Summary: This sermon is a closer look at the way Jesus prayed for Himself, those who were with Him at the time and for us today. Also a look at the need to pray for ourselves, others and the lost of this world.
Things That Make Christians Different From The World: Prayer Part II
Last week’s message was about how differently Christians look at prayer from the way the world looks at prayer. We talked about the fact that there are major differences in the way we pray, who we pray to and the results of our prayers versus the way the world prays, who they pray to, and the so called results of their prayers.
We talked about the fact that God doesn’t hear the prayers of lost people except for a prayer of salvation. We talked about the way God answers our prayers with either a yes, or a no or a wait answer, but the bottom line is that God ALWAYS hears our prayers and answers all of them in one of these ways and always in His perfect time.
Today I want to look at how we pray for ourselves, each other and who is our intercessor with the Father. People have asked me if it is okay to pray for one’s self and the answer is YES, it is absolutely necessary to lift yourself up in prayer as long as the praying isn’t self centered and by that I mean for example, “Lord I need million dollars and a Leer jet if you don’t mind, I could really use them a lot! Thanks in advance, Amen!” Praying for yourself correctly is necessary and Scriptural.
And so is praying for others, this is called intercessory prayer. There is power in lifting up others to the Father in prayer, not only for the one being lifted up but also for the one doing the praying. Intercessory prayer can be done in two ways, you can lift others up in prayer during your prayer time or you can lift them up in prayer either in person or when you are talking to them on the phone, etc.
I have found that both ways work well but I have to say that there is something very special about being able to pray with someone else when they need it and ask for it right there on the spot. I have to confess here that I need to take advantage of praying with people more when I am talking to them about something that they ask me to pray for them about.
I know that we all have asked someone to pray for us and we always tell them that we will but to further my confession here, sometimes I forget to pray for their need and if I could discipline myself better to pray with the person right then and there it would be much better. There is something wonderful that happens when people pray for each other at the moment of need.
The world doesn’t understand our way of praying but Jesus does. In the Gospel of John chapter 17, we can read one of the most wonderful and powerful prayers ever prayed! In this prayer Jesus prayed for Himself, for those who were with Him then and for all of us here today.
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 "But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.