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Praying for the Future

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What is your role in the great commission. Go, therefore and make disciples. What is your job? What is your responsibility? Is it to force people through a litany of questions and answers? Is it to get them to say the believers prayer? Or, is it even just to simply sit back and wait for God to do his thing? What are we called to do as Christians when it come to evangelism? Reaching the lost?

Intro

I used to hate getting that 5:00 AM phone call.
Duty at the hospital
People would call for prayer
I started off hating it
Then God changed my heart to say:
“You are praying with and for my people.”
I realized through the HS that this was such a great opportunity
Problem: Going into evangelism without praying often

Drama

Jesus prays for future believers (vs. 20-21)
John 17:20 ESV
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
John 17:
He prays for their inclusion in the Kingdom
For their inclusion into the body of Christ
John 17:21 ESV
that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:
They are brought into the church invisible

THE catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

For the indwelling of Christ
Mystical union with Christ
1 cor 6:17
1 Corinthians 6:17 ESV
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
For their witness to future believers
This is a narrow focus
This is not so that the world will see us as righteous or holier than them
It IS for the purpose of reaching the future believer
Jesus prays for God’s plan of salvation for the world (vs. 22-26)
For them to be called out of the word and into the church invisible
Glory - Christ
To see and know Him as the one who has come to save and redeem the world
To call him redeemer, Lord and King
2 Corinthians 4:1–6 ESV
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 4:
For them to come into a saving eternal relationship with God
John 17:24 ESV
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
“With me” - restored relationship for all eternity
For them to be reconciled to God through the knowledge of Jesus Christ
Paul often used the term - “made known” in reference to the gospel
Ephesians 3:7–12 ESV
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Eph 3:7-

Doctrine

Effectual Callling
The work of God will happen - the elect will be saved
Jesus prays for it
Jesus prayed for your salvation and he is praying for others salvation
This is a powerful thing - The very King of the universe is seeing your salvation through
Praying for others salvation
This is an essential part of our GO mandate
We need to be praying that God will open up doors
We need to trust that God is working in and through us to reach the lost of Thomson
Trinity
John 17:21 ESV
that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:
“in US”
Discipleship
Jesus prays that people who believe will be used to reach others who will believe
John 17:22–23 ESV
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
John 17:22
Jesus teaches and grows people in the knowledge of God
He then expects them to go out and to do the same thing
His indwelling Spirit makes this possible (vs. 23)
Mystical Union of Christ
Effectual Calling

Doxology

We should rejoice that we have been called out of this darkness
Ephesians 5:8 ESV
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph
I remember a very influential prayer in my family that I know prayed me into God’s Arms - My Mother
We should rejoice that God is calling others out of that same darkness
What is our role in the unfolding plan of Redemptive History?
1858 - Zion Presbyterian Church in Charleston SC
John L. Girardeau - White pastor mostly black church - slaves and free
The church wanted revival, so they prayed:
The church was holding prayer meetings regularly
The people wanted him to preach
He declined waiting for the HS
He had a big view of Christ being head of the church and if he wanted something to happen He would make it happen
“One evening, while leading the people in prayer, he received a sensation as if a bolt of electricity had struck his head and diffused itself through his whole body. For a little while he stood speechless under the strange physical feeling. Then he said: “The Holy Spirit has come: we will begin preaching tomorrow evening.”
“He closed the service with a hymn, dismissed the congregation, and came down from the pulpit; but n one left the house. The whole congregation had quietly resumed its seat. Instantly he realized the situation. The Holy Spirit had not only come to him - he had also taken possession of hearts of the people.”
“The meeting went on night and day for eight weeks. Large numbers of both white and black were converted and joined the various churches of the city. His own was wonderfully built up, not only in numbers, but also in an experience that remained in the church.”
Kelly - from his biography, Why Pray? pgs. 108-109.
This was amazing in its own right, but what happened as a result was even more marvelous. In 1959 this movement and many like it, filled with prayer for the lost, resulted in the great revival of Great Britain.
Folks, Prayer is the first step in fulfilling the mandate that we have as Christians to “go” into the world and make disciples. It will not happen if we are not praying before we take that first step.
Let us, as the Apostle Paul says before the church at Ephesus say:
Ephesians 3:14–19 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:14
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