Jesus Prays for Us

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Hollyview Family Fellowship
April 12, 2015
Jesus Last Words…..Jesus prays for us…John 17
I will never forget the Alberta Baptist Association meetings I attended in Red Deer, Alberta in 1982….I don’t remember the key note speaker, I don’t remember the business matters before us….what I do remember is
E.P. Wahl….He was the founder of our bible college in Edmonton…he had served the Lord faithfully for many years….then he was in his ninties…this was the first and last time I ever saw him. He was to open our meeting with prayer.
His name was called and he moved slowly up the aisle….a cane in each hand …when he reached the podium a man on each side had to help him up the stairs…..He stood behind the pulpit and held on for support….and he said….Let us pray….And boy did he pray…you forgot his age…your forgot his fragility….
You knew you were in the presence of a mighty man of God….He was going directly to the throne…You knew he was in familiar territory…he been there before…He was conducting business with God…and you knew in your heart that God would answer him……
How would you like someone like that to pray for you on a regular basis? To bring all your needs and cares to the throne of God?
I have some good news for you this morning. Right now in the throne room of heaven your name is being mentioned….and do you know who is praying for you….?
He is called by many names…
Our Great High Priest, the Rose of Sharon, the Alpha and Omega, The son of man and the son of God…
JESUS….RIGHT NOW He is pleading to the Father for you…He is making intercession for you…..
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Hebrews 7:24-25 (ESV) 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Wow!!!….Jesus the great high priest…(that is what the high priest did he stood between the people and a holy God and was an advocate for them ) And Jesus….the one who lives forever is doing that for you and for me right now…..
Listen to the message…
Hebrews 7:24-25 (MSG) 24 But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity 25 to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.
This is what John 17 is about…It is a record of Jesus praying for us….some one said this is the real Lord’s prayer.
The Lord’s prayer we memorized…”Our Father who art in heaven….” That is really our prayer…that is what Jesus taught us to pray…It is the disciples prayer….
But John 17…Is Jesus the High priest praying for us…….
We have just celebrated Easter…we remember all that Jesus accomplished in Holy Week.
….at the Last Supper, before he was betrayed, falsely accused, stripped, beaten and paraded through the streets of Jerusalem, bearing the cross he would be nailed to and where he would die for your sins and mine.
Jesus knew his fate, it had been predetermined in the councils of the
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Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit before the world began.
Jesus was taking this opportunity to teach some final lessons before he left his friends and went to His Father.
John 13 – 17 Was Jesus final class for his disciples.
In Chapter 13 Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and showed them the full extent of His love.
Then he spoke words of comfort in John 14 as he told them goodbye, but promised to go and prepare a place for them in heaven, and to return and take them to the place He had prepared.
In John 15 he speaks of the “Vine Life” where Jesus taught them to abide in him, to stay connected to him, so they could bear fruit.
In John 16 Jesus begins to speak of a gift He will give them. A very necessary gift for the task that He will give them. Think of this….He is giving them the task to taking his message to the whole world…these 12 men….not very scholarly, not very wealthy, not well connected socially…..
All Jesus wanted them to do was to change the world….that’s all.
So he gave them the gift of the Spirit.
Today we want to look at the gift of prayer. It is powerful to have someone pray for you.
Don Ganstrom was a mentor and a friend…he and Verna were people of prayer….I knew that they regularly prayed for me. Just because Don is in heaven doesn’t mean he has stopped praying for me.
Dr. Penner who preached here at Hollyview 25 years ago is a man of prayer. When Joe and Jeana when to the Cameroon…he put them on His prayer list….He told them….Everyday I will pray for you.
How is it that we become complacent in prayer?
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How is that we have lost our sense of urgency in prayer?
Jesus taught us that we should always pray and not give up!!!
I love the book Unbroken, I enjoyed the movie, but not as much as the book.
Allow me to remind you of the story.
The story is about Louis Zamperini….
At one point he is declared Missing in Action…..his plane has gone down in the Pacific.
It will be a long time before his parents, his brother, his friends discover he is alive.
When his plane when down in the Pacific He and the Pilot, Phil survived for 47 days adrift at sea, then for 30 months as a POW.
Do you think His mother prayed for him?….you know she did….she even prayed for him after he was declared dead….she knew in her heart it could not be true.
We must somehow discover that kind of commitment…that kind of fervency in prayer. Desperation for God to save.
Do you feel desperate for God to save your loved ones?
…..remember there is a party in heaven every time some lost one returns to the Father….returns to the arms of Jesus.
Listen as chapter 17 begins..
John 17:1-3 (ESV) 1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
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3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
The time has come….all through the gospels we read…his time was not yet….His hour had not yet arrived…
But now….His hour has come…That appointed hour which was planned in the eternal counsel of God before the world was made….that hour had come.
This was the time…The time the price for sin would be paid…The time the spotless Lamb of God would be slain…The crucial point of all History was here….
Father, the time has come…Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify you…..
