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← Pray to the Father For Others - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 7 created 06/01/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. You can turn in your Bibles
  2. to Ephesians 3.
  3. Now we had left off in Ephesians 3:14.
  4. We went down through v. 13.
  5. We're going to pick things up,
  6. and spend a number of weeks here
  7. in the last half of Ephesians 3.
  8. Let's read this.
  9. We'll read from verse 14
    to the end of the chapter.
  10. "For this reason,
  11. I bow my knees before the Father,
  12. from whom every family in heaven
  13. and on earth is named,
  14. that according to the riches of His glory,
  15. He may grant you to be strengthened
  16. with power through His Spirit
  17. in your inner being,
  18. so that Christ may dwell in
    your hearts through faith,
  19. that you being rooted and grounded in love
  20. may have strength to comprehend
  21. with all the saints what is the breadth
  22. and length and height and depth
  23. and to know the love of Christ
  24. that surpasses knowledge,
  25. that you may be filled with
    all the fullness of God.
  26. Now to Him who is able to
    do far more abundantly
  27. than all we ask or think,
  28. according to the power at work within us,
  29. to Him be glory in the church
  30. and in Christ Jesus
  31. throughout all generations
  32. forever and ever. Amen."
  33. "For this reason..."

  34. Look at verse 14.
  35. "For this reason..."
  36. What's going on here? It's been awhile.
  37. Remember with me.
  38. Remember.
  39. You've got your face there in your Bible.
  40. You see, "For this reason..."
  41. And if you go back up
    to verse 1 of chapter 3,
  42. you see that he started the same way.
  43. "For this reason..."
  44. Now, could it be that in both places
  45. he's speaking about different things?
  46. It could be.
  47. I mean, you could be having a conversation
  48. with somebody and you could say,
  49. "For this reason so-and-so..."
  50. And then later in the
    conversation, you could say,
  51. "For this reason..." and
    you mean another reason.
  52. And that's possible.
  53. In both cases, verse 1, "For this reason,
  54. I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus
    on behalf of you Gentiles..."
  55. Verse 14, "For this reason, I bow
    my knees before the Father..."
  56. In both cases, we might ask,
  57. what's happening?
  58. What reason?
  59. Well, just remember this with me.
  60. Back up in chapter 3:1,
  61. most of your Bibles -
  62. I recognize if you've got
    the King James Version
  63. it doesn't have this, but
    most every other Bible
  64. has that double dash
    at the end of verse 1.
  65. Now whether your Bible has it or doesn't,
  66. obviously it doesn't show
    up in the original Greek.
  67. There's no double dash there to be found.
  68. This is put here by the translators.
  69. Why? Because they're
    assuming that Paul digresses.
  70. They're assuming what you have
  71. from verse 2 to verse 13 is a parenthesis.
  72. In other words, Paul was starting to say
  73. what he says in verse 14.
  74. "For this reason,
  75. I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus..."
  76. and he was going to say,
  77. "...bow my knees before the Father."
  78. But you know what?
  79. In describing himself as a prisoner,
  80. he recognized that -
  81. you can see it in verse 13 -
  82. he recognized the people might lose heart.
  83. He recognized that he
    himself being in prison
  84. might create sorrow in their hearts.
  85. And so, he digresses.
  86. He digresses to basically show them,
  87. look, this is your glory
    that I'm in prison.
  88. This is not a bad thing.
  89. Don't get discouraged.
    Don't be depressed.
  90. Don't lose heart to the
    fact that I'm doing this.
  91. And you know what? We all do this.

  92. We all at times are speaking to somebody,
  93. and as we're speaking to them
  94. and we're trying to say one thing,
  95. a thought comes into our mind
  96. that something I just said
    needs to be clarified,
  97. or something I just said
    needs some extra light,
  98. and we feel like we need
    to abruptly interrupt
  99. and stick it in there
    before we keep going.
  100. We do that.
  101. And you know, one of the things is
  102. we sometimes think that
    because men are inspired,
  103. that they can't do those kinds of things.
  104. Because it's almost like we view
  105. inspired writers as dictating
    for the Spirit of God.
  106. My mother used to be a legal secretary,

  107. and she, back in the day -
  108. this was before they have
    all the recording ability,
  109. she did shorthand.
  110. Anybody remember shorthand?
  111. She would have the attorney dictate to her
  112. and she would write down in shorthand.
  113. But that is not the way
    Scripture comes to us.

  114. Can we allow somebody
  115. that's under the inspiration of the Spirit
  116. to suddenly interrupt
    their train of thought
  117. and go in another direction?
  118. I love this.
  119. It shows the nature of
    God-breathed Scripture.
  120. Paul can be completely controlled
    by the Spirit of God,
  121. and yet, the Spirit isn't
    just dictating to him
  122. like he's some robot.
  123. That's not what's happening.
  124. Paul writes in such a way
  125. that his own thinking, his own writing
  126. are free and spontaneous,
  127. and yet he is writing word-for-word
  128. what God wants him to write.
  129. That's what happens.
  130. Here's an interruption in
    Paul's train of thought.
  131. And yet, the whole thing is
  132. divinely conceived and controlled.
  133. And so, what happens, you get to v. 14,
  134. and now Paul's going to go back
  135. to what he was originally wanting to say.
  136. "For this reason..."
  137. We ought to ask, "what reason?"
  138. Now he says this:
  139. "For this reason, I bow my knees
  140. before the Father,
  141. from whom every family in
    heaven and on earth is named,
  142. that according to the riches of His glory
    He may grant you to be strengthened."
  143. Now, it could be "for this
    reason, I bow my knees."
  144. Why? "Because I want you to have power."
  145. It could be that.
  146. But if you go back up to
    3:1 when he first said it,
  147. "For this reason..."
  148. well, it's very likely pointing
    to what he got done saying
  149. at the end of chapter two.
  150. It's likely his whole reasoning is this:
  151. "For this reason..."
  152. Because you Gentiles -
  153. because that's been his
    whole argument all along -
  154. you Gentile Christians have been added
  155. to the saints of God.
  156. Because of your standing...
  157. Go back to chapter 2.

  158. Let's just run through this really fast.
  159. Verse 13. "They were brought near."
  160. Verse 16, "reconciled to God."
  161. Verse 18, "given access to the Father."
  162. Verse 19, "fellow citizens,"
  163. "members of the household of God."
  164. Verse 20, "on the apostolic foundation,
  165. Christ Jesus Himself
    being the cornerstone."
  166. Verse 22, "built together...
  167. dwelling place for God."
  168. Paul bows his knees before the Father why?
  169. To pray for this elect people.
  170. "For this reason..."
    because of your standing.
  171. And I like this.

