Week 6 Principles of Intercession – Class Notes – 10-23-16
Reminders: God’s will, God’s kingdom, God’s glory. If a man could do it, a man could get credit.
Our approach in prayer – praise, worship, thanksgiving:
Matt. 6:9 Lord’s prayer first request – hallowed be thy name (worship)
Phil. 4:6 In everything, no matter what – thanksgiving must accompany prayer
I Tim. 2:1 First of all, make requests, pray and give thanks for everyone
Psalm 100:1-5 Worship, praise, singing, and thanks
How did Jesus define eternal life?
John 17:3 – “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (NIV)
I learned John 3:16 as a child in Sunday School, and always thought about everlasting life as after you die. But eternal life begins the moment you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and begin to know him, and to know his Father.
Living here and now, you have the creator of the universe living inside of you. And talking to you. Interested in your daily activities, your thoughts and wishes. Instructing, explaining, giving you assignments and directions, including what to pray and how.
Mark 11, Jesus is on the way to the cross. They came into the city from the east where the Mt. of Olives was. Over that hill (mountain) was Bethany, home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Bethany was 1-2 miles outside Jerusalem, and Bethphage was a little further away. These were small towns on the usual road between Jericho and Jerusalem.
(The main trade route east of the Jordan River was, and still is, the King’s Highway, which most Jews used to travel from Galilee to Jerusalem to avoid going through Samaria.)
Jesus and the disciples did some sight-seeing, including the Temple, then left the city and went to Bethany to stay the night.
11:14 The next morning, on the way into the city, Jesus cursed the fig tree (which withered and died overnight). If it had leaves, it should have had fruit or the precursor to the fruit which was also edible. But it didn’t. The tree was an aberration, deceptive.
11:16 Jesus went into the Temple and threw out the merchants and money-changers. (House of prayer / den of robbers) He is nearing the time of his death, and he was making a statement about prayer. Important, I think. Then he sat down and began teaching the people. The religious leaders determined more than ever to kill him. Jesus and the disciples left town again, and returned the next morning, when the disciples noticed that the tree was already dead and withered up.
They were on the hillside between Bethany and Jerusalem, facing the Temple and the mountain it occupied, Mt. Moriah, the same mountain where Abraham offered up Isaac. Jesus, replying to their amazement about the withered tree, said:
Mark 11:23-24 “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
How could Jesus make such a promise? The only way a believer could do such a thing was with the Holy Spirit’s power and at his instructions.
Actually, as they were looking down at the Temple they were looking at a religious system, a “mountain” that soon would be destroyed, when Jesus died and was raised from the dead.
About the Temple: This was Herod’s Temple, his masterpiece. He remodeled and greatly enhanced the Second Temple (built by Zerubbabel years after Solomon’s Temple had been destroyed, see Ezra 2.)
Why was the veil at the Holy of Holies in the Temple rent when Jesus died? It was not to show the Ark of the Covenant – that had been gone for hundreds of years. I think it was to show that the Holy of Holies was empty. Nothing except layers of dried blood from Day of Atonement sacrifices was in that empty room. And it would never be needed again, now that Jesus had made the sacrifice for all sin.
If we are inhabited by God himself, and we are, and we are praying what he desires for us to pray –
What can hinder God from getting those prayers answered?
There are many possibilities: Unrepented sin. Unforgiveness. Ignorance. Lack of faith (belief). Doubt. Other things.
First let’s look at belief problems:
(1) UN-belief, non-belief, lack of faith (faith and belief are the same Greek word, pistis)
Matt. 13:58, Mark 6:5-6 – Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth because of unbelief.
Matt. 9:25, Mark 5:40 – Jesus put unbelievers out of the room (ruler’s daughter)
Acts 9:40 – Peter put unbelievers out of the room – Tabitha/Dorcas. Read the passage about Aeneas, then this passage.
Peter put the unbelievers out of the room, before he prayed – not for the dead woman, but to get God’s instructions on what to do about her. Then he turned and just spoke to her, as he had done to Aeneas, telling her to do something she could not do. And she did it.
There was a good reason to put unbelievers out: Unbelief is deadly. It will kill you.