April 20, 2022 3:00 am
Some people are very warm and welcoming. They might say, “Hey, come by our place any time, really. Our door is always open.” Really? Any time, like 2 in the morning? Will the door be open then? No, it’s sort of a figure of speech. Maybe a little overly welcoming. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out when God invites us to come to Him in prayer, He absolutely means it. And, surprisingly, Jesus actually prayed for us. Let’s take a look at that prayer.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.
Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. God wants to answer your prayer. We need an answer, and God wants to answer our prayer.
Man, that sounds like a marriage made in heaven, and indeed it is. Hey, I want to answer your prayer. We're saying, well, I need my prayer answered. Excellent.
Let's get on with it. The Lord invites us to ask, seek, and knock. Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God wants us, wants us to come to Him in prayer.
Jesus said, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Some people are very warm and welcoming. They might say, hey, come by our place anytime. Really, our door is always open. Really?
Anytime? Like two in the morning? Will the door be open then?
No, it's sort of a figure of speech, maybe a little overly welcoming. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out when God invites us to come to Him in prayer, He absolutely means it. And surprisingly, Jesus actually prayed for us.
Let's take a look at that prayer. I heard about little Josh. He was with his family over at his grandmother's house, and grandma put the food on the table, and little Josh started to chow down. His mom stopped him. Josh, what are you doing?
We always pray before we eat our food. And Josh said, well, we don't need to. And his mom said, why?
He says, because grandma knows how to cook. Here's the thing. You can pray anywhere at any time. And what a privilege prayer is. I mean, what if prayer was like a root canal? How many of you like root canals? Raise your hand.
I didn't think so. Who likes to even go to the dentist? Not many of us. But you know, let's say prayer was like a root canal. And every time you prayed, you felt that pain. We would still pray because we need to pray.
But here's the thing. Prayer isn't like a root canal. Prayer isn't painful. Prayer is just a commitment that we make where we call out to the Lord. And we don't pray as much as we ought to. If there is a sin that's prevalent in the church today, it would certainly be prayerlessness. The sin of omission. We talk about breaking God's commandments, but a sin of omission in contrast to a sin of commission where I do something wrong is not doing what I should do. And so often we miss out on what God wants to do because we don't pray.
Listen. You can pray anywhere. Paul prayed in a dungeon.
Daniel prayed in a cave filled with hungry lions. Peter prayed on the surface of the water. Then he prayed underwater.
And Jonah prayed from the belly of a great fish. So the main thing is that we pray. And here's what God really cares about. He doesn't care so much about the length of your prayer. He doesn't care about the eloquence of your prayer. He cares about the heart of your prayer. That's what God looks at. And for that matter that's true of worship as well. God's not so interested in your posture or your volume or even your pitch.
Though it's nice to have nice pitch. But He really looks on the heart more than anything else. And Jesus says that your father knows what things you need of before you ask them. Now you might say well if that's the case why pray. Here's the answer.
Very simple. Prayer is not informing God. Prayer is inviting God.
Let me say that again. Prayer is not informing God. When I call out to the Lord in prayer and out from my petition I'm not informing God of something He does not already know. But it is inviting God into my situation. Into my challenges. Into my problems.
This must be thought of as a relationship between a father and a child. The value of prayer is it keeps me in touch with God. You know sometimes people will come up to me and say would you pray for me. And I always try to either do it there or do it immediately so I don't forget. And sometimes when we're facing crisis we call out to other Christians and say remember us in prayer and that's a good thing to do.
Why? Because Jesus said in Matthew 18 19 if two of you agree on earth concerning anything they ask it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. There's no question that there is power in unified prayer. That's why we need to pray with each other and we need to pray for each other. But let me add something else.
Even when we forget I have really good news for you. Jesus Christ is in heaven interceding for you right now. Think about that.
It's true. See how do you know that? Because Hebrews 7 25 says he's able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them. Then in Romans 8 34 it says who is he that condemns Christ Jesus who died more than that who is raised to life. Listen is at the right hand of God and he's interceding for us. Robert Murray McShane a writer from many years ago made this statement and I quote if I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room I would not fear a million enemies yet distance makes no difference he is praying for me end quote. Isn't that a great quote and it's so true.
So here's the question. What does Jesus pray when he intercedes for us? And that is revealed to us here in John chapter 17. Now we often refer to the very familiar prayer our Father who art in heaven hollywood be your name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven and so forth as the Lord's Prayer. The Bible never calls that the Lord's Prayer but we do.