  172. I mean, this causes me to think.
  173. Do you recognize?
  174. When Paul speaks to Christians
  175. in the New Testament,
  176. he is talking about how often
  177. he thanks the Lord for them
  178. and how unceasingly he prays for them.
  179. When Paul found elect people of God,
  180. he was constrained.
  181. People who the Father loved.
  182. He looks at them.
  183. He recognized they're not
    like the rest of the world.
  184. They're beloved of God,
  185. and it struck a chord in his own love.
  186. Paul prayed for God's people.
  187. You can't get away from that reality.
  188. He prayed. He prayed.
  189. Why? These people are
    adopted by the Father.
  190. Adopted through Jesus Christ.
  191. Adopted as sons.
  192. They're part of the family.
  193. They're in.
  194. These are God's people.
  195. He's set His love on them.
  196. And for Paul, that was powerful.
  197. When he found true Christians,
  198. it had a singular effect on
    the angle of his knees.
  199. And you notice: "I bow my knees."
  200. It caused them to bend.
  201. Now, here's the thing.

  202. I know this.
  203. I have desired since the very
    beginning of this church
  204. that we would have a praying church
  205. because I'm absolutely convinced
  206. that we need God, and praying
    people lay hold on God,
  207. and God responds to praying people.
  208. God moves and things happen.
  209. Prayer is absolutely essential
  210. in the life of the church.
  211. And what I find is this,
  212. when you find prayers in Scripture,
  213. they as much as anything
  214. are great lessons in how the church
  215. should be praying.
  216. And so, I want us to
    take this for what it is.
  217. Paul.

  218. He's praying. It's a prayer.
  219. Well, not exactly.
  220. He's telling us how he prays.
  221. This isn't him actually praying
  222. like Jesus in John 17.
  223. This is him telling the
    Ephesians how he prays,
  224. his posture of prayer, and what he prays.
  225. That's what's happening here.
  226. Paul telling us how.
  227. Massively instructive.
  228. Why? Because Paul's under inspiration.
  229. You know what the Spirit's doing here?
  230. "Paul, tell them how you pray."
  231. That is helpful.
  232. Because you know, we
    see a lot of people pray.
  233. You come to the prayer meetings.
    You hear people pray.
  234. You get in small groups.
    You hear people pray.
  235. When we don't get into small groups,
  236. but we all stay together,
  237. we pass that microphone around,
  238. voices come through the speakers.
  239. Undoubtedly throughout your lives,
    you hear people pray.
  240. And we can ask the question,
  241. are our prayers pleasing to God?
  242. Are our prayers biblical?
  243. Do our prayers resemble something
  244. that would seem to be pleasing to God?
  245. Maybe we say, well, if we pray,
  246. doesn't that in itself please God?
  247. But I'll tell you this, there's a place
  248. definitely to learn how to pray.
  249. Jesus taught His disciples,
    "pray this way."
  250. There's a place for being instructed.
  251. There's a place for learning.
  252. And I find this, when you find a prayer

  253. that we know to be
    inspired of the Holy Spirit,
  254. under inspiration.
  255. The Spirit was moving Paul
  256. to tell these Ephesians how he prayed.
  257. And it's going to do us well
  258. to pay attention to this.
  259. Do people pray according to the Spirit?
  260. You know, you can hear somebody pray -
  261. well, is that according to the Spirit?
  262. Is that not according to the Spirit?
  263. Well, we know this is.
  264. If you ever want God just to
    teach you how to pray, here it is.
  265. We don't have to guess.
  266. This is acceptable.
  267. And brethren, you'll
    notice what isn't here.

  268. This jumps out at me.
  269. What's not here?
  270. Oh, how shallow it is when people
  271. just simply pray,
  272. "Lord, bless this, bless him,
  273. bless her, bless that,
    bless the other thing."
  274. You notice Paul doesn't even
    use that word "bless" once?
  275. Now look, I'm certainly not saying
  276. that you can't use that
    term when you pray,
  277. but oh, how often, praying for a blessing
  278. is just a default word for
    not knowing what to pray
  279. and for shallow prayer.
  280. In fact, if you go through Scripture
  281. and you look at the specific prayers
  282. that are given in Scripture,
  283. how seldom - or never - do you find
  284. that word "bless."
  285. Of course, we want God's blessing!
  286. But what sort of blessing?
  287. Paul is specific. See him there.

  288. See him there on bended knee.
  289. What is he going to ask for?
  290. What is it?
  291. Hear him.
  292. "Father..." can you see him?
  293. Bended knee.
  294. Where was he?
  295. I don't know where he was.
  296. He's in some kind of prison.
  297. He was imprisoned.
  298. You can imagine him in a prison cell.
  299. You can imagine that a lot
    of his time was spent there.
  300. And what's he praying for?
  301. Hear him. Hear him. Hear his words.
  302. "Father, please, please..." what?
  303. Bless them? Bless that?
  304. Bless Thessalonica? Bless Philippi?
  305. Bless the Romans?
  306. Bless those at Jerusalem?
  307. It's not that.
  308. He's very specific.
  309. And he says specifically
    for these Ephesians,
  310. on bowed, bended knee;
  311. listen to his voice.
  312. He says, "Father, please,
  313. according to the riches of Your glory..."
  314. Now, you can stop right there.
  315. "Father..."
  316. Not in some meager way.
  317. Not in some off-handed way.
  318. Not in some barely recognizable way.
  319. Not in some way where we've got to
  320. squint real hard to say,
  321. did He answer or not?
  322. But, "according to the
    riches of Your glory."
  323. What a powerful plea!
  324. What an argument!
  325. "Please, Father, please...
  326. I'm asking You to answer.
  327. Not in some barely recoginizable way.
  328. Arise! Act consistent with
    the riches of Your glory."
  329. That is a way worth praying.
  330. That's how you want to pray.
  331. "Lord, please..."
  332. Look, we're not like the lost people.

