The Process to John 17 Unity – The Hope For Our Cities


Intercessory prayer at the Call

Posted by Robby Dawkins on Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hope for Columbus is a vision and strategy to call the body of Christ in our city to city-wide solemn assemblies of prayer, worship and evangelism. It is a vision to ignite the fires of revival and release the Christ within the Hope of Glory, to transform our city and region for God. These Solemn assemblies will consist of 24/7 worship, prayer and evangelism in a centralized location and subsequent locations throughout the city for open heavens over the region to release city-wide transformation. In order for the church to come together in solemn assemblies in any city, for times of prayer and worship in times of trouble and shaking, we are going need to understand Jesus’ prayer in John 17

John 17 ESV When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one.


John 17 is the High priestly prayer of Jesus Christ, set in the context of His imminent return to the glory He had with the father in heaven before the world began. This prayer is significant to these times we live in today, as the church comes down the stretch run approaching the end of the age and the return of Christ. This is Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, and it details what it is he desires for His church as she approaches the difficult times that will come upon her in the world in the last days. It is significant to understand that one of his main prayer emphasis’ during these difficult times is that we would not be taken out of the world during these difficult times, but that we would be kept from the evil one.

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil.

In my book Building Cities of Refuge, I share an encounter I had at the Call Prayer Assembly in Detroit, where God spoke to me in the midst of a 24/7 Stadium prayer meeting in Ford Field, the Detroit Lions home field. God spoke to my heart and said, “Sacred Assemblies like the 24hr Call Detroit are going to be God’s prescribed method to either avert the judgment completely, or lessen it in a geographical region, or prepare a generation to stand without offense in the midst of the economic, environmental, and military crisis that are clearly seen in Joel and passages that clearly articulate the conditions of the end of the age.”

Joe 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16 gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

In order for the church to come together in solemn assemblies any city for times of prayer and worship in times of trouble, and shaking, we are going need to understand Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Other significant points of emphasis in the prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples is that we may be one as He and the father are one (v.22). That we may sanctified in the truth of the word of God (v.17) and that the love with which the father loved the Son may be experienced by us, His disciples, and His church, that we would know the love of the father (v.26).

In this prayer in John 17 we see what’s on Jesus’ heart for His disciples and what we should be focused on as we seek to fulfil his heart’s desire here in the earth as committed Disciples of Christ. As the church embarks upon the most trying times of this age, understanding Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 and seeking to live it out in our families, communities of faith and in our cities will become more and more necessary.

John 17 is the most comprehensive view of what Jesus is praying for us seated at the right hand of the father. And it is the prayer we should be praying and pursuing the closer we get to the end of the age. It is the hope of Christs’ heart, the hope for his people and the hope for our Cities.

Recently in a 10 day 24 hour Solemn Assembly prayer meeting that I hosted along with many pastors and leaders in my city, called Hope for Columbus, I was impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to mediate, pray and share from John 17 for the unity of the body of Christ in my city. My heart and mind was directed especially to verses 22 and 23.

…that they may be one even as we are one. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

For 10 days I led hundreds of believers in prayer for John 17 Unity to transpire in our city. I felt like the Spirit of the God was saying, this is my Hope for Columbus. The more I prayed from John 17 for Unity in the body of Christ in my city, the more I realized I did not have a working knowledge on the power and process of this prayer to bring about the unity that Jesus prayed for his disciples in His high priestly prayer. But I felt that if I really looked to apply this prayer to my heart and mind God will open up to me the power and the process for communities of faith and whole cities to walk in supernatural unity and love. The more I prayed the more I was challenged to really pursue this unity at the heart level, with my family, with the leaders of this Solemn Assembly and with every Pastor in the body of Christ in my city. As I did, the more God began to open up my heart of what it takes to arrive as this unity within His body.

The first things I began to realize from John 17 is that this prayer that Jesus prayed before His death, burial and resurrection, is the least recognized prayer of the prayers Jesus prayed while on the earth. But it’s the most detailed description of any prayer Jesus prayed while on the earth. Most of the body of Christ over the last 500 or more years has highlighted and emphasized the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10 and have taught it as a prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples.

Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

However, upon closer examination, while this prayer in Matthew 6:10 is a prayer for his disciples to pray, it’s not the prayer Jesus prayed FOR His disciples. It’s not the Lord’s Prayer. It’s the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray for themselves. This prayer should more appropriately be entitled the Disciples Prayer, not the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus would not pray this prayer, because this prayer involves provision for forgiveness of sins. Jesus neither sinned, nor needed forgiveness for sins.

