Today you can be anywhere in the world and send or receive messages digitally via email. Sending email has eclipsed traditional mail for years now. Sending knee-mail is similar (you can be anywhere)—but with better results! You don't need wifi or a modem; you don't need an electronic device or a computer. Before Jesus left His disciples, He wanted them to get "online" with the Father and stay connected through the simple yet powerful means of prayer.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Hebrew Terms: כותל; Kotel--western wall; Shema: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ;
Publications referenced: "The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living," by John White
Figures referenced: Charles Swindoll; George Müeller; C.H. Spurgeon; Donald Grey Barnhouse; Tony Evans; John Bunyan
Cross References: Matthew 6:7-8; Matthew 6:9-13; Acts 12; Hebrews 4:16
Let's turn in our Bibles this morning to John chapter 16, ready to pray? Let's get it done, let's pray. Lord thank you that we have the ability to talk to You so freely like this that there's an instant connection with heaven from earth into Your ears from our mouth. It staggers us that the God of Eternity will take the time to listen but You do, You can, You love it. Lord with the cool evenings of laid and I've been thinking of what it was in the very beginning in the garden when God walked with His creation in the cool of the day. Thank you for walking with us everyday this week and bringing us to this point as we inaugurate and celebrate another week on this the Lord's day, we commit our week, our lives, our experiences, our hopes, our dreams, our failures it's committed to You Lord once again. They're all safe in Your hands. We anticipate Your spirit would speak to us and as an act of our worship. We sit and we listen and we give You Your Spirit through the word of God, the focus of our attention in Jesus name, Amen.
If you ever make it to Jerusalem, you will notice something that is practiced there to centuries old tradition that is to go down to what's been called the Wailing Wall. It's really the Western Wall of the temple enclosure where people go and they write little prayers on pieces of paper and they stuff them the cracks of the Western Wall and so you'll see an entire wall with as far as the person can reach little pieces of paper that are stuck in the cracks.
That practice has a new twist to it. You can now write on your computer your prayer, e-mail it to Jerusalem and there's an outfit who will print it out and put it on the wall for you. You can even twit your prayers. Get this, you can use Twitter, has to be 140 characters or less and they'll also print it out and put it on the wall. I even found an iPhone app that will put you in touch directly with Jerusalem, it's called Send a Prayer or the Kotel which is the wall in Hebrew and they will put that prayer on the wall. I loaded it on my iPhone. I could have brought it to show you. But, here's the marketing tag line, it says "The only iPhone app that puts you directly in touch with God." Hard to beat that as a tag line, right?
Well, we really don't need to e-mail our prayers to Jerusalem. We don't nee to twit them across the world. We don t even need to write them down and stuff them in any wall, anywhere. What we do need is honest, real, heart-felt communication between earth, our lives and heaven. We need that. We need not as much e-mail as we need "ne-mail"(ph). That's what the name it is messages is called "How to send ne-mail?" I did a little bit about research this week about e-mail. Guess how many e-mails were sent on an average day on earth? How many e-mails do you think go out? To 294 billion e-mails per day are generated. That's 2.8 million per second. That's 90 trillion per year. The Average American will spend 49 minutes per day managing his or her e-mail.
I just want you think about that statistic. The Average American will spend 49 minutes per day managing his or her e-mail. Do you think the Average American Christian spends 49 minutes per day managing his or her ne-mail? Do we pray that much everyday? No, here's the stats sadly, the Average American will spend three maybe four minutes per day in prayer. That's on a good day by the way.
Doing 15 to 30 minutes a week compared to 49 minutes a day with e-mail. No, I'm not saying that so you'll feel really guilty. I'm not saying that so you'd start spouting a lot of stuff into the ears of God but I am saying that my aim is that we would see what Jesus says about it and we would be raised to a whole new level of life as He describes it.
Let's go to John chapter 16 and let's begin in verse 23. It's been an ongoing message that our Lord has been giving to His disciples on this final night before His arrest. Verse 23 Jesus speaks, "And in that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly I say to you whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy maybe full." These names I have spoken to you in figurative language but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language but I will tell you plainly about the Father.
In that day, you will ask in my name and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and believe that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.
