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05.29.22 - Prayer Life
Ian Ahlstrom / General
Follow Me: The Gospel of John / Prayer / John 17:1–8
Good morning everyone, my name is Ian, and I am one of the pastors here at FBC. I would like to ask you this morning to open your bibles to Luke 17verse 1 and we will begin there in a moment.

Introduction

Do you know how to pray? Do you know what prayer looks like? In John 17 we have one of the longest recorded prayers of Jesus Christ. Now we know Jesus was a man of prayer and we also know that Jesus Christ was the man to learn from. The life of Jesus Christ is our blueprint on how to live in this world because He did it without sin. So, as we sit here and ask ourselves how do we live our lives as Christians, we should turn no further than from the life of Jesus Christ. Now when it comes to prayer, we should also look at who did this best and in all aspects of His life, Jesus Christ. When I was younger, I remember hanging out with my cousins, my sister while we were at my grandmother’s home. When dinner was done, and we were all dismissed to go play our parents would sit around the table and just talk. Now as a kid I remember going to play and being focused on my own situation, but at times I would find myself observing from afar what my parents were doing while sitting around the dinner table after all of us left. There was a different tone, a different volume of conversation because we were no longer there. It was as if I was witnessing my parents in their natural environment, and I was able to see this firsthand. Now of course I got bored of this rather quickly and moved on, but I remember the change from when we were around and when we were not around our parents. Now this prayer that we will be reading over the next few weeks is what I would call “The Lord’s Prayer”. Now I understand that title has been taken from Matthew 6:9-10 when Jesus was letting the disciples know how to pray and he says
Matthew 6:9–10NIV
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
But what we are reading there is Jesus explaining how to pray to those who honestly do not know how to pray. It is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak when it comes to how we should pray. But in John 17we have Jesus praying in His natural environment. He is not explaining things and is not needing to hold back, but instead is free to pray how He knows which is a completely different level. Just like me seeing my parents as a child being different when they weren't needing to focus on their children and could freely hold a conversation, we now see the curtains pulled back and can see Jesus praying with no limitations. When we hear someone pray, we are seeing their relationship and connection they have with God so with that in mind lets read this morning.
John 17:1–8NIV
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me, and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
You see here we have this conversation happening between Jesus Christ and God. And you can see from the beginning that there is a close connection in this conversation. We hear of many amazing prayers in the bible. Solomon’s Prayer in 1 Kings, Abraham’s prayer in Genesis 8, but this prayer is different. This prayer is from Jesus Christ. We are seeing the communication and relationship with Jesus and the Father through this prayer. When you read these words, you can tell how connected Jesus is to God through His conversation. Jesus was at the top of His game in His prayer life.
When you see someone at the top of their game in a sport or any category, we take awe on these things because we are transfixed in these situations and how they can do what they do because most of us are not at that level.
For Jesus His prayer life is something else. The fact that not only did Jesus pray, but he was always in prayer and conversation with God and that connection was strong and that relationship showed through His prayer life.
When I was a new Christian, I remember for a good amount of time I made prayer a big part of my life. I was confused about the bible; I want not sure how to do things and be a Christian or how to follow Jesus and even to this day I am still continually learning. But what I did feel comfortable doing was praying. I made it a big part of my life. I prayed in the car, while I was surfing, while I was walking around. And over time it because a natural thing to me to be praying. Now it wasn't always out loud or specific, sometimes it was just praying and praising God for something I saw in my life. But during this time, I felt so connected with God because I was always with God throughout my day.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NIV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
We are meant to be in communication with God, not just come to God when things are tough. Yes of course come to God when things are tough, but that isn’t the only time.
Another thing we see is that not only was Jesus Christ continually in prayer throughout His life, but Jesus also took time to listen.
See this is another this we sometimes miss. We come to God with a monologue and just keep talking and then were done. What Jesus did was spend (TIME) with God.
When you are in a relationship you don’t just let one person talk, you have a conversation, you listen, you allow time to process.
I’ll give you men in the room a hint ok. I have not been married long, coming up on 13 years with Megan, but one thing that took me years to learn was the power to listen and not just talk. When Megan comes to me and wants to talk, I wanted to play Mr. fix it and give a solution and move on. Well guess what guys, I’ve learned most of the time they don’t want a solution, they just want you to be present and listen. So, food for thought in your relationships, LISTEN and be present.
Jesus was a master at this. Jesus went to the Father, spoke to the father, had open communication, but then also spent time to listen and be still.
John 17:6–8 (NIV) 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
How do you think Jesus was able to say all this? He was able to say all this because He knew what God wanted and how did He know what God wanted? He listened and was in constant communication with the Father and we should be too.
This prayer is right before Jesus was betrayed and after this Jesus would be crucified on a cross for our sins. The life of Jesus Christ was a living example for us to follow, including how he prayed.
Who was considered one of the best baseball players of the game?
