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Disciple Class in the Upper Room: Lesson 2 - Pray

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Luke 11:1 NKJV
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Luke 11:1

Prayer focused on the greater works of God

Matthew 11:22–26 NKJV
But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
Mark 11:22–26 NKJV
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 11:
Here is the responsibility - The concern of prayer
We pray believing God can do “greater works” through us
Here is the responsibility -
The responsibility is not to build us a better life (which most of our prayer life is centered around) but our responsibility is to build the church of Jesus Christ
Jesus already promised us a better in fact a perfect life in verses 1-7 but it is not here on earth. He has promised us a fruitful abundant life here but not one free from suffering and trials.
Jesus had dedicated His life and would literally pour out His life’s blood to build the church
Matthew 16:15 NKJV
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Matthew 16:15–17 NKJV
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 NKJV
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:
The church is the universal church and spiritual body but the local church is the visible and physical manifestation of that Body
Christ is the Head of that Body
A responsibility that can be accepted with confidence - Most assuredly - The word of Christ
A responsibility based upon a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ
A responsibility modeled by Jesus Christ
A responsibility confirmed by the ascension of Christ
Here is the promise - The confidence of prayer
Based upon the authority of Jesus word
Based upon our relationship with Jesus Christ
We have the absolute assurance of an answer based upon our relationship with Jesus Christ - he who believes in Me
We have the absolute assurance of an answer because our request is based upon the greater works of God
The apostles would do the same works Jesus had done and greater works through their prayers
What are the greater works?
Jesus’ works were controlled by the will of His Father
Matthew 11:2–6 NKJV
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
We work for and with the Father as He did
Matthew 11:2
John 4:34 NKJV
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
John 5:17 NKJV
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
John 5:17
John 9:4 NKJV
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
John 9:4
John 14:10 NKJV
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
John 14:10
John 17:4 NKJV
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
John 17:10
The apostles’ greater works were to be done for the glory of the Father
John 17:1–5 NKJV
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
They were not greater in comparison to Jesus’ sign works
John 11:47 NKJV
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.
John 11:47
John 14:11 NKJV
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
John 14:11
DA Carson View
But what does “greater” mean? Shall Christians perform more sensational acts? It is difficult to image miracles more sensational than those of Jesus; “greater” surely doesn’t mean that. Might “greater” mean “more numerous” or “more widely spread”? In that sense. Christians have indeed done “greater” things than Jesus did… The greater works may therefore be the gathering of converts into the church through the witness of the disciples (cf. 17:20; 20:29), and the overflow of kindness that stems from transformed lives. —D.A. Carson
The “greater works” are; Now that Jesus has accomplished the atoning work on the cross; His Church has the mission to spread the Gospel around the world through their sharing the word of God and doing good works
John 17:1–5 NKJV
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:16 NKJV
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
John 17:1-
and the mission of the Church to spread the Gospel
The greater works are produced by a relationship with Jesus Christ
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
“…participation in the “greater” works that flow from Christ’s work, and participation in truly fruitful prayer. “ —D A Carson
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
John 15:
They are greater because Jesus has gone to the Father having accomplished the way of salvation and we now work under His authority
They are greater because the Holy Spirit, our Helper, is with us to enable us to accomplish the mission
God the Father revealed Himself to Old Testament believers before the coming of His Son and was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty. Then Jesus came, and the ever-blessed Son in His own proper person was the delight of His people's eyes. At the time of the Redeemer's ascension, the Holy Spirit became the head of the present era, and His power was gloriously displayed in and after Pentecost. He remains at this hour the present Immanuel--God with us, dwelling in and with His people, quickening, guiding, and ruling in our lives.
Is His presence recognized as it ought to be? We cannot control His working; He is sovereign in all His operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain His help or sufficiently watchful lest we grieve Him and He withdraws His help? Without Him we can do nothing, but by His almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced: Everything depends upon His revealing or concealing His power.
Do we always look up to Him for our inner life and our outward service with the respectful dependence that is appropriate? Do we not too often run before His call and act independently of His aid?
Let us humble ourselves this evening for past neglect, and now entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, the celestial flame to burn within us. The Holy Spirit is not a temporary gift--He remains with the church. When we seek Him as we should, we will find Him. He is jealous, but He is full of pity; if He leaves in anger, He returns in mercy. Condescending and tender, He does not grow tired of us but constantly displays His grace. —Charles Spurgeon
Sin has been hammering my heart Unto a hardness, void of love. Let supplying grace to cross his art Drop from above.
Our confidence in prayer is in Jesus Christ
The “And” of verse 13 connects it’s promise to verse 12
“Here is the project I want you to complete. I have given you some things you will need to work on the project, but if you need anything else let me know and I will get it for you.”
We pray concerned about the glory of God
Peter and James

