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2006-10-22_Praying Up to Our Potential_John 17_FBC Session 5_SL

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 Session 5Sunday Morning Praying For The Church Shaun LePagePastor 
Introduction § FBC Thanks; schedule for this morning (done by 11:15!!)§ James Whistler’s lost canvases—“Valuable? Not yet!” Potential!§ Do you believe our church has great potential? I hope so—I do!§ How do we live up to that potential? Pray like Jesus prayed. Praying Up to Our Potential—John 17Where we started!§ 17:1-5—Jesus prayed for Himself; for His glory!§ 17:6-19—Jesus prayed for His disciples; principles for us—later.§ 17:20-26—Jesus prayed for us—all “believers.” 5 ways to pray:  A. Pray that we would be unified like God’s unity. (20-21a)§ 9000+ denominations worldwide. Unanswered prayer?§ Unity? Ecumenical—contradictory beliefs? 2 cats? § “Even as…” the Father and Son—Purpose, values; Phil 1:27;2:2§ Chuck Swindoll: “Union has an affiliation with others but no common bond that makes them one in heart. Uniformity has everyone looking and thinking alike. Unanimity is complete agreement across the board. Unity, however, refers to a oneness of heart, a similarity of purpose, and an agreement on major points of doctrine.” (Tale of the Tardy Oxcart, p.599)§ Context John 17: According to “truth” of “Your Word” (vs.17-19) and vs. 21b-23.§ As a church body, our potential for bearing “much fruit” is directly related to whether we are unified like Father and Son. B. Pray that we would be unified for the glory of God’s Son. (21b)§ True unity is grounded in the God-“sent” Son of the Father. The incarnate God-Man—revealed in the Scriptures. Doctrine!§ We have unity with those whose desire His glory.§ As a church body our potential for bearing “much fruit” is directly related to whether we are unified for Christ’s glory.  C. Pray that we would be unified as a display of God’s love. (22-23)§ “As you have loved Me” (“From the foundation” v.24)§ We have unity—God has demonstrated His love for us § Will we be unified in our display? John 13:35—visible oneness!§ As a church our potential for bearing “much fruit” is directly related to whether we are unified as a display of God’s love.  
  D. Pray that we would be unified by God’s eternal perspective. (24)§ Looking for His return—this is Jesus’ request! Why? His “glory”!§ 2 Peter 3:13-15—united in hope! United in mission: “salvation”§ As a church our potential for bearing “much fruit” is directly related to whether we are unified in our eternal perspective.  E. Pray that we would be unified in experiencing God’s love. (25-26)§ Jesus’ mission is to “explain / make known” the Father. 1:18§ Promised to continue to make His “name known” (to us!) for a purpose: “so that the love…” may be “in them”. Experience!§ 1 John 4:12—Experiencing God’s love makes “perfect” (mature) love possible.§ As a church our potential for bearing “much fruit” is directly related to whether we are unified in experiencing God’s love. § We’re like a canvas and God is like a Painter. “Not yet” a masterpiece. A church that looks like this (John 17) is truly a work of God—a masterpiece. § FBC Conclusion: There’s nothing particularly special about prayer. What really matters is Who the prayer is directed to (tree, Tim?). We have great potential because we have a great God who loves to paint masterpieces. § Let’s pray up to our potential and ask Him to make us a masterpiece—what He wants us to be.

11B

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