Greg Laurie - Jesus' Prayer for You
Let's grab our Bibles and turn to John chapter 17. John chapter 17, I have a special message for you today with the title, Jesus' Prayer for You. Why don't we begin with a prayer.
Now Father, as we look at this amazing prayer, really in many ways, the true Lord's prayer because it was prayed by the Lord himself. And in this prayer we discover his heart for us. What you want for us. We pray that you'll give us a open heart, an open mind and a desire to apply what we learned today. Speak to us from your word we ask in Jesus name, Amen.
So, little Josh was with his family over at his grandparents house for dinner one night. Food was served and Josh just starts digging in and eating the food and his mom stops him and says, Joshua, what are you doing? We always say a prayer before we have our food. That what we always do at home. He says, I know mom, that's at our house, but this is grandma's house and she knows how to cook. Right. Kind of a diss, I know, sorry. All the grandparents are like, yes. Especially grandmas, right? But really what a great privilege prayer really is. You can pray anytime, anywhere. Of course you can pray at grandma's house. You can pray in the church. And I think sometimes we thing the church is the best place to pray at all. Well, it's a great place to pray and it's a place where we ought to pray, especially together but the fact is in the bible, we see people praying in every imaginable place.
We see Paul praying in a dungeon, Daniel praying in a cave filled with lions, Peter praying on the surface of the water, Jonah praying under the water in the belly of a great fish. I think a lot of times we fixate on secondary issues and prayer. We'll get worried about the structure or the eloquence of a prayer but when it's all said and done, we should just pray. And we should pray to the best of our ability because when we pray, here's what God is interested. The posture of your heart. The movement of your heart toward him. You many not be eloquent, you may not know all the little rules there are of prayer, but you're just churning toward God. And the bible says if we'll draw near to God, he will draw near to us. Here's something to remember, when I pray, I'm not telling God something he doesn't already know. In fact, Jesus even said, your Father knows the things you need before you even ask him.
You might ask, if that's the case, why should I even pray? Answer, prayer is not informing God, prayer is inviting God. Let me say that again. Prayer is not informing God, I'm not telling him something he doesn't know, it's inviting God into my situation. It's really the relationship of a father and a child. The value of prayer is it keeps me in touch with God. Now, people will come up to me periodically and say, Pastor, will you pray for me? Or pray for this or pray for that. And I always try to do it right then and there, because honestly, if I don't, I might forget. So, okay, let's pray right now. And we want others to pray for us and I think it's a very good thing when you're in need to ask for prayer. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, I say, if two of you will agree together on earth concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. So, no doubt, there is power in unified prayer. I really appreciate your prayers for our church. I appreciate your prayers for our family and for myself. I especially appreciate prayers when we're going into a crusade.
Last Sunday I was in Texas because all my exes live in Texas. Said that joke too many times. I don't have any exes, by the way, but we're getting things ready for the lunch of Harvest America at the AT&T Stadium again. So, I spoke at the Prestonwood Baptist Church for my friend, Jack Graham, last Sunday and Saturday and then we did a bunch of meetings and we had our big kickoff meeting. One of the things I think of when I walk in that massive stadium, which by God's grace, we filled to overflow last time we were there. That was a blessing. Trust me when I tell you, I don't even for a moment take that for granted, because I'm coming maybe praying more than I did last time. Yes, the Lord did it before, but I'm not one to say, oh, well this is a piece of cake, this is easy. No, we're going to probably work harder and pray harder this time than we did last time.
We're also preparing for overflow. We're taking a step of faith thinking if we do have overflow crowds, we're going to have a screen outside with seats, because we weren't able to do that last time. Who would've ever thought you would fill an 80,000 seat stadium to overflow. We didn't think that, but this time we're ready for it. We need to be praying because I think of Israel, how they conquered Jericho. What a great victory it was as they marched around the walls of this city and blew their trumpets and the wall collapsed. But then they went to a smaller city called Ai. Not as formidable as Jericho and they didn't pray as they had before and they were defeated at Ai. So, we're always looking at these things with great trust and dependence on God. But, I bring this up because it's great to pray for one another but I have some good news for you. Jesus Christ himself is praying for you. That's right.
