Summary: There are many things that people pray for, but are we praying for things that really matter? Are willing to let God work through us as we pray?
John 14:12 – 14 reads, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
These are Christ’s words. These aren’t the words of one of the disciples. These words have authority and Jesus is telling the disciples that they will be able to do things just as great and greater than what Jesus did. And not only is Jesus telling the disciples that they will be able to do greater things but that, “he who believes in the Me; the works that I will do he will do also.” Jesus is not limiting only the disciples of then to these great works but He is saying that anyone who believes in Him present or future – will be able to do great things.
You may find that hard to believe today. The disciples may have thought that even more. This idea of doing great works because of a relationship with God was radical to the minds of the Jewish people then. Back in Palestine 2,000 only a select few pious, devout religious leaders could claim that they could ask God for anything and receive it. This idea never applied to the majority of believers, that is, until the Son of God, Jesus came along.
(Ask congregation what some of the great things that Jesus did while on earth)—affirm responses. Do you believe that we can do the same today? Jesus was expecting them, as He expects us, to continue these great things for Him today and tomorrow. And the disciples and believers have done and are doing just that.
It was like a time when I was a director for a large camp in Michigan in 1993. Half way during the summer one of my counselors received some terrible news. Her brother was rock climbing in the Northern Peninsula when he had lost his footing and fell sixty feet straight down landing on his head and neck. The doctors had already told her that afternoon he had massive swelling around his spinal column. They told her that he would probably be paralyzed and unable to walk. Jamie asked us to pray for her brother as she took the nearest flight to get to him.
It was a stormy afternoon and it seemed the whole camp was praying for Jamie and her brother. We waited and heard from her about seven o’clock that night. Her brother escaped serious injury after falling so far down and landing so badly. In fact, the doctors said that he had only sustained a concussion from the sixty foot fall and after they had run some tests he would be able to go home in the next few days.
That evening, as the storm left our area, one of the brightest and full rainbows I had seen in my life arched against the black clouds that receded into the east. The rainbow, a symbol of God’s promise reassured us that Jamie’s brother would be alright. And a week later he was able to walk through his front door at home.
We have been promised and guaranteed that we can do great things, even greater than Christ. For example, while Christ’s ministry primarily stayed in Palestine, faithful believers continued to spread the message unto, “the ends of the earth.” Yes, these greater things point to both the miraculous and righteous things that Jesus did. But all is not as it appears. There is something we must remember before we roll up our sleeves and start praying for everything we can think of.
Holiday Inn has been busy the last three years launching its advertising campaign to advertise their new Holiday Inn Express. In their commercials they want you to know that you will be able to sleep in their hotels and feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to go the next morning.
Maybe you remember one of the commercials…..The commercial begins on a skydiving plane. A man that appears to be an instructor at the plane’s open door is guiding the first time jumpers out the door. He yells, “Give me a clean exit and a good arch, go!” The skydiver jumps as others follow out the door. The man again yells, “Pay attention, right, heads up, at 4,500 feet, look, reach, pull. Go, come on you can do it!” The divers jump while listening to his instruction. A woman jumps and stops and asks the man, “How many times have you done this?” He answers, “None, but I just stayed at the Holiday Inn Express last night.” The woman dives out the door.