Sunday, March 11 2018
I want to set up a chain. Thank you for your prayers these last couple of weeks. I last week was out almost essentially the whole week. It started on Tuesday with Parker our youngest I was ever so slightly under the weather but not bad enough to not come but Parker was very sick. So I stayed home with him and then Wednesday Parker got a little bit better and I got ever so slightly worse than Thursday Parker got a lot better and I got a lot worse. We were going opposite directions, but I want to thank you for your prayers really help me make it through the weekend and get back to work this week, which was exciting and also a little scary. I showed up on Monday and Pastor walked in and he goes John. weiner preached the best message Which area is great. Don't get me wrong, but after coming off of a centrally week of being sick and having to preach and being told. Hey, the bar is way up here.
It was so it was a little scary but I was talking to some of this morning and then they said you know, you always do such a great time and I said he was video I try to get up on stage and then I had to try to get out of the way. I just I want God to do what God is going to do and I believe that he has something for us and I'm really excited to be able to talk to you about the Lord's Prayer in Jesus's prayer leading up to Easter his time in the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples, but let's start off if you will join me in prayer. Heavenly father. I thank you for this opportunity to be here today. I just asked Lord God that I would get out of the way that whatever message you have for these people here today Lord God that it would come through and that I wouldn't get in the way of it that I wouldn't be a distraction or God that you're Holy Spirit would work through all of us today and your name? Amen to our passes today is found in Luke chapter 22 verse 39 through 46 if you can open up your Bible or it will be up on screen. You can join us and follow along there, but I want to I want to set up where we're at at this stage you see. Jesus has just finished the last supper with his disciples. He's broken bread with them. He shared that Judas would betray him and then he wash their feet. So I was talking to someone little earlier this week and he goes that patches becomes a lot more powerful when you realize Jesus washed his feet. the man he knew was going to betray him and then We're approaching the hour of Jesus's betrayal and he's gone with his disciples outside Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives where the Garden of Gethsemane is. And that we will pick up in verse 39 and it says Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives and his disciples followed him. I'm reaching the place. He said to them pray that you will not fall into temptation. He withdrew about a stone's throw before them now down and prayed father. If you are willing take this cup from me yet not my will but yours be done an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthen him on being an English. He prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground when he rose from prayer and went back to the the to the disciples. He found them asleep exhausted from sorrow. Why are you sleeping? He asked them get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
This is such a powerful passage of the humanity of Jesus.
It's easy to look at Jesus in the focus on the miraculous.
I think sometimes it's easy for us to forget about the struggles that Jesus went through. The trials that he had the bad days that he had maybe the days where he was. a lot of questioning what was going on and yet here we see Jesus with his disciples in a time of prayer and In this passage is an invitation to us to be like Jesus to follow in his footsteps, and I believe that if we unpack this and if we read it, we will see that There are five invitations for prayer for us. And if we accept those invitations will change our prayer life. And I'll change our lives. Is he the first one is an invitation to a habit? One of the important themes of the Book of Luke is Jesus's prayer life. In Luke Jesus and his prayer life was of special importance Luke. Wanted to make sure that the people who read his book new Jesus prayed you want to make sure that people understood that Jesus had a habit of Prayer. In the gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John 15. * it is mentioned that Jesus prays 11 of those times are found in the Book of Luke and 9 of those times are found only in Luke. Luke really wanted us to know that Jesus prayed
Jesus prayed much he needed to pray he loved to pray clearly Luke wanted this established. He wanted his audience and the people reading his book to know that they should have a habit a prayer life like Jesus in Luke chapter 21 verse 37. He write each day. Jesus was teaching at the temple and each evening. He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives. UCR first invitation is to make prayer a habit prayer that isn't a habit is like a microwave that isn't plugged in. It has no power. You can look at the microwave and know what its purpose is effective at mean if I put a picture of your no one would be surprised you like microwave. The picture doesn't do it any good and I microwave that isn't plugged into a power source does no good. And that's what life is like for us when we don't pray. We have all this potential to do what God wants us to do and we've simply unplugged ourselves.