Whenever you mention prayer, there are some typical reactions that people have. Number one is guilt. I mentioned that. People feel guilty that they don't pray more than they pray. Let's just face that. We all wish we have a more dynamic prayer line. A second reaction people have is fear, oblivion fear. And that's typically the fear of having to pray especially in public with somebody else listening to me because the fear is my prayer might not sound as cool as their prayer.
There's another response. However, when you mentioned prayer, some people automatically think of the word boring and perhaps that's because they just really haven't seen much results in terms of prayer in their lives or the whole activity doesn't sound very fun to them so they think boring. It's my contention that prayer is not boring but that we're boring in prayer that in prayer we often just sort of slide into commonly used phrases that we use over and over again so that our prayers honestly sound like rerun rather than a spontaneous expression in the ears of the Lord.
I don't know if you've ever listened to a brand new Christian prayer but if you haven't go find and try that. It'll spice up your prayer life. I will never forget being in New York at a retreat I was asked to speak at and I was speaking to a young man. He was a meddle worker, iron worker from Manhattan, thick accent, thick New York accent. He worked on a high rise buildings as a welder and so we talked and I said let's pray. I prayed and I said what are you praying? And he goes, "I don't know how to pray." I go, "Just try, just talk to God. Go ahead." Here is his prayer. "Yo, God I really need Your help here Lord." And it sort of went on like that and I thought "Yeah.". Now, that was cool. It was so refreshing because this guy, like a lot of new believers hasn't learned how to do it yet. They don't know Christianese(ph) yet. They haven't had all the baggage that a lot of us have over the years.
One author writes this, "I dare you to pray without using words like bless or lead, guide and direct or help so and so or thy will or each and every or any number of those institutionalized galvanized terms. I dare you." In this paragraph, John chapter 16, Jesus speaks about talking to the Father, asking the Father, praying to God. Now, He has already done that in chapter 14. It's very similar, it's the same night, it's the same message. Why does He repeat Himself a little bit? It's a little bit more unfolding and a little bit more dynamic and there are more details. But, why does Jesus do a twice in the same night? I think it's because He knows human nature.
Number one, we need frequent reminders of the stuff and number two, every thing's about to change for His disciples, everything. They're going to wake up the next day and Jesus will not be with them again. He has been arrested. They're going to need a new relationship, a ne dynamic with their Father in heaven.
So, let me give you, based on this paragraph four dynamics of sending effective ne-mail. Number one, be confident. Be confident when you pray to God as a child of God you can be confident. There's a word that is repeated five times in our text. It's the word "ask". Here's Jesus inviting His disciples five times to ask. The word "ask" means to inquire about something or to request something from a superior.
No, that's where we spend the book of our prayer life, our prayer experience, our three to four minutes a day. I would venture to say that we spent the majority of it asking God for stuff. And what's beautiful to me is Jesus doesn't rebuke His disciples. He didn't say, "You guys are always asking for stuff. You're so selfish." Now, He says, "Come on men, ask. Do this."
George Miller used to say, "Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance but rather laying a hold of God's willingness. Never think that prayer is like forcing your way into God's presence and prying something from His hand. He's the one who made the first call and says, "Come, ask."
Further, notice He says, "Ask the Father." You disciples don't have to go through Me anymore, you go directly to the Father in my name. Now, let me give you some background that I think will be helpful. There was Jewish tradition long ago where they believe that a pious teacher or rabbi like Jesus was could ask God for things and he would get them more than anybody else. That God would listen to that person more than He would listen to anybody else. But, what Jesus is teaching them is they have direct access.
He's saying, "Guys, I don't want you to picture God the Father up in heaven with His arms folded saying, "I'm busy. I'm listening to Billy Graham, okay? I don't have time for this." He's really important people for Me to listen to. Go through my secretary if you want an audience with Me." Rather you have direct access. Be confident.
In verse 23, He says, "And in that day, you will ask me nothing." What does He mean by that? That's pretty simple. All these years, you've been asking me everything. I've been with you everyday. You'd wake up in the morning, you'd asked Me a question. Go to bed at night, you'd asked Me question. That's going to change. I'm leaving. I'm assenting to the Father. I won't be physically with you any longer. In that day, you won't ask Me for anything. You go directly to the Father just as you have asked from Me and come to Me you now can go directly to your Father. You have access.