Jesus is praying for himself…..He has a difficult task ahead….He had come in love…He had received hate….
He would have gathered his people and a hen gathers her chicks…but they refused Him….He came unto His own and His own did not receive Him….
He begins to speak as if His passion is already over…..Father I have brought you glory by completing the work you gave for me to do
He would complete his work…He would be the perfect Lamb of God slain for the sins of all mankind…
He would reconcile a sinful world with a Holy God…..
And he begins to pray for his disciples….It is important to note….that he includes us in this prayer….
John 17:20 (ESV)
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
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I discover three things that Jesus prayed for us…I must conclude that he continues to pray these three things for us…..
First he prays that we will be safe from the evil one…
John 17:15 (ESV)
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Satan is real…..He is like a roaring lion seeking to discourage and devour us.
Many years ago, Hal Lindsay wrote a book….Satan is alive and well on planet earth…
The bible confirms this….He tempted Jesus…..He sifted Peter….He seeks to destroy our faith…..
We must remember we are in a battle….a battle for our faith.
God wants us to love and trust Him.
The devil wants us to deny God and live for ourselves
In John Bunyon’s Pilgrim’s progess…
He has Christian meet the devil….
At first Christian thinks of running from the devil who appears in the form of a dragon, he seems so overwhelming….but then he remembers his armor was not made for retreat…No back plate….so he determines to stand his ground.
Satan asks him…where did you come from and where are you going?
Christian answers…I have left the City of destruction…and I am going to Zion or heaven.
Satan accuses him of desertion…..That is my kingdom…you are one of
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my subjects….return….
Christian refuses and a battle ensues….
This is a picture of the Christian life….when we take a stand for Jesus ….Satan wants us back….and he will do all he can to defeat us…
Jesus knowing this reality….He is right now in heaven praying for our protection…protection from the evil one…
When we pray for others to come to Christ we join Jesus in this prayer…that the one you want to come to Christ is protected from the wiles of Satan….that they will stop believing the lies of the Devil
We should pray that they see Christ is all His beauty and Love……
The second prayer of Jesus found in this chapter is
2. Sanctify them in your truth
John 17:17 (ESV)
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus wants us to live holy lives….lives that reflect his glory and his values….
He was full of love…He wants us to be full of love….
He lived in obedience to the Father, He wants us to live in obedience to the Father…..
The word of God is our source of truth…It is to influence everything that we do ….Every aspect of our lives….
Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
The third prayer of Jesus on our behalf is for our unity…
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3. Make them one
John 17:21 (NIV)
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Jesus wants us united in purpose ….He wants us to be one with Him and the Father……
Can you understand that…?
When a family is united and there is peace and love…nothing could be better.
But when there is division and discord, nothing could be worse.
I remember watching a movie where Gene Hackman was a lawyer…and so was his daughter….and they were on opposite sides of issue in court. One was the lawyer for the defense…the other was the prosecutor….
At one point when they were literally at each other’s throats…the judge commented…..”I don’t want to be at your house for Thanksgiving”
This is such an important principle…
Christ’s desire for our unity….
Satan is opposed to our unity…he will do all he can to create hostility and strife within the church.
I read this newspaper story….
DAYTON, Ohio — Police were called to a local church after a fight broke out over cookie dough.
The fight happened at the Resurrection Church on Gramont Avenue in Dayton.
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A woman said she was pushed and thrown to the ground after she told a man and a woman, who claimed they had ordered cookie dough, that there was no proof of their purchase.
She told the couple that she was not able to give them any cookie dough.
Cookies?….really Cookies….?
That’s the way the cookie crumbles!!
Listen Satan is very inventive….very resourceful…
He will use all his wiles to create disunity….
Why….?
Because where there is disunity…the world will not believe….
That is what Jesus said…
John 17:21 (NIV)
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
And if the world does not believe in Jesus….then they must pay for their own sins…..
Do you see why unity is so essential….?
We must pray for unity…We must work for unity…so that the world may believe…..
Jesus is praying these three things for us…
1. Protection from the evil one
2. That we might be holy
3. That we might be one….
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Let’s join him in his priestly work….next week I will be beginning a four week study on prayer.
This study is containing in the book by Max Lucado…..
Listen to Him speak of this book.
“Most likely, you know people who excel in prayer. They inhale
heaven and exhale God. They are the Seal Team Six of intercession. But for most, spending even a few minutes
with God each day can seem like a monumental task.”
In Before Amen, Max Lucado—a self-professed “recovering prayer wimp”— reveals his personal struggles with prayer. He will show you how he discovered that prayer is not a privilege for the pious or the art of a chosen few but a simple tool all believers have been given to have a conversation with God.
Through the use of a simple, easy-to-remember, pocket-sized
prayer that he distilled from the prayers in the Bible, he will lead you in building a prayer life that is stronger, better and deeper.
Sound Good….join me on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday morning for the next four weeks as we learn more about prayer.

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