Make no mistake about it. Jesus understood the power of Prayer.
Jesus prayed before Miracles. He prayed after Miracles. He prayed at the start of his ministry. He prayed at the end of his ministry prior to preaching Jesus prayed. When he was by himself, Jesus prayed when Jesus was with others Jesus prayed.
Are you noticing the habit? Jesus prayed a lot You see there's an old story that goes about a fisherman who was out at Sea with some of his companion to who didn't have as much faith is him about he didn't have a lot of himself in a storm came up and the boat mcpatcher. Maybe it was a sailboat. The boat was starting. To seek those friends beg them to pray and he said it's been a long time since I've prayed her or even been to church but at their insistence, they should pray and he goes, okay and he goes, oh Lord. I haven't asked you in anything in 15 years. And if you help us out and bring a safety tool and I promise to leave you alone for the next 15.
Is he often times the lack of the miraculous in our day-to-day life is a result of a lack of consistency in our prayer life.
You want to know why Jesus did miracles on a regular basis? It wasn't just cuz he was a Son of God. It's cuz the boy prayed.
When we pray to God just when we are in Dire Straits, we turn God into a magical wish-granting genie instead of the father that he should be.
I hate to tell you this. It's not obligated to Grant are three wishes just because we've decided that now we're in Dire Straits. See Jesus turned his prayer life into a habit. There was never a time when Jesus didn't pray and his example is an invitation to all of us an invitation to a habit. You see the next invitation that the Bible is given to us is an invitation to intimacy.
At this time in the city of Jerusalem, it was crowded. There was not a lot of extra space. Until what would happen is rich men of Jerusalem would buy plots of land outside Jerusalem overlooking it on the Mount of Olives. And then they had their own private Garden that they could go to at any time that they could go and visit because there just wasn't enough room inside Jerusalem. And this is where Jesus was that we don't know who owned the garden that Jesus was in Bible never mentions it but Jesus has a relationship with a man who has a garden The Garden of Gethsemane and this is where Jesus goes to the quiet place. It's his prayer Garden.
You see this wasn't a place that was known to many people again. This wasn't a public park. You can just go here a private citizen owned it and offered it up to Jesus. This is why Judas was so important. in the Betrayal of Jesus You know, I I've read passages many times and I might like I don't get it like Jesus is in the front. Why do they need you to just show up? He's in the garden.
What it's a place? That isn't known to everybody suddenly. Judas's betrayal becomes deeper. Matthew and Mark both say that Jesus Took Peter James and John deeper into the garden with him. Luke says that Jesus went and prayed a stone's throw away.
This was a time of deep intimacy. for Jesus
he was in his quiet place. With the 11 men closest to him and maybe with just three of those away from everything praying to God. And prayer with Jesus is that same invitation to us? It's a call for us to get intimate with Jesus. It's an invitation for us to get to a quiet place and pour out our lives to God. It's an invitation that is needed more today than ever. We are a nation that is desperately craving intimacy. We are desperately looking for ways to connect.
40% of people today spend more time online than they do socializing face-to-face we need intimacy. We are desperately lonely and Jesus has invited us into his private Garden.
a walled-off forest solitude of Justice just him
Marissa likes to tell a story about how she knew when I was called into children's ministry. We were up at our church in Minneapolis and much like we do here they they had a Sunday night prayer and praise service. And what happened was I was up at the altar kind of over in a corner. I remember I was on the left side of the church and a mom was up front at the altar as well with her little son Ethan there.
And Marissa was in the Pew just spending time with God enjoying the presence of the Lord and she says it what what happened is as she was praying she would look up and she would notice that Ethan had scooted a little bit closer to me. And then she would look up and she would notice Ethan and scooted another little bit closer to me and then a little bit closer and at the end of the time when it was time for us to kind of get up Ethan had left his mom and was all the way over next to me praying next to me. And that's when she said she goes Johnny or a magnet for kids.