John 17 should actually be called the Lord’s Prayer. Because this is the prayer Jesus actually prayed, as the Lord of Glory, for his disciples. Secondly, I realized if we actually meditated and memorized this prayer of Jesus in John 17 as we have the disciples’ prayer in Matthew 6, we would be closer to what He desires for us as the expression of a community of faith in our world than we are today. Today our churches and communities of faith look more like us, than they do like Jesus. They look more like the world, than they do like the book of Acts Church. Could that be because we’ve neglected Jesus’ prayer for His disciples for so many generations? Once I realized that we should be giving as much attention to John 17 as we do to Matthew 6, I began meditating and memorizing and praying Jesus’ prayer in John 17 like I was taught to concerning Matthew 6. As I did, I began to get understanding of the power and the process to John 17 Unity in our cities, of communities of faith, and leaders of communities of faith in our cities.

The Process to John 17 Unity

The first things I began to realize as I mediated on the first few verses of John 17 is the anomaly or difference there exists, in the positional pursuit and focus we have in the body on the earth, in correlation to the focus Jesus had when he was on the earth. In the verse 1 Jesus’ focus seems to be more on His glory in heaven he had before the world was, than any glory on earth He might receive.

Joh 17:1 These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

It seems as if Jesus looked to his death here in the earth – the hour is come – as well as His restored position in the glory with the father before the world was, with anticipation and excitement. It seemed as if he was actually anticipating and looking forward to dying and getting back to his true essence and calling in the Godhead. He speaks of what he did with the father before the world began, and what He would ultimately do throughout eternity, as the glory that I had with the father before the world existed. This glory seems to be something he was anticipating, and something to be prized and valued above any and everything he would ever accomplish here in the earth.

The Eternal Perspective

This is the strange anomaly that exists between Christ and His church, and which probably has something to do with why we’ve rarely ever arrived at John 17 unity in our communities of faith in whole cities in the earth. Everybody’s striving for glory here in the earth. Everybody’s striving for position here in the earth. Everybody’s striving for recognition here in the earth. And everybody seems to be striving for success as is measured by earthly measurements here in the earth. But Jesus seemed to be more focused on an eternal perspective and glory that he was to receive as he was reunited with the father in the godhead, and leaving this planet to be reunited and restored to that glory in heaven with the father. What was the glory that he had before the world began. What was the position He fulfilled in the Godhead before the world began? What was it that Jesus was being reconciled and restored to in heaven that he considered more glorious than anything He did or could ever do on the earth? To ascertain the answers to those questions we must ask ourselves, “What is it that Jesus is doing in heaven right now as we speak?” Whatever He’s doing right now in heaven, this is the glory he had before the world began. So, what is he doing right now as we speak, in heaven? Hebrews 7 and Romans 8 gives us glimpse into what he considered the glory He had before the world began.

Heb_7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.

Rom_8:34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Jesus was from the beginning, and forever is, an intercessor, taking the words from the heart of the father and speaking them into existence in the earth. This is Jesus’ highest calling, over every earthly calling he fulfilled while on the earth. There are many functions of ministry that Jesus undertook while on the earth. He operated as an Apostle, he operated as a Prophet, as a Pastor, he operated as a Teacher and as an Evangelist. However, of all those ministry offices the greatest ministry function that Jesus operated in while in the earth, and the ministry office that he still functions in while seated at the right hand of the father, is the ministry office of a High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. He is an intercessor, ever living to make intercession for His people to be reconciled to God. This ministry of reconciliation from the priesthood of Melchizedek is the main ministry that Jesus came to fulfill. And it is the ministry that the church is being perfected to enter into at the end of the age.

This is the eternal calling of every believer in the earth and the glory we had in HIM, before the world began. When we begin to focus on this eternal glory and calling from the eternal perspective, and take this high priestly prayer that Jesus prayed and begin to meditate on it, and pray it like we do the Disciples Prayer in Matthew 6, I believe we will begin to see Him in all of His glory, like John did in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and we will enter into a dimension of His expression of communities of faith like we’ve yet to tap into here in the earth. We need an understanding of our eternal calling and mission in eternity as priests after the order of Melchizedek, in order to avoid the pitfalls to John 17 unity that are placed before us by the spirit of division of this age here in the earth. We need an eternal perspective to be established in an eternal principle of the Unity of the Spirit (Eph 5:2, 3).