  333. We're not like the pagans.
  334. You're not like you
    were when you were lost
  335. and a nominal whatever-you-were.
  336. Whether you were a lost Baptist,
  337. a lost pagan, a lost nominal Catholic,
  338. lost religious, lost unreligious.
  339. The god you called upon
  340. and the kind of prayers you had
  341. and some little idol
  342. or some small figment of your imagination,
  343. listen, that is not the way
    we've learned our Scripture.
  344. That's not the way we've
    learned the God of Scripture.
  345. He is not some small little idol,
  346. some little statue to
    be prayed to like that.
  347. He's not like those Indian gods
  348. that they have to carry around.
  349. This God is the living God,
  350. and He doesn't need to be carried.
  351. And He can part Red Seas,
  352. and when you pray to Him,
  353. you should pray according
    to the magnitude of His glory.
  354. That's what Paul's doing.
  355. Don't pray silly little prayers.
  356. Look, that doesn't mean you
    can't pray for the smallest things.
  357. I remember Mueller. He would say -

  358. you know in his day, I guess
    they were the quill pens.
  359. He said something about if a pen
  360. needs to have the cartridge replaced
  361. or whatever they called it in that day,
  362. he said it's worth praying about.
  363. Obviously, even praying
    about small things,
  364. we should blanket everything
    in our lives in prayer.
  365. But I'm just saying this,
  366. we have a big God and we should pray
  367. as though He is big; He is rich.
  368. If you have something worth praying for;
  369. if you have something you
    think God should grant,
  370. if there's some great
    mountain in your way,
  371. then if you're going to ask
    God to do something,
  372. ask Him for the best.
  373. Ask Him for the biggest.
  374. Ask Him according to the riches.
  375. Brethren, I remember this,

  376. I remember there being
    something in my life
  377. that I really desired to see happen.
  378. And I saw a TV show
  379. where that thing was granted to somebody.
  380. I went to the Lord, and I said,
  381. Lord, they can think that up
    and put that on TV.
  382. And that's not even real.
  383. But they can imagine that.
  384. The true God -
  385. Lord, You ought to be able to do better
  386. than Hollywood can do.
  387. And certainly He can.
  388. And certainly, He would have
    us have that expectation.
  389. Ask Him - how?
  390. Ask Him according to His riches.
  391. You know we've got a rich God!
  392. Do you believe that when you go to pray?
  393. "According to His riches."
  394. Paul isn't messing around.
  395. He goes to Him,
  396. "Father, I'm asking for something.
  397. Lord, according to the
    riches of Your glory."
  398. Riches!
  399. Riches - His glory.
  400. That's how we should pray.
  401. Ask Him.
  402. He doesn't say, "Oh well, you know...

  403. Humility - if we're going to be humble.
  404. we should never ask too much.
  405. We should never ask anything too big."
  406. Listen, what is humility? What is pride?
  407. Pride is when we're stuck on ourselves.
  408. Pride is when we see ourselves big.
  409. But what's humility all about?
  410. Humility is seeing ourselves small
  411. and seeing God big.
  412. And if you're going to
    claim that God is big,
  413. then act like it when you pray.
  414. You see, seeing Him as big is not pride,
  415. and acting as though
    He's big is not pride.
  416. You see, you insult Him
  417. (incomplete thought)
  418. when you have these small
    expectations from Him.
  419. Look what He does in Scripture.
  420. He saved 3,000 people in a day.
  421. You see, whether it's arguing with God
  422. concerning Hollywood -
  423. seriously, Lord?
  424. Is Hollywood going to create better
  425. fictitious stories, more glorious
  426. than what You can do?
  427. Are you going to allow that to happen?
  428. But the other argument is:

  429. Lord, are you simply going to have us
  430. live off the history books?
  431. The pages of Scripture that talk about
  432. the great works of God in the past?
  433. Lord, is that it?
  434. Should we just content ourselves
  435. that well, 3,000 people got saved in a day
  436. back in the book of Acts,
  437. but that can't happen anymore.
  438. So we're not even
    going to ask such things.
  439. You know what our sister is asking
  440. down in Saltillo?
  441. She sent out a Whatsapp
    message this morning
  442. and she's praying that
    God would save 20 people
  443. in Santa Margarita
  444. when our brother goes
    there to preach today.
  445. What think ye?

  446. Impossible?
  447. See, have we just grown
    to expect very little?
  448. Have we come to the place:
  449. Well, God doesn't do that.
  450. God doesn't part the Red Sea anymore.
  451. God doesn't do those things.
  452. We should have no expectation.
  453. I'll tell you, if you were on
    bended knee next to Paul
  454. and you were listening to him praying;
  455. you were in that prison cell with him,
  456. you might be surprised at what he prayed.
  457. You might be surprised at the vastness,
  458. the size of his prayers.
  459. Do things according to Your greatness
  460. in my weakness.
  461. Do you know we have a giving God?
  462. I mean, when God talks about supplying
  463. all of our need according to His riches
  464. in glory in Christ Jesus,
  465. have you thought about that?
  466. (incomplete thought)
  467. God will supply your needs
  468. according to His riches.
  469. Do you believe that?
  470. Do you know how rich God is?
  471. Do you pray like He is?
  472. I'm not talking about just selfishly
  473. trying to accumulate everything;
  474. I'm not talking about fleshly
    desires and covetousness.
  475. I'm talking about being involved
    in the Kingdom of Christ,
  476. and really having a desire
    for the glory of God,
  477. and praying in that way.
  478. (incomplete thought)
  479. Listen, if He didn't spare His own Son,
  480. how will He not what?
  481. In Him, isn't He going to give us
  482. every good thing?
  483. I mean, don't we have
    promises of a God who's giving?
  484. Every good and perfect gift
  485. comes down from the Father of lights.
  486. No variableness. No shadow of turning.
  487. Now that's important. He doesn't change.
  488. He's giving.
  489. You know, David - we heard
    about him in the first hour.

  490. He could cast himself on God's mercy.
  491. Please don't hand me over to men.
  492. But you hand me over to God,
  493. because His mercies are great.
  494. And that's why He was
    praying for that son so long.
  495. He knew God's mercies.
  496. He prayed for that boy because he thought
  497. there was a good possibility
  498. that God in all of His
    mercies would answer.
  499. Now God didn't answer.
  500. God didn't save that boy,
  501. but you know what?
  502. It shows what David thought about his God.
  503. He recognized this is a God
  504. whose tendencies are mercy.
  505. Look, if you come to a
    God who is infinite,
  506. He is almighty, and His very character
  507. is just spilling over with mercy,
  508. and He's given us examples like this,
  509. listen, let this resonate.
  510. The Spirit of God recorded this -
  511. Paul praying the way he prays,
  512. so that it would be preserved for us,
  513. so that we could learn from this.
  514. How do you pray?
  515. You come to a God like this.
  516. Do you not hear Newton?
  517. "Large petitions with thee bring."
  518. Why?
  519. Why? Because you're coming to a King.
  520. His grace and power are such
  521. you can never ask too much.
  522. That's the kind of God we're coming to.
  523. Listen, if you go before King David -
  524. we heard about him -
  525. or King Solomon in all of
    his riches and his glory;
  526. or you go before Caesar,
  527. or you before Pharaoh,
  528. or you go before President Trump
  529. and you ask for a piece of bubble gum.
  530. And you know what? We can think,
  531. well, that's ridiculous, but that's how
  532. a lot of our prayers are.
  533. Paul's not messing around.
  534. He's coming before the King of Kings.
  535. And he is appealing -
    that is a way to appeal -
  536. God, please, don't give to me
  537. like the false gods give.
  538. Don't give to me like the demons give.
  539. Don't give to me like the non-gods give.
  540. You remember those prophets of Baal
  541. up on Mount Carmel?
  542. Slicing and cutting themselves
  543. and jumping around, and the prophet says,
  544. "Well, maybe he's gone on a trip.
  545. Maybe he's relieving himself.
  546. Maybe he's this or that..."
  547. Listen, when you pray,