The purpose of that isn't about me, but it's because we need to have scoot closer intimacy with Jesus.
We need to just mad. I got just a little bit closer to all bad. We've got to have that that desire where we can't stand being too far from our Lord. We have to scoot closer make no mistake about it. We were created for intimacy. God made Adam and then walk to the garden with him.
God made Eve and then head man and woman get married intimacy.
We may not know it but we are desperate. For a place to share our failures without being judged a place where we can celebrate our victories a person who will listen to us and be there for us.
She's a real pain of Adam and Eve sin is our separation from God's intimacy for all of mankind.
We tend to struggle today with replacing the intimacy of others for the intimacy of a screen. Photographer Eric Pickersgill has released a project. He entitled remove and I just wanted to share some of the photos with you so you can get an idea of what we're lacking.
Obviously and every single one of those pictures he's gone through and he's remove the screens.
But I see a lot of people. Who are desperate for intimacy?
We've been invited in to a relationship with a savior of the world. Not Justa a hey how you doing passed him in the hallway relationship a private intimate one or invited in.
She's passages and also also an invitation to humility. George Washington Carver, the scientist who developed hundreds of useful product for the peanut says this he said when I was young I said to God God tell me the secrets and the mysteries of the universe. But God said that answer for that knowledge is reserved for me alone. So I said God tell me the mystery of the peanut. And God said well George that just your size.
Is he in verse 41 it mentions that Jesus and knelt down and prayed now for us kneeling during prayer is a probably an everyday occurrence, right? We had people up at the altar today praying but in this day and age you pray by standing up that was the proper way to pray. It's how all the Jews would have been doing it to a mention here of Jesus. Neely was particularly important. Jesus the son of God who was God himself went before God.
and humbled himself
Jesus multiple times warns about prayers that aren't humble in Matthew chapter 6 verse 5. He says when you pray do not be like the Hypocrites they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others and then Luke chapter 18 verse 9 through 14 to some who are confident of their own righteousness and look down on everyone else. Jesus told this Parable two men went up to the temple. Despres one Affair seen the other attacks collector the Pharisees stood by himself and prayed. I think you that I'm not like other people robbers evildoers adulterers and even like this tax collector notice. He stood in prayer. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get but the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said God have mercy on me a sinner. And I tell you that this man rather than the other went home Justified before God for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. I've talked about this before. At this time they had times of prayer a time where wherever you were doing, you would stop and you would spend time in prayer what the Pharisees were known for doing his they would time it so that they were at a busy intersection right as the time of prayer came and then they would stand there and they would show everyone how great they were by praying excessively long prayers or they would get themselves. So they were just walking up the steps to the synagogue in the time of prayer.
but Jesus said Jesus got down on his knees and cried out to God. and notice that Jesus says father if you are willing take this cup for me not my will but yours.
You see let's be clear. Our Salvation was never in question. Hey, this is not about Jesus going God. I don't think I'm going to do this. This is about Jesus going. I know what the plan is, but let me ask you a final time. Is there an alternative because I will do whatever you tell me to do.
with perfect humility Jesus told God his troubles and then put them aside and said God at the end of the day, whatever you want. The Son of God came before his father humble. How much more should our prayers be ones of complete humbleness before the Lord? Is passages and also an invitation to comfort? In verse 43 an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him and being an English. He prayed more earnestly in the sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground now, it's interesting because this this verse your his blood or his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground is only mentioned in Luke Matthew Mark and John don't ever mention it but I wonder if it's because Luke was a doctor and Luke cared about what happened to people's bodies and I was doing some research as I Was preparing for this and I found out that this is a real condition and I'm sorry nurses and doctors called hematidrosis.