Jesus mentions this eternal perspective and mission in verse 2 of John 17 when he says,

Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Eternity was the focus of Jesus’ ministry here while he was in the earth, putting eternal life into the hearts of men, and eternity was what was on his mind as he was preparing to leave the earth. Jesus only measured his success by whether or not he gave eternal life to as many as the father had given him. His focus was not on the number the father had given, but the quality of life that he imparted into those whom the father had given him. This focus on eternal life, an eternal perspective, he defines as knowing the father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ who the father had sent. This is what He defined as eternal life. This is what he measured as having accomplished the will and work of the father in the earth – that he should give eternal life to as many as the father has given him.

This eternal perspective – knowing God the father, and the son, and being reconnected with the eternal glory of God – is what is missing from Christ’s disciples in the Church in the generation at the end of the age. This revelation is what we need to have restored to our generation in order to attain unto John 17 unity.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ – The Glory we need to see for John 17 Unity

As I began to meditate more and more on the first 3 or 4 verses of John 17 I began to get a thirst and hunger for a truer and more complete revelation of eternity, along with a greater desire to know God. As I did, I began to see something about the Apostle John and the prayer that Jesus prayed in John’s book, in chapter 17. I began to see the key to understanding what it takes to attain unto this type of unity. This first process entails getting a revelation of Jesus as the glory of God, or the glorified Christ. The Apostle John, the writer of this book had actually received Jesus’ hope and prayer for John’s life, detailed in another book that John had written – The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. One of the other main and major points of emphasis that Jesus prayed for his disciples, that was not mentioned earlier, was that Jesus prayed in verse 24, Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may 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.

Jesus wanted them to see him in his glory. John, having wrote “the book of John,” where this prayer request is recorded, caught a hold of that desire from this prayer of Jesus and positioned himself to see the glorified Christ, detailed in his other book about this revelation, called the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

As I realized that this was the process to John 17 unity, I felt impressed to add the book of the Revelation to my prayer time, during these days of worship and prayer, contending for John 17 unity in my city.

And as I did, the spirit of God said these words to me; “The key to the city Church coming together in unity in any region in the earth is found in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

As I heard these words I was prompted to challenge these words, by going to “the book of the Revelation,” to begin reading from verse 1, looking for keys to how Pastors and Church fathers could work together in any region in the earth to build a City Church expression as one unified body. I must confess I was skeptical about finding these keys to regional unity in the body of Christ in a region in the book of the revelation, because I had read this book many times before I had never had anything like that jump out at me. But this morning I got up off my knees and I began to read the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ.


The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2. who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. 4. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5. and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6. and made us a kingdom of kings and priests unto God and His father; to be Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

As soon as I began reading the first 8 verses of the book of the revelation, immediately I began to get 8 clear steps to coming into John 17 unity from His revelation. Remember the Book of the revelation of Jesus Christ was written by the same author, John the beloved. The same author that was the only one of the synoptic gospels to record Jesus’ high priestly prayer to be returned to His former glory, and to have that glory revealed to His disciples, is the author that records what he saw when Jesus’ prayer is answered and His glory is revealed to John on the isle of Patmos.

As I began reading this revelation of Jesus’ glory revealed to John, I began to realize what Jesus was saying concerning giving eternal life to His disciples, that they would know the only true God and Jesus Christ who He had sent. Jesus was revealing that He had been giving authority over all flesh to release the eternal nature and knowledge of the glory of God in Jesus Christ. I refuse to believe that this is a coincidence. I refuse to believe that it is a coincidence that John recorded this prayer in John 17, and John is the primary disciple that saw the revelation of the glorified Christ. The first step from the book of Revelation, to John 17 unity is this revelation of Jesus’ eternal glory. As read the first 10 verses I began to see how to come into the unity that Jesus prayed we would come into with the Father and the Son in the glory of God. The following are the 8 steps to coming into John 17 unity.

1. A Revelation of Jesus Christ. v.1 –

What is the revelation of Jesus Christ that must be stamped upon our hearts to come into the oneness of Jesus Christ in the earth? I believe it begins with the revelation of His death, burial and Resurrection. We must get a revelation of how He lived, how He died, and how God raised Him from the dead, so that we might submit to the life he lived, submit to the death he died, in order to be raised up to sit in heavenly places in HIM. Paul describes this life, death and resurrection in Philippians 2. I believe this revelation of Jesus, described by Paul as having the mind of Christ, is the revelation that will give Christ’s disciples in the earth, the mind of unity and oneness in His body in the earth.