I want you to think about that for just a moment, "access" because in the ancient world, accessibility of mankind to deity was unheard of. Let's go to the secular round for a moment. The Greeks believe in many gods and goddesses. As you know, they have a belief system where there were the gods in a realm and then mankind on the earth. It was their beliefs system that the gods were either jealous of men, hostile toward men or indifferent of men all together. There's even an old story in Greek mythology that has a god named Prometheus taking pity on mankind and giving them the gift of fire because he was generous and when Zeus found out that Prometheus had dared to stoop to the level of helping mankind, Zeus commanded that Prometheus be taken to a rock in Adriatic Sea bound by chains and commanded vultures to tear out his liver.
So, the idea in the mind of the Greeks that the gods have any kind of communication with man at all was unheard of. Even in Judaism, there was an access. You have to go through a priest. You could run into the temple that was avail that separated the Holy of Holies were God hung out and the rest of the temple.
There were walls and court yards. In fact, there was a wall in the temple that said, "Death to any gentile passes this point." So, when Jesus died on the cross and tore the veil of the temple in a fact saying, "You now have access. You can come as you are." What happened on the cross in the tearing of the veil is exactly what Jesus is saying in His words, "Come directly to God." Go directly to the Father.
I grew up with the belief system. Unfortunately, the thought that God was rather harsh, bent on justice and not to compassionate so that if you wanted to ask God for something, you really couldn't go directly to God. You had to go through some other saint or Mary, His mother. After all, who would refuse His own mother? That's what was told me.
That's the very opposite of what were told here. In fact the writer of Hebrews os understood this concept. This is what he said, "Therefore, let us come boldly before His thrown of grace that we may receive grace to help in time of need." He didn't say come timidly or come shyly or come fearfully but come boldly. Some people think though, "Well, God is so busy. I don't want to bother Him. He's listening to important people like Billy Graham and the Pope or the pastor.
I love how Charles Haddon Spurgeon used to talk about prayer as being a bell. Remember those old bell towers? The bell up top and the rope is down below and the people would ring the time or announce the church was about to start, Spurgeon said this, "Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God."
Some stirred the bell for they pray so languidly. You've made people like that, "Oh, God we come before You…" others give only in occasional jerk on the rope. You know that type. Only in an emergency, "God help." He continues, but He who communicates with heaven as the man who grasps the rope and boldly pulls continuously with all of his might. Get the picture?
So, that's the first dynamic, be confident. We give you the second dynamic, be intelligent. Engage the mind. use the wisdom that God gives you. Look at verse 25, "These things I've spoken to you in figurative language but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language that I will tell you plainly about the Father." Let's stop right there. Do you remember last week study? It's all in one chapter but we're breaking it up. So, I just want to remind you, Jesus says, "You see Me now, late on you won't see Me and then you'll see Me again because I go to the Father and I go -- we don't get what He just said. What do you mean now you see Me, now you don't? You'll be sad then you'll be happy? We have no idea what you're saying. Jesus addresses that. I'm speaking to you in figurative language. The time is coming. That's not going to happen.
Go to the next verse, verse 26, "In that day, you will ask in my name and I do not say that I shall pray the Father for you for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and I believe that I came forth from God."
Now, Jesus knew that these disciples didn't understand everything He was talking about. They were wondering about it. But, He anticipates the day when they will understand everything He's talking about and He says, "In that day, you will ask in my name and I do not say that I shall pray the Father for you. You can go directly."
In that day, you'll understand. You don't understand now, in that day you'll understand. He anticipates the day when they'll get ti. Do you realize that the disciples would understand more than after the resurrection of Christ when they're filled with the Spirit than they did even while He was physically in their presence? And so, He anticipates that they will pray intelligently on that day. They'll get it. Here's the principle, prayer must never become a mindless activity. We should always pray intelligently. Some people think, "Well I'll just repeat the phrase over and over, glory, glory, glory, glory -- hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah." No pray intelligently. You wouldn't sit down and write a letter without some kind of cohesion to it, you wouldn't write a meaningless letter, you wouldn't talk to somebody to on the phone and just babble everything you just see in your – "I, I'm looking at the window now, grass is green, trees -- birds just flew by, cool, oh and here's a cup of coffee." You wouldn't talk like that. You would think through it would be meaningful conversation. Don't pray in autopilot. where your mind is on hold and your mouth is on automatic and it's like turning on he hose and letting it run.