Babe Ruth?
Willie Mays
Mickey Mantle
Mike Trout
Shohei Ohtani
Ok so here is a list and sorry if your favorite player didn’t make the list, but here is the point this morning. If one of these players came up to you and said I will teach you the game of baseball and you wanted to learn baseball, would you say, “No sorry, I think I’ll learn on my own.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!
If you had a chance like that you would want to take it a learn from the best in that industry.
But this morning we are not talking about baseball, we are talking about prayer.
Jesus Christ has come up to you and said let me teach you, and as a bonus, here is a book full of all my secrets. You want to be a Christian, learn from the man the word came from… CHRIST.
If you want to become a better Christian and learn about prayer, then learn from Jesus Christ who was a prayer warrior.
Even the disciples realized this and wanted to learn how to pray.
Luke 11:1NIV
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Prayer in the life of Jesus Christ was how your prayer life should look and the disciples saw this. Out of all the miracles, walking on water, healing the sick and dead, everything they could have said they wanted to learn, they ask Jesus how to pray. Because once you realize the impact of prayer in your life you will realize the importance of prayer in your life.And who better than to follow that from than Jesus Christ Himself who was continually in prayer.
Prayer is the secret that is not much of a secret but rather a simple task that we sometimes get out of the habit of doing regularly. But if we learn to do this regularly and be in the habit of not only talking, but also listening, then we will grow tremendously.
Sometimes we are just praying a monologue to God and not giving the chance of a response. We need to not only learn how to have the conversation with God, but also learn to have the ability to listen like Jesus did.
You may think your prayer life is not important and that you will never be able to pray like Jesus and if that is your thinking than you are missing out on such beauty in your relationship with God.
All you need to do is know that through following the guidance of Jesus Christ that we can start and then learn to make prayer an everyday aspect of your life. Be in communication with God and listen intently. Because prayer is a communication with God, not a monologue.
So right now, you may be thinking your prayer life could use some improvement and in all honesty we all could use some improvement. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be going over the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ and we can take this time to really take some notes.
God wants to have communication with us, and Jesus Christ is no exception. Jesus Christ had amazing communication with God, and this is how he was able to live a life for God. By continually seeking God in prayer and being in a continual prayer relationship of open communication with God.
The good news is that God wants the same from you. Jesus Christ spent this time showing you the way because one day He would no longer be here. The teacher at some point will always leave the apprentice, but not before pouring all their knowledge and understanding into them first.
And this is what God wants for you, to have communication with you, to teach you, guide you and show you what to do in this broken world. Jesus knew this and that is why Jesus spent so much time in prayer. And you can too.
Without the communication in our lives, we are lost. Our relationship would be difficult, work, school, everything would be difficult without communication. So why would you think your Christian life wouldn’t be difficult without communication through prayer.
As humans we are continually needing guidance in our lives. That guidance comes through not just reading the word of God but communicating with God through prayer.
Every day you should become stronger than the day before and this includes in prayer.
Jesus Christ came down to live this life as an example for you to live. So, if prayer was important to Jesus, then prayer should be important to you as well.
Just in the same way when you are looking on how tom improve if you were a baseball player and a great ball player came to teach you, you would listen and learn. You should always see the life of Jesus Christ and learn from it. If the perfect Christian is a prayer warrior and will be in continual prayer, then you should be too.
Jesus Christ was about to go and die for our sins when he was praying in this passage. Through this prayer we see the communication Jesus is having with God and how well Jesus was able to pray. If prayer was one of the things Jesus needed to do and was important to Him before He went and died on the cross for you, then maybe prayer should be important to us in our lives.
The more the world throws our way, the more distracted we are for what is right in front of us. The Word of God, the example of Jesus Christ are all things we can know, but the world throws things to get in our way and very successfully distracts us.
Jesus was able to live a life as a living example for you and me and all we need to do is learn from it. All you need to do is be in the word of God and continually communicate with God and I know God will speak to all of us in amazing ways. If we would first just communicate with Him and listen.
One of the best things we can see through the words of Jesus Christ is the love for all of us and the desire to please God. Jesus Christ truly was a man who loved us all and through prayer, stayed the course in His life to die as the living sacrifice for our sins because we have proven time and time again that we are incapable of doing this on our own.
If your prayer life is lacking, then understandable you may not be putting the right things into practice to live your life as a Christian because you are not following the example Jesus put before us.
Communicate with God and seek His guidance, wisdom and listen.
My daughter Julia recently wrote something on our whiteboard that is on our fridge at home, and I want to show you that this morning because if we can see this simple understanding from a child, then we should also see the simplicity ourselves.
She wrote, “Trust God, love Him and He loves you, when you pray you talk to God. Talk to Him…Pray!
So, I leave you with that this morning. Talk to God and pray.

Let’s Pray

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