Summary: The whole story of the Bible is about God longing to have a personal friendship with human beings. We develop our friendship with God by spending time abiding in Jesus in prayer, abiding in the Word, and abiding in His love.
iPRAY #3: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
“8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God -- all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” (Romans 5:8-11, NLT).
• This is one of the most amazing things that Jesus’ death on the Cross accomplished!
• “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11).
• “Abraham was called a friend of God.” (James 2:23).
• Jesus said to His disciples: “I have called you friends.” (John 15:15).
• In Luke 7:34, Jesus is called the friend of sinners!
• “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
QUOTE: “I cannot imagine a greater motivation to pray than that God enjoys having me in His presence. He enjoys my company. He delights in listening to me… It is such a dazzling thought, that the same God who has countless billions of angels worshiping Him sixty seconds a minute, day and night, to whom the nations are but a drop in the bucket, and who knows all about every leaf on every tree in the world, also welcomes my company – because I am very important to Him.” (R. T. Kendall, Did You Think To Pray?).
THE BIG IDEA: The whole story of the Bible is about God longing to have a personal friendship with human beings. We develop our friendship with God by spending time abiding in Jesus in prayer, abiding in the Word, and abiding in His love.
HOW TO DEVELOP A FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD:
1. ABIDE IN JESUS IN PRAYER:
“1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:1-6, NKJV).
• Abiding in Jesus in prayer is like a branch remaining vitally connected to a vine or a tree.
• When we don’t abide in Jesus, we become peanut brittle Christians – dry & crunchy!
• If we want to be juicy fruit Christians (fruit of the Spirit), we need to abide in Jesus.
• Jesus said if we don’t abide in Him, we can do NOTHING. (I have tried)
• How do you know when you’ve neglected personal prayer? Weary & easily frustrated.
• “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
2. ABIDE IN THE WORD = BIBLE STUDY:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8, NKJV).
• If we want to see the power of prayer, we need to abide in God’s Word!
REASONS OUR PRAYERS DON’T GET ANSWERS: Five Main Reasons: (there are more)
a) We’re asking for something God hasn’t promised.
• “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).
• The more we know His promises, the more confidence we will have in prayer.