Jesus and Corporate Prayer – Sermon Application #1
This Sunday, we examined a theme of prayer which is easily overlooked: Jesus and corporate prayer. If Jesus is our teacher and example in prayer, certainly there are truths which we can glean by carefully observing His prayers with His disciples. As Pastor Vradenburgh opened up several texts in this light, our eyes were opened to many prayer-enriching truths!
Corporate prayer application 1:
In Luke 9:29-31, we see Jesus in prayer with His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. What was the grand theme of this corporate prayer meeting with Jesus? The Bible tells us that when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, they “spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:31). The intersection of corporate prayer and the accomplishment of the cross is no coincidence. When we seek God’s glory in prayer, He will answer us with deeper revelations of the cross, for the cross is the preeminent manifestation of His glory! If the cross of Jesus Christ has become a repetitive bore to us, then we have great need for prayer. Either the glory of the world will make the cross fade away, or the glory of the cross will make the world fade away. One is always fading in our hearts, even if very slowly, but which one is it? Let’s join together in prayer, asking God for fresh revelations of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:16-23, 3:14-21).
Corporate prayer application 2:
As Pastor Vradenburgh pointed out from the eleventh chapter of Luke’s gospel, there was something marvelous about Jesus’ prayer that made the disciples request, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). In his book, “With Christ in the School of Prayer,” Andrew Murray stated that Jesus never taught His disciples to preach, but He did teach them to pray. Prayer is the fire and energy of all ministry, for by it we lay hold of God and His empowering grace. It is for this reason that prayer had first priority in the lives of the apostles: “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4). Let’s reflect on our own lives. Are we indeed giving ourselves to ministry for Jesus? More importantly, Are we first giving ourselves to prayer? If we are struggling in personal prayer, joining with other believers in corporate prayer will be used by God to strengthen us.
Corporate prayer application 3:
All of us know that we need to continually depend upon the Lord in prayer. All of us know that we need to spend time alone with our Savior. All of us understand that we are to cast all of our cares upon Him and make our requests known to Him and to pray without ceasing and without fainting. So then, why is it that so many of us lack a rich prayer life? Pastor Vradenburgh made a bold suggestion: “It really boils down to this fact. If we were just honest enough to come clean with God, we really don’t enjoy God enough.” The fact is that we spend time with those whom we love, and so much as we genuinely love and adore God, we will spend time in prayer with Him. As Pastor Vradenburgh said, “You should spend enough time in prayer to know that you’ve touched the heart of your Father and become conscious of his presence.” What is it that we wouldn’t miss for the world? Is it something of the world, or is it our God in prayer. Are we already missing God for the world? Let’s take some time to reflect on this and confess our sins. Let’s encourage our hearts unto this end by joining with other believers in the corporate school of prayer.