This is what Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, "When you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for your father knows what you need before you ask then." Now why did he say that? He said that because religion at his time and at that time, it was Judaism, had degenerated to such a low level in their prayer lives -- well let me describe it to you. At that time prayer was pretty formalized. There was no spontaneous expression. Prayers were either memorized or read. And sort of like, "Now I lay me down to sleep on steroids." There was the Shema, hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, the Jewish declaration of faith other than prayer. But so many would pray that just droning the words without real meaning and others like it. It became formalized.
Also, there were prescribed prayers. Now get this, prayers had been written and sometimes memorized for just about every occasion. When you light a fire you say a special prayer, if there's' lightning outside -- like there was it about, I don't know 2 in the morning or last night if you were awake -- you'd say a special prayer. When it rains you say a special prayer. If you see the ocean you see a special prayer usually hallelujah. If you see a lake or a river you say a special prayer. If you enter a city or leave you leave a city, there were prescribed prayers for all of those events. Sound good, sound like you're trying to bring all of life under the preview of prayer. But again it'd become something you just spout off, prescribed prayers.
Also at that time, there were set times of the day that you should pray. 9 in the morning, 12 noon, 3 in the afternoon and prescribe places. Oh yeah, you can pray anywhere but the best place to pray is the synagogue and the best place to pray is the temple. Even still when you go to Israel today the tour guides tongue and cheek though somewhat meaning at -- they'll tell you this, "When you're in Jerusalem make sure you pry, go down to the Western Wall and pray. Because though you can pray anywhere in the world and God would hear it, Here it's a local call." They like to say that -- "It's a local call". You know because this is the place God decided to hang out so here it's a local call. Let me tell you something, since Jesus died and rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit is living within you wherever you pray, it's a local call. But they had these prescribed times and places.
Also, it was believed that when you pray -- the more flowery the prayer and the longer the prayer the better. So they would try to impress each other in their public expressions adding adjective after adjective before the name of God. One recorded prayer I found lists 16 adjectives before God is even mentioned. So something like, "oh, wonderful gracious, merciful, sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, loving and Lord. There was a preacher who used to pray like that, he'd pray long, flowery prayers using words that most people never really understood and this happened week after week after week and there was one wee Scottish lady in that church who was in the choir who got so tired of this. And if you know the Scots, they just like to be upfront and speak their minds so this Pastor begins to pray this long prayer and she grabs he's rope tugs at it and says, "And just call Him Father and ask him for something." I would say Amen to that prayer if she prayed it. Just ask him for something. Jesus says that here, ask. Think about it.
Pray intelligently. Prayers should be as natural as talking to someone. Jesus gave us the motto -- when you pray say, "Our Father who art in heaven, holy is Your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done." He have us the pattern of prayer that was done in a natural manner. Be confident, be intelligent and here's the third, be compliant. Be compliant, when you talk to God -- talk to God in God's way. Would you agree with this? -- That the prayer that God accepts is the prayer that God directs. If Jesus says, "Boys, here's how to do it," and for them to go, "No, I don't really want to do it that way, I got my own way." No, be compliant. Let me explain that, I want to unpack that though. If you go with me to verse 27 you'll get a hint. He says, "For the Father himself loves you because you have loved me," notice that "and have believed that I came forth from God." Notice that. He is assuming that those who talked to God will be in right relationship with God and that right relationship means they loved Jesus and they believed He is who He said He is.
Further more in the next verse he explains, "I came forth from the father, I've come into the world again I leave the world and go to the Father." Boy there's a lot in that verse. First of all he said, "I came forth from the Father." It means you believe in his incarnation that He came from heaven to the earth. the virgin birth at Bethlehem. He wasn't just born. he came forth from the Father. It implies that when you pray you believed that that he was incarnate as the son of God. Notice also, and have come into the world. it implies you believe in his humiliation.