You say, well where do you get that? Well, Hebrews 7:25 says he's able to save completely those who come to God through him because listen, he always lives to intercede for them. Then in Romans 8:34, it says, who is he that condemns? Christ that died, more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us. A commentator from days gone by, Robert Murry M'Cheyne, made this statement, and I quote, It's good to know that Christ is in your corner. It's good to know that Jesus is interceding for you, but what is he praying when he prays for you. Well, the answer is found right here in John chapter 17. We find Jesus praying for his disciples, listen, past, present and future. So, he's praying for his disciples way back then, but he's also praying for us today. This is the true Lord's prayer.
Now, I know we call the often repeated prayer, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, the Lord's prayer, but the bible never calls it that. There's nothing wrong with calling it that, but if you want to get real technical, that can better be described as the disciple's prayer. That was not a prayer Jesus himself ever prayed. That was a prayer he gave in response to the request of the disciples when they said, Lord teach us to pray. He said, after this manna therefore pray, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven and so forth. So, Jesus would never have prayed that prayer because one of the petitions is forgive us our sins as we forgive those who've sinned against us. Christ had no sins he needed to be forgiven of. He was sinless, he was God.
So, that's our prayer, but here in John 17, this is his prayer. This is the prayer only Christ could pray. This is the true Lord's prayer and it's shows his heart, desire and purpose for us. One of the things that strikes us just at the outset is that Jesus even prayed to begin with. But, the fact is Jesus is found constantly praying in scripture. Luke 6:12 says one day soon afterwards Jesus went to a mountain to pray and he prayed to God all night. Before he selected the 12 apostles he prayed all night according to Luke 6:12. He was praying when he was transfigured, you remember, with Moses and Elijah. We see him praying in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane saying, Father if it's possible, let this cup pass for me. And even on the cross, we see him praying, saying, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. And finally, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? So, Jesus is constantly praying.
Here's my point. If Jesus Christ, who was God, thought it important to pray, how much more should we be praying. If the one who was sinless and perfect felt a need to pray, how much more should we who are sinful and imperfect see the need to pray. So, he modeled that for us. I think one of the interesting things about the prayer that we're going to look at here together is he prayed it out loud. He prayed it out loud and it's recorded for us. So, in effect he really wanted them to hear this prayer, because this was something that was instructional as well as his petition to the Father. It was not directed to them but he wanted them to hear it. There's three sections to this prayer we're going to look at. In verses one to five, Jesus prays for himself. He told the Father that his work on earth was finished. Number two, he prays for his disciples, verses six to 19. He prayed that the Father would keep and sanctify him. Thirdly, he closed the prayer by prayer for you and me and the whole church to come, verses 20 - 26. So, he starts by praying for himself. Someone might say, we'll it's selfish to pray for yourself. No, it's very important to pray for yourself.
It's okay to pray for yourself. To say, Lord help me, Lord guide me, Lord direct me. It's even a good thing to say, Lord bless me. Aray Tory said, "A prayer for self is not by any means a selfish prayer". So, it's a good thing to start that way. So, let's read a section of the true Lord's prayer. I'm reading from John 17, verse one. Then Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come, glorify your son, that your son may also glorify you. As you're given him authority over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God in 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, verse five, glorify me together with yourself for the glory I had with you before the world was. We'll stop there.
I want you to first notice the posture of his prayer. He lifted his eyes to heaven. His eyes weren't closed. We make a big deal about closing your eyes in prayer. What is that all about? You have to close you eyes in prayer. Well, you can close you eyes, but you can open them too. You have to kneel. Well, it's good to kneel, but you can stand. People are praying on their knees in prayer in the bible, they're on their backs, their on their stomach, their opening their eyes, their closing their eyes, their folding their hands, their lifting their hands. These are secondary issues. Have you ever been praying with people and then maybe you'll open your eyes for a minute and you'll see somebody else opening their eyes and then feel like you're cheating. It's an awkward moment. Oh, sorry, I violated the prayer rules.
