Jesus prays for his disciples

I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them.

My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.

I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.

ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.

John 17:9 (

At this crisis point Jesus is wholly employed on the behalf of his disciples, who are about to go out for good with Jesus
message. He is high priest here, giving the second part of the prayer on the day of expiation for the the priests (Adam Clarke).

David Guzik's notes:

a. When Jesus says I do not pray for the world it is not out of unconcern for the world's plight. It was because of a focus on His own disciples. "He was praying for the instrument He was creating, through which He would reach the world." (Morgan)

b. All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine: Anyone can say to God the Father all mine are Yours but only Jesus could say and Yours are Mine.

c. I am glorified in them: No one should be glorified in the believer other than Jesus. Leaders have a tendency to glorify themselves in their followers, but it should only be Jesus.

Jesus does also pray for unreached people and God loves the world and wants to redeem it. But that is not the point here in John 17:9. Jesus asks on behalf of those who will take his message to the ends of the earth and will train others in doing so. God is a covenant keeping God, meaning that God does things with man. Jesus impacts people through people, who in turn impact people. So, Jesus is praying for these ones that he had trained and taught and mentored, so that they would be
successful in reaching others. Jesus loves the others who will come and prays for them also, but he first prays for those he is sending to them.

He doesn't cry out that God would do something, anything, to reach down and save the world that's going deeper down into darkness. He already has a plan and he's praying for the people who will be it's implementation. They themselves will later need to pray, need prayer, and need help from God; but this moment is before all that.