  548. you don't want it to be like that.
  549. We want to pray to this God
  550. and we want response
  551. according to the riches,
  552. according to those.
  553. How rich is God?
  554. I mean, if we look and we say,
  555. "Blessed be the God and Father
    of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
  556. why? He's blessed us with every
  557. spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
  558. If we're looking at this,
  559. He says He blesses us.
  560. He has given us promise of blessing.
  561. He does things like parts the Red Seas.
  562. He wants us recounting His great works.
  563. Why? So that our faith would
    increase, increase, increase.
  564. So that when we come to Him,
  565. we would not have little faith,
  566. and we would not ask for little things,
  567. and we'd not ask for bubble gum.
  568. Don't do that. Don't pray that way.
  569. We need to pray big prayers.
  570. Jesus said it!
  571. If you've got faith the
    size of a mustard seed,
  572. what can you not do?
  573. That's the issue.
  574. How do we pray?
  575. We need to pray.
  576. We need to pray big prayers.
  577. We need to pray according to God's riches.
  578. His riches in glory.
  579. He is a giving God.
  580. Don't pray to Him as though
  581. He is some little god.
  582. And listen, you're praying to Him
  583. as though He is a little god,
  584. if you pray to Him and then walk away
  585. not expecting a response.
  586. Listen, if you come
    into the prayer meeting,

  587. and the only reason you pray things
  588. is because it was brought
    up as a prayer request,
  589. and you just prayed it
  590. because other people were listening,
  591. but you have no expectation -
  592. then stop. Stop!
  593. You're praying to Him like what?
  594. That's an insult.
  595. Pray what you believe you need.
  596. Pray what you believe is
    going to be to His glory.
  597. Pray what your children need to be saved,
  598. what your relatives need to be saved,
  599. what the church needs to not fall away.
  600. Pray big!
  601. Don't pray like He's some
    little incompetent god.
  602. Don't pray to Him in a way
  603. that's going to insult Him.
  604. Now, Geoffrey Thomas was
    just with us a few weeks back.

  605. And he said that he used to think
  606. that the Holy Spirit was
    the forgotten member
  607. of the Trinity.
  608. And he said he's not convinced
    that's the case anymore.
  609. He now believes God the Father is.
  610. I think he is exactly right.
  611. The forgotten member of the Trinity.
  612. I'm saying among the three -
  613. you know we live in an age
  614. when the Holy Spirit is
    getting a lot of attention.
  615. What's happened to the Father?
  616. Some Christian circles, it seems like
  617. it starts and ends with Jesus.
  618. But you will notice that Paul
  619. is bending his knee before the Father.
  620. The Father.
  621. What I want you to think about here
  622. is the Father for a second.
  623. Now, you know, I went through

  624. from Ephesians 1:1 to Ephesians 3:14.
  625. I counted how many times
    the Father was referenced,
  626. how many times Jesus was referenced,
  627. and how many times the
    Holy Spirit was referenced.
  628. Can you guess?
  629. Make a wild guess.
  630. If you were to imagine how much
  631. each of them proportionately -
  632. do you have any idea?
  633. Equal?
  634. The Father and the Son are about equal
  635. in their references.
  636. The Spirit much less.
  637. But here's the thing,
  638. in the first chapter and a half,
  639. the references to Jesus Christ
  640. are by far references that identify
  641. some aspect of the Father.
  642. It's not until you get to chapter 2:13
  643. or thereabouts,
  644. that Christ's involvement
    in our redemption
  645. is really spelled out for us.
  646. I want you to think about the Father.

  647. Just go through - quick survey.
  648. Ephesians 1.
  649. You see, this is very characteristic.
  650. Ephesians 1:1, "Paul, an apostle of
    Christ Jesus, by the will of God."
  651. Well, Christ is in there,
  652. but how is He in there?
  653. He's in there only by way
    of identifying the Father.
  654. Paul is an apostle of Christ,
  655. but the active member of the Godhead
  656. that is making this happen is indeed
  657. the will of God.
  658. This is the Father.
  659. You see as we move through here,
  660. verse 3, "Blessed be the God and Father
    of our Lord Jesus Christ."
  661. There again, you have
    the Lord Jesus Christ,
  662. but why is His name there?
  663. His name is there simply to describe,
  664. to give identity to who the Father is.
  665. But it's the Father who is active.
  666. It is the Father who is moving.
  667. It is the Father who is giving.
  668. It is the Father who is choosing.
  669. It is the Father adopting.
    It is the Father predestinating.
  670. It is the Father's will.
  671. Again and again and again we see this.
  672. Look,"blessed be the God and Father
    of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  673. He it is who has blessed us in
    Christ with every spiritual blessing.
  674. For even as He chose us..."
  675. It's the Father.
  676. Verse 5, "He predestined us."
  677. It's the Father.
  678. Verse 6, "To the praise of His..."
  679. This is the Father.
  680. "...With which He has
    blessed us in the Beloved."
  681. That's in Christ.
  682. Verse 9, it's the Father
    making known to us
  683. the mystery of His will
  684. according to His purpose.
  685. It's the Father's purpose
    which He set forth in Christ.
  686. If it was Christ there, you don't say,
  687. "which He set forth in Christ,"
  688. but "which He set forth in Himself."
  689. But that's not it. It's God.
  690. Verse 11, "In Him (in Christ),
  691. we have obtained an inheritance
  692. having been predestined according to
  693. the purpose of [the Father],
  694. Him who works all things according to
  695. the counsel of His will
  696. so that we who were
    the first to hope in Christ
  697. might be to the praise of His glory."
  698. He is the one who gives the Holy Spirit.
  699. He is the one if you go to verse 15,
  700. "For this reason, because I've heard
  701. of your faith in the Lord Jesus
  702. and your love toward all the saints,
  703. I do not cease to give thanks for you,
    remembering you in my prayers,
  704. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  705. the Father of glory,
  706. may give you the Spirit of wisdom."
  707. See, it's the Father who is giving this.
  708. It's the Father who opens their eyes,
  709. enlightens them, gives them
  710. a knowledge of these things.
  711. Verse 20, or the end of 19,
  712. "According to the working
    of His great might
  713. that He worked in Christ when He raised
  714. Him from the dead."
  715. It's the Father who raised
    Christ from the dead.
  716. It's the Father who is
    working His great might
  717. in the people of God.
  718. You keep going through here.
  719. Verse 2:4, "But God
    being rich in mercy..."
  720. There's the Father again.
  721. "Because of the great love
    with which He loved us
  722. even when we were dead in our trespasses,
  723. made us alive together with Christ."
  724. God is doing this.
  725. God raises us up.
  726. It's God's love; it's God's mercy.
  727. It's God who seats us with Him
  728. "so that in the coming ages," verse 2:7,
  729. "He (God the Father) might show
  730. the immeasurable riches
    of His grace in kindness
  731. toward us in Christ Jesus."
  732. Verse 10, "We are His workmanship,
  733. created in Christ Jesus for good works
  734. which He prepared beforehand
  735. that we should walk in them."
  736. What I want you to get a feeling for

