Faithlife Sermons

Praying In Christ - The Correct Heart For Prayer

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Faithful Prayer is depicted as a powerful tool in scripture. Often, this process is misinterpreted; It can be underappreciated or vastly abused. But what is the right heart condition for prayer? What are the correct motives? Jesus makes it very clear.


The Power of Prayer: How is it viewed?

Throughout the church, there are many different views of how to approach prayer.
Name it claim it.
God only helps those that help themselves. (I believe in God, but I really only trust in myself for an outcome)
Meet him in the middle.
We could stay on this topic for hours but we only have about 15 minutes, so we are going to look at one lengthy discussion that Jesus provides in the book of John throughout chapters 13-17 concerning a few things. But at the heart of this passage is the practical role of our Faith, of the Holy Spirit, and of Prayer.

John 15:7-11: Two Essential Heart Checks

Abide in Me
Verse 7
We are coming in at the end of the passage that Jesus compared himself to the vine, teaching us that we must Abide in Him
That we can do nothing apart from him.
This is the first criteria for a healthy heart condition for prayer:
We only have the right to pray through Jesus
This is why we end our prayers with “In Jesus Name.”
Challenge: before you even start to pray, let your mind ask: am I abiding in Christ?
THEN when we finish with “In Jesus Name” we can truly remember and know that it is only by the name of Jesus that you even have the right to pray.
He is the ‘stamp’ on our letter that validates it to the Father
Verses 9-10
Should we really expect ourselves to be able to claim Jesus’ name on our prayer if we are blatantly disobeying him?
Challenge: As you begin to pray, ask God to reveal convictions to you; where are you disobeying his commands? What has the Holy Spirit convicted you to do and you haven’t done it yet?
Abiding is such a deep and profound idea, but we cant stay on it.
The Purpose Behind Our Prayer: Why does Jesus say we should pray?
Verse 8
For the Father to be Glorified in the fruit that it bears.
Are your prayers centered in Glorifying the Father?
Remember James 4:3
James 4:2–3 CSB
You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Challenge: Before you pray, Ask yourself what is the ultimate reason behind your prayer?

John 16:20-24: The Joyful Result

So the question remains: am I allowed to pray for myself, my problems, my sorrows? Am I supposed to trust myself to bring fix? Or should I just name it and claim it?
If we faithfully ask for God to act, there is a promised result that we see.
We first see it at the end of our passage here: vs 11
Jesus says he is teaching them all of this for a specific reason: that their joy in him will be filled.
(READ JOHN 16:20-24)
In context, Jesus is talking about the time when he is no longer be with them, and so here, he describes their situations as sorrowful, with weeping and lamenting.
This should remind us that until Jesus returns, he never intended for prayer to take away every problem and sorrow.
The purpose of prayer is not to name and claim that our problems are gone.
Verse 21
In fact, he describes the pain as necessary, describing it as birth pains for the coming joy.
verse 22-24
There will be a day when all of our sorrows are gone and we wont have to ask for anything
But until then, we CAN ask him for things *with the correct Heart Condition* and he promises us this result:
Our Joy will be full
Not that our problems will disappear.
But if we pray by abiding in Christ and pray for the Glory of the Father, we are promised Joy in the middle of the hardships.
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