This is just one short passage of one of the greatest prayers in God's Word. After Jesus shared His personal words with His disciples in John 14-16 He takes time to talk with His Father before He will go to the cross. I have often wondered if Jesus prayed this with His disciples present or was this part of His Gethsemane prayer where He would also say, "...not My will, but Thy will be done."? Here Jesus shares some of His most important thoughts and we are given the privilege to "listen in."
I remember my Uncle praying out loud in his room which was directly over our living room. He prayed out loud, and though I couldn't hear exactly what he was saying I knew he would pour out his heart to God for many, many people which of course included our family. It was an experience I've never forgotten.
Jesus prayed about several things which included this request for His Father to sanctify His children. The word "sanctify" is the same word for "holy" and it basically means "to be set apart." It's God's way of saying that we, His children, are very special to Him and He has set us apart for His glory and for His use. The word also carries with it God's desire to keep us "clean and living a righteous life" that would honor Him. He knows that His plan for our lives requires us to be "fit for the Master's use," 2 Timothy 2:21 KJV.
The question here is this: are you helping Jesus see His prayer answered? If the Word of God is used to sanctify us are we spending time in God's Word for its power to work in our lives? We know the great teaching of Psalm 119:11, "Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You." This is a way in which God's word sanctifies us. The power of His word is fantastic! (More about this tomorrow).