Monday, December 17, 2012

Greetings Friends,

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We normally use this text as a Salvation verse.  But we can use it to study many subjects topically.  For example tonight we will use this verse to study the subject of Prayer.  Jesus is the Way of Prayer.  Jesus is the Truth of Prayer.  Jesus is the Life of Prayer.  But we could also use this text to study a wide range of topics:

Jesus is the Way of Faith - Truth of faith - Life of faith
Jesus is the Way of Giving - Truth of giving - Life of giving
Jesus is the Way of Love - Truth of love - Life of love

Jesus is the Way Of Prayer

Do you know Jesus?  Do you know HIS grace?  Do you know HIS love and mercy?  Do you know HIM?  Jesus is worth knowing.  We come to know Jesus through the scriptures and through fellowship.  The truth of Scripture coupled with the ministry of the Holy Spirit will teach us of God our Savior who is the Christ. Jesus is the Way of Prayer.  Let us see this illustrated in Luke 6:12-13

Luke 6:12-13  12  And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  13  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

When Jesus who  is fully God and fully man needed to make an important decision, HE spent all night in prayer.  I have never spent all night in prayer.  I have spent hours in prayer, but I have never spent all night in prayer.  That is not a boast it is an honest confession that there are still GREAT ASPECTS of prayer that I do not personally understand.  I still need to pray, “Lord teach me to pray!”

Prayer to Jesus was not just an exercise at lunch time.  Prayer was not just a bed time exercise for the kids.  Prayer was not just a cry for help in time of need.  All of these have there place, but Jesus believed that prayer was to be a passionate pursuit of HIS life to gain needed information for important decisions.  Jesus prayed all night before HE chose the twelve.  He bonded with the Father, so that, the will of the Father would be done. Are we so bonded with the Father that we daily surrender to HIS will.  I believe this prayer was not only for instructions, plans for the next day, but I also believe this was a time for Intimate communion with the Father.   Let me illustrate the worth of this from Matthew 26.

In Matthew 26, Jesus observes the last supper with his disciples.  When the supper was ended, Matthew records a very significant event.

Matthew 26:30-31  30  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.  31  Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

The dark night for Jesus is about to begin.  The disciples will deny  HIM and flee into the night.  The soldiers will take HIM and scourge HIM.  And, the Father will forsake HIM as HE, Jesus bears in HIS body our sins.  But as Jesus and the disciples leave the house appointed for the Passover meal, they sing a hymn.  The hymn they sing is the Hillel which means to be greatly praised.  The Hillel was the singing of the last 5 psalms.  Psalm 146-150, these are Psalms of  great praise to our God.  When we are about to go into the valley or the darkness of night where God our Father gives to us the Treasures of Grace, OUR FATHER begins to sing over us and HIS Song becomes our PRAYER of praise and thanksgiving.  And so Jesus goes out into the night with HIS disciples singing Great Praise to our God.  For I believe HIS heart was fixed on Calvary and the execution of the will of the FATHER because of the intimate communion and fellowship that HE has had with the FATHER.

Jesus who is 100% God and 100% man (the hypostatic union) spent all night in prayer to gain information for important decisions and to fellowship with God who is the FATHER to gain strength and wisdom for the things which HE would suffer.

Jesus is the Way Of Prayer
Jesus is the Truth Of Prayer

One truth of prayer is that Prayer is intercessory.  In John chapter 17 we have the great high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ for those who would believe on HIM.

John 17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

John 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Jesus prayed that we would be one.  Let me illustrate prayer and the oneness Jesus prayed for from a story in Luke chapter 1.  In Luke chapter 1 there is a priest named Zacharias. On this day it was the responsibility of Zacharias to burn incense unto the  Lord.  Incense was a sweet smelling odor that rose unto God.  It was symbolic of Prayer.  Prayer that was to be a sweet odor unto God.  Prayers from the heart of HIS people.  The apostle Paul said to the church at Philippi that their gift to him was an “…odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”

While Zacharias offered the incense the people were outside of the temple praying.   Luke 1:9-10 9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.  10  And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.”

While Zacharias offered the symbol of prayer on the inside of the Temple, a multitude of people were on the outside of the Temple praying.  The will of God for the Old Testament saints and the will of God for the New Testament saints were that they would be one.  That they would live in harmony with the will of God.

Psalm 133:1-3  1  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Jesus is the truth of prayer and HE prayed that they (that we) might be one.  Our pastor, and the men God has chosen to lead the direction of this church, are right now seeking HIM for information.  Instructions of wisdom for direction.  Should we the multitude, not pray for them?

Jesus is the Way Of Prayer a Passionate Pursuit
Jesus is the Truth Of Prayer and Prayer is Intercessory
Jesus is the Life Of Prayer

In God’s economy supernatural life is born from death.  A young evangelist named Evan Roberts “…visited a meeting where Seth Joshua was preaching and heard the evangelist pray “Lord, bend us”. The Holy Spirit said to Evan, “That’s what you need”.

Shortly thereafter, Evan attended a prayer meeting where he experienced a powerful filling with the Holy Spirit….  As Evan knelt in this gathering of believers, …the living power of God became stronger and stronger as each one in the prayer group prayed, …if I had not prayed I would have burst…. I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me…. I cried out: “Bend me, bend me!!”  It was God’s commanding love which bent me… what a wave of peace flooded my bosom…. I was filled with compassion for those who must bend at the judgement, and I wept. Following that, the salvation of the human soul was solemnly impressed on me. I felt ablaze with the desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of the saviour”.

It was reported that over 150,000 were saved in 1904-05 under the preaching of Evan Roberts during the Welsh revival.  Is it an inconvenience for us to come to the Wednesday evening Bible study?  Is it an inconvenience for us to give ourselves over to prayer for our lives, our families, our church and our community?  Is Jesus who is the supernatural life of Prayer seeking to bend us to break us of our selfishness and pride.  Do you remember in Matthew chapter 24,  Jesus asked his disciples to watch and pray while he went alone to pray with the Father.  Jesus would have great sweat drops of blood pouring from his face as HE prayed.  Father  “…not my will, but thine, be done.”

But when Jesus returned from Prayer - Matthew 26:40  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

They fell asleep.  They did not sense the urgency of the hour.  Do we sense the urgency of the hour?  Do we have the LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST AS THE FOCUS OF OUR PRAYER TIMES?  If we are to have the LIFE OF PRAYER which is Jesus…, we will have to bend.  We will have to surrender our will.  We will have to take up the cross and follow the example of Jesus.  We will have to die to our own selfish pursuits and begin to seek HIS.  Will you pray tonight:  Jesus bend me?

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