Well, that's not a biblical rule. These are cultural things. Sometimes we get a little bit too hung up on. I do like to close my eyes when I pray. Because it blocks things out, but I need them open when I'm driving. You can pray and drive, right. He lifted his eyes to heaven. He says, the hour has now come, verse one. The hour is now come. What hour? He uses this phrase a lot. When his mother wanted him to show his power at the wedding feast in Canaan of Galilee. He said, dear woman, what is that to you, my hour has not yet come. In John 7 when the religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus, it says, they tried to arrest him and no one laid a hand on him because his hour had not yet come. What was the hour? It was the hour of his betrayal, arrest, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. The hour of both darkness and light. The hour of Satan's attack and our purchased salvation.
Jesus has now finished the work the Father has given him to do. Now he's coming back and he's bringing this prayer to the Father. The hour has come. Think about this for a moment, God will allow circumstances in our lives to keep us dependent on him. Let me ask you a question. If life was all blue skies and green lights, would you still turn to God in prayer as often as you do? If there was never an illness and there was never a financial need. If there was never a problem with one of your kids, would you still pray. You say, yes I would. Actually, no you wouldn't. It's these pressures of life that we get so upset about that actually bring us to the Father and show his power in our lives. The very thing we don't like, can actually be helpful.
As Paul says, and this is another translation, when trials come your way, don't treat them as intruders, rather treat them as friends. Could you think of a trail as a friend right now? You're under pressure, you're facing some kind of a hardship, you're having conflict at home, whatever is is, and you're saying, why is God allowing this? Well, I can't answer that but I can tell you this, I hope it's causing you to pray. If it's causing you to pray and be dependent on God, could this not be a good thing for you. God doesn't give us everything we need all at once. By the way, God loves to bless you. We call God a Father, and he is, but maybe a better way to understand him, would be to think of him as a grandfather. Because grandfathers, I speak from experience now, love to indulge.
When I have the grandkids, we're going to have fun. I even say, the fun begins right now. What do you guys what to do? We want ice cream. We're going to ice cream right now, what else? Then the toy store. We're going right to the toy store after we get ice cream. I intentionally structure things. Now, it's because I don't have to deal with all their drama with the other issues. I don't have to make them do their homework, so I'm not demeaning fathers, I'm just saying that's not my job. My job is to make their life fun, it's to love them, it's to listen to them, it's to be amazed by everything they say and do and I actually do find it quite amazing. That's a rule of a grandparent. Some grandparents are, when the grandkids come over, they make so much noise and we have so many breakable things. You know what, get rid of your breakable things. Move them. But them in a box, put them up higher. Make your house friendly.
In our home, it's a kid friendly environment. There are things around for the kids to do. We want them to look forward to coming to our house, not dreading it. I bring all that up to simply say, your Father in heaven loves to bless you. Jesus even said, it's your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sometimes I think God's kind of stingy. I don't know, I really don't want to give this to you. It's the very opposite of that, but here's reality. A lot of times we don't go to the Father who loves to bless us until we need something. Maybe that's why Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's prayer, as we call it, the disciple's prayer. Give us this day our daily bread. He keeps us dependent on him. He gives us what we need when we need it. Not necessarily before and never after. But the Bible says he's a present help in time of need.
I heard about a smart dad who was sending his son to college and he promised he would give him a monthly allowance for the next four years to pay the boys tuition, so he could concentrate on his studies. But then the dad said, however, I will not be sending you a monthly check. The boy said, but dad, you said you would pay for it. He says, no, I'll pay for it, but you have to come home to get the check every month. I want you to come in person. Why'd the dad do it? Because he wanted to see his son, right? So, we say, Lord give me everything I need. He says, I'll give it to you when you need it and here it is. What about tomorrow? Well, come back to me and I'll give you what you need tomorrow. He keeps us dependent upon him. Why? Listen to this. Because he wants fellowship with you. Let me put it another way, God likes to hang out with you. God likes to be with you. He likes to hear from you. He likes to communicate with you. When we isolate ourselves from him and only go to him in time of need. Maybe our times of need will increase somewhat so we'll return to him again.
