Summary: The first message in a series on the Power of Prayer written by Max Lucado, This message deals with our access to the throne room of Heaven showing that Father, Son, and Spirit all work together to give you access in prayer.
Power of Prayer #1:ACCESS
CHCC: June 7, 2009
(from Discover the Power of Prayer by Max Lucado)
VIDEO: Break Down the Wall
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome has a holy door called the “Porta Sancta” which is only opened during a Holy Year of Jubilee which occurs every 25 years. The last one was in 2000. On Christmas Eve of 2000, Pope John Paul II struck a brick wall with a silver hammer, opening up the passage. (The mortar is loosened ahead of time by the way) After that year, the wall was re-bricked, and the door won’t be opened again until Christmas Eve 2025. For most people it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What if prayer was like this? Only at a special time, and only for a chosen few. Looking back to the Exodus series we recently finished … we remember hearing about the annual Day of Atonement. This was part of the Fall Festival --- the one day each year when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat that covered the Ark of the Covenant. This entrance to the Presence of God was only allowed one time a year … and only the High Priest was ever permitted to walk behind the thick curtain that covered the Most Holy Place.
That is the way it used to be, but Jesus changed everything!
Hebrews chapter 7 explains that… Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself Hebrews 7:25-27
At the very moment when Jesus died, that heavy Curtain in the Jewish Temple ripped from top to bottom. This was the first act of Jesus as our new High Priest: He opened the way for us to come with Him into God’s Presence.
Ephesians 2:18 gives this amazing description of our ACCESS to our God: For through Jesus we have access to the Father by one Spirit.
There’s a powerful bundle of Trinitarian theology packed into that one little verse. Father, Son, and Spirit are all involved in bringing us ACCESS to the throne-room of Heaven. That word, ACCESS, is interesting. The Greek word that is translated ACCESS implies the introduction of a person to another person of Power.
But now-days, the main way I use the word ACCESS tends to involve Computers. I’m always needing to get ACCESS to my network and my e-mail or a website. I have way too many user-names and passwords to keep track of!
(Recently I tried to get into my Bank Account Website, I had to make two phone calls, and they kept giving me new usernames and passwords. Two hours later I finally got in…)
I’m so glad our ACCESS to God is not that complicated! We have a user-name and a password that will ALWAYS work … and will NEVER change.
Back when I first learned to pray, my parents taught me to end this way: In Jesus’name, Amen. How many of you learned to pray that way? I didn’t understand the significance of that phrase for a long time. It’s much more than just a “sign-off” like “Roger-wilco over and out.”
1. User name = Jesus
You see, we have one … and only one … “username” that will gain us ACCESS to God in prayer – and that is the name of Jesus.
In John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The user name for the prayers of Christians is the name of Jesus. His name will never fail to give us ACCESS to the Holy of Holies.
So what is it that keeps us from praying more often? After all, prayer is what our relationship with God is made of. So why don’t we make better use of this amazing, guaranteed ACCESS? Well, for one thing, Satan knows how essential prayer is --- and He goes all out to keep you from connecting with God. He uses the same old ploys over and over … because they work over and over.
A lot of people avoid Prayer because they don’t feel worthy to approach a Holy God. Coming before God just makes them feel guilty because they know they should be living better. They feel like they don’t deserve to have answered prayers.
If you feel that way, then guess what … you’re right! You’re NOT worthy. And neither am I. But Praise God, my username is NOT Ed Skidmore. We come before God in the name of Jesus … who IS worthy!