I think if we are really accurate we might call it the disciples prayer. Because to the point that was not a prayer that Jesus himself ever prayed. That was a prayer given in response to the request of the disciples who said Lord teach us how to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. So Jesus said okay after this manner or in this way pray our Father who art in heaven and so forth. So that is not really the Lord's Prayer. Jesus never prayed forgive us our sins as we forgive those who've sinned against us.
Jesus had no sin to be forgiven of. Okay so that's a disciples prayer. Here in John chapter 17 this is the real Lord's Prayer. This is a prayer that only Jesus could pray.
So it really gives us an insight into his desire for us. For as he prays it shows us his heart. And by the way Jesus Christ prayed a lot.
That's interesting isn't it. He was God walking among us yet he always was praying to the Father. Luke 6 12 says one day Jesus went to a mountain to pray and he prayed to God all night.
Before Jesus chose the 12 apostles we read in Luke 6 12 he prayed all night. And it was while he was praying that we read about him being transfigured. We see him praying in the Garden of Gethsemane as he contemplated the horrors of the cross saying Father if it's possible let this cup pass from me. We also see him praying from the cross. In fact his first words from Calvary were Father forgive them for they know not what they do. And then he closed by saying Father into your hands I commit my spirit. So he was always praying.
So what is the point of it. It's if Jesus himself felt the necessity to pray being God how much more should we pray being well us. With all of our flaws. With all of our shortcomings.
With all of our weaknesses. How much more should we follow the example that Jesus said for us to pray. And here's an interesting thing about this prayer that we're going to read in a moment. He prayed it out loud where his disciples could hear. You know he could have done it privately and we would have never heard the prayer. But he prayed it out loud. He wanted them to hear this prayer. He wants us to hear this prayer. And by the way you are spoken of in this prayer as well. So he prayed it in a way that they could all hear. Now this prayer can be broken up into three sections. First he prayed for himself.
Verses one to five. He told the Father that his work on earth was finished. Secondly he prayed for his disciples. Verses six to 19. He prayed that the Father would keep them and sanctify them. And then he closed the prayer by praying for you and me and the whole church that would come. And so that's in verses 20 to 26 of John 17.
So let's start with point number one. Jesus began by praying for himself. By the way that's not a bad thing to do. R.A. Torrey a great preacher once said quote, a prayer for self is not by any means necessarily a selfish prayer.
End quote. So don't feel it's self-indulgent to pray for yourself. Absolutely pray for yourself and bring your needs before the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio, satellite, and our podcasts.
And we don't always know how these messages are touching lives. But when we hear the stories of our listeners' heartaches and regrets we're encouraged to know the impact on people's lives. I have about a 45-minute commute to and from work and I listen to Pastor Greg Laurie's podcast. I just finished listening to one of the sermons from the series Let's Talk About Heaven.
And I had an abortion back in 2010 and it's been a long journey of healing. And when I finally came to the realization that the safest place is to be at the foot of the cross I was able to fully experience mercy and grace and love that the Lord has for me. And I just wanted to say thank you Pastor Greg for this sermon series. And I'm getting a little emotional because what a day that will be to not only be reunited with my baby but to be united with Jesus Christ.
I just want to say thank you. What a powerful story of God's forgiveness. Do you have a story to tell of how Pastor Greg's studies in God's Word have helped you? If so, why not call and share it with us? Just call 1-866-871-1144.
Again 866-871-1144. Well today Pastor Greg is introducing us to a prayer Jesus prayed. Not just any prayer.
A prayer he actually prayed on our behalf. So let's read now the great Lord's Prayer. John 17.
I'd like to read verses one to six at this moment. And Jesus spoke these words and lifted his eyes to heaven and said, Father the hour has come glorify your son that your son may glorify you. As you have given him authority over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. And this is eternal life that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth.
I have finished the work you have given me to do. And now oh Father glorify me together with yourself with the glory that I had with you before the world was. I'll stop there. Well so much there.
But here's something very interesting. Look at verse one. He lifted his eyes to heaven. You know a lot of times we make a big deal about how you pray. We'll teach our children. Now let's pray.
Close your eyes and fold your hands. Right. And then the kids get in trouble if they open their eyes.
Right. Have you ever been in a little prayer gathering. Let's pray and and then your eyes are open for some reason and somebody else's eyes are open and you see each other. And it's like an awkward prayer moment.
Like you're both cheating. It's not cheating to open your eyes when you pray. Because Jesus here.
