Summary: You are going to make it because Jesus Himself is praying for you. Our text tells us that Jesus does pray for us in heaven. We will also examine other passages that tell us how Jesus has prayed for us, and how He is praying still.
Someone Is Praying for You: Jesus Christ, Our Intercessor
Text: John 17 & Hebrews 7:23-25 23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Intro: Isn’t it nice to know there are people who are behind you, backing you up, giving you the support you need? It is so encouraging to me as your pastor to have a sense that you are on board with where we are going as a church. Of course, if we were going in the wrong direction and you knew it, then I would want to hear from you as well.
-Many years ago, when I was in high school, I remember what it felt like to be running down the football field, knowing that I had the support, the cheers and encouragement, and the backing of the coach, parents and fans. They wanted me to do well and were encouraging me – rooting me on. It didn’t matter how daunting the opponent was. I was convinced I could do what needed to be done, because of others who thought I could do it also. Occasionally, however, I would overhear the comments of someone who didn’t think I should be in there. They didn’t believe I could get the job done. I’d hear, “Get him out of there! What’s he doing in there?” Obviously, that did not help my morale. I needed support and encouragement to keep me doing my best.
-Today I’d like to talk about a form of support and encouragement that is greater than a cheering crowd. It is better than a pat on the back from the coach. This encouragement is found in 5 little words: Someone is praying for you. I plan to speak 3 different times on this topic, because it is so essential. Tonight will be part 2, and 2 weeks from tonight will be the concluding message. Don’t you enjoy hearing someone say, “Hey, I’ve been praying for you,” and know that they really have? Just knowing they are thinking of you is helpful, but the real benefit comes from the prayers that are prayed on your behalf.
-The title of today’s message in this series is Jesus Christ, Our Intercessor.
Prop: The main idea I’d like to cover today is this: You are going to make it because Jesus Himself is praying for you.
Interrogative: If we are willing to accept the fact that Jesus does live to make intercession for us, what kind of prayer is Jesus praying to His Father for us?
TS: Our text tells us that Jesus does pray for us in heaven. We will also examine other passages that tell us how Jesus has prayed for us, and how He is praying still.
I. Jesus Prays for Our Strength & Protection (John 17:11,15)
Jn 17:11 Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-- the name you gave me-
John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
-The word keep or protect in v.11 means to keep someone unharmed. Keep or protect in v.15 speaks of guarding from or against someone. This would be like protection against an enemy. Jesus told Peter that He had prayed for Him, that his faith would not fail, and that the enemy had a design on him. Look at it in Luke 22.
-Luke 22:31-32 31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
-Jesus told Peter, “Satan wants you, but I want you more.” Later, Peter himself wrote that the devil, the adversary, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). No wonder. He had first hand experience with that kind of opposition.
-This passage in Luke really moves me, because of the faith Christ showed in Peter, that he would return to Him. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him, but He didn’t write him off and say, “For Pete’s sake, Peter, I’ve spent 3 years investing in you, and now you’re going to blow it! You’re hopeless!” No, Jesus said, “When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers. I’ve been praying for you that your faith will not fail. You are going to make it. Don’t give up!”
-Romans 8:34 shows us that Christ does not condemn us, because He is praying for us. “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Jesus cannot intercede and condemn at the same time. Rather, He is praying for us (like He did for Peter) that our faith will not fail – even though we may be facing the biggest trials and challenges of our lives.