Monday, December 29, 2008

Put in the Fire for the Sake of Prayer

(by David Mathis)

This week's sermon: "Put in the Fire for the Sake of Prayer"

John's Gospel includes 3 key passages on prayer—all 3 from the words of Jesus in chapters 14 through 16.

First, in 14:13-14, Jesus teaches that prayer is for the glory of His Father. God gives whatever we ask—provided it accords with the pursuit of his glory.

Second, in 15:7-16, Jesus teaches that prayer is for our fruit-bearing. Prayer is a wartime walkie-talkie for advancing God's global mission, not a domestic intercom for calling in personal comforts.

Third, in 16:23-24, Jesus teaches that prayer is for our joy being full. God wants us to be happy, and he means to do it through our prayers.

Yes, prayer is a duty—the way eating and drinking and breathing are duties. But prayer also is a means of grace and a great gift from God.

Zechariah 13:8-9 gives us an additional lesson: God can put his people through the fires of suffering to awaken their appetite for prayer. May we not become so dulled by prosperity that our hearts become too weak to sense our profound need for prayer. And when suffering comes, may it prompt us to turn to God in prayer, rather than turn away in unbelief.

© Desiring God Ministries. Reposted with permission.
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