Look at what it says. He says he lifted his eyes to heaven and said. He looked up and he prayed. Right. So when we say let's pray you don't have to bow your head and close your eyes. You can. That's one way to pray. And it's not a bad way by the way. Because it sort of blocks things out.
Right. But you can lift up your eyes and and look at the Lord as you pray. You can pray on your knees. You can pray sitting down. You can pray down on your face. You can pray laying down. There's many positions we read about in the Bible where people prayed. But listen to what Jesus prays. He says the hour has come. This is a very important phrase. He would often use it. In fact when his mother wanted Jesus to show his power at his first miracle that he performed at the wedding feast in Kena of Galilee.
He responded dear woman what is that to you. My hour has not yet come. In John 7 we read about the religious leaders wanting to arrest Jesus. It says the leaders tried to arrest him but no one laid a hand on him because his hour had not yet come. Well now Jesus says my hour has come.
What hour? The hour of his betrayal. His arrest.
His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. The hour of both darkness and light. The hour of Satan's attack and the hour of our purchased salvation.
So now he's saying the hour has come. Now this brings us back to the why of prayer. Why should we pray? Because God will allow circumstances in our lives to keep us dependent on him.
Let me ask you a question. If you never had a problem again. You never had an unpaid bill. You never had a single sickness for you or any member of your family. You never had a single conflict.
A single problem. You knew the answer to every question. You always knew the right decision to make. Would you pray? Oh yes I would.
You probably wouldn't as much as you think. God will allow these things in our lives to keep us dependent upon him. This is very important. So we call out to him because we need his help. That is why God doesn't give us all of his glorious gifts in one lump sum. He is a father and he wants to hear from us. And know this. God wants to answer your prayer.
You know how good is that? We need an answer and God wants to answer our prayer. Man that sounds like a marriage made in heaven. And indeed it is. Hey I want to answer your prayer. We're saying well I need my prayer answered. Excellent.
Let's get on with it. Jesus said it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. You know some people are cheap. Some grandparents are cheap. I don't get cheap grandparents. You know your job as a grandparent is to indulge and spoil. Leave the parenting to your kids. You know grandparenting is the reward for all that you had to put up with your own kids. And it's their punishment for what they put you through.
So let them do that. You're the grandparent. I want you to think about God like a grandparent for a moment. I know he's called a father in heaven.
But a grandfather's a father too. Your father in heaven loves to indulge you. Not spoil you. Not give you things needlessly.
And certainly not things that would hurt you. But he loves to lavish blessings on you. He loves to lavish provision on you.
It's his joy. It's your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And so he says I'll give it to you but you must come to me. I heard a story about a very smart dad whose son was leaving for college.
So the dad said I'll tell you what son. I'm going to pay all of your bills. All your tuition is covered. I'll take care of you for everything. And I'll give you a monthly check. And the boy said the other boy said okay dad well here's the address to send it to.
Oh no I'm not sending it to any address. You want the check? You come home. And I will see you. And I will give you the check. Guess what?
That boy was home every month. So the Lord says I'll bless you. I'll provide for you. But I want you to come to me. I want to hang out with you. I want fellowship with you.
I want time with you. That's why Jesus taught us in the Lord's prayer to pray. Give us this day our daily bread.
So that is the model before us. Now let's continue on in John 17. More of Jesus prayer for you.
Verse seven. They have known all things which you have given me are from you. For I have given to them the words you have given me and they have received them and they have surely known that I came forth from you and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given me for they are yours. All mine are yours and yours are mine and I'm glorified in them. Now I'm no longer in the world but these are in the world and I come to you Holy Father. Keep through your name those whom you have given me that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the world I kept them in your name. Those whom you gave me I've kept and none of them is lost except the son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled.
So we'll stop there. So Jesus is praying that we would be safe. So what does Jesus pray when he prays for us? What does Jesus say when he intercedes for us? He prays for us to be safe. Just like you pray for your family.
Oh Lord keep my family safe right. That's his heart toward you. Remember one time Jesus was hanging out with Simon Peter and Jesus turned to Peter and said Simon Simon the devil has been asking that you be taken out of the care and protection of God. Hey would that freak you out if Jesus said that to you? Hey Greg. Greg check this out. The devil's been asking for you by name that you be taken out of God's protection.
He could have just stopped there and let it hang. But then he went on to say hey but I prayed for you that your faith would not fail and when you have returned strengthen your brothers. Hey Peter the devil's been asking for you by name but don't worry because I'm interceding for you. And so here's what Jesus prays for us.