  737. is you do not want to forget Him,
  738. and I think that even in our
    song selections in this church -
  739. I went through our song list today.
  740. It is hard to find songs
    that are about the Father.
  741. Very hard - I mean in our song list.
  742. Why is that?
  743. Well, look, there is a reason
  744. that we look to the cross.
  745. There's a reason we want
    to preach the cross.
  746. There's a reason that
    we want to think about
  747. the redemption that
    we have in Jesus Christ,
  748. but you know what you
    don't want to forget?
  749. You don't want to forget
    that Jesus taught us
  750. that when we pray,
    we should pray this way:
  751. "Our Father, who art in Heaven..."
  752. We should look to God.
  753. God the Father is the One before whom
  754. Paul is bending his knee.
  755. And you remember, it
    is the riches of His glory.
  756. He is the one that gives
    these spiritual blessings
  757. in the heavenly places.
  758. He chose us in Christ
  759. before the foundation of the world.
  760. He adopted us as sons in Christ Jesus.
  761. It is Him. It is His love.
  762. But God, being rich in mercy,
  763. because of the great love
    with which He loved us,
  764. He raised us up with Christ.
  765. He seated us with Christ.
  766. It is His blessings that are poured out.
  767. It is not by our works,
  768. it is the gift of God that we are saved,
  769. by grace, through faith.
  770. Remember this.
  771. The Father - the part
    that He plays in this.
  772. It is the Father who so loved the world,
  773. that He gave us His only begotten Son.
  774. We don't want to forget the Father.
  775. It is His plan. It is His purpose.
  776. According to His purpose -
  777. how often do you see that in this book?
  778. The Father.
  779. The Father.
  780. Listen, do you know?

  781. Some of you have heard this.
  782. Every single time
  783. that the Lord Jesus Christ addressed God,
  784. He called Him Father.
  785. Every single time.
  786. Now there were times that He talked
  787. to other people about God
  788. and He called Him God.
  789. My Father, My God; your Father, your God.
  790. Or, that's probably backwards,
  791. but there are times He used that language.
  792. But when He addressed His Father in prayer
  793. He called Him "Father"
  794. every single time, except -
  795. do you know when the exception was?
  796. On the cross.
  797. During the hours of darkness,
  798. "My God, My God, why
    have You forsaken Me?"
  799. Quoting right out of Psalm 22.
  800. What's my point?

  801. Sometimes I sit in the prayer meetings,
  802. and I will hear a brother or a sister -
  803. usually it's brothers -
  804. and they pray and they call our Father,
  805. they call Him "God" almost exclusively
  806. or the majority of the time.
  807. And I wonder why.
  808. Why?
  809. Brethren, you've received
    the Spirit of adoption
  810. by which we cry what?
  811. "Abba, Father."
  812. It's beyond me why Christians want to pray
  813. and consistently call God "God."
  814. We have a God who invites us
  815. to call Him "Father."
  816. In fact, He gave us a Spirit
    that would compel us
  817. to pray that way.
  818. Don't be cold and distant
    in addressing Him.
  819. (Incomplete thought)
  820. Listen, you're coming before one who says,
  821. "I want you to call Me Father.
  822. Why? Because I am your Father."
  823. You think about a little
    child coming to a Father,
  824. how much more
  825. will your heavenly Father give
    good things to them that ask,
  826. including the Spirit.
  827. We're coming to Him
  828. according to the riches of His glory
  829. and He's your Father.
  830. Now that is good news.
  831. That bodes well for your prayer life.
  832. Does it not?
  833. What purpose does Paul
    cry out to the Father?

  834. To ask for a better car?
  835. Husband? Wife? More money?
  836. Look, I'm not saying you
    can't pray for those things.
  837. But I would have you notice this.
  838. Paul doesn't pray for himself once here.
  839. Not once.
  840. None of those things.
  841. Take notice.
  842. Notice, Paul is praying,
  843. but he's not praying for himself.
  844. Brothers and sisters,

  845. how desperately, desperately we need
  846. men and women in the church like this.
  847. Paul is interceding.
  848. Interceding is what you call it
  849. when you bow your knees to God
  850. for the sake of others
  851. and not for yourselves.
  852. How we need intercessors in the church.
  853. And I'm concerned!
  854. I'm concerned.
  855. When I got saved,
  856. honestly, I hungered
  857. to have time with the Lord.
  858. The first three years
    of my Christian life,
  859. I was able outside of work,
  860. and even times at work
  861. during breaks and lunch -
  862. I wasn't married.
  863. I was able to give my life to
    communion with the Lord.
  864. And I moved down here to Texas,
  865. lived with John Sytsma,
  866. a very business oriented family.
  867. And things were working at a pace
  868. that I just felt like,
  869. John was very much given to devotions
  870. in the morning and before
    the family got together.
  871. And I like to walk in the evenings
  872. and be out in the field
  873. and away from the heat.
  874. And John's schedule and mine
  875. were a little bit different,
  876. and I remember just panting after
  877. having that time back.
  878. And I recognized that I
    needed to move separate
  879. so that I could get back
    into my own schedule.
  880. And I longed for that.
  881. And I guess my sense was that
  882. well, that's how it
    is with all Christians.
  883. We don't live by bread alone,
  884. but by every word that proceeds
    from the mouth of God.
  885. We want to abide in Christ
  886. and we love walking with Him
  887. and meeting with Him
  888. and there's things to confess
  889. and there's worship
  890. and just getting to meditate before Him
  891. and praying and interceding
  892. for the sake of others.
  893. I just assumed that.
  894. And then I got married,
  895. and my wife basically lived that way
  896. day after day.
  897. I guess my assumption has largely been:
  898. well, of course, that's
    how Christians live.
  899. I am, I don't now,
  900. I guess I'm kind of baffled
  901. by the frequency at which I hear
  902. that people in this church
  903. have a real difficult time maintaining
  904. just a consistent intimacy with the Lord.
  905. And I guess my concern is this,
  906. I'm not sure what lies
    behind this difficulty.
  907. Is it immaturity?
  908. Is it worldliness?
  909. Is it busyness?
  910. Is it just that there's no hunger there?
  911. I know this,
  912. intercessors don't come
  913. from marginally spiritual people.
  914. Why?
  915. Because interceding requires love
  916. and a level of maturity
  917. and a lack of selfishness.
  918. Selfish people -
  919. their prayers are all about themselves.
  920. Very little worship.
  921. Very little confession.
  922. But a lot of give me,
    give me, give me, give me.
  923. Now I know there are prayer
    warriors in this church.