Now, let's look at some more verses from the prayer of Jesus for us and then we'll have a outline of four main petitions. And these are what God really wants. Verse 7, John 17. Now they have known all things which you have given me are from you. For I have given them the word you have given me and they have received them and they surely know that I came forth from you and believe that you sent me. I pray for them. You might underline this. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, that they are yours or for they are yours. All mine are yours and all yours are mine and I'm glorified in them. Now, no longer I'm in the world but there in the world so I come to you Holy Father, keep through your name. You might underline that, keep through your name, those whom you have given me, that they be one was we are. While I was with them in the world I kept them in your name. Those who you've gave me, I've kept and none of them is lost expect the Son of Perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled.
If you're taking notes, here's a main point. Number one, Jesus prays for their preservation. Jesus prays for their preservation. Let me personalize it. Jesus prays for your preservation. Look at verse 11, Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given me that they may be one as we are. Listen, we all know people, who've made, and I put in quotes "a commitment to follow Jesus". They started well and then all of a sudden, they just crashed and burned. They came off the rails, they just walked away from this alleged confession of faith that they had made. In fact, they might have even been someone you looked up to spiritually. It scared you a little bit and you wondered, well am I next, am I going to come off the rails? Am I going to fall away spiritually? My answer may surprise you. It's entirely up to you. You say, no, it's up to God. No, it's actually not up to God. God wants you to walk with him. God gives you all the resources you need to walk with him, but he also allows you to retain your free will.
So, if you go off the rails, that's your choice. If you stay on the rails, in a way, that's your choice. God gives you the strength to do it, for it's God that works in you, both willing to do of his good pleasure, but there's your part as well, because Ephesians tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling or carry it to the goal and complete. Listen to this, if someone falls away from the Lord, it's because they've chosen to do so. You don't call up someone, call up a Christian and go, hey dude, want to backslide today? There might be some moron that does this but generally, no. I don't know that anyone says, I'm going to officially walk away from God. There are some. But generally, it's a very gradual thing. It's a very subtle thing. It's really starts the moment you're no longer moving forward. The moment you're not moving forward, is a moment that you, in effect, begin to start going backwards. Sort of like, if a train was going full powered down the tracks and then you cut power.
Will the train suddenly stop? No, the train has momentum still and it's still going at a rapid speed but it's slowing down. You can't even probably see it at first, but it's slowing down and with a lack of power, it finally comes to a halt. That's what it's like for us, we stop feeding ourselves spiritually, we stop growing in the things of the Lord. So, it's not like we just stop, but we just slowly reach this destination where we're just no longer where we once were. Jonathan spoke to us about that last Sunday. The bible promises that God will keep you, but the question is, do you want to be kept? Psalm 121 says, I'll lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord. He'll not allow your foot to be moved. He that keeps you will not slumber. He that keeps Israel will not slumber or sleep. The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
Then in the New Testament, I Peter 1:5, we're kept by the power of God though faith for salvation. Then Jude 1:1, to those who are sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Christ. You're kept, man. You're safe. You're saved and you're safe. It's really, do you want to be? Do you want to stay close to him? It's interesting that phrase in Jude 1, preserved in Christ could be translated, continually kept and basically, it's a continuing result of a past action. Let's say you bought a home, your home is paid off. You own your home. You don't have to keep making mortgage payments. Did you know that? I mean, I'm sure the bank would love that, but you don't have to anymore. Or you bought your car. You got the pink slip, daddy. As the Beach Boys once sang. So, you don't have to keep paying the bank payments for your car. You now own your car so go live in your house, go drive your car, enjoy it.
