Partnering With Jesus in PrayerJuly 23, 2015
What if your prayer partner could answer anything you pray for? David Nasser wants you to know that whatever crisis you're facing, Jesus is praying for you.
What if your prayer partner could answer anything you pray for? David Nasser wants you to know that whatever crisis you're facing, Jesus is praying for you.
Partnering With Jesus in Prayer
Bob: What if you had a prayer partner, who could guarantee you that whatever he prayed for, on your behalf—that prayer would be answered just as he prayed it? David Nasser says all of us have that kind of prayer partner—His name is Jesus.
David: I can pray for you to become a millionaire, but I do not have the resources to make that prayer come true. But honestly, what if I was a billionaire, praying for you to become a millionaire? You’d go, “You can be the very answer to the prayer.” Jesus not only is praying for us, beloved—He’s not only praying for your marriage—but He’s the very One who has the ability to equip the very trenches of your marriage.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, July 23rd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. What is the significance of the fact that Jesus is praying for our marriage and for our family?
We’ll explore that today with David Nasser. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Thursday edition. I remember—it was about a year ago that we were getting ready to host one of three I Still Do marriage events—this one was in Chicago. I got an email from a friend of mine, who said, “David Nasser”—who was going to be one of the speakers—“Please pray for David.” Let me show you what the email said. It said his wife just had a grandma seizure. I thought, “A grandma seizure—what’s a grandma seizure?” And then I realized the guy had heard grand mal—it had been a grand mal seizure that she had had. He just heard “grandma.” I wrote him back and said, “No, I don’t think it was a grandma seizure—I think it was a grand mal seizure.” We did pray. It was a serious occurrence as we were preparing for this event.
We didn’t know if David was going to be able to join us. By God’s grace, everything worked out and everything was okay—he was able to be with us.
As he shared with the audience that day at I Still Do, Dennis—he reminded all of us that, when a crisis comes—and they will come in your marriage—they may take you by surprise, but they don’t take Jesus by surprise.
Dennis: No. God is in charge, and He’s in control. He knows what’s happening in your life and mine, and He meets us in our crisis and in our point of need, and He prays for us. You’re going to hear a powerful message today from the Senior Vice-President of Spiritual Development of Liberty University at I Still Do about a year ago. Bob, we’ve decided to, once again, bring these back and also host a simulcast, nationwide, called I Still Do.
Bob: Saturday, October 17th, we’re going to be just around the corner from Liberty University, where David Nasser works. We’re going to be at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, along with our friends, Crawford and Karen Loritts. You and Barbara are going to be speaking that day. Alex Kendrick will be joining us to talk about prayer—
Dennis: —from Courageous—and their most recent movie, The War Room—
Bob: —that’s coming out in August.
Alistair Begg is going to be with us as well. This event is going to be simulcast from Thomas Road Baptist Church to hundreds of churches all around the country.
If you would like your church to be a local simulcast site for the I Still Do event on Saturday, October 17th, you can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen that says, [“GO DEEPER.”] Look for the information there about I Still Do so that you can be a part of the festivities this year and join us for what we think is going to be a great, powerful one-day event for marriages.
Dennis: A year ago, we had about 250 churches that joined us for I Still Do—we had a bit of a late jump in getting word out about that. Bob, this year, I’d like to see 1,000 churches, across the country from all 50 states, make a statement about marriage and family for your community and your state.
Bob: One of the statements that was made last year, as David Nasser came to speak, was the statement that: “Whatever you’re going through in your marriage and in your family, Jesus not only know about it, but Jesus has already prayed for you about it—that He is a Redeemer / a Savior who prays for us.” David Nasser was speaking out of John, Chapter 17, where Jesus prayed for His disciples on the night before His crucifixion. Here’s Part Two of David Nasser’s message from I Still Do a year ago.
[Previously Recorded Message]
David: I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to go to Israel and go to the Garden of Gethsemane. We don’t know the exact tree, but there’s this cluster of olive trees that you can go to. You know, pretty much, that one, even though it’s a supposed site, it’s an exact site as well in that one of about nine different olive trees is the one that Jesus was under. He was praying and pressing in before the crucible of the cross.
In that moment, 2,000 years before you were born, Jesus brought you up in the garden. Jesus begins to pray for you in the garden. He’s praying for unity with God and unity with each other. He’s praying, at that moment, that the gospel would flesh itself out in your life and in my life. Two thousand years ago, Jesus is praying for us in the garden. In John 17:1-6 you could say He prays for Himself; but ultimately, you know what He’s praying? He’s praying for everything that I just shared with you, which is the gospel; right?—that Jesus is the great sacrificial Lamb / He’s the great substitute.
He’s praying that all of that would be received by us.
Then He prays, for a few verses, for His—specifically, His disciples; right?—He’s praying for the 11. Then we walk right into this moment, and Jesus says this—He says, “I do not ask for these.” The “these” in that moment is the disciples; right?—the church-planters that are about to launch the Great Commission. He says, “I do not just ask for these only, but also those who will believe in Me through their word.” If you’re good with your Bible and you have it out, and you want to circle that word there, you can put your name on top of that because, if you’re born again, your name just showed up in the Bible. Jesus literally in that moment is in the garden, and you know what He’s praying for?—He’s praying for you.
Anybody here pregnant?—like, physically, right now?—any mamas here, pregnant? I know your community group’s been praying for your baby, I know your pastor’s been praying for your baby, I know your mom has been praying for the baby, I know people have been picking out stuff for the baby, I know you’ve been going to Pottery Barn Baby, and you’ve been getting stuff on sale for the baby.
I know you’ve been anticipating the baby. I just want to tell you—guess who has you beat—because for nine months you’ve been going after your baby / praying for your baby, laying hands on your baby—but for 2,000 years, Jesus has been praying for that baby—[Applause] —right?
Somebody in this room is adopting right now. Somebody in this room, right now—you’re like / they told you, “In five months, you’re going to get your baby.” Nine months later, you haven’t gotten your baby. Somebody told you: “This is a good country. You can get through this country pretty quickly.” Now, you’re in the thick of it because you know—you know, right?—adoption is spiritual warfare—right? —because you’re not just interested in physically adopting a kid, you want them to go from orphan to heir into the Kingdom of God—so you have a bigger thing in mind. Satan doesn’t want that. So anybody in the middle of adoption right now, you’ve been praying for that—it’s the same as being pregnant. You’re in that moment—alright—so you know what I’m talking about; right?
It took us 21 months to get our son Rudy from Guatemala here.
For 21 months, I was like: “God! Have you forgotten about Rudy?!” God was like: “I haven’t forgotten about Rudy. Long before you knew Rudy, I’ve been praying for Rudy. Guess who has more skin in the game than you, David, in Rudy’s life—My Son.” Isn’t it comforting? Can I just get practical with you, as a dad / as a mom? Isn’t it comforting to know that, for thousands of years, Jesus has been praying for that baby—that baby? [Applause]
Jesus begins to go after God, the Father—He says: “God, that through Me / through Me that this would happen—that they may still be one; just as you, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; so that the world may believe that You have sent Me [John 17:21 paraphrase].”
I want to read you a quote; alright? We’re almost done here, but I want to read you a quote—I love this quote.
I found this quote from John Stark. This is a great quote because he wraps up, I think, the gospel—alright?—and how it just becomes so much more than a prayer for unity but a prayer for unity with God the Father, through salvation, but also then the people of salvation having unity and community together, and church together, and missiology together. John Stark says how all of that gets activated is by the very One who petitions it.
Listen to this—John Stark says, “The priestly work of Christ”—that’s what we’re seeing here—“The priestly work of Christ is His sacrifice and His intercession.” John Stark gets that, I think, from Wayne Grudem—so let’s give him credit for that. Then he says this—he says, “Every prayer of Jesus is answered”—amen, hallelujah, praise God for that—“and paid in full with His blood.”
So, the very One who asks God for us / the very One who prays for your salvation is the very One who makes that a possibility by dying on the cross so that you may be saved. The very One who is pressing in for your sanctification is the very One who continues to bring you to the table and grow you in Christ. Every single thing—the saving grace and the sustaining grace—is completely made available by the very One who’s praying for you.
I can pray for you to become a millionaire, but I do not have the resources to make that prayer come true. But honestly, what if I was a billionaire, praying for you to become a millionaire? You’d go, “You can be the very answer to the prayer.” Jesus not only is praying for us, beloved—He’s not only praying for your marriage—but He’s the very One who has the ability to equip the very trenches of your marriage.
So what does this do? You know what it does? It brings us completely back into the very center of it all, which is Jesus.
You know what I’m reminded of? I’m reminded about the reality that all my prayers ultimately come back to one thing anyway—Jesus / Jesus.
I have this friend—his name is Alex Himaya. He is a pastor now in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s an incredible guy / he’s a godly brother; but he is kind of nerdy. He wears these big, thick, Coke-bottle glasses; and without them he’s blind. Back when he was a youth pastor, he called me one day. When he called me, he sounded kind of drunk on the phone. It was about 10:30 at night; and he calls me and he’s like, “Hey man.” I’m like, “Hey buddy; you okay?”
He goes, “Man, I’m okay.” He goes, “I can’t feel anything.”
I’m like, “What’s going on?”
He goes: “Well, I’m sitting in an ambulance. My leg is bended in a spot it shouldn’t be bended.” And he starts laughing. [Laughter]
I’m like, “Alright, buddy; what’s going on?”
He said, “Let me tell you,”—so he starts telling me. He’s leaving his youth facility; and he said: “Man, I was running late. Man, I was coming out of my youth facility.” His glasses are really thick. It was really cold in his youth facility, like air-conditioned. As he left the cold to the heat—kind of fogged up his glasses.
So he goes and he gets in his Honda Accord. His wife had yelled at him for being late; alright—so he said, “Man, I started up my Honda Accord.” He said, “I knew the parking lot was empty,” because youth pastors are usually the last people to leave a building; right? And he said, “In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘I’m running late,’”—so he says: “I’m running late. I’m going almost 50 miles an hour. I’m putting my glasses on.” And he says: “I’m putting my glasses on. It becomes clear to me—with my glasses, I’m looking—and right in front of me is this cement thing.”
I said, “What’d you do?”
He goes, “I went, ‘J’! and then I hit it dead on.” [Laughter]
So I go, “All you got out was ‘J’?
He goes, “Man, all I got out was ‘J’!
So we started laughing; right? I started going, “Isn’t that funny, man?—like you got out ‘J’!” And he was like, “I know!” I was like, “Man, I wonder, if in heaven—like Jacob, and Josiah, and Joseph—[Laughter] —
—I wonder if all these people were like, “Is he talking about me?” [Laughter] And Jesus is like, “Typically, in these situations, guys, it’s Me.” You know? [Laughter]
The reason we’re all laughing is because it’s silly; right? It’s silly to think that he would have to say all of Jesus’ name. How many of you know, as we’re taught in the Lord’s Prayer, that the Father knows what you need before you even petition? How many know that? How many of you believe that? How many of you believe, with me, it’s silly / it is comedy—right?—it’s comical to go, “You have to say ‘Jesus.’” But did he have to, past “Jesus,” say other things? If that’s true, then he’d have to do: “Jesus?” “Yes.” “In just a second, Jesus, I’m going to hit a pole,” [Laughter] “and obviously there will be bleeding. Jesus, I pray that the paramedic will see the blood and be reminded upon what You shed upon the cross, Jesus.” [Laughter] “For Your renown, let this happen.” He didn’t have time! You know what he got out?—“J”!
Let’s say he didn’t even get out “J.” Let’s say all he got out was [squeak] [Laughter]—right? It’s silly! It’s silly to think you have to say it so that Jesus will know it because He knows it. You know why He knows it? Because He’s been praying what you need right now well before you needed it. So guess what? Maybe on the drive over here, you didn’t hold hands, and pray, and go, “God, rack out our marriage today.” But guess who was praying for your marriage the whole drive in?—Jesus / Jesus. [Applause] He’s for you. Guess who’s going to be praying for you tomorrow? Guess who’s praying right now?—Jesus.
So, can we just pray together—just where we are? Can we just go to the One who’s been praying for us? Just with your heads bowed, can I ask you a really simple question?
Doesn’t all of this—that we’re looking at this afternoon—really not hinge upon the good news of the gospel? You know, what’s interesting is that this prayer from Jesus is for the elect. It’s interesting that, over and over again, in Scripture, we see Jesus pushing in on behalf of His people / pushing in on behalf of His Kingdom—but the beauty of that—the beauty of that is that there’s such good news if we are a part of the family of God, but such bad news if we’re not.
Again, don’t lose sight—don’t lose sight that Jesus, in the garden before He is about to sacrifice Himself as the sacrificial lamb / as the great substitute for you, begins to pray for you. Maybe today, in this very moment, before we go even any further, you’re already beginning to awaken to this reality that Jesus has been praying for your salvation.
Maybe what you don’t need is a better job / what you don’t need is better ways to communicate—all of those are good. Maybe what you don’t need is the ability to shut up and listen / maybe what you don’t need is better languaging. Maybe what you don’t need is one more workbook—all those are good—but maybe what you really need is the primary thing, which is Jesus. What Jesus has been praying for you today is for you to wake up and realize you don’t need to rededicate something that’s never been dedicated in the first place. Maybe that’s you, as a husband / maybe that’s you, as a wife.
If you’ve never asked Christ to step out of heaven / to step into your life, maybe today that’s the very prayer that Jesus is not only praying for you but He’s making available by what He did on the cross so that you could come to Him. So that’s you—if that is you, at this very moment, I just want to pray with you. You know what prayer is? Prayer is tuning your heart to the frequency of God—it’s having a dependant conversation with God.