Php.2.2-11.ESV complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

2. A Revelation of the End-times and the purpose of the End of Days Church

…to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; John said, I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day…..I was there at the end of the age on the Lord’s Day of vengeance, the great and terrible day of the Lord, in the spirit. And was given a mandate to right what he had seen. This revelation that he was given began with Jesus Christ in his glorified state, the Church in Revelations 2 and 3 without spot or wrinkle, and then the Day of the Lord, the bowl, seal and trumpet Judgments sent upon the earth through the praying Church, both in heaven and in the earth. The Church that gets a revelation of her purpose at the end of the age will come together as one in his house of prayer for ALL nations.

3. A Revelation of the Angelic assignments of the Churches in a region v.1, 11-15.

….and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Each church in every region has a prophetic assignment to fulfill for the word over that region to come to pass. Each church has an Angel that is assigned to that body in the region to release progressive revelation of the heart of God and the prophetic words over that region. Once we know our assignment in the region and keep our candle lit, the body in the region can become a force. In Asia there were seven churches representing the seven golden candlesticks that John saw Jesus standing in the midst of. Every major region has at least seven major expressions with seven major assignments to light and shine forth in that region. In the place of regional corporate prayer we find our assignment within the assignments of the whole region.

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, what you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

4. A Revelation of the call to the Great commission witnessing of the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ to all in a region.v.2

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. John 17 Unity requires getting a corporate world vision for the salvation of the regions in the earth we are assigned to. Jesus said, Go ye into all the earth and preach the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:19). In order to go into all world and preach to all nations;

a. you must have a place of prayer in the House of Prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56:8)

b. And you must get a revelation of the word of God for that region and the testimony of Jesus in that region.

c. We must get a revelation of the regional, city harvest that God wants to release for whole cities to be saved, and then we must answer the call to the great commission in our region.

5. A Revelation and keeping of the Prophetic words (Prophecies) over a region and the Blessing that is released in keeping those prophecies v.3

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Every region has a prophetic word that has been revealed and spoken over that region. When we tap into the prophetic word over the region we have been called to, there is a blessing that comes upon the church, community of faith that taps into that word, speaks and preaches that word, and reads it aloud.

6. A Revelation of the Grace and Peace from the Seven Spirits of God around the throne. (Keeping the lamps lit) v.4

Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; For John 17 Unity there must be a revelation of the grace and peace that comes upon the corporate body of Christ that lights the lamps of prayer and the word (prophetic assignment) over their region before the throne of God. Seven spirits around the throne of God corresponds to the seven churches, purposes for fulfillment in a region. We come before throne of God, the place of corporate prayer in the regional house of prayer or city church there is a grace and peace that comes upon the church in the region to fulfill their particular assignment in that region.

7. A Revelation of the Priesthood ministry of the Kingdom of God v 6; John 17:1 Hebrews 5, 6 (Melchizedek Priesthood of Jesus Christ).

Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood. 6 He lets us rule as kings and serve God his Father as priests. To him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

In order for there to be John 17 unity, the body of Christ must go from the first principles of the doctrine of Christ in Hebrews 6:1-6 to the Forerunner ministry of Jesus Christ after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19). This is the priesthood ministry that every believer is being perfected for by the five-fold ministry gifts in the body, to bring (pray) reconciliation of God to man, man to man, and heaven to earth, for the return of Christ to set up his kingdom in the earth (2 Cor. 5:17-21). We are called to be priests after the order of Melchizedek, to pray; THY KINGDOM COME THY WILL BE DONE, IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. The Unity of the faith begins with the perfecting, (maturing) of the body of Christ for their priesthood ministry of intercessory reconciliation of God/heaven to earth. It’s the understanding of the corporate King/Priest ministry of the believer after the order of Melchizedek to re-possess the earth for Christ and His kingdom, that we break the spirit of division, competition and strife in the church as related to ministries, ministry gifts etc. The highest office in the body is the priest hood ministry of the believer after the order of Melchizedek. The Apostle/Prophets are the foundation, that when the house is built, is the unseen part of the building.

8. A Revelation of the coming of the Lord v.7

Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so Amen.

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