The same is true of your salvation. It's bought and paid for. You don't lose it, so use it and enjoy it. You don't need what you already have. You don't need what you already have. I heard about a woman that went down to her bank and said to the banker, I want to open up a joint bank account. He said, great, who do you want to open it up with, she said, preferably a multi-millionaire. Do you know any? Here's the good news. You have a joint bank account with Jesus. So, you have all that you need. You're kept, you're saved, you're safe and God keeps his own kids. He watches over us. You don't lose something you love. You don't lose someone you love. You don't go to Disneyland and lose three kids. We have more kids, the three kids missing. Yeah, I think I saw them at Fantasyland last time. Well yeah, you don't do that because you love your children so you keep your eye on them.
I heard about an older man who was known for his Godly life and someone once asked him, sir, what do you do when you're getting tempted? He said, I just look up to Heaven and say, Lord, your property is in danger. That's who we are, we are the property of the Lord. We are kept by him. Just remember that. Jesus also mentions Judas Iscariot in his prayer, who has already left to betray him. He says, I've kept them in your name except the Son of Perdition, that's Judas. Though God will keep us, we must want to be kept. Judas was never a believer. It's not like Judas was a believer who fell away. Judas was never a believer, he was just a really good actor. Okay, so this brings us now to petition number two. This is what God wants for you. So, number one, God keeps us, God protects us. He prays for our preservation. We should desire to be kept and stay close to him.
Number two, he prays for our consecration. He prays for our consecration, look at John 17, verse 13. Now I come to you and these things I speak in the world that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves, I've given them your word and the world has hated them because they're not of this world. Just as I'm not of this world. I don't pray you should take them out of the would, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They're not of the world just as I'm not of the world. Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth. Stop there. We live in an alien and a hostile environment, it's call the world. Verse John 2:16 says, all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father, but it's of the world. The New Living Translation states that same verse as follows the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure. The lust for everything we see, the pride in our possessions. They're not from the Father, they're from this evil world.
It's hard for us to not be loved. I think everyone wants to be accepted and welcomed. It's hard when you become a Christian because in reality you're now a more loving person. You're a more compassionate person. In every way, you're a better person, and yet, there are people that will want nothing to do with you. Why is that? Because you are now a light shining in a very dark place. So, here's your objective, your objective is to stay away from sin and stay as close to the Lord as you possible can.
I just read an article in the paper a couple of days ago about a man in England who recently died from asphyxiation. While authorities were not willing to say what the cause of death was, they thought it might have something to do with his five foot python. This guy was a snake collector, a herpetologist. He had a lot of snakes. The authority said the snake was not aggressive, but may have been wrapping himself around the owners neck in an affectionate way. That's an exact quote. By the way, this eight foot snake was named Tiny. You can't make this stuff up, folks. The coroner said, and I can't believe this statement, that in a moment of peace, the owner was communing with the snake and it went wrong for some reason and he asphyxiated as a result of his contact with Tiny. I'm really sorry this happened to this guy. This is a tragedy, I'm not making light of it.
First of all, snakes are not affectionate. I know, because I used to collect snakes. I had lots of snakes. There's no affection in a snake. Because the brain is very small, you see. Reptiles don't express, especially say, affection like dogs do. Even cats have it on snakes. It's one of the few times I'm going to give a cat some credit. It's true. Snakes are cold blooded reptiles. So, the reason the snake likes to wrap himself around your arm or your neck is because you're warm. But when a snake looks at you, he's not, oh, I love you, like a dog. No, he's looking thinking, I'm might bite you. I don't know what I'm going to do right now, because my brain is the size of a BB and I don't care. I'm emotionless. When this guy says he was communing with the snake. What? But here's my analogy. We have sin and we think it's little. I call this sin, tiny. It's okay, and one day that sin wraps itself around your necks and your spiritually asphyxiated.
That's an interesting word isn't it, asphyxiated. You're chocked out by your own sin so you have to keep your distance from sin. He says that he wants us to be sanctified in verse 17. Sanctify them by your truth, because your word is truth. The word sanctified means to be set apart. It's a very important word. The Bible talks about sanctification. Okay, there's different words in the Bible we many not understand. Justification, sanctification, what does that mean? Justification, justified, that happens positionally. When you become a Christian, you are positionally made right with God, your sin is forgiven and the righteousness of Christ is placed into your spiritual account. Jesus is your co-signer, so to speak. That's a wonderful thing, that's a done deal. Sanctification is different. Positionally I'm set apart to God, but living it out is another story altogether. We're I'm seeking to live a Godly life, live a holy life, live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.
