John Chapter 17
Broadly speaking believer's prayers fall into one or more of several categories.
Desperation (S0S) Prayers
These are prayers in which the Almighty is called upon in emergencies such as:
imminent danger, sickness or death. Almost every believer and
many, many unbelievers have prayed ‘SOS’ prayers. It's
a wonderful thing that Yahweh, the Almighty God of Israel, answers
‘SOS prayers,’ Praise His mercy and love for this.
‘Give Me’ Prayers
These are prayers in which the Almighty is presented with a spiritual
‘shopping list.’ ‘Give me this,’
‘give me that’ or ‘give me something
else.’ There is nothing wrong with ‘give me
prayers’ as long as one asks for the right things with the
right motives. But if you only pray ‘give me’ prayers you will not
progress far; because you will miss the great spiritual blessing of allowing
the Most High to decide what He thinks is best for you. All of us are
‘children’ in God's sight; and like children we
spend far too much time pestering our heavenly Father for things which
are not good for us. We also often fail to recognize our own motives for
what they often are - camouflaged selfishness, pride, or both.
These are prayers where we thankfully acknowledge Yahweh's presence,
His help in time of need, His mercy and infinite love. Gratitude is
one of the greatest of spiritual graces. Cultivate gratitude by thanking the
Almighty for His manifold gifts and you will rise above the norm to a higher
level of peace and joy than you have ever known. Pray prayers of thankfulness.
As the apostle Paul said:
||20: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
||6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
These are prayers in which one communicates with Yahweh on behalf of others.
Comparatively few believers pray intercessory prayers; simply because
most of us fail to realize the power of prayer and that Yahweh is earnestly
looking for His followers to intercede for the lost.
||15: “...and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.|
16: And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor.”
Because of this lack of intercession and communication
(silently meditating and conversing with God and His Son, listening to His
still small voice speaking in our innermost being) let us now consider
Yeshua the Messiah’s prayer as recorded in (John
Chapter 17). In this sermon we will note how the Saviour communicates
with His Father and how he intercedes for his disciples and also
for those who would believe the Gospel through their word.
2. Glorifying The Most High
Man's prime purpose on earth should be to glorify the LORD God; to live
a life that will refute Satan's false charge against the Almighty that
faithful obedience to divine law is impossible and that the Almighty
is unfair to expect mankind to keep the commandments. The Master proved
how wrong Satan was and how that perfect obedience is possible -
with God's help. The Saviour's prayer on this point was:
||4: “I have glorified thee on the earth.”
||10: “I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”
3. Manifesting Yahweh’s Name
Manifesting the Father's Name is another vital objective; but it goes far beyond
making known the name Jehovah
or Yahweh to those who previously didn't know it. Manifesting the
Almighty's Name means:
Only when a believer accepts and lives out these spiritual concepts and duties
can he/she truthfully say ‘I know and manifest the name of the
Almighty.’ The Master's prayer on this matter was:
- Accepting the authority of the Father and the Son and the authority of the Holy Bible.
- Obeying God's commandments.
- Bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, mercy, kindness, etc.
- Exhibiting the Almighty's character.
- Understanding His aims and methods as we conscientiously work alongside Him in the Vineyard of Salvation.
||8: “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”
4. Passing on Yahweh’s Message
Yahweh's message, the Gospel of Salvation, is the greatest piece of
information this world has ever heard. It is the duty of every believer to pass
it on to others. The Master's prayer regarding this was:
||8: “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them
5. Praying for Fellow Believers
Regular prayer for one's fellows is a sacred duty no believer should neglect.
It is an ongoing responsibility. The Master's prayer concerning this was:
||9: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
NOTE: “I pray,” (present tense) not “I prayed”
6. Responsibility Towards Others
Every one of us has a responsibility towards others, especially to those under
our authority. (our children) The world speaks much about ‘human
rights;’ but little is heard these days about ‘human
responsibilities.’ Yeshua's prayer concerning this was:
||12: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in
thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the
son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”
7. Organizing Missionary Activity
It is so easy to leave missionary activity to others in the church, to the leaders
or the dedicated believers. But it's surprising what even the weakest member in
a congregation can accomplish if he sets out to do something for God. The harvest
is ripe and the Most High is waiting for ordinary believers to join in the work of
bringing it in. The Master's prayer concerning this was:
||14: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
||18: “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
8. Personal Holiness
Yahweh’s presence is vital to success. Indeed nothing
spiritually worthwhile can ever be accomplished without the Almighty's
Spirit being directly involved. Sanctification is the master key
to winning Yahweh's presence; and it is Yahweh’s presence
which ensures success. I cannot over-emphasize this fact. Make
sure you never forget it. The Saviour's prayer on this vital point of
||19: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
9. Praying for Potential Believers
If you lead even one soul to Christ, you will share in the harvest of souls
he will subsequently bring in. In ever widening circles the work of salvation
will thereby spread. Pray for the people who receive the truth from
you and also for those who will believe the Gospel through their testimony.
||20: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”
10. Finishing Your Work
Yahweh allocates every believer a job to do. By human standards it may
not be very much or very exciting; but every believer has a duty to perform
in the Vineyard of Salvation. It behooves us all to keep that fact in
mind. The Master's prayer on this aspect of glorifying his Father was:
||4: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
||34: “The Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.|
35: Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”
The apostle Paul had enormous joy at having successfully finished his course. Listen to his words:
|2 Timothy 4:
||6: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.|
7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
11. Ultimate Objectives
The Almighty's immediate goal is to overthrow sin throughout the
universe; to replace doubt with faith, fear with confidence, sin with righteousness
and hate with love. To do this He must first needs accomplish His work in His
people. Yahweh's ultimate objective is that the universe will be inhabited
by souls who know His Name;
that is, by believers who will perfectly reflect His character and be His
friends for all time! Those who profess to know the Almighty’s Name but who behave like
Satan are deluding only themselves. The Master's prayer concerning this was:
||26: “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
- Prayers fall into several categories: i.e. Desperation (SOS)
prayers, Give me prayers, Thanksgiving prayers and Intercessory
- Your responsibility is to glorify God in your life and
thereby manifest His Name to the world. This means you must reflect
Jehovah's character and bear the fruit of His Holy Spirit; else
your knowledge is vain and futile.
- You must pass on the good news, the Gospel of Salvation
to others that they may believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua
the Messiah) and be saved.
- You must pray for fellow labourers in the field and organise
mission activity, however small and feeble it may be. Yes, we
all have a job to do and finish!
- You must pray for potential believers and for others who will
hear the Gospel through them.
- Always bearing in mind that Yahweh's ultimate objective
is that His children will live for all time in a new universe
with Him and His only begotten Son Yeshua!
In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader