Hear Our Prayer Sermon

May 24th, 2020

Gospel Reading:

John 17:1-11

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your

Son, that your Son may glorify you.  2  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  3  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  4  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  5  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

6  “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them

to me and they have obeyed your word.  7  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.  8  For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.  9  I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  10  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.  11  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”

Sermon: Hear our prayer

Here’s a top ten list of the funniest kid’s prayers that I've heard about.

Dear God, Mom says you have a reason for everything, so I guess broccoli is one of your mysteries.

Please make my parents understand that if I don’t eat salad, I’ll do better at school.

Forgive me for hiding my sister’s favorite doll…and please don’t tell her where it is.

Please make my mom not allergic to cats.  I really want a cat and I don’t want to ask my mom to move out.

Dear God…can you get me a Smartphone…Santa must have forgot.

I saw my big brother walking out of the shower on accident, God, can you erase that from my brain.

Dear God, when will my sister stop being so annoying, I’m down to my last patience.

Dear God, I promise to never say those words again, at least until my next doctor’s injection.

Dear God, please don’t let it rain on Saturday, the first ball I hit will be for you.

Dear God, I hope my dog is with you in Heaven, please take care of him…sorry if he chews on your sandals.

Need I remind you that God’s Only Son was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? Unlike the

children’s prayers you just heard, Jesus had only one personal prayer request. Jesus simply asked that God would glorify him by returning him to his former glory, the glory he shared with the Father before the world began. Jesus did not complain about food he didn’t like, people who didn’t understand him, or gifts he never received. Jesus was far more concerned about you and me, that we might receive the priceless gift of eternal life.

Amidst sweat drops of tears, Jesus prayed for his followers who were brave enough to believe that

Jesus is God’s Son, that every word he spoke was from the Father, and they had accepted his words as truth.

No pastor could ask for more. In the final analysis, salary is not important; it’s about saving souls. Attendance figures may impress a few people, but it really about changing hearts and minds. Then Jesus prayed for those who had yet to hear, consider, and believe that he was their Promised Lord and Savior. Jesus prayed for Christian unity.

We must be totally honest with ourselves. Do our prayers focus on God’s will or our will for our lives?

Do we only utter the words, “Thy will be done” on Sunday mornings? But then we turn our attention to purely selfish notions, which sound more like “I want, I need, I have to have….” Will God hear and answer our prayers, when we focus all of our prayers on personal wants and needs, overlooking the significant needs of others? As of May 5th , more than 69,000 Americans had lost their lives to this deadly Corona Virus. Have we devoted special time in prayer, asking God to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of those families?

Are we finding time to pray for those who have been entrusted to our care? These are our newest

members, young couples, recent widows and widowers, the sick, the children and youth of our church, and the seniors, whose health is deteriorating. We are the body of Christ. We must be willing to go the extra mile to consider their needs ahead of our own. If we all take this attitude, the rest of the church will be praying for you.

Did we forget to pray for the church’s leaders, almost all of whom are volunteers? They meet to make

important decisions for our entire church. They carefully build an annual budget and then monitor every bill and request for financial support. They approve donations to families in crisis, assisting victims of natural disasters, feeding hungry children, and supporting children in orphanages and foster care. These important decisions are usually made outside of worship hours on Sunday morning. These men and women need our love, support, and most of all, our prayers.

Is their paycheck enough or could we find time to pray for the pastor, youth director, pianist,

custodian, and our lawn care contractor. These paid staff members may sometimes feel unappreciated or even underpaid. Could we find time to thank them for their service, comment on their contributions, and give them a pat on the back or a big heart-felt thank you? In addition, do we go out of our way to make suggestions or volunteer to assist them in leading our worship service and maintaining our facility?

Do we find time in our prayers to thank God for his many blessings? God brought us all together in this place we call our church home. God sends his Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts. God sent his Son Jesus to teach his people about the kingdom of God. Jesus preached the Good News of the Gospel to guide our steps, bless our work and play, enable us to share his love with our families, and encourage us to spread this Good News to everyone we meet. God ordained his plan of salvation by sacrificing his Son on the cross to purchase our redemption and offer us eternal life. We have so much to be thankful for!

We proudly sing: “Hear our prayer, O Lord. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline thine ear to us and grant

us thy peace.” Father, hear our prayers for others less fortunate than we are. Comfort those who mourn, but could not gather in their churches for a proper funeral. Bless those who are hospitalized and in nursing care, for they could not receive any visitors. Bless the essential services, which have sustained our health, provided food for our tables, and responded with emergency services. Bless those who have sacrificed their own lives to save others infected by this virus. Bless those who do not know you; send us to eagerly invite them to join us in worship and hear the Good News about our Savior. For it is in the precious name of Jesus Christ, we pray, and all of God’s people said,


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