  924. I know there are.
  925. I know there are some of you,
  926. your walk is close to the Lord.
  927. I want there to be more.
  928. I want this to characterize
    the church as a whole.
  929. Intercessors.
  930. We desperately, desperately need this.
  931. And if people can barely manage
  932. to find their way into the
    secret place of prayer each day,
  933. I know this,
  934. you're not interceding for anybody.
  935. It's not happening.
  936. Where do intercessors come from?
  937. They come from people that live
  938. in the presence of God.
  939. You think about it.

  940. Paul - you can imagine
    the guard walking by.
  941. The guards talking to each other,
  942. "What's the guy doing in there?
  943. Every time we walk by
    there, he's on his face."
  944. He wasn't idle.
    He wasn't wasting his time.
  945. He wasn't wasting his time in prison.
  946. He was crying; he was bending his knee.
  947. He was pleading, he was crying out
  948. for the sake of others.
  949. You find in just about every
    single one of his epistles,
  950. he cried out for people;
  951. he called upon them.
  952. Where do intercessors come from?

  953. People who don't live by bread alone.
  954. People who are desperate.
  955. People who are abiding in the Lord.
  956. People who are talking to Him
  957. and walking with Him.
  958. Now where does it come from?
  959. That somebody says, "for this reason"?
  960. I know them to be a Christian.
  961. For that reason, I'm on my knees for them.
  962. They're beloved of God.
  963. Something is released in my heart.
  964. I need to pray for them.
  965. I'm thinking about other
    people all the time.
  966. I'm thinking about their needs.
  967. I'm thinking about them glorifying God.
  968. Where do intercessors come from?

  969. Intercessors - not
    marginally spiritual people.
  970. You know, if we don't have intercession
  971. happening commonplace in your life -
  972. I'm not just talking about in the church.
  973. If intercession is not happening
  974. as a commonplace thing in your life,
  975. one of the great manifestations
  976. of sacrificial love is missing.
  977. And listen, that's important.
  978. Sacrificial love. You
    think about Judgment Day.
  979. Jesus talks about what you did for others.
  980. "I was in prison, and you visited Me."
  981. You know, one of the ways you can visit
  982. people in prison is by praying.
  983. The thing is as long as
    you have life and breath
  984. and you have consciousness,
    you can pray for people.
  985. We need it.
  986. We need this desperately.
  987. Where are the men and women?

  988. I know we've got some. I know.
  989. But oh God, help us to have more
  990. men and women who live
    in the presence of God
  991. on bended knee
  992. whose voices are familiar to the Father;
  993. whose voices go up
  994. in familiarity to the Father
  995. on the behalf of others.
  996. I mean, you can imagine,
  997. God from God's perspective,
  998. "There's his voice again...
  999. and sure enough, he's asking for a job,
  1000. he's asking for a wife,
  1001. he's asking for a raise, he's asking..."
  1002. Those who God hears his voice,
  1003. "Lord, help so-and-so...
  1004. Lord, according to the
    riches of Your glory,
  1005. please strengthen that brother
  1006. down there in Mexico.
  1007. Please, Lord, open that
    door for that brother
  1008. that's trying to get from Costa Rica.
  1009. Lord..."
  1010. How often is the Lord hearing that voice?
  1011. "Lord, I'm not here to
    pray for my own needs.
  1012. You know I have them,
  1013. but Lord, Brother Matt
    needs Your help today.
  1014. He needs Your help.
  1015. Johannes, Lord, remember Johannes."
  1016. Those who can't sit
    comfortably reading the book
  1017. or fiddling with their phone
  1018. because they're feeling a burden
  1019. for Andy and Rebecca.
  1020. Those of you that weren't
    here on Wednesday,
  1021. Trevor Johnson wrote, I think,
  1022. one of the most powerful
    missionary letters
  1023. that he's ever written.
  1024. Men and women not constantly asking

  1025. for their own needs.
  1026. The church needs intercessors.
  1027. We desperately need them.
  1028. Why?
  1029. Because God answers prayer!
  1030. Listen, I'm telling you this.
  1031. I know this for a fact.
  1032. I'm so convinced.
  1033. I've seen it over and over and over again.
  1034. God answers prayer.
  1035. And when people are praying for you,
  1036. things happen in your life
    that would not happen
  1037. if they weren't praying for you.
  1038. Mark it down!
  1039. The elders in this church preach
  1040. or perform or oversee better
  1041. when people are praying for them
  1042. than when they're not praying for them.
  1043. That is a reality.
  1044. People live more holy lives.
  1045. People live closer to God.
  1046. People are more prayerful.
  1047. People are more loving and charitable
  1048. and kind and tender and forgiving
  1049. when people are praying for one another
  1050. than when they're not
    praying for one another.
  1051. That is a fact.
  1052. I'll tell you, I was thinking about

  1053. our brother coming here
    on a week from Wednesday
  1054. and sharing his needs.
  1055. If I was on a foreign mission field,
  1056. I would want to visit as
    many churches as I could,
  1057. and I would tell the people,
    look, I'm not here for your money.
  1058. I'm just appealing, if there is one person
  1059. or two people or three
    people in this church
  1060. that are prayer warriors
  1061. and you have any burden for India,
  1062. I plead with you, pray.
  1063. And if on Judgment Day, it can be found
  1064. there were three people
    in that church over there,
  1065. and there were two people
    in that church over there,
  1066. and five in that church over there,
    and they held that rope.
  1067. Not because they were sending
    me all their dollars all the time,
  1068. but they prayed for me.
  1069. They prayed for me all the time.
  1070. Prayer meetings did not
    go by in that church
  1071. they weren't praying for me.
  1072. And oftentimes, every
    single day of the week,
  1073. they were holding me up.
  1074. We need this.
  1075. When we pray for one another,
  1076. I'm telling you, we end up doing things
  1077. that would not happen
  1078. if people weren't praying for us.
  1079. This is the reality.
  1080. Bending our knees to the Father
  1081. on behalf of others.
  1082. We are the priesthood, brethren.
  1083. Have you never read that?
  1084. That fire was not to go out on that altar.
  1085. And if that was the symbol,
  1086. if that was the hyperbole,
  1087. if that was the metaphor,
  1088. we are the true priesthood.
  1089. Don't let the fire go out.
  1090. And I want to end with this.

