Lesson 19:
Life’s Prayer (1)—The Glorification of the Triune God

Bible reading
You may find it helpful to also read John 17:1-26

John 17:1-5
1 These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You;
2 Even as You have given Him authority over all flesh to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ.
4 I have glorified You on earth, finishing the work which You have given Me to do.
5 And now, glorify Me along with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.


The Lord Jesus concluded His final speaking to His disciples before going to the cross with a marvellous prayer. The deep focus of this prayer is the glorification of the Triune God, that is, the expression of God. Initially concealed within the Lord Jesus while He lived on the earth as a man, the divine glory within the Lord Jesus was fully manifested through His resurrection. Today, this glorification continues to be fulfilled in the church (Eph. 3:21) and will continue in eternity as the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:11, 23-24).
Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

The basic concept of the Lord’s prayer in John 17 is glorification. In verse 1 the Lord said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” This is the subject, the central point, of this prayer.

The best illustration of glorification is the blossoming of a flower. A carnation seed, for example, is sown into the earth. After it grows up out of the earth, it blossoms. This blossoming is the glorification of the carnation seed. The carnation seed contains the life element and the life shape of the carnation flower. The style, color, and beauty of the flower are all contained in a little carnation seed, but no one can see this style, color, and beauty until the seed grows out of the earth and blossoms. The blossom is the glory of the seed. The blossoming is the glorification of the seed, for it is by blossoming that the seed is glorified, that is, expressed.

When Jesus Christ came in the flesh, He was like that little carnation seed. In Him, that is, in His human form, His human shell, were all the beauty and shape of the divine life. All the colorful aspects of the divine life were concealed and confined in that little Nazarene. One day, He was sown into the earth. After He died, He grew up and blossomed in His resurrection. In His resurrection, the beauty, form, style, color, and riches of life were released and expressed. That was the glorification of the Son. Since all that God the Father is has been embodied in the Son, when the Son is glorified, the Father is also glorified in the Son’s glorification.

The concluding prayer of the Lord was for the glorification of the Triune God. The fulfillment, the answer, of this prayer for the glorification of the Triune God has three stages…The first stage of the fulfillment was the resurrection of Jesus. By His resurrection, the Lord Jesus has been manifested and glorified, and by this glorification the Father has also been glorified. The second step of its fulfillment is in the church. From the day of Pentecost to the day of the Lord’s second coming, the Holy Spirit has manifested and will continue to manifest Christ through the saints. In other words, the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ through the church. When Christ is glorified, the Father also is glorified in the Son. The last stage of the fulfillment of this prayer will occur when the fullness of time comes. At that time, all the redeemed ones of both the Old and New Testament will be composed together as the complete expression of the Triune God. In this complete expression, Christ will be the lamp and God will be the light. Christ will be manifested and glorified through the New Jerusalem, and God the Father will be manifested and glorified in the Son as well as through the New Jerusalem. That will be the complete fulfillment of the Lord’s word, “Glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” (Life-study of John, msg. 38, section 2)

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of John, msg. 38

Radio broadcast link:
Broadcast 41, Life’s Prayer (1)
(Click the link above and select Broadcast 41.)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
John 17:1, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:
References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • Explain the meaning of glorification and how the example of the carnation seed helps to illustrate glorification. (Life-study of John, msg. 38, sections 1 and 2)
  • How is the Lord’s prayer in John chapter 17 answered? (Broadcast 41)

Next week

Life’s Prayer (2)—The Believers Built Up into One to Glorify the Triune God

In John chapter 17 the Lord prayed for the glorification of the Triune God. The divine life with the divine glory was hidden within the flesh of the Lord Jesus, but by passing through the process of death and resurrection, the rich life element with its glory was released and manifested, thus fulfilling the Lord’s prayer. Next week we will see the second aspect of the Lord’s prayer covered in this chapter. Here the Lord prayed for the believers to be built up into one. This oneness is beyond any natural understanding and is accomplished in three stages for the corporate expression of the Triune God.

We highly recommend using the printed Life-study messages as a tool to explore this lesson. There are over 1,900 Life-study messages in total, and this amazing resource expands and develops this lesson in greater detail.

View Life-study of the Bible resources on our website
Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Life-study of John. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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