Summary: Prayer is the power source for all ministry
THE POSSIBILITIES OF PRAYER
When I first started as a professional counselor, I came to that time when classes were done, practicums were over, and it was time to sit down with that first client who was going to actually pay money to talk to you. I remember the agony of the hour or so before the appointment. I wondered if I was ready. I wondered if I could really help the person. I wondered if I had been a fool to even think about counseling as a career field! Had it not been for a lot of accountability, I probably would have cancelled altogether.
Nevertheless, I went to the appointment and used every counseling skill I could remember to get through the session. Months later, as I was wrapping up with them, I shared the fact that they had been my first REAL clients. They were kind in saying that they would have not known if I had not said it.
Maybe you have been in that situation. Perhaps it was the first day on the job, or the first day performing a task without supervision. All you knew is that you were alone and in need of remembering everything you had learned.
This was the situation in which the disciples were about to be. Jesus was preparing to go back to the Father. He had been teaching and coaching and modeling the work of the kingdom with them for three years. It would be their job to continue. Soon the Master would be gone and disciples would be left alone with a superhuman task: taking the gospel to the entire world.
This passage hinges on Jesus’ statement “because I go to the Father”. Because He was going to the Father, the disciples were going to need a special enabling, a special power to carry the good news to the ends of the earth. Because He was going to the Father, Jesus was going to be in the position to give them that special enabling, that special power.
Notice with me that THE BELIEVERS ABILITY TO CONTINUE THE WORK OF KINGDOM REQUIRES:
I. GREAT POWER ON EARTH (12)
A. Power to do what Jesus did.
1. Jesus never intended for the church to fail
2. Jesus intended that the church would continue the ministry of the kingdom of God that He began while in earth.
a. “he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also”
b. NIV “anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing”
c. Literally, “he who is believing in me, the works that I am doing that one also shall do, and greater than these he shall do, because I go on to my Father”
3. The purpose of the impartation of the Spirit and Christ’s commissioning of the church is clearly directed at the positive advance of the gospel.
Matthew 16:18-19 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven “
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
B. Power to do more that Jesus did.
1. “and greater works than these he will do”
a. “greater” in number rather than quality
b. not to “outdo” the Lord, but to continue the work to more places and to reach more people.
2. History has seen this promise fulfilled.
a. Peter saw more conversions on the day of Pentecost than is ever recorded of Jesus.
b. Paul preached to the known world west of Jerusalem.
c. Billy Graham has preached to more people than Jesus and all the disciples put together.
3. Paul tells us that God’s storehouse is still not empty, nor is His mission satisfied.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Eph 3:20
Note: This power is by prayer as Christ works through us as we ask Him to do so.
Note: A mother was walking by her daughter’s bedroom door when she heard her daughter reciting the alphabet in a very reverent tone. "What are you doing" asks mom.