The Power of Proper Prayer

Theology of Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:01:04
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John 14:10-14

Proposition: God wants us to know that we will see the power of prayer when we pray in submission to His will, and to both the power and purpose of God.

Read the text John 14:1-14.

Proposition: God wants us to know that we will see the power of prayer when we submit to His will to both the power and purpose of God.

John 13:1-17:26 is a “farewell” discourse. Meaning, that Jesus was giving his last instructions to His disciples.
This is very important for us to keep in mind – that is, the farewell discourse. When we have this broader idea about this section of the text, we will then have a proper understanding of the context.
In order to understand John 14:10-14, or even the entire section 16:15-33, we must read and understand John 13:31-38.
This is the prologue of what Jesus was about to talk about in this passage.
In 13:31-35, Jesus gives a new command – the command is to “Love one another.”
In 13:36-37, Peter objects to Jesus’ mission – where are you going?
In 13:38, Jesus rebukes Peter and expresses that Peter would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crows.
Jesus then expresses to His disciples, that they should “believe in Him.”
In John’s Gospel, the term “believe” is very important.
The term believe is used 248 times in the New Testament. However, it is used 93 times in the Gospel of John, and 105 times in the Johannine literature.
With a “sense” of “trust” in Jesus, it is used 63 times. And that is what this verb is calling us to do – to utterly trust in Jesus.
That is what this passage is calling the disciples of the Lord to do – to wholeheartedly “trust” in Jesus.
So, the question: How can we pray in submission to God’s will in both to his power and for his purpose to accomplish?
By believing in Jesus and in his unity with the Father (14:10-11)
By believing in the power of Jesus Christ (14:12)
By believing in the Name of Jesus Christ (14:13-14)

By believing in Jesus and in his unity with the Father (14:10-11)

Let us look at John 14:10
John 14:10 KJV 1900
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Regarding 14:10, Carson says, “Jesus’ question Don’t you believe …? presupposes that all disciples ought to believe that Jesus is in the Father and the Father in him. This mutual indwelling (cf. notes on 10:38) is ‘a linguistic way of describing … the complete unity between Jesus and the Father.”

By believing in the power of Jesus Christ (14:12)

John 14:12 KJV 1900
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus’ emphasis here is also on believing Him. If one believes in Him, he or she will do “greater works.” Jesus just told them to believe in the “works” He did – that is, whatever He did was equivalent to who He is.
In this verse, we see a “transition” of a believer from being a witness to a “participant” in God’s Great Mission!
Jesus is going away soon – he will no longer be among them in person. Therefore, those watching him all these days are to be “representing Him” upon His ascension to His throne.
Here Jesus uses the phrase “greater works” in his explanation. What does this mean?
Are we going to do greater than Jesus? Are we superior? Powerful than Jesus?
This is not the idea of the passage. Keep in mind about the unity theme.
Father and Jesus are one – unity. Now, Jesus and His disciples are one – union. We will not be doing anything mightier than Jesus did.
Our finite, limited lives will not produce powerful miracles and works greater than Jesus.
Father and Jesus are one – unity. Now, Jesus and His disciples are one – union. We will not be doing anything mightier than Jesus did.
Our finite, limited lives will not produce powerful miracles and works greater than Jesus.
The “greater works” refers to the quantity of work, not the quality of work.
The greater works refer to the extent of work and not to the majesty of our works.
There is a misunderstanding about this in our Christian community today!
We and his disciples will do greater works not because we are more powerful than Jesus but because of HIM going to His Father.
What does it mean? It is not talking about the comparison of works between Jesus and His disciples, but about How God Himself would enable us to do even greater works because of His ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit God who would lead His disciples and us all in the Great Mission of God!
Upon Jesus’s return to heaven, his disciples will do a great extent of ministry – going into all the parts of the world, proclaiming the Gospel unto all.
Jesus did not reach more than some parts of Israel, but his disciples reached many more regions with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

By believing in the Name of Jesus Christ (14:13-14)

John 14:13–14 KJV 1900
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
This does not mean we can ask God whatever and he is obligated to give. We must remember that this text is given within the context of doing greater works when Jesus leaves.
We must remember that the context tells us Jesus is giving them farewell discourse and instructions.
We must remember that Jesus is teaching them to ask according to His will, even for the disciples, to do great things for His Name’s sake.
We must remember that the disciples are now responsible for being part of His Great Commission by being his representatives.
The representatives only represent what they are sent to represent.
The Ambassadors do not represent their families when sent on a mission – they represent their countries or leaders. In the same way, disciples are to represent Christ.
When we ask, it is like a believer doing “the “asking,” that is, placing himself beneath the primary agency of God. In this sense, the disciple is praying as a “representative” of Jesus.”

So how are we to pray?

We should pray in a manner befitting the mission of God (denoted by the “works” the believer will do in v. 12) and the character of God (denoted by the use of “in his name” in v. 13). [Klink]
The promises of this prayer or these commands are functional only within the parameters set by this text. If we ask anything outside of this parameters, those prayer will not be answered.
Klink says, “This final promise is not about the pursuit of self-seeking permission from God but is an invitation to participate in the fullness of life in God through Christ and by the Spirit.”
So, when we are praying, we are “agreeing” to trust not only in God’s sovereign and authoritative resources but also in God’s perfect and providential results.”
This is how we can experience the power of prayer according to this passage.
If you want to experience the power of prayer in relation to God’s mission, the we have to do the following:
Would you submit to God’s will, both to his purpose and power, with your prayer life?
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, anything you ask outside of God’s will, without submitting to His will and his perfect providential results, you will not be praying at all; you will not see the power of prayer.
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