STARTUP: At this time in your life, what do you consider to be the most important concern to bring before the Lord in prayer?
SEEING WHAT’S THERE
1. Jesus speaks in verse 1 of the “time” or “hour” that now has come. In His own mind, what does that mean?
2. What exactly is the “work” Jesus speaks of in verse 4, and how did He bring glory to God through it?
3. How many times is the word world used in this chapter? Does it appear to have the same meaning in each instance? If not, what different meanings does it have?
4. Together, list aloud all the actual requests which Jesus makes in this prayer. Taking them as a group, what do they reveal about the deepest concerns Jesus has?
5. Jesus begins praying in verse 20 for those who will believe in Him through the “word” or “message” of His disciples. What is this word?
6. What one-word adjectives would you use to best describe Jesus as you see Him in this chapter?
7. Think again of the statement about Jesus in John 1:18. From what you see in chapter 17, what is God like?
8. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In His prayer in this chapter, what names does Jesus use to address God? (See verses 1,11, and 25.)
CAPTURE THE ESSENCE
9. From what you see in this prayer of Jesus, which one of the following words do you think best describes what the world is like: a prison; a mountain; a battleground or a trail?
10. From what you know of Jesus, with what emotion do you think He spoke the words in verse 5?
11. If you expected to live only a few more weeks, which verses in this chapter do you think would be the most significant to you?
12. If you had only this chapter in Scripture to refer to, how would you use it to help show someone that Jesus is truly God?
FOR LIFE TODAY
13. What would make it possible for you to say to God at the end of your life what Jesus says in verse 4?
14. In verses 14 and 22, look at what Jesus said He had given to His disciples. In what ways has He also given these things to us today?
15. What principles of prayer can you draw from this chapter that might help us pray more powerfully and more often?
16. Think again of Phil 4:8, where we’re given this command: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things. ” What food for thought can you find in this chapter that especially strikes you as being true, or noble, or right, or pure, or lovely, or admirable, or excellent, or praiseworthy?
FOR GOING DEEPER
Notice again the prominence of the word world in this chapter. John uses this word far more often than any other New Testament writer. Look carefully at how it is used in each of the following verses in John, then discuss in what ways and to what degree the Lord wants us to “think big” about the whole world — 1:10; 3:17; 8:23; 12:31; 15:19; 16:28, and 16:33.
(from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament, © 1992 by Questar Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)