And essentially what happens if during moments of extreme stress the blood vessels which control our sweat gland rupture and burst. And then when we sweat we sweat out blood.
Jesus was clearly in a time of great sorrow and stress but notice he wasn't alone. God was there to comfort him?
God invites us to pray for the same reasons intimacy means we open ourselves up to God and we tell him our struggles.
And God response was not by bringing judgment, but by bringing Comfort our sorrow will be matched by the Comfort. God gives us it's no mistake that in the Old Testament got to call Delroy the strong one who gives his people guidance and Comfort and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is called paraclete the comforter. I may have butchered that in Greek. I'm sorry, but the comforter.
Marissa is currently teaching a class about going through tough times and overcoming the Sorrows of of loss of a loved one. And I know for us one of the things that spoke to us most was those people who just came alongside us after she lost her mother and just said hey. We're just here.
Sometimes we find ourselves sitting in the room with other people and that was all we needed. They don't have to do anything special. They didn't have to say anything special. They just sometimes had to be there.
When Jesus invites us to prayer with him, he invites us to the same thing. Jesus was not praying alone. He was there with his disciples who'd fallen asleep because of their sorrow.
And God sent an angel. the comfort
Sometimes when we pray to Jesus this invitation for comfort is an invitation to get rid of our problems, but an invitation to give us the strength to go through it.
I didn't take the cross off the table with Jesus. He said you know what? I'm here. You got the strength to do it.
Finally prayer with Jesus is an invitation to Victory. Twice Jesus says to his disciples pray that you will not fall into temptation BC. This wasn't just advice from Jesus. I firmly believe that this was prophesied from Jesus because earlier in this chapter in 22 verse 34. Jesus is talking to Peter. He says I tell you Peter before the rooster crows today, you will deny me you will deny that you know me three times most of us. I assume you've heard the story.
You see the difference between Jesus and Peter was prayer. one had Victory and one didn't you see both Jesus and Peter had a chance to the died who they were. Jesus goes before Pilate and pilot. Are you the Son of God and Jesus right there? He could have you could have ended it all.
But Jesus had the strength to overcome his trials Jesus had Victory because he spent time in prayer.
As you probably know Peter later that night. when questioned about his relationship with Jesus three times He said no, I don't know this man. It is one of the most powerful stories of redemption in the Bible cuz he was Peter who says I don't know this man and yet. He is the founder. Of the church. Jesus said I will. Build my church on you. victory in our life comes through prayer a lot of prayer hours
weeks a prayer President Dwight D. Eisenhower said there are no victories at discount prices.
Jesus invitation to prayer with him as an invitation to receive the strength and fortitude to earn victory.
See, it's all a process when we get into the habit of spending time with Jesus. We begin to develop an intimacy with Jesus that intimacy leads us to a place of humbleness. We realized that it's not about us.
Then we tell God our problems and he Comforts us and then threw that brings us to a place of victory. But it also starts back in the garden with a habit.
a meeting Jesus
I'm saying yes. I'll spend some time with you.
Today we invite you to prayer. I invite you.
Change your habits. Change your behaviors get to a garden with Jesus.
And start to achieve the things that he's asked you. Cuz I don't know about you, but I think one of the things in my life or one of the things that I believe that hurts Jesus the most. Is that he has all of these followers of his? Or just not living the miraculous like he wants them to.
Heavenly Father we pray we thank you for your son Jesus.
We thank you for the garden that he went and the invitation he's given to us to join him.
Oh God, I pray for our prayer lives at.
We would be changed.
As a result of the invitations you've given to us. Maybe not be the same tomorrow as we are today. For we have met you.
Thank you. For everything you've done in our lives.
God has called every believer to be. people of Prayer
And if we struggle with prayer for you, we we don't engage in prayer life. I think we Short change what God wants to do in our life.
Because what happens in the prayer room is what's going to happen in your life if you want victory victory starts in the prayer room.
Invite you to stay in with me.