  1091. This is one of the few places
  1092. in Scripture where
    we are specifically told -
  1093. it's one of the few places
    in the New Testament
  1094. where we are specifically
    told the posture.
  1095. This is the only place, I believe,
  1096. that Paul tells us his posture in prayer.
  1097. And I just want us to think for a moment.
  1098. Paul bowed his knee.
  1099. We used to sing out at Community,
  1100. "Oh, come let us worship and bow down."
  1101. Anybody remember that one?
  1102. "Oh, come let us worship and bow down.
  1103. Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker."
  1104. Worship. Worship.
  1105. Come, let us bow down.
  1106. You know what I find in Scripture?

  1107. I actually find that even though Paul
  1108. doesn't reference this
    much but this one time
  1109. about his posture,
  1110. I find that posture in prayer
  1111. is something that is an interesting study.
  1112. You can go find men
  1113. who fell on their faces before God.
  1114. Do you remember two who often were found
  1115. falling on their faces?
  1116. Moses and Aaron.
  1117. And you know what's interesting
    about those two guys?
  1118. They were falling on their faces
  1119. for others as well;
  1120. not for their own needs.
  1121. They weren't just falling on their faces
  1122. for the needs of others.
  1123. They were falling on their faces
  1124. that God wouldn't destroy others.
  1125. Repeatedly, they were on their faces.
  1126. Remember Joshua - he came face-to-face
  1127. with the Angel of the Lord?
  1128. He found himself on his face.
  1129. Luke's account of the leper
  1130. that came to Jesus Christ?
  1131. It's said that he fell on his face.
  1132. Why do people fall on their face?

  1133. You can't go any lower than that.
  1134. I mean, if you were trying
    to go low before somebody,
  1135. there's no lower you can get.
  1136. We're not talking bended knee here.
  1137. We're talking totally
  1138. as low as you can go on your face.
  1139. Maybe your knees are bent,
  1140. maybe you're prostrate.
  1141. What is that a picture of?
  1142. Certainly, it's a picture of
    extreme submission.
  1143. It's the lowest expressing unworthiness,
  1144. inadequacy.
  1145. You think about bowing the knee.
  1146. Come, let us worship and bow down.
  1147. Or what does Scripture say?
  1148. There is a day coming
    when every knee shall bow.
  1149. God has given Jesus Christ a name
  1150. that is above every name,
  1151. so that at the name of Jesus,
  1152. every knee should bow
  1153. in heaven, on earth, under the earth,
  1154. and every tongue confess
  1155. that Jesus Christ is Lord
  1156. to the glory of the Father.
  1157. That is a picture of submission.
  1158. It's a picture of reverence,
  1159. worship, allegiance.
  1160. Kneeling. Bowing.
  1161. How about lifting up eyes?

  1162. I was just singing Psalm 5 the other day.
  1163. That was another one
    we often used to sing.
  1164. "Oh Lord, in the morning,
  1165. will I direct my prayer unto Thee..."
  1166. And the way the KJV has it,
  1167. "and will look up."
  1168. You know, there's twice when Jesus prays,
  1169. and it said He looked up to heaven.
  1170. And you think about it.
  1171. The tax collector there in Luke 18
  1172. when he prayed, he wouldn't dare look up.
  1173. He looked down.
  1174. But Scripture also speaks about,
  1175. Psalm 123, "To you, I lift up my eyes,
  1176. O, You who are enthroned in the heavens."
  1177. (incomplete thought)
  1178. I just want us to think about our posture.

  1179. Why? Because I hope you don't run
  1180. into God's presence just careless
  1181. and without thought.
  1182. We should think. Think.
  1183. Who are you coming to?
  1184. We're coming before a King.
  1185. No carelessness. What did God say?
  1186. "I am a great King,
    says the Lord of Hosts,
  1187. My name will be feared
    among the nations."
  1188. I'll ltell you this, your posture -
  1189. we don't want to be legalistic -
  1190. but you know what posture often does?
  1191. It's an expression to the
    attitude of your heart.
  1192. And people who just flippantly,
  1193. carelessly run into God's presence,
  1194. that's not good.
  1195. Scripture shows men on their face,
  1196. those bowing,
  1197. eyes raised up,
  1198. arms raised - have you ever read that
  1199. in 1 Timothy 2?
  1200. And you know what? It's interesting.
  1201. "With holy hands..."
  1202. That's interesting because
    you find in Isaiah
  1203. that they lifted their hands,
  1204. but God said their hands
  1205. were covered with blood.
  1206. See, what does it mean
    when you raise your hands?
  1207. It's a picture - holy hands. Clean.
  1208. It seems to have the idea of:
  1209. there's a clean slate.
  1210. I've confessed my sin.
  1211. I don't know of anything between.
  1212. I'm walking in this
    righteousness of Christ
  1213. and in the power of His resurrection.
  1214. As far as I know, there's
    nothing outstanding.
  1215. But I'll tell you this,
  1216. there are times I lay in bed
  1217. and I raise my arms
  1218. and I'm not thinking about
  1219. the cleanliness of my hands.
  1220. I'm just thinking,
  1221. like if I get done preaching
    and I come down
  1222. and one of the little children comes up
  1223. and they're raising their hands.
  1224. What are you going to do?
  1225. Are there any of you who would
    just swat those hands away?
  1226. No, you're going to pick the child up.
  1227. I mean if little James Luciano runs up
  1228. with his arms up, I'm not going to just
  1229. scowl at him and say, "what do you want?"
  1230. You grab the child. You pick them up.
  1231. And sometimes the raising of hands
  1232. is just trying to get as close to Him,
  1233. "Lord, I want more of You.
  1234. Just touch me.
  1235. Pick me up."
  1236. Or you think about sitting.
  1237. 2 Samuel 7,
  1238. after God pronounced
    all the blessings on David.
  1239. David went to the house of the Lord
  1240. and he sat and God spoke to Him.
  1241. Jehoshaphat - we find where he stood
  1242. in the assembly of Judah
    when he was praying.
  1243. Standing - that's kind of like
  1244. if you stand before a dignitary,
  1245. that's a posture of boldness.
  1246. Sometimes it's more of a cultural thing.
  1247. In Romania, they stand -
  1248. sometimes we stand when
    the Scriptures are read.
  1249. You know, when Kevin's here,
    he'll have us all stand.
  1250. Or Chello had us all stand.
  1251. But you know in Romania,
  1252. I think they sit when they read Scripture,
  1253. but they stand when they pray.
  1254. Now they may not know why they do that
  1255. other than it's just traditional,
  1256. but I don't want us to do things
  1257. just because it's traditional, legalistic,
  1258. or any other thing.
  1259. But I want us to be thinking.
  1260. Don't be careless.