If that’s you, I just want to pray and then ask you to repeat, just in your own heart, if you agree in your spirit with what I’m saying, these very words back to the Lord:
Jesus, thank You that in the garden, 2,000 years ago, You prayed for my salvation. You prayed that I would be made one with You / one with the Father—that even though sin separates me from the Father—even though a holy, and a perfect, and a righteous God is separated from unholy, unrighteous, sinful me—that Jesus, You came as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank you, Jesus, that You lived a perfect life—and that after You lived the perfect, the holy, the sinless life—that You died a sinner’s death on my behalf / that You paid the penalty that I should pay.
Thank You that, Jesus, even then, 2,000 years ago, when you knew all that was happening—you knew it was happening so that on a day like this I could have a way—the only Way—which is You. So Jesus, I receive that today—I receive that. I give you all of me—every single bit of me / not just one compartment—but all of me. I don’t want You just to come and fix my marriage, or fix my job, or fix one thing—all of me. I’m all in—I’m all in, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus, that they put Your body on a cross and then they took it off that cross, put it in a tomb, and three days later—when they came back to check on that tomb—it was empty because You conquered the grave. I need that resurrection power—not just for my marriage / not just for my reputation—those are just the symptoms. Start from within, God. Right now, I need that resurrection power—strip me / raise me from old to new. Thank You, Jesus.”
Bob: I’m sitting and listening as David Nasser was wrapping up the message at the I Still Do one-day celebration of marriage that we hosted last year—the message we’ve been listening to today—and what an encouragement for folks there that day to know, whatever they were facing, Jesus not only knows about it—but He’s praying for you.
Dennis: And also, David’s plea for people, who don’t know Jesus Christ and haven’t placed their faith in Him for their forgiveness of sins. Here’s the promise of the Bible—John, Chapter 5, verse 24. These are Christ’s words / Himself: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
There are listeners, right now, who are in the midst of death. The question is: “Will you pass out of death to life?”
The way you do that is by placing your faith in Christ. There is no better time than right now to become a follower of Christ and make a commitment to Him as Lord, Master, Redeemer, and Savior. The question is: “Will you do that right now?” I just encourage you to do it—turn off the radio and pray—and ask Christ to forgive your sins / to give you peace, and hope, and purpose.
Bob: You know, there is a link on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com that describes what you’re talking about—it’s “Two Ways to Live.” One way is the self-directed life / the other way is a God-directed life. Each of us has to decide: “Which path are we going to walk down?”
I’d encourage our listeners—go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen that says, “GO DEEPER.” Then look for the button that says, “Two Ways to Live.” When you click on that, it will map out for you the choice that’s in front of every one of us. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click the link that says, “GO DEEPER,” and look for the button that says, “Two Ways to Live.”
While you’re on the website, you’ll also see a button that talks about the upcoming I Still Do one-day celebration of marriage that we’re going to be hosting in Lynchburg, Virginia, coming up on October 17th—that’s a Saturday. This one-day I Still Do event will feature messages from Alistair Begg, Alex Kendrick, Crawford and Karen Loritts, Dennis and Barbara Rainey; and we have more planned for that day.
If you live in or around the Lynchburg area, you can come join us for this one-day celebration of marriage at the Thomas Road Baptist Church. If you don’t live nearby, you can still join us because this event is going to be simulcast to churches, all across the country.
You might want to check and see if there’s a simulcast location happening near where you live, or maybe you’d like your church to be a host site for this one-day event. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link that says, “GO DEEPER,” and then click the button that says, “I Still Do.” The information is available there about how your church can be a host site or how you can join us, live, on Saturday, October 17th, in Lynchburg, Virginia, for I Still Do. If you have any questions, call us, toll-free, at 1-800-FL-TODAY. We’ll see if we can answer them for you: 1-800-358-6329—that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
Mary Ann and I were just recently out with some friends in Colorado, and we were talking about the ministry of FamilyLife Today. It’s always encouraging for me to have a chance to hear from listeners how God is using this ministry in their lives / in their marriage as they raise their family. We’re grateful for those of you join us in that mission—those of you who make the mission possible as financial supporters of this ministry.
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Now, tomorrow—have you ever seen the Gaither Vocal Band? You know the guy who has the long silver and black hair?—Guy Penrod is his name.
Guy and his wife Angie joined us onboard the Love Like You Mean It® marriage cruise, back in February. We had a chance to sit down with the two of them and talk about their life—talk about all their kids, and they have a bunch of them—talk about how they have made marriage and family work. Tomorrow, we will hear our conversation with Guy and Angie Penrod. Hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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