PASTOR RICK'S BLOG  

The third characteristic of a spiritual leader…

3.  Jesus  prayed forHis disciples.

Jesus prayed for the people He was leading.  John 17:9 He says this “I pray for them.  I’m not praying for the whole world but for those You have given Me for they are Yours.” 

You have to pray with your kids and you have to pray for your kids if you’re going to be a spiritual leader. 

What do I pray?

 You pray the five purposes of God.  God’s five purposes for your children are the same as God’s five purposes for your life, the same as the five purposes for the church.  Jesus mentions all five.  In fact, He prayed for all five purposes for those He was leading. 

 

  • First He prayed that they’ll live for Christ joyfully.  V 13

You pray that for your kids.  Jesus said in John 17:13, “I pray these things while I’m still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have.”

 

 I want my kids to be filled with joy.  I want them to be filled with God’s love and joy.  There’s a word for this.  It’s called “worship.”

Anytime you’re expressing your joy to God you are worshipping.  Worship is a celebration.  Worship isn’t some duty, some demand.  It’s a delight.  I love God, I worship God, I enjoy God.  That’s what worship is, enjoying God.  When you learn to live for Christ joyfully you are living a life of worship.

  • He prayed that they’d grow strong spiritually.  V 15

How do we grow spiritually?  We don’t grow by things being comfortable, things being easy, things being convenient.  In fact, when things are going great in your life you’re probably not growing.

 We grow through tests, through trials, through tribulation, through trouble, even through temptation.

Because it’s always an opportunity to choose to do right.  We grow through problems and pressures and stress and situations that cause problems.  So when Jesus prays for their growth He doesn’t pray that God will make life easy for them.  I don’t pray that God will make life easy for my kids.

 If I do they’ll turn into self-centered, narcissistic, spoiled brats.  I don’t want life to be easy for everybody.  The goal of life is character development and God’s far more interested in your character than He is your comfort.  So Jesus prays this in verse 15 I’m not asking You to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the evil one.

 In other words He’s saying, “God, I’m not asking You to make life easy for them.  I’m not asking You to take away their trials, to isolate them from pain and problems.  I’m not asking You to just take them on to heaven right now.  No, leave them in the world where there’s tough times.  Just protect them from the evil, from the evil one – Satan.”

  • Three, He prays that they’ll serve Christ effectively.

  V 17  That they’ll live for Christ joyfully, that they’ll grow strong spiritually and that they’ll serve Christ effectively. V 17  He prays this “Make them ready for Your service through Your truth.  Your teaching is truth.

 You should be praying for your children’s future ministry right now because life is about service.  Remember life is preparation for eternity.  One of the things we’re going to do in eternity is serve God so what does He want us to do here?  Practice.

 So I pray, “God, I pray that they’d discover a place to serve and give back and even at an early age they can start serving others in some way.”

  • I pray that they will experience fellowship personally. V 21

As I said, remember life is preparation for eternity.  One of the things we’re going to do in heaven is we’re going to love each other.  That’s called fellowship.  And the greatest lesson in life on earth is learning how to really love.

 It’s easy to love people like you but you’re going to have to learn to love the unlovely and that’s what real fellowship is all about – learning to love, to have harmony, to have unity, to have oneness with people who are very different from you.

 That by the way is the key to a good marriage too.  John 17:21 He says, “My prayer is that they be of one heart and mind just as You and I are one, Father.  Then the world will believe that You sent Me.”  The world will be won when God’s people are one.

  • Then He prayed that they will bring others to Christ regularly. V 20

He says in verse 20 “I pray not only for them but also for those who will believe in Me because of their message.”  Jesus expected us to reproduce.  Each generation must pass the word on to the next generation, the next generation and the next generation.  So you pray that they will pass on the message to others themselves.

Before we go any further we’re going to stop right now and pray for our kids.  I’m going to ask the dads to follow me in this prayer of blessing for our kids.

 I’m going to ask you to pray it out loud.  There’s no reason to be ashamed in front of a bunch of other people who believe the same thing.

Your kids may be five or they may be fifty, but you can pray this prayer of blessing as a husband, as a dad, as a father.  I’m just going to ask you to follow me in these words:

       Dear God, I ask You to bless my family.  I ask You to protect them.  I want my kids to know You.  And I want them to know Your word.  Help them to grow strong spiritually.  Help them to live for You joyfully.  Help them to learn to love.  Help them to learn to serve You and share Your love with others.  And help me to help them. 

Peace,

Pastor Rick

 

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