Prayer is exemplified by Christ

Here is the command - The obedience of prayer
We can’t be living in disobedience
Isaiah 59:1–2 NKJV
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
James 4:3 NKJV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:2–3 NKJV
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
We can’t be selfish and attempting to satisfy our own lusts
James 4:2–3 NKJV
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:2–3 NKJV
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Our love for Christ and His word must rule
Here is the Help - The answer to Jesus’ prayer
Charles Spurgeon
📷

Remember the Holy Spirit
. . . your good Spirit.
Common, too common, is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit. This is folly and ingratitude. He deserves better from us, for He is good, supremely good. As God, He is good essentially. He shares in the threefold ascription of "Holy, holy, holy" that ascends to the Triune God. He is unmixed purity, truth, and grace. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness, striving with our rebellious wills, quickening us from our death in sin, and then training us for heaven as a loving father trains his children. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God. He is good operatively.
All His works are good in the most eminent degree: He suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assists in good attainments, and leads to good results. There is no spiritual good in all the world of which He is not the author and sustainer, and heaven itself will owe the perfect character of its redeemed inhabitants to His work. He is good officially: Whether as Comforter, Instructor, Guide, Sanctifier, Quickener, or Intercessor, He fulfills His office well, and each work is filled with the highest good to the church of God.
Those who yield to His influences become good; those who obey His impulses do good; those who live under His power receive good. Let us then act toward Him according to the dictates of gratitude. Let us revere His person and adore Him as God over all, blessed forever; let us own His power and our need of Him by waiting upon Him in all our holy enterprises; let us hourly seek His help and never grieve Him; and let us speak His praise whenever occasion occurs. The church will never prosper until it more reverently believes in the Holy Spirit. He is so good and kind that it is sad indeed that He should be grieved by slights and negligences. —Charles Spurgeon
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God ,
Acts 1:5 NKJV
for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He is another Helper
The Father and the Son didn’t abandon the church at the coming of the Holy Spirit
John 14:18 NKJV
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18
Through Him we have the presence of the Father, Son, and of course the Holy Spirit
John 14:23 NKJV
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
The Holy Spirit came to be the primary Person of the Triune God during the Church age
Acts 1:
John 14:18 NKJV
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18
John 14:25–26 NKJV
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:25-26
Charles Wesley on the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
1. Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down; fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art; visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.
Acts 1:5–6 NKJV
for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast! Let us all in thee inherit; let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.
3. Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above, pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.
4. Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee; changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.
—Charles Wesley
He is sent by the Father to aide the Church in it’s greater work
Acts 1:4–5 NKJV
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He comes from the Father - I will pray the Father
James 1:17 NKJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
He was sent to help us
He helps us with our prayers
Romans 8:27 NKJV
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans
Romans 8:26–27 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
He helps us with our witness
Acts 1:8 NKJV
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We need to be careful in our relationship with the Holy Spirit
The second person of the Triune God, the Son is about to accomplish His purpose and part in God’s redemption plan and will shortly thereafter ascend back to the Father. The Holy Spirit of God will then be sent to dwell with and in the true believers.
We can remain ignorant of Him or totally ignore Him
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
Do not quench the Spirit.
We can abuse and hurt Him
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
He will remain with the Church forever
The second person of the Triune God, the Son is about to accomplish His purpose and part in God’s redemption plan and will shortly thereafter ascend back to the Father. The Holy Spirit of God will then be sent to dwell with and in the true believers.
This is a promise that He will not leave the true believer or Jesus’ church but it is not a promise He is operating in the lives of believers that are living in disobedience:
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
Do not quench the Spirit.
He is a gift we ignore
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
Do not quench the Spirit.
I Thessalonians 5:
This is a promise disciples can hold on to as they do do the Gospel work
He is a gift we abuse
Matthew 28:18 NKJV
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Matthew 28:20 NKJV
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The Spirit of truth is known to believers
The Holy Spirit is unseen and unknown by non-believers
2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
2 Corinthians
The Holy Spirit speaks of and glorifies Christ
We know it’s the Holy Spirit when He speaks of and glorifies Christ
John 15:26 NKJV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:13 NKJV
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
1 John 4:6 NKJV
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Charles Spurgeon
God the Father revealed Himself to Old Testament believers before the coming of His Son and was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty. Then Jesus came, and the ever-blessed Son in His own proper person was the delight of His people's eyes. At the time of the Redeemer's ascension, the Holy Spirit became the head of the present era, and His power was gloriously displayed in and after Pentecost. He remains at this hour the present Immanuel--God with us, dwelling in and with His people, quickening, guiding, and ruling in our lives.
Is His presence recognized as it ought to be? We cannot control His working; He is sovereign in all His operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain His help or sufficiently watchful lest we grieve Him and He withdraws His help? Without Him we can do nothing, but by His almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced: Everything depends upon His revealing or concealing His power.
Do we always look up to Him for our inner life and our outward service with the respectful dependence that is appropriate? Do we not too often run before His call and act independently of His aid?
Let us humble ourselves this evening for past neglect, and now entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, the celestial flame to burn within us. The Holy Spirit is not a temporary gift--He remains with the church. When we seek Him as we should, we will find Him. He is jealous, but He is full of pity; if He leaves in anger, He returns in mercy. Condescending and tender, He does not grow tired of us but constantly displays His grace. —Charles Spurgeon
Sin has been hammering my heart Unto a hardness, void of love. Let supplying grace to cross his art Drop from above.
Other things Jesus prayed for and told us to pray for to help
We need to be careful in our relationship with the Holy Spirit
Luke 10:2 NKJV
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
We can remain ignorant of Him or totally ignore Him
Luke 18:1 NKJV
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
Luke 18
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
Do not quench the Spirit.
Luke 22:40 NKJV
When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:32 NKJV
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
We can abuse and hurt Him
John 6:11 NKJV
And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
John 6:11
Mark 1:35–38 NKJV
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Mark 1:35
Luke 6:12
Luke 6:12 NKJV
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Prayer that finds joy