He came among sinful men and women and suffered the death of the cross. And then finally he says, "I leave the world and go to the Father." That implies you believe his resurrection. His ascension into heaven and His eventual exaltation so these disciples believed all of that about Jesus and they'll really believe it later on and that's the basis of their approach, so let me boil it down. The first real condition for prayer and this precedes all the others. This is the first real condition. is that you are a believer. You're a child of God. Yeah, anybody can spout of words to God but I can talk a wall and I won't get any results. A lot of people say, "I pray." But the first prerequisite, since prayer is a family privilege, is that they are a child of God. I find it interesting that Donald Grey Barnhouse -- who used to pass through the 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia -- would often close the church services by praying, "Lord dismiss us with your peace except for those who don't know you." And then he would pause and he would say, "Keep them miserable until they know the Prince of Peace." Can you imagine? That's got to be one of the coolest prayers ever especially for a pastor. Keep them miserable until they come to know the Prince of Peace.
That's the first prerequisite--you are compliant. you come to Him believing about His son -- not only compliant in your relationship but compliant in your approach. I'm only going to touch on the next little five here because we dealt with it in chapter 14. But three times in this section Jesus talks about approaching the Father in My name. He says, Him speaking, "In My name," "Approach the Father in My name" "Ask in My name," "Do this in My name." And that's why pray and we say at the end of our prayers, "We're paying this in Jesus name." Please don't see that as a magical thing that tack at the end of your prayer. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot -- in Jesus name." -- That's where the magic happens, that's the abracadabra phrase, all I got to do is tack that on. Or some people think it mans I'm done now. "I pray this in Jesus name over and out I'm hanging up now." It's not what it means at all. neither of those. To pray in Jesus name simply means, "I pray based on his merit". "What He has done", "I'm coming to you Father on the merit, the work, in the name of Jesus Christ who paid for my sins on the cross." That gives me access, He gives me the access.
We don't pray to the Father in Buddha's name, Mohammed's name, Moses' name or Mary's name but in the name that is above all names. the name of Jesus because he's the one who did the work.
If it didn't mean more than that -- not only that I pray based on His merit but I'm praying according to His objective. If I bring you a message in somebody's name, it's as if I'm representing that person to you. To pray in Jesus' name you say, "Lord I'm praying this because I'm pretty confident this is something Jesus himself would want. And don't you agree? If you're asking the Father for something that you're reasonably sure Jesus would want, you're going to have a whole lot of confidence when you pray that prayer. If you're thinking, "I don't know if Jesus would want this -- I mean I've asked for a brand new Hummer super charged -- I don't know if that's exactly what Jesus wants for my life but that'd be really cool." You're not going to have as much confidence to pray in His name is to pray with His objective. Now, do we always know what Jesus wants when we pray? No we don't. That's where we leave it with God.
But I will say this, the more you know the bible you're going to get a better idea of God wants and what His will is, and what His will is and what His mind is and what He likes, loves, doesn't like doesn't love. So you're going to approach God differently. I read something I want to read to you this morning. One of the best books ever I would recommend for a Christian is called, "The Fight" by john White. And he has a little section on prayer and he speaks about this little phrase that Jesus tells his disciples to pray to the Father in my name. this is what he says, "Jesus gave his followers authority to draw checks on the power bank of heaven clearly however, the check may only be drawn when the purpose of the check conforms with heavenly policy." That's the idea. "It is only when I am acting as Christ's agent that I may pray in Jesus name." So be confident, be intelligent and be compliant. Here's the fourth dynamic, be expectant. Be expectant, I prayed in the name of Jesus and because I prayed that I live in expectation now.
I had a conversation with Dr. Tony Evans -- he's a preacher down in Texas and just a couple of years ago, and he said that he was asked to pray at a public event in Dallas. Then one of local preacher to open up the event in prayer, he said, "I'd love to do it." He was all prepared. Well when got to the event they said, "Dr. Evans we want you to pray but we don't want you to use the name of Jesus in your prayer. There are a lot of people here, a lot of different belief system and we don't want to offend anybody so just pray generically but don't pray in Jesus' name." Then he says, "Well then I won't pray." Because let me ask you something, do want this prayer to work? Or do you want somebody as mouthing things off because you want a God present here. Because if you want this name to work and you want this pryer to work then you want a child of God who's in right relationship to God by faith who will pray in the name of Jesus and things will get done. Otherwise you don't what me to pray.
