Summary: The sixth in a series looking at the life of Christ, this sermon looks at two prayers that Jesus delivers - the Priestly prayer of John 17 and the Lord’s prayer.
Intro.: Pastor Joel Smith tells a cute story about
One night a father heard his young daughter speaking, although she was alone in her room. The door was cracked just enough so that he could see that she was kneeling beside her bed in prayer. Interested to find out what subjects a child would bring before God, he paused outside her door and listened. After tuning in to her speech he was puzzled to hear her reciting the alphabet: "A, B, C, D, E, F, G …" She just kept repeating it. He didn’t want to interrupt her, but soon curiosity go the best of him and he broke into prayer, "Honey," he asked, "what are you doing?"
"I’m praying, Daddy," she replied.
"Well, why are you praying the alphabet?" he asked.
She explained, "I started my prayers, but I wasn’t sure what to pray. I decided to just say all the letters of the alphabet and let God put them together however he thinks best."
1. Have you ever felt that way?
2. Today we will look at two of Jesus’ prayers.
3. The first shows us how Jesus prayed
4. The second will illustrates how he wants us to pray
1. Prayer allows us to talk to God
2. It allows us to lay our brokenness before Him
3. Prayer gives us time to meet him with about our
hurts, sorrows, and joys.
T.S. Jesus practiced prayer and he commanded us to
I. Jesus prayed -- John 17
A. Somehow this is easy to accept – Jesus did pray. He spent time talking to His Father
B. His prayers were not canned – but arose out of His life:
1. when He needed to be alone – he prayed
2. When He was with his friends – he prayed
3. When He was in crisis, as he hung on the
cross – prayed
Prayer was a normal part of Jesus’ life
(Appl.) Prayer ought not be an exceptional activity for the believer, but it ought to become a normal part of our lives. Whatever may come – good, bad, ugly – ought to drive us to prayer. God is not so concerned about how or where we pray – but he is concerned that we come to Him with our lives.
C. There are two very famous prayers in scripture that were presented by Jesus. The most famous, The Lord’s Prayer we will look at in a moment. The other famous prayer is found in John 17
(Ill.) John 17 is a very interesting prayer. Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples. He has shared the passover meal with them – and now he is about to leave to go out to brook of Kidron. There was a garden there where he and disciples would often go. Tonight would be different – he would be arrested and within the next few hours hung on a cross. And what does he do. He prays.
D. So what does Jesus pray for?
1. He prays for the task that God has given Him to do. He is about to die, but He knows that His ministry will far outlast His earthly life (v. 1-8)
2. He prays for his disciples. The growth of the church will depend on their faithfulness to the task they have been given. (v. 9-19)
3. He prays for those who have not yet heard the gospel – us. (v 20-26)
(Appl.) There is a pattern here for us:
1. Pray for the task that God has given us
2. Pray for those God has allowed us to touch
3. Pray for those who will come - those who will
II. Jesus expects us to pray -- Matthew 6:8-13
A. Goes without saying – not just because Jesus modeled it for us, not just because he commanded it, but because he expected it!
(Ill.) Luke quotes Jesus as saying, “When you pray…” as begins describing The Lord’s Prayer.
B. This prayer serves not as a prayer, but as instructions for Jesus’ disciples
C. Perhaps you have heard of the acronym ACTS:
A – Adoration and Praise
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S - Supplication
(Ill.) Matthew Henry suggests that in prayer we are coming closer to God than at any other time. And it is what God wants. He wants us to be get close to Him. When we are avoiding prayer, we are avoiding God.
I don’t know to what extent prayer is part of your life. I know what God wants it to be.
Let me make some suggestions for improving your prayer life:
1. Do pray – if prayer is not part of your life, the first step is to start.
2. Plan on praying for the little things and the big things
3. Make a list – date, what, who, results, when
4. Pray the scriptures -
5. Ask others to pray – use the prayer chain