Faithlife Sermons

What to Pray?

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Opening Illustration

An American .. Australian .. Irishman on a desert Island .. find a lamp .. polish the lamp and out comes a genie .. Thank you my masters .. one wish each
one wish each
American .. back on the ranch .. poof .. gone
Aussie .. back to the SCG watch Aust v India .. poof .. gone
Irishman .. Kinda lonely without the other 2 .. I wish they were back here!
Genie jokes .. wishing for the WRONG THING
If you could have ONE WISH … what would it be ?
Never ending packet of Tim Tams ? Stable family life ? No worries in life?
What do you MOST want?
is of course the prayer of Jesus before He goes back to His Father .. it’s very helpful to hear the prayer points that Jesus identifies .. for His disciples .. which includes YOU
Jesus prays for you .. what’s His MAIN focus as He prays .. is it the same as you pray for yourself .. would be a bit embarrassing if our prayers are directly OPPOSITE the things Jesus prays for .. lets take a look

The HOUR Has Come! vv.1-5

You can’t get away from the fact that Jesus’ MAIN desire is that we would be ONE with Him .. and His Father .. in these chapters this has been a constant thread .. way back in 14:20ff On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
Jesus taught his disciples what this bond was between them and Him and His Father and now He prays to that effect
Jesus has done His work .. the HOUR had not come because Jesus was still about His Fathers business .. the life and teaching of Jesus but NOW .. the HOUR had come! ..

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began

Spot the KEY WORD .. yep .. GLORY
The TIME / HOUR has come .. Jesus wants the Father glorified as He seeks to finish the work that the Father has given Him to do .. this will bring Jesus GLORY .. and Jesus really longs to be back with His Father enjoying the GLORY they have always had in each others presence before the world began
Jesus has been OBEDIENT to His Father .. Jesus has willingly come knowing that it is ONLY as He dwells here on earth .. living and teaching the Way of God .. and then loving this world .. loving us .. loving YOU, so much that He was willing to lay down His life by going to the cross .. suffering in our place and rising again .. proving His VICTORY over death and securing ETERNAL LIFE with Him in PARADISE
A HOLY Jesus living in a CURSED and DARK world .. constantly at odds with the WORLD and the CHURCH .. people argue and abuse Him .. say His power was from the devil .. people who would quickly disregard Him and mock and abuse Him so much different to the existence with His Father in heaven ..angels who worshipped Him where His every word was obeyed
He’s been counting down the days and now the HOUR has come
ILLUSTRATION
It’s a little like my experience with BEACH MISSION .. Boxing day Beate and I went to Fingal Bay .. 10 days teaching kids the Bible and hopefully having meaningful conversations with people about Jesus. Extremely worthwhile .. great thing to do .. exciting ..
BUT it was HOT or there was torrential rain .. canvas tents .. vomiting and diarrhoea .. amenities block ages away .. hard stretcher or leaky airbed
Bunch of kids hyped up on holidays that we were seeking to reach with the gospel .. disinterested parents who welcomed the baby sitting .. rarely engaged in conversation … and then there was SCOOPING .. dressing up and gathering up kids to come to the programme .. 10 days .. and I counted them down from day ONE
It was a great feeling to be packed up and on our way HOME .. roof over my head .. a shower and a soft bed and my own personal space again!
Jesus has been looking to this day .. the HOUR .. yet what is IMMEDIATELY before Him is the most HIDEOUS day in history .. the sky darkened with the JUDGEMENT of God .. a shattered shell of a man nailed to a cross
BUT .. then a RESURRECTION .. a new body .. and then to ASCEND to His Father to go HOME
So here is Jesus praying to the Father .. for His disciples .. BEFORE the cross event .. and notice v.4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
Such is the OBEDIENCE and FOCUS on the Fathers WILL that Jesus talks with confidence .. He is FINISHING the work the Father gave Him to do .. every temptation would be wrestled with but eventually all the Father had given Him to do would be complete and the Father would be glorified .. and He .. Jesus .. would have the GLORY that He left behind .. before He was a man
What is it that has been achieved? What is the WORK of Jesus?
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent
That’s the THEME in the gospel of John .. these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing you may have LIFE in His name

