Growing a life of prayer. Jesus talks to his,
Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord is a Christian. Our prayer life measures how real God is to us and much we value Him. If we don’t talk to God and engage with Him.
Pharisees prayed to be seen by God. Here is true prayer: to go into our closet and seeking your Father in secret. If we are not growing in prayer then we are not growing as a Christian. If we grow in enjoying God then we will grow in enjoying our prayer lives. Prayer is critical to our experience of God.
Prayer can be difficult. We can lack desire and focus. Sometimes we don’t end the prayer we have drifted off in distraction. Sometimes we feel God hasn’t heard and isn’t answering.
Some pray and feel it isn’t very effective. This can change, I can grow in my prayer life. We can so grow in enjoying prayer that we lose track of time. We can start seeing how God is doing things through our prayer life.
God gives everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord the right to be His children, His family. As His child He listens to you, knows and loves you, and He desires you to engage with Him. In prayer we can delight in the glory and beauty and grace of God in all His perfections and everything He has become to us because of Jesus. We get to know that God is not only powerful but that He exercise His power for His glory and the good of His children. He shares His wisdom with us so we can walk in the fulness of the life He gives us.
God doesn’t merely tolerate us and put up with us – He delights in us. In prayer we enjoy God’s delight in us. If we don’t believe this then we will not pursue or seek Him.
How to pray and cultivate our relationship with God.
ONE Prayer is conversation with the Triune God. As Christians we believe in one God who eternally exists in three divine, yet distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a mystery God revealed to us by His Spirit in the Scripture. The Father is fully God. The Son is fully God. The Holy Spirit is fully God. But the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father. The Father is distinct from the Son. They are each one distinct from the Other.
In prayer we are engaging the divine community the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Here is the pattern in prayer. We pray to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to pray through the Son?
Verse 23. We ask anything in His Name. What does it mean to pray in Jesus’s Name? That is not the ending off of a prayer, landing the prayer plane. They are not magic words and if we don’t say them the Father is not listening to our prayer.
We have to recognise that without Christ we are locked out of the presence of God. But God in His mercy has given us the Lord Jesus to die for us to rise for us, provides for us forgiveness so that the slate can be wiped clean and also provides for the us the righteousness God requires of us. When I put my faith and trust in `Jesus Christ all my sin is forgiven. Now when I approach God I do not come in my righteousness, I am coming in the righteousness of Jesus. I’m not holding up my merits, my performances, how good I am, how moral I am. I get through the door to God because of Jesus’ death, resurrection and righteousness.
To pray in Jesus’ Name means Jesus is the access point into the very presence of the Father. I can’t get to the Father holding up the filthy rags of my own righteousness to Him. I com boldly because of the work of Jesus. Jesus opened up the door for me to walk into the presence of God without the fear that the Father is going to condemn and send me away in His righteous holiness.
Through Jesus Christ I get to come to God’s throne of grace through mercy because of Jesus and Jesus alone.
The holy place -walking right into the presence of the Father. We can be confident that we can walk into the presence of God and not be turned away. By the blood of Jesus who paid for my sin, died in my place,
Jesus opened up a new and living way for us through the curtain. Rest of the verse.
I can draw near with confidence even in my weakness and brokenness, in all my inconsistencies I can still walk into the presence of God – with confidence, with full assurance that the Father is going to welcome me. Good week, bad week, my only hope of coming into his presence without Him turning me away. Because of Jesus I can come to the throne of grace, find mercy, find God loves and does not turn me away. Maybe we should START our prayers in Jesus’ Name.
Jesus you are my only hope of coming into the FAther’s presence and having you. Not my goodness, Jesus alone is my only hope to stand in your presence confident that you love and accept me. Don’t save it as a little tag at the end.
WE PRAY THROUGH JESUS…..TO THE FATHER.
CHURCH AT THE CROSS SERMON