That's what he's praying. He's saying, you know what I want for you? I want you to live a life that honors me. I want you to live a sanctified life. I want you to live a holy life. Petition number three, he prays that we would be unified, He prays that we would be unified. Look a verse 20 of John 17. I don't pray for these alone, but also for those that will believe in me though their word, that they may be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you. That they maybe one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me and the glory which you given me, I have given them. Stop there. What a powerful witness it is to a lost world when Christians are unified. When they're loving one another. One of the things that attracted me to Christianity was when I saw young kids on my high school campus, this was five years ago. Because I was sent back to school, I haven't told you, no. This was a long time ago. But, I saw these Christians loving one another. Caring for one another. And I thought about my relationship with my friends. We didn't care for each other, we just hung out because pretty much no one else would hang out with us. I saw genuine love and affection among the believers and I thought, well this is interesting. This is a great witness to a lost world.
We just finished studying the book of Nehemiah together. We saw how important everyone's place was on the wall. Everyone was supposed to build the section of the wall nearest to their home. There were all kinds of people that were rulers and workers and groups from different towns and different classes. You had men, you had women, you had young, you had old. Everyone needed a participate for the job to be done. The same is true of the church. The church is a family. The church is an army and everyone of us has a vital role to play in the church. Ephesians 4:16 says, God makes the whole body fit together perfectly as each part does it's own special work. It helps the other parts grow so the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Everybody doing their part and listen to this, one of the keys to a successful Christian life is participation in the church. Not just attendants and certainly not sporadic attendants. But regular attendants, that's a no brainer, but then participation where you come to be involved in the church, you go from being a spectator, to a participator and that's a very important thing and I'm going to talk about that a little bit more on my message next week on how to go to church.
I know how to go to church. Yeah okay, you probably do, but we're going to look a little bit more what the scripture says of how to get the most out of church. Here's what Jesus is praying, I want my people to be unified because the devil loves to bring division. I am amazed at what people will divide over. I'm amazed by it. It's okay to have opinions, it's okay to disagree, but to divide. I'm not going to that church anymore. I'm really upset. People get, the music, it's the music. The music's too loud, the music's not loud enough. I don't like this song, I don't like that song. I'm leaving the church over it. Really? You need some slap therapy right now, okay. You're going to divide over something like that? There's other things that people will major on minors and miss the point. And even stir up other people. Really? I mean, you think about Christians in other parts of the world that consider it a privilege to gather together and sing any song and hear a message from the word and we are arguing about the most secondary issues imaginable.
Jesus says, I pray that you will be unified. Now listen, I'm not calling for unity at any cost. Because there's something more important than unity and that is truth. Truth is number one. The truth of scripture is always the first thing. That's where we put our priority. But as Augustine once said in this very familiar statement, go ahead and clap for that if you'd like. As Augustine said in this very familiar statement, In essentials, unity. In non-essetials, liberty. In all things, charity. So, essentials, unity. Sorry if you don't believe the Bible is the word of God, we're not going to have unity, you and me. If you don't believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, I mean I'll be nice to you, but we can't have unity. If you don't believe in the essential teachings of scripture, we can't have unity. If you disagree in a second tier issue, like the order of proteopectic events. We can have charity there, we can have flexibility there.
