Maybe you are praying for a new job or a better relationship with someone. Maybe you are praying for your health or the well-being of a loved one. Whatever you are praying for think about why you are praying for that. A helpful tool to include in your prayers is the phrase “so that.” For example, I am praying for a new job “so that…” What comes after the blank helps you think about the bigger purpose and helps you hone in on where your heart is.
Jesus included many “so that” phrases in his prayer for his disciples and for us as recorded in John 17. In the original language, Greek, John uses this phrase many times.
ἵνα (hina) - that, in order that, so that
We find this phrase in a very famous verse earlier in the book of John.
John 3:16 NLT
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,
so that (hina) everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Why did God give his one and only Son? Because God loved the world…but “so that” everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died so that we could believe and have eternal life.
My “so that” purpose in writing this is not to give you an exhaustive examination of this phrase in every situation in John 17. But I do want you to see the purpose for which Jesus prayed and how we can pray and live with purpose.
v. 1 –
Glorify your Son
so (hina) he can give glory back to you.
**This is always a great “So That” – So that God will be glorified.
now protect them by the power of your name
so that (hina) they will be united just as we are.
I told them many things while I was with them in this world
so (hina) they would be filled with my joy.
**Who doesn’t want Jesus’ joy?!
That (hina) they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.
And (hina) may they be in us
so that (hina) the world will believe you sent me.
“I have given them the glory you gave me,
So (hina) they may be one as we are one.
I am in them and you are in me.
(hina) May they experience such perfect unity
That (hina) the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.
Then (hina) they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.
Then (hina) your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
What is your “so that?”