Luke 10:2 NKJV
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Luke 11:1 NKJV
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Luke 18:1 NKJV
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
Luke
Luke 22:32 NKJV
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Luke 22:
Luke 22:40 NKJV
When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
We will have sorrow but His resurrection brings us a permanent joy
The exalted name of Jesus Christ assures of answers to our Gospel-centered prayers
A new era in prayer began after the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Praying or asking in His name is more than carrying a credit card with His name on it or blank check that He has signed
Praying or asking in His name is declaring I don’t deserve to be here in your presence this name, Jesus Christ, paid the price allowing me to come here this day
Praying or asking in His name is stating I only want to ask those things that He would ask for and submitting my will to Your will Lord.
Praying or asking in His name mean I belong to Him and have a genuine relationship with Him
Praying or asking in His name means I want to honor Him and only receive those things that will honor Him. I’m living my life in such a way that honors Him.

Final Thoughts

2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast! Let us all in thee inherit; let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.
3. Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above, pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.
We have been called to do greater works to build the Church of Jesus Christ
Luke 10:2 NKJV
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Luke 10:2
John 6:11 NKJV
And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
4. Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee; changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.
We have been equipped with prayer, the commands of Jesus Christ and the Helper, the Holy Spirit
Luke 10:2 NKJV
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
John 6:
John 6:11 NKJV
And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
—Charles Wesley
Luke 18:1 NKJV
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
Matthew 26:40–41 NKJV
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:40
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