I think it's this way, you think it's that way. I'm right, you're wrong, but still, I love you. I don't even really feel that way, because I have pastors who are friends of mine who we don't agree on every theological point but we're still very good friends. Because in essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. It's okay to have a different view there. But in all things love. Let's love one another no matter what. Still love one another, we're still in the family. Let's not bite and devour one another. Let's not always be criticizing one another. So then finally, Jesus prays, number four, for the ones we will reach, verse 20. I do not pray for these alone, I also pray for those who will believe in me through their word. You see, the Lord is actually interceding for those that will come to faith how, through you. We're reminded of the fact that the primary way that God reaches non-believers is through believers. How will they hear without a preacher, the bible asks. And how will they preach unless they be sent? How beautiful are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things? Look at your feet right now. Go ahead, look at them, they're beautiful. Not yours in the front row, those are... Never wear sandals again please. No, I'm joking. No, they're beautiful if they carry you to bring the gospel. That's what we should be doing with our lives. This is the heart of the Lord.
So, let's review and close. What does Jesus want from us? What does he desire for us and from us? Number one, he prays for our preservation, verse 11. That we would be kept, he wants our partnership and cooperation in this endeavor. He will keep us saved. We must keep ourselves safe. The bible says, keep yourself in the love of God. Number two, he prays for our consecration. He prays for our consecration that we would live holy lives, set apart lives that honor him. Not being pulling down by sin. Not isolating but infiltrating and permeating. Number three, he wants us to be unified. That we would love one another, not destroy one another. And fourth and lastly, he prays that we will reach out to others, verse 20. He prays we'll reach out to others. This is God's heart for you.
So, as I see what he wants for me, shouldn't I want that for myself. Shouldn't I be making every effort to live in a way that would honor the very prayer that Jesus prays for me? Because this is not just for his disciples 2,000 years ago, he was praying for the disciples that would come in the future. That's us and that's the ones that will follow us as well, that we would overcome our differences and pull together for what we have in common. Listen, the last thing that we saw is Jesus cares about the non-believer. If you're not a believer, he's interceding for you. I want to just close this message by saying, if you joined us today and you're not sure that you're a child of God you can become a child of God right now.
The wonderful thing is, it doesn't take years. It doesn't take months, it doesn't even take hours, it can happen just in a flash. I don't even know if you can measure it in time. For how long it takes for a person to believe. Maybe right now you came into church with a certain skepticism and you're saying, well I don't know if I really believe this. All of a sudden a light just went on and you just realized in a instant, this is all true. This is what I've been looking for. This is what I've been longing for. Yes it is, because God wired you that way, to know him. Jesus showed this love for you by going to the cross and dying for your sin and paying for you sin and rising again from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and says, if you'll hear his voice and open the door, he will come in.
Would you like your sin forgiven? Would you like this relationship with God I've been talking about? Where you can know your Father in heaven in a personal and an intimate way. It can happen for you right now. We're going to pray and I'm going to extend an invitation for you to believe in him and ask him to come in to your life. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Here's a opportunity for you to do just that. Let's all pray.
Father, thank you for your love for us. Thank you for sending Jesus. Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and dying for us and paying for our sin and interceding for us and your care for us. Now, I pray for any here or those that are listening or watching that don't know you, Lord, help them to see their need for you. Help them to come to you. Help them to believe in you right now.
While our heads our bowed and our eyes are closed, maybe you would like Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin. Maybe you would like to know that you will go to Heaven when you die. Maybe you will want this relationship with God we've been talking about. Listen, he's only a prayer away. If you would like Christ to come into your life, if you would like him to forgive you of your sin, if you would like to know that you'll go to Heaven when you die, would you raise your hand up right now wherever you are. Let me just pray for you. Just raise your hand up saying, yeah, I want Jesus Christ. I want to know him in a personal way, pray for me, raise your hand up. God bless you. Raise your hand up wherever you are and I'll pray for you today. God bless you. Anybody else? Raise your hand up now? Let me pray for you. God bless you and you and you. God bless you, yes. Now, I'm going to ask everyone of you that has raised your hand. I want you to just pray this prayer right where you sit. Just pray this prayer right where you are. Pray it after me. You can pray it out loud if you like. Just pray this:
Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, but I know that you're the Savior who loves me, who died for me, who rose again from the dead. Come into my life now, Jesus. I choose to follow you as my Savior and Lord. As my God and as my friend. From this moment forward, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.