Summary: If we truly believe that this could be our last day on earth, we ought to spend it in prayer.
How to Pray In the Final Hours: Part 1
Text: John 17:1-5
1. Read John 17:1-5
2. Illustration: A middle aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she asked "Is my time up?"
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a facelift, liposuction and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color. Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40 years?"
God replied, "I didn’t recognize you."
3. People have often asked the question "If you knew that today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?"
4. As Pentecostals, we have always believed that the second coming of Christ could come at any moment. If we truly believed that it should produce in us a sense of urgency.
Proposition: If we truly believe that this could be our last day on earth, we ought to spend it in prayer.
Transition: Jesus models for us what a last day prayer should be. We need to...
I. Pray For Glory (1)
A. That Your Son May Glorify You
1. The first thing that we must notice about Jesus prayer is how he prayed. The text says that He "lifted up his eyes to heaven..."
a. He assumes a common Jewish posture for prayer by raising his eyes toward heaven (Burge, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: John, 462).
b. Isn’t it amazing that we do just the opposite. Usually when we pray we lower our heads.
c. Perhaps this has something to do with confidence in prayer.
d. The word tells us that if we pray according to God’s will we have confidence that He hears us. So why shouldn’t we be confident in prayer?
2. Next, we must notice what Jesus prayed. He prayed "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee."
a. Jesus knew that his "hour" of suffering had come--several times previously in the Gospel, John had pointed out that Jesus’ time had not come (2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20).
b. But the time for Jesus’ glorification had arrived.
3. What does Jesus mean when he asks to be "glorified"?
a. The Greek word used here (doxazo) means to venerate, bring homage or praise (Burge, 462).
b. For Jesus the cross is not a place of shame, but a place of honor.
4. He prayed that the Father would glorify Him in His death, but notice why: that He could glorify the Father.
a. The whole purpose for God sending Jesus to earth was to give eternal life to men; so in asking the two questions, "How is God glorified?" and "How is Jesus glorified?" the answer is simply: "by men receiving eternal life."
b. If the Father would glorify the Son in the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Son could, in turn, give eternal life to the believers and so glorify the Father.
5. Jesus only concern for His own glory was that the Father would receive glory from Jesus being glorified.
a. He was not concerned with Himself, but with the will of the Father.
b. He was not concerned with Himself, but with how His obedience would bring others to the Father.
B. Giving Glory to God
1. Illustration: The English poet William Blake stood looking at a sunrise with a London merchant. The poet asked the shopkeeper, "What do you see?" The merchant replied, ’"I see a yellow disk which looks to me like a golden coin. What do you see?" The poet replied, "I see a host of angels, and they are crying, ’Holy, Holy, Lord God almighty, heaven and earth are filled with Thy glory. Glory be to Thee, O God, Most High."
2. If the elements of sun, moon, earth, and sky give glory to the Father, then should we seek to glorify God in all that we do and say?
3. If the birds of the air, fish of the sea, and animals of the land give glory to God in all they do, shouldn’t we seek to give glory to God in all we do?
4. Shouldn’t our prayers in these last days focus on how we can give glory to the Father?
5. Shouldn’t our lives in these last days be centered upon giving glory to the Father?