Prayer Matters (Series)

Sunday, January 22, 2017 (Series Sermon)
 

Prayer Matters

 

Psalms 145:18-19 ~ “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”

 
God is close to all who call on Him in Truth. God knows our hearts – our motives, intentions, and true desires. When we pray selfishly or out of impure desires, He does not answer us. (James 4:3) But when we call on Him sincerely and with a pure heart, He stands ready to help us.

 

The Lord richly rewards all who fear Him, all who reverence, submit to, and obey Him. He not only meets their needs, but also fulfills their desires. Here desires  speaks of things that delight us and give us pleasure.

 

The Lord hears the cries of those who fear Him, and He rescues them in times of need. He preserves  – watches over, protects, puts a hedge around – all who genuinely love Him and He will bring about the destruction of all who oppose His people both now and forever.

 

 

John 17:1-26 ~ The Great Intercessor ~ Jesus Christ
 
The time has come for the church to get its priorities in order, and one of the best ways to do this is to find out what was important to Jesus Christ.
 
 “Some brethren pray by the yard; but true prayer is measured by weight, and not by length.” C.H. Spurgeon
 

 There are 650 definite prayers recorded in the Bible; but not one of them can match our Lord’s “Highly Priestly Prayer” in John 17, nor can any prayer recorded outside the Bible. What makes this prayer so great?

 

Four reasons:

  1. It is great because of the Person who prayed the prayer.
    1. The four gospels have a special emphasis on Christ:
      1. Matthew – Christ the King, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament Scriptures.
      2. Mark – Gospel of the Servant
      3. Luke – Sympathetic Son of Man
      4. John – presents us with the deity of Jesus Christ
    2. V1 – Only God the Son could ask the Father to glorify Him
      1. Exodus 33:18 ~ Moses asked to SEE God’s glory
      2. Jesus asked to RECEIVE God’s glory
    3. V5 – Jesus identifies the glory as the same glory which He had with the Father “before the world was”.
    4. V2 – only God can give sinners eternal life
    5. Four times in this prayer, Jesus said that God the Father sent Him (verses 3, 18, 21, and 25).
    6. Anyone can claim that God sent them, only Jesus the Son of God can say that He “came forth from God” verse 8.
    7. Any Christian can pray, “All things that are mine are thine”, but only the Son of God can add “and Thine are Mine” (verse 10).
  1. It is great because of the occasion that demanded the prayer.
    1. Neil Armstrong’s statement – “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” – if this was made while playing hopscotch, nobody would have paid attention, however, he made this statement as he stepped from his spacecraft as the first man to walk on the moon, now he has weight to his words.
    2. Jesus had just finished instructing His disciples (John 13-16) and now He is praying for them. The Word of God and Prayer go together. If you have all Bible, but no prayer, we got a great deal of truth, but no power. We have lots of light, but no heat.
    3. On the other hand, if we have all prayer, but no Bible, we are in danger of becoming fanatics with lots of zeal. Zeal is a good thing, but zeal without knowledge is usually destructive.
    4. The only way the Word of God can become real in our lives is through prayer and obedience. One reason we have unbalanced Christians in our churches is the lack of prayer to back up the study of the Word of God. Jesus taught His disciples and then He prayed for His disciples.
  2. It is great because of the petitions in the prayer.
    1. Prayer that asks nothing accomplishes nothing.
    2. The outline of the prayer is simple, the petitions is the prayer are profound:
      1. Jesus prayed for Himself (vv1-5)
      2. Jesus prayed for His disciples (vv6-19)
        1. Their security (vv6-12)
        2. Their sanctity (vv13-19)
    3. Jesus prayed for the whole church (vv20-26)
  3. It is great because of the victory it can give us today.
    1. In this prayer, Jesus uses the word “world” numerous times.
    2. He tells us how we can overcome the world.
    3. What we learn from His prayer gives us the courage to overcome the world, and the joy of this victory fills and controls our lives!
    4. Four characteristics of the world we live in:
      1. Deceived ~ but we have the reality through Jesus Christ
      2. Dangerous ~ but we are secure in Jesus Christ
      3. Defiled ~ we can be pure because of our relationship in Jesus Christ.
      4. Divided ~ we have spiritual unity in Jesus Christ
 
Next Sermon in Series ~ Basic Training
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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