Prayer Points .. For the Disciples .. vv.6-19

It’s clear that Jesus doesn’t pray for everyone … His followers are His focus .. the people He loves .. those given to Him by the Father .. the people He loves .. like the people we’ve met in John’s gospel .. His disciples like Andrew and Simon .. James and John .. Nathaniel .. the Samaritan woman at the well .. the guy born blind and telling ever one when He was healed by Jesus .. Lazarus and Mary and Martha .. Jesus leaves but these must stay in the World and so He prays for them ..
Jesus has 3 main prayer points. That they be PROTECTED, SANCTIFIED, and ONE
Today we are going to look at the first 2 prayer points and next week we will look at the ONENESS that Jesus prays for.
#1 PROTECTION .. v.11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
What is this PROTECTION? It’s not protection from DISEASE or ILLNESS .. not even protection from harm .. very soon they would be in great PHYSICAL DANGER
What is this PROTECTION? It’s not protection from DISEASE or ILLNESS .. not even protection from HARM .. very soon they would be in great PHYSICAL DANGER .. but the Lord prays that these disciples will remain firm in the NAME of the Lord Jesus .. that His name .. His POWER will keep them loyal despite all opposition .. it will be clear that their LOYAL allegiance is to KING JESUS.
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.What is this PROTECTION? It’s not protection from DISEASE or ILLNESS .. not even protection from harm .. very soon they would be in great PHYSICAL DANGER
This can be shaky … Jesus has been with them the best part of 3 years .. watched over them .. taught them .. guided them .. still one of their number fell away .. Judas as was foretold
Y’see .. the PRIORITY for Jesus is that we remain FIRM in Him .. that SPIRITUALLY we will FLOURISH ..
It’s interesting isn’t it that when we are gathering prayer points we think .. well who’s sick … who’s having a tough time at work .. at home .. illness in the family.. of course they are a very necessary part of our prayer life .. what’s high on Jesus’ prayer list ? .. v.15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it
Not protect them from the nasty bugs .. protect them from the EVIL ONE .. keep them SPIRITUALLY STRONG
Jesus has been teaching his disciples that there is a BIG DISCONNECT between His FOLLOWERS and the WORLD .. Jesus has just been saying that we need to be prepared for the WORLD’S HATRED .. they won’t necessarily want to HEAR the word of God .. there will be persecution and opposition however .. while we are not people OF the world, we are to be people who are IN the WORLD
Jesus could whisk us away to heaven straight away BUT that is NOT His plan … He wants us to rub shoulders with people .. be connected to others .. not hiding away in a church fortress … not hidden away in a monastery afraid we might be contaminated by the WORLD VIRUS .. Jesus pray point: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world we are SALT and LIGHT .. FOR SALT TO BE ANY GOOD IT HAS TO TOUCH THE FOOD … for light to penetrate the DARKNESS it has to be pretty close
That’s the reason we are here IN THE WORLD .. to share the LOVE of Jesus .. to tell others of Christ
That’s a challenge isn’t it! What opportunities are there in the WORLD for us to have influence
For some of us .. it’s the WORK experience .. everyday we work with people that are not followers of Jesus .. our LIFE and WORDS are noticed
For others we might have to work harder at that .. to make the most of CONTACT with others that are not Christians .. getting to know our neighbours is a good start .. developing a relationship with them .. connecting .. some neighbours are great .. others harder to get to know .. some suspicious .. some who just like to “keep to themselves”
Schools can be a great place to connect .. esp if your kids are in a State School .. mingling with parents as you drop kids off or pick them up .. I know that can be tough, most people just want to pick up their kids and go but maybe planning to get there a bit earlier to connect
I’ve found getting involved with a local fishing club a good way to go .. and I know others here are in Probus clubs .. sewing groups .. quilting etc .. and it’s kinda nice to get Christians together .. bit easier .. but Is that what Jesus modelled? Is that what He wants? He was known as the “friend of sinners” .. people slung off at Him because He socialised with the tax-collectors and other “sinners” .. non kosher people
And that’s the prayer of Jesus .. don’t take them OUT of the WORLD .. KEEP them IN the WORLD and effective .. not compromising the truth but living the truth before others .. not giving in to the devil and his schemes .. the greatest scheme is to keep us quiet and scared .. discouraged and doubting ..
Friends .. Jesus prays for you as you mingle with others
Secondly ..
#2 SANCTIFIED .. look at vv.17-19 .. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
That’s great .. but what does it mean?
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
SANCTIFY .. sounds like a heavy duty unintelligible theological term .. it means to be HOLY .. set apart for God’s use .. it means we are DIFFERENT
It’s a bit like that special ROYAL DOULTON dinner set .. or the very special silver cutlery … that ONLY comes out on special occasions .. kept in the glass case and never goes in the dishwasher .. set apart for special use
And that’s what we are as Christians .. DIFFERENT .. as Christians we are IN the World but we are not to be LIKE the World .. remember .. the WORLD = those who do not keep Jesus as the CENTRE of their life
It’s easy for the WORLD to suffocate or OVERGROW and STRANGLE us .. remember Jesus saying that the CARES .. WORRIES of the world can choke us .. parable of the soils / sower
We can get distracted .. our focus .. our goals .. our values can become NO DIFFERENT from those around us
And Jesus says “I want MY people to be DISTINCTIVE as they live among others” and He prays that it might be so
How is that going to happen? Jesus tells us .. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. .. no fairy wand .. no magic wooffle dust .. it’s the discipline and hard work of regularly reading and praying .. hearing the Bible .. using all the avenues available to us to hear the truth .. living by the BIBLE will make us different .. it’s the Bible that works to make us not be seduced into the pattern of the WORLD
Do you want to stand firm? Get this into you .. read it .. read it by yourself .. read it as a couple .. as a family .. read it with a friend .. know it .. study it .. meditate on it .. the more convinced we are of this truth .. the less enticing WORLDLINESS is
Jesus knows our frailty .. the devil knows our weaknesses .. do YOU know where the devil will attack ..
Jesus prays for us .. to keep us DISTINCTIVE .. DIFFERENT in the World and we need to keep making sure we are not placing ourselves in the way of real temptation .. so hard in the affluent west .. where the main focus of interest is KEEPING OURSELVES COMFORTABLE .. SELF CENTRED
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