I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
It really struck me that this was the prayer before the end. Jesus is praying for these disciples because he is about to leave them, and he knows it. I can only imagine how deeply his emotions would be running for them at this moment.
They have kept thy word…I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them…they have believed that thou didst send me.
And Jesus really does know these followers intimately. He knows what they have kept, what they have received, and what they believe. He knows them clear through to their hearts. These are his friends, and I think you can feel the pride he has for them as he appraises their growth.
My takeaway for this is that I believe it is possible and worthy to pray for those you don’t know (soldiers and missionaries abroad, the poor, the world in general), but I also believe that your prayers gain greater power the more connected you are with those you are petitioning for. The more you are able to know and love your fellowman, the more perfect your prayers for them will be.