Intercessory Prayer in Pastoral Care Modelled on Christ's Prayer in John 17
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Robert M. Johnston
Intercessory prayer is a vital part of pastoral care but little has been written on this aspect of prayer. Although Jesus left a model for pastoral intercessory prayer in John 17, this pattern has not been emphasized my pastoral training, so I decided to make a detailed study of this chapter, proposing a theology of prayer, with recommendations for pastors praying with their parishioners.
Reviewing Christ’s situation, when He prayed this prayer, reveals Him in a relationship of intimacy with His Father, needing assurance Himself as He faced glorification on the. cross, but still very conscious of His role as a pastor to His disciples, leaving future pastors a role mode I. Examining the context of Christ’s prayer discloses six major themes for which He interceded: (1) God’s glory, (2) God’s will, (3) unity, (4) sanctification, (5) joy, and (6) eternal life. These topics are seen as a guide for the shape of a pastor’s intercessory prayer.
Guidelines for approaching God through intercessory prayer are proposed after observing Christ’s confidence as He approached God, sharing His feelings and needs, while interceding with intimacy. Christ’s prayer in John 17 is compared to the prayer He gave His disciples in Matt 6, revealing the same six themes in each prayer. Both are seen as eschatological, but completely relevant for those waiting for the coming of Christ in glory. The project includes a report and evaluation on a study/prayer group, composed of seminary students meeting on a weekly basis over a seven-week period, studying the six major themes found in John 17 and interceding for each other. The Appendix includes (1) the original prayers the students prayed for their prayer partners, (2) the six Bible studies, and (3) a record of the weekly development of four of the original prayers.
A definite shift in the focus of the students’ prayers is observed as they started thinking much more about God’s glory and will, and being united with Him. My intercessory prayers are also seen to change focus through the structured group exercise which is seen as a valuable exercise for the nurture of other pastors and future par i sh i oners.
Intercessory prayer; Bible. John 17--Criticism, interpretation, etc
Duroe, John W. H., "Intercessory Prayer in Pastoral Care Modelled on Christ's Prayer in John 17" (1993). Professional Dissertations DMin. 691.
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