“What Jesus Prayed for You”
On December 7 of 2014, we held our first meeting of Charleston Presbyterian. But it wasn’t a regular worship service, it was a service focused upon prayer. We listened and talked with God about the establishment of a new church for the Charleston area. We wanted to begin everything with prayer because prayers that are guided by the Holy Spirit will reveal the mind and will of God. We have continued to hold up the importance of prayer in every worship service since then through our “Prayers of the People.”
And yet one of the best prayers that we can make is to ask someone else to pray for us. The best person to ask is Jesus. The risen Christ intercedes to the Father like Romans 8:27 reveals, “because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
During a revival service one night in a Baptist church of which I had been invited, I prayed for Jesus to intercede for us all. After praying that prayer and some of Jesus’ requests in John 17, a church member came up to me and said, “I’ve never thought about asking Jesus to pray for us!” But who wouldn’t want our Lord Jesus to pray for us? After all, we read in Hebrews 7:25, that He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He ever lives to make intercession for the saints.
So allow me to share with you something this morning wonderful about prayer that may help all of us pray more powerfully and with much more assurance that our requests are going to be heard and answered according to God’s plan. “What Jesus Prayed for You” Let us pray…
For years in the ministry, I have heard questions about prayer. And one question I tend to hear over and over again is, “How do I know when I am praying the will of God?” It’s a good question, but it kind of belies the fact that there are plenty of Scriptures that do reveal God’s will about a great number of things. We have enough revelation in the Bible to know what God’s will is. But we also have something else. We have the actual prayers of Jesus that reveal exactly what He prayed for us.
And we have something more than that. We have the living God who is interceding on our behalf at this very moment. Right now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. That statement is found in the Apostle’s Creed. We confess it every Sunday. What does that mean? It means that Jesus has all authority from the Father. This Sunday is the closest Sunday to the time when Jesus ascended. Maybe we haven’t considered that Jesus’ ascension has a lot to do with prayer, but it does.
You see, Jesus is alive, resurrected and seated at the right hand of God the Father, He is there making His prayers to the Father on your behalf and mine. That is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me.” (John 17:9) We cannot stand on our own before the Father without Jesus’ atonement and His pleading our case. Sinners need a priest, but our priest is now the risen Lord. In Hebrews 7 we read about how secure our salvation is because of His prayers. “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, if we pray in the name of Jesus merely as some kind of formula with a name tagged at the end of all our requests, we have missed the main point. The significance of praying in the name of Jesus is that He prays to the Father for us. Something miraculous happens when you ask Jesus to intercede on your behalf. He does. (Click on “What Jesus Prayed for You” to see the rest of the message)
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