So here's a man who would say that because he would pray in expectation and so Jesus says in verse 23, "In that day you will ask me nothing most assuredly I say to you whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you." That's the promise, that's the expectation. Again verse 24 "Until now, you have asked Me nothing in My name, ask and you will receive that your joy may be full." Let me tell you about a little story you can chase it down alter on. It's in Acts Chapter 12. Here's the dynamic, Peter has been arrested and he's in jail. The church gathers together in the house of John Mark's mother to pray for Peter. So a bunch of Christians praying to get Peter out of jail.
You know what happens? Peter gets out of jail. An angel come springs him out of jail, the shackles fall off from his hands, Peter goes all through the prison gates, goes to the house where their having their praying meeting and -- knocks on the door then a little girl named Rhoda answers the door. She sees Peter there and instead of opening the door she runs back -- kids do this -- they ran back in the house and say, "Peter's at the door." And this is what they say to him -- listen to their faith they've been praying, "God bring out of jail please." They go, "You're out of your mind!" I don't know what you call that. I really wouldn't call it prayer. There's one much expectation there and it's like saying, "I pray for rain everyday." Really do you carry an umbrella?
Do you have expectation that anything is going to happen? So they're praying for Peter, Peter gets out, Peter comes in the house finally and they still had a hard time believing that it was Peter. Here's God answering their prayer and they have a difficult time believing that God answered the thing they asked for. So be expectant. Jesus said ask it will be done, do it in my name, come directly, come boldly, do it the agenda that I would come to the Father with and it will be done. And then finally in verse 24, "That your joy may be full." Let's tie the bow in the package. Last week we saw that Jesus said your sorrow will be turned into joy. One of the ways sorrow gets turned into joy is by a healthy prayer life. You see -- how does prayer make a happy preacher? Easy number one, when God answers your prayer you the god has a work. Your joy and crisis. But number two when you realize what we're talking about here is a higher level of life before you realize, I am connected directly yo God.
I don't have to go through a saint, I don't have to go through a special person, I don't need an earthly ambassador. I am speaking there words -- their in the ears of the father directly, I have made an instant contact between heaven and earth and I got to tell you something. When you realize that and you practice that, life is lived at a higher level. Then we go to New York City. I want you to go to Rockefeller Center. Over by Rockefeller Center there's this great statue of Atlas. It's enormous 30 feet tall. He's buff right? And he's sort of crouched down, muscles, lower legs and upper body and he's holding the world on his shoulders. Just strong buff holding the -- like this but it's -- you know he's pushing it up but he's ding it. So it's impressive.
But on the other side of street of Saint Patrick's Cathedral and at Saint Patrick's Cathedral is a motif of Jesus holding the world in him with one hand. I love the comparison. And here's my question. What side of the street do you want to live your life on? You want to live it over here going, "I'm holding the world up its tough." Okay, have fun, see you, have a good life. Or do you want to live over here where you realize God made the world, he made me and he's capable of holding my world in his hands? You know when you live over on this side of the street, you're living life like -- when you live over here it's like --. I don't want to sound simplistic, I don't want you to think you just spout off a few prayers everyday and you're just smiling your way through life. Every thing's good all the time, I'm a Christian. I'm not an idiot.
Here's Jesus saying your sorrow will be turned in tot joy, implying that you have to have sorrow for it to get converted into joy. That's part of life. But I want to close with something that was said years ago. John Bunyan wrote it and he said, "You can do always more than pray after you pray but you can never do more than pray until you prayed." Please don't after this day see prayer as a last resort. I hear it all the time -- "there's nothing left to do except pray." -- Oh goodness. That's where you begin. you're never more powerful than when you are on your knees and prayer.
Father, it's because we believe that that we're talking to you right now in this open and free manner. Thank you. Thank you for the gift of the open channel. Thank you for the gift of the phone linen the direct access to heaven. And we come to you in the name of Jesus asking you that our lives would be lived at a whole different level, a higher level. You're inviting us, you're compelling us, you're calling us. I think to the words of that song that keeps bouncing of the walls of my brain. oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Lord, save us form the Atlas Syndrome form trying to balance our world and our struggles on our own shoulders. Yeah, we have to live life, we have to be engaged in life, we have to make decision, life isn't hard, we don't always know the answers but when we realize that there's another way to live where you can hold our world firmly in your hands. And we lived believing that and we talk to you as if that is a present reality. We live differently. caused that to happen, developed that in us, we prey that with all confidence -- we know it's I the name of Jesus and so we do. Amen.