If you're taking notes you might want to write this down. He prays for our preservation. He prays for our preservation. Look at verse 11. Holy father keep through your name those whom you have given to me that they may be one as we are. God will keep you. The Jewish priests were told to pronounce this blessing over the people of Israel repeatedly.
You know it. Number 624. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. The Lord bless you and keep you. Then in the New Testament 1 Peter 1 5 says we're kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Jude 1 1 says to those who are called sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ. Listen you are kept.
You are safe. Today on A New Beginning we're considering the Lord's Prayer on our behalf. Pastor Greg Laurie is presenting his message called Jesus Prayer for You from his study series in the Gospel of John called simply Life. And he'll have a closing comment from the message before we leave for the day so stay tuned. Well Pastor Greg we have a special guest here in the studio.
Maybe you can introduce him. Sure. But his new book is about the afterlife.
Yeah. Let me ask you first of all why do you think we're so fascinated about heaven and the afterlife? Well we should be because it's if you're a Christian your future destination.
It is not the default destination for every person of course. We decide in this life where we will spend the afterlife but I think it's a really good thing to know as much as we possibly can about heaven. Paul in Colossians 3 said set your mind on things above. Another way to translate that is think about heaven or to simplify it think heaven.
But some will say oh they're so heavenly minded they're no earthly good but I've met people who are so earthly minded they're no heavenly good. You know heaven's a real place for real people where we will do real things and I can't think of a better person to help us understand it more than the man sitting next to me right now and unfortunately it's radio so you can't see but he's wearing a very nice blue sweater and his name is Lee Strobel. Now Lee Strobel has written a lot of books probably the best known would be The Case for Christ which was also made into a feature film.
His books have sold like 14 million right right and uh it and he's just a prolific author, speaker, apologist, extraordinaire and these are just the things he's asked me to say so I think no he didn't ask me to say any of this but Lee's a good friend and he's uh he's a voice of wisdom and so Lee you've written a new book The Case for Heaven subtitled A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death. Why a book about heaven? Well I think you're right in what you said that people ought to be interested in the afterlife. We're going to spend a lot more time there than we will here and and I think in light of the pandemic you know people are are conscious and aware of life and death issues more than perhaps any other time in my lifetime. I was having lunch with my wife at a restaurant and this waitress was about 18 years old and we were talking and she started to cry and we said what's wrong she said oh I'm sorry I almost didn't come into work today we just lost a family member to COVID and I thought here's a young person maybe 18 years old probably never thought about life and death probably never thought about the afterlife but now she's full of questions now she's this you know death has come knocking on her family door so I think people are more and more interested these days in the question of what what actually occurs when we close our eyes for the last time in this world and I think frankly Greg that extends to the question of hell as well I mean you're one of the few pastors I know who's not afraid to talk about hell and and so I have two chapters in the book that examine the issue of hell and it's an important topic that we need I think as a church pay more attention to. It is worth noting that Jesus spoke more about hell than all the other preachers in the Bible put together that's exactly and of course he knows the reality of it yeah and so this is something we need to understand more the afterlife what happens what happens to the Christian what happens to the non-christian here's some of the chapter titles near-death experiences heaven a guide on the edge of eternity so if you want to clear up your confusion about heaven the afterlife you want to get a copy of this brand new book from Lee Strobel it's called the case for heaven we'll send it to you for your gift of any size to us here at a new beginning and we'll use those resources to reach more people with a gospel and the teaching of the word of God and as our way of saying thanks we'll send you your own copy of the case for heaven by apologist prolific author and my friend Lee Strobel yeah that's right and we hope you'll ask for your copy today your investment helps these studies continue to come your way and they help us reach out with the gospel like we'll be doing april 23rd and 24th in Boise Idaho Boise harvest is coming and your partnership helps make outreaches like this possible so get in touch today with your donation you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 24 7 that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org you know there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home it happens every Saturday and Sunday at harvest.org you can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together so join us for Harvest at Home at harvest.org well next time more insight on the security we find in Jesus Christ but before we go pastor Greg has a final comment from today's study Jesus prayer for you you don't lose something you love you know you don't go to Disneyland and lose your child and not even know you left them unless you don't care about your child right you don't lose something that's valuable to you maybe your favorite sunglasses or your wedding ring I don't lose my wedding ring maybe it's because I can't even get it off my finger because I've gained weight since I got married right okay but the point is you don't lose something you love you hang on to it it's valuable to you God loves you and He's not going to lose you He's not going to forget about you and He's not going to let go He's not going to let go of you He's going to protect His investment the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-29 13:39:22 / 2023-04-29 13:49:48 / 10