific request, I am challenged to ask myself, “Am I focused on and praying for the concerns that occupied Jesus’s prayer life?”

Keep them in your name. (v. 11)

Let them have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (v. 13)

Keep them from the evil one. (v. 15)

Sanctify them in the truth. (v. 17)

Let them all be one. (v. 21)

Let them be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (v. 24)

Pause for a moment and put your own name in place of them. With the cross only hours away, Jesus was praying for his much-loved disciples. And he was praying for you and me.

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

John 17:20

Jesus Is Still Praying for You!

As she rejoices in the impact of these requests for us today, Susan Shipe shines the spotlight on each of the twelve disciples, one by one, sharing highlights from their following life, failures that shaped their growth, and encouragement for present day disciples. John’s faithful record of their Lord’s prayer must have sustained and challenged them as they each became leaders of the fledgling church and carried the Gospel to the far corners of their world.

Click here to read Jesus’s intimate conversation with God as recorded in John 17.
Do you see why it’s sometimes called Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer?
In coming before God on our behalf, he fulfills once and for all the Old Testament role of priest.

If you are a believer in Christ, your position before God is secured by the truth that “He always lives to make intercession” for you! Jesus’s ministry of prayer continues on our behalf as he beholds the face of of the Father and serves as our advocate before the throne of grace.

Rejoicing in our great salvation,

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase John 17: The Real Lord’s Prayersimply click on the title, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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52 thoughts on “Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation”

  1. I am so grateful our Lord continually prays for me. He knows how to pray in wisdom and understanding of all my days. Wonderful review of Susan’s book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The expected prayer would be for himself, for strength and fortitude to withstand the next eighteen hours or so.
    But Jesus prayed for US as he faced the cross. What a startling, humbling realization. He IS most worthy of our continual praise! P.S. I greatly appreciate the list of specific requests from John 17 that we can pray over our loved ones. Thank you, Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s such a great point, Nancy!
      And I also want to be challenged by those prayer requests. Sometimes, to listen to me pray, you’d think I was an adherent to the prosperity gospel…


  3. Well said and reviewed as always, Michele! I LOVE the intro about your sons and the conversations with their dad. It is one of those joys of adult children that we don’t want to skip over.


    1. We are very good about remembering Jesus’s death and resurrection, because we have a holiday to remind us. I wish I could be as intentional about remembering his ascension, because his prayers are what keep me saved some days!


  4. What a beautiful look at my Sister’s book and John 17. It so does this “older” sister’s heart to see how creative and used by the Lord Susan is. Thank you Michaelle.


  5. I love that Susan has examined Jesus’ prayer so closely. It had to have been such a gut-wrenching time to think about His disciples when He was the one about to be tortured and killed! Only the love of a Savior! Thanks for giving us a peek into Susan’s incredible insights. And as a “boy mom,” I also appreciated your observations about your son’s relationship with their father. Pinning, my friend!


  6. As Nancy said above, it’s stunning to realize that Jesus spent some of His last hours praying for us, even knowing what He would be facing soon. That makes this prayer all the more poignant and makes the prayers requests stand out. I’m thankful He prayed for me then and still prays for me now.


  7. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michele, thanks for highlighting Susan’s book here. John 17 is such an amazing chapter. When I first realized that Jesus prayed not only for his contemporaries but for those of us who would come in future generations, I was speechless. What an amazing God we serve. Susan’s book sounds really good!


  9. “Am I focused on and praying for the concerns that occupied Jesus’s prayer life?” – thought-provoking. A great book review and it sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for highlighting the prayer points in that passage of scripture – I’ll be re-reading that chapter with a different mindset.


  10. I miss the heart-to-hearts I used to have with my sons, but as they moved more firmly out of the next, their father is the one they seek for those big conversations now – I must admit, I miss it; but my husband is indeed the wiser counsel. I am still trying to wrap my brain and heart around all Jesus did for us – the prayers, the redemption and salvation. Your summary of part of Susan’s shines a light on that big truth! I ordered her book earlier today! Cannot wait to read it!


    1. I’ve been amused at the way categories are beginning to emerge for who gets the phone call, according to the category of the topic.
      And you are certainly right that we are all only just beginners in understanding our great salvation.


  11. OH I love this and I love Susan’s writing! I didn’t know about this book and will certainly look into it. Thank you for sharing this insight from her book. I dearly love the book of John and am studying it afresh this year through the Community Bible Study I am part of. I will have to get her book for added commentary for when we get to ch 17 🙂


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