Summary: Jesus in his prayer in John 17 shows the heart of prayer and power that can come when we allow our prayers to pack a punch.
Prayer that packs a punch…John 17
1. Prayer that packs a punch comes from a pure heart
From the temptation in the desert…all through
Jesus kept himself right with the Lord.
When we are not living for God we cannot
expect God to listen to our prayers.
It’s not just the outward activities, but the
condition of our hearts.
We must be striving daily to have a right
relationship with the Lord so that our prayer
lives might be effective.
James says “The prayer of a righteous man is
God wants to pour out his blessings on us.
But we cannot expect him to do that if there
is sin in our lives that we are ignoring and
hoping God will choose to overlook.
Quote: “Prayer has divided seas, rolled up
flowing rivers, made flinty rocks gush into
fountains, quenched flames of fire, muzzled
lions, disarmed vipers and poisons, marshaled
the stars against the wicked, stopped the
course of the moon, arrested the sun in its
rapid race, burst open iron gates, conquered
the strongest devils, commanded legions of
angels down from heaven. Prayer has bridled
and chained the raging passions of man, and
routed and destroyed vast armies of proud,
daring, blustering atheists. Prayer has
brought one man from the bottom of the sea,
and carried another in a chariot of fire to
heaven.” (Sermon Central Illustration)
2. Prayer that packs a punch glorifies God and Jesus Christ.
We pray to God through Jesus’ name. Sadly
sometimes the only time we mention Jesus in our
prayers is at the end. We need to spend time in
prayer just praising God and Jesus Christ.
The day before I preached this sermon, I found out
that my son’s class was studying the Buddhist
faith. The teacher was going to have students
bring a mat to class and get in the position and
meditate like a Buddhist. When I raised concern
and objected to my son praying to any god besides
the one and only living God, I was seen as
intolerant and narrow minded. Jesus says in His
prayer in John 17, that eternal life is this:
knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
he has sent.
Prayer that packs a punch glorifies God the Father
and Jesus Christ His Son, and it is done through
the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. Prayer that packs a punch builds up the Body of Christ
Not only pray for one another, but hold one
another accountable for our prayer lives.
In one region of Africa, the first converts to
Christianity were very diligent about praying. In
fact, the believers each had their own special
place outside the village where they went to pray
in solitude. The villagers reached these “prayer
rooms” by using their own private footpaths
through the brush. When grass began to grow over
one of these trails, it was evident that the
person to whom it belonged was not praying very
Because these new Christians were concerned for
each other’s spiritual welfare, a unique custom
sprang up. When ever anyone noticed an
overgrown “Prayer path,” he or she would go to the
person and lovingly warn, “Friend, there’s grass
on your path!” – (Sermon Central Illustration)
I hear parents say “Yeah my daughter has 4.0 grade
point average” or “My son is averaging 10 points a
game in basketball.” Not very often do I hear
parents say “My child’s prayer life is really
growing into something wonderful.” What kind of a
dad am I, if I know my children’s grade point
average and scoring average, and yet I have no
idea what their prayer life is like? I love
sports, I love watching my kids play sports. But
I also realize that the most important thing that
I can do as a dad is to raise kids who love Jesus.
4. Prayer that packs a punch reaches beyond the here and now-
Most of our prayers are focused on health
problems, financial problems, relationships, and
immediate needs. These are not bad things to pray
for at all. God cares deeply about these things,
and we should lift every burden to God.
Prayer that packs a punch goes beyond the here and
now. It says “God, I want to seek your will for
today, and tomorrow and five years for now.”
We need to pray for the future of the church and
for our leaders of the church.
We need to pray for our community and the lost
souls that God will bring us in contact with.
We need to pray for our own spiritual maturity.
Jesus prayed not only for himself, but he prayed
for the disciples, and he prayed for those that
would believe through their testimony.
Jesus actually prayed for you and me.