  1261. You're going before a great King.
  1262. Think.
  1263. Yes, we're children,
  1264. and we can go into His
    presence immediately
  1265. when we need to.
  1266. And we can go in as
    children before a Father.
  1267. But you know, fathers demand reverence.
  1268. Be reverent.
  1269. Be thoughtful.
  1270. Think about praying.
  1271. Think about your prayers.
  1272. Pray.
  1273. You know, how many children in the church
  1274. actually ever stumble upon parents
  1275. on their knees?
  1276. How many of you are bending your knees?
  1277. How many pray on your face?
  1278. I remember Whitefield.
  1279. Whitefield would pray on bended knee
  1280. and read his Bible,
  1281. have his Matthew Henry commetary open.
  1282. I'm not saying you have to do that.
  1283. But see, it comes from
    an attitude of heart.
  1284. Pray. Pray.
  1285. I've been reading -

  1286. my wife went through my books
  1287. when I was in Ecuador,
  1288. and she took a bunch of them
  1289. she wants to take to Half Price,
  1290. and so I was looking at the
    two-volume Cotton Mather,
  1291. "Great Works of Christ in America,"
  1292. and I thought, oh, you're taking those?
  1293. And so I grabbed them out
  1294. and I've been reading.
  1295. And I'm reading through
    a section right now
  1296. on the last testimonies
    of all sorts of people
  1297. who were being executed.
  1298. You know they put people
    to death for adultery?
  1299. We were just talking about that
  1300. at the men's Grace House the other day.
  1301. They put people to death
  1302. for adultery in those days.
  1303. They put people to
    death for bestiality,
  1304. and for murder, for witchcraft.
  1305. A woman was consulting with a demon
  1306. and they executed her.
  1307. And you know, I was reading
  1308. about all these different accounts,
  1309. and when they would take these people
  1310. to the gallows,
  1311. they would give them opportunity to speak,
  1312. and they had a lot of last words.
  1313. And you know what I found
    again and again and again?
  1314. These people who were moments away
  1315. from facing God,
    stepping out into eternity,
  1316. they said if only I would have
    started that day in prayer,
  1317. they said, I think God would have kept me
  1318. from doing what I did.
  1319. Now look, aside from whether
    they were lost or saved,
  1320. that's not really the issue,
  1321. but it's amazing how often -
  1322. I saw it over and over -
  1323. how often they attributed,
  1324. "Oh, if only I had sought God that day,
  1325. I would probably not have
    slit my wife's throat,"
  1326. which is what one of them did in a rage.
  1327. And I just thought about that.
  1328. We have a God who answers prayer.
  1329. And I'm not talking about
    just starting your day
  1330. by praying for yourself.
  1331. Oh, what things might you have avoided
  1332. during any given day,
  1333. if you would have started your day
  1334. on your knees before the Lord?
  1335. But brethren, how many
    of your brothers and sisters
  1336. might not have done what they did
  1337. on any given day if you had
  1338. started your day by praying for them?
  1339. I hope there's enough care,
  1340. enough concern.
  1341. We need more of the heart of Paul
  1342. who unceasingly prayed for people.
  1343. He didn't see other churches
  1344. as competitors or something,
  1345. or people not to pray for.
  1346. We don't want to them blessed.
  1347. Everywhere where there was somebody
  1348. that God had bestowed His love on,
  1349. his heart, his affection went out there.
  1350. He made great sacrifices.
  1351. That's something, no matter
    what your gifts are,
  1352. no matter where you are,
  1353. no matter what your condition,
    no matter what your health,
  1354. no matter what your age,
  1355. you can pray for others.
  1356. You can pray.
  1357. Provided you have the Holy Spirit,
  1358. provided you're one of Christ's,
  1359. you have access
  1360. and you can pray for others.
  1361. We need intercessors.
  1362. This is my great appeal today.
  1363. Pray for others.
  1364. Pray. Pray. Pray.
  1365. Be as Paul was and pray big!
  1366. And pray according to
    the riches of His glory.
  1367. Don't pray meager prayers.
  1368. Don't pray like He's an incompetent god
  1369. or a small god.
  1370. We have a great God.
  1371. You're coming before a great King.
  1372. Go before Him in reverence.
  1373. Go before Him on bended knees.
  1374. And lift up others.
  1375. Father, I pray that You would do this.

  1376. I pray, Lord, more, more,
  1377. more intercessors.
  1378. Give us a church of intercessors.
  1379. Lord, those who are already intercessors,
  1380. I pray for them.
  1381. Oh Father, You say when
    we do things for others -
  1382. there it is in Isaiah 58 -
  1383. when we call, You'll say, "here I am."
  1384. And I pray for those who are intercessors.
  1385. They love others.
  1386. And they pour themselves out.
  1387. Lord, remember them in all of their needs.
  1388. Give us a church of intercessors.
  1389. Give us that.
  1390. Lord, I believe You have
    to a great degree,
  1391. but more, more, more.
  1392. Encouarge, stir, stoke the fire of prayer;
  1393. the fire for intimacy;
  1394. the hunger - make Your children hungry
  1395. for communion with You;
  1396. hungry for intimacy;
  1397. hungry to show their love.
  1398. Lord, give us to love what You love,
  1399. and we know where You set Your love
  1400. on certain individuals,
  1401. You would have us to love
    them as You love them.
  1402. And love for the brethren
  1403. is so characteristic of what it is
  1404. to be a child of God,
  1405. and I pray that that love would permeate -
  1406. the love of intercession.
  1407. Lord, forgive us for selfishness.
  1408. Lord, we know there's too much of it
  1409. in each one of us.
  1410. We pray that You'd kill it.
  1411. Kill it. Kill it.
  1412. We pray in Christ's name, Amen.