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Summary: 1. Jesus said, "I pray for those who WILL believe in me" 2. Jesus said, "That all of them may be one" 3. Jesus said, "I have given them the glory that You gave Me"

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January 14, 2004

Title: The Time Has Come...to Pray #8

Text: John 17:20-23

Introduction

1. Tonight we will continue to observe Christ as He prays to His Father...

Christ is quickly nearing the time in His ministry when He will be arrested...

condemned to die...

horribly mutilated...

and killed in the most dispicable way...

AND...He knows what is ahead...

so when He prays...

He isn’t praying lightly...

He isn’t just jabbering away...

We know that this is a very important time between Him and His Father...

and this prayer is a very important prayer.

It obviously contains things that are very close to the heart of Christ.

And we are the richer in studying this prayer.

2. Tonight, we come to a passage of Scripture that speaks directly to us of our vision...

Each One Win One.

This passage of Scripture contains a powerful message for us,

as we embark on "bearing fruit"...

as each one of us endeavors to win 1 person to the Lord in this new year.

Read Text: John 17:20-23

Body

1. Jesus, in His prayer, says, "I pray also for those who WILL believe in me through their message".

A. On the surface, this is simply telling us that Christ is praying for all those who will believe in Him...

because of the ministry of His disciples.

He is praying for those future converts...

That include those thousands of early converts that we read about in the book of Acts...

but it also includes all the people converted down through history ...

and even until today!

This includes you and me.

On this day, so many years ago,...

Jesus was praying for you and for me...

people who would become Christians through the original ministry of the disciples...

carried down through the centuries.

B. That’s the direct meaning, on the surface...

but beneath the surface...

we see an example for us to follow.

As Christ prayed for those who were NOT YET Christians...

but would one day BECOME a Christian...

So we too should pray for those who are NOT YET Christians!

Before we can ever accomplish the Vision that God has laid before us: Each One Win One...

We must follow that example of Christ...

EACH ONE PRAY FOR ONE!!

C. I hope you have already selected the person/family that you intend to minister to this year.

If you have...I encourage you to pray for them...

Before you even contact them or call them...

pray for them!

And as we pray for those who are NOT YET Christians...

It is our hope that...

the power of God unleashed through the power of prayer...

will begin to work in that person’s life...

even before you ever contact them...

so that when the time comes for you to contact them...

Christ has already been at work in their lives!

2. Christ’s prayer doesn’t end there, He goes on to pray, in verse 21, "That all of them may be one"

A. One of the themes running through this prayer is the prayer for UNITY

in Verse 11, Jesus prayed for His followers, "that they may be ONE as we are one".

In Verse 23 Christ prays "may they be brought to COMPLETE unity to let the world know that You sent Me"

Christ’s desire is NOT ONLY unity for His early disciples...

But His prayer is also for the unity of ALL the future converts...

including the Church of today.

B. Our global mission is "Loving God...Reaching Families...Making Friends"...

And when we talk about "Making friends"...

we are talking about more than just inviting people to church...

in fact, we are talking about more than winning them to the Lord...

we are talking about integrating them into our Church family...

becoming our very dear friends.

C. If we invite someone to church...

but they don’t get saved...

or if they DO get saved...

but then they wander away...

we haven’t accomplished what Christ wants us to accomplish.

Christ wants "all of to be one"

We want everyone to be able to join together in one voice and sing...

"I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God"

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the verse to that song...

it goes like this:

You will notice we say "brother"

And "sister" ’round here.

It’s because we’re a family

And these folks are so near.

When one has a heartache,

We all shed a tear,

And rejoice in each victory

In this family so dear.

Bill and Gloria Gaither have captured what it should be like in the Church.

We become one, big, glorious family!

and this family even goes beyond the walls of this church...

and includes everyone who calls Christ their Lord!

D. But it doesn’t happen by accident...

Christ PRAYED for that to happen...

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