“What Jesus Says about Prayer” – YouTube

What Jesus Says about Prayer

John 14:10-15

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.


  1. The Importance of Prayer
    1. Last week we looked at how important prayer is in our lives.
      1. When you begin to truly understand that, you will begin to pray and you will begin to understand what Jesus meant in John 15:5
      2. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
  2. Looking Back from Heaven
    1. I think that when we stand with Christ in glory, looking back at our life on this earth, the most amazing thing to us will be our prayerlessness.
      1. We will be astonished that we spent so little time in real intercession for others.
      2. It will be our turn to “wonder” just like God wonders now that there is no intercessor.
    2. The last night Jesus was with His disciples He taught some of the most amazing and powerful of His teachings.
      1. Just before His High Priestly Prayer in John 17, the most wonderful of all prayers, Jesus again and again said, “Whatever you ask in my name, it will be granted to you!”
      2. Do we believe this?
      3. You must believe it if you believe your Bible!
    3. Let’s just read over quietly and thoughtfully just one of our Lord’s promises.
      1. 13 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
      2. Jesus says this over and over, so many times!
      3. If we had never read this before, we would be stunned because this promise is almost incredible.
      4. If it came from the lips of any mere human being they would be unbelievable.
      5. But it is the Lord of heaven and earth who speaks!
      6. And he is speaking at the most solemn moment of his life.
      7. It is the night before his death on the cross.
      8. These words are His farewell message – listen!
  3. Almost Incredible Promises
    1. John 14:12-13
      1. John 14:12–13

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

  1. Could any words be more plain or any more clear than these?
    1. Could there be any promise greater or more grand?
    2. Has anyone else, anywhere, at any time, ever offered so much?


  1. John 14:14
    1. Just to make sure they heard Him clearly, Jesus repeats what He just said.
      1. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
    2. Those disciples must have been staggered by what they heard!
      1. Surely they could scarcely believe their own ears.
      2. But that promise is made also to you and to me.
      3. Do you really believe what Jesus promised in these words?


  1. John 15:7-8
    1. And, just in case there was any mistake on their part, or on ours, our Lord repeats himself a few moments later.
    2. John 15:7–8
      1. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.


  1. John 15:14-17
    1. These words are of so incredibly important that Jesus, the Savior of the world, is not content even with a saying them three times in one conversation.
      1. He urges his disciples to obey his command “to ask.”
      2. In fact, he tells them that one sign of their being his “friends” will be the obedience to his commands in all things (verse 14).

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

  1. Then he once more repeats his wishes:

15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another


  1. John 16:23
    1. You might think that our Lord had now made it plain enough
      1. That he wanted them to pray
      2. That he needed their prayers, and
      3. That without prayer they could accomplish nothing.
    2. But He returns again to the same subject, saying pretty much the same words.
      1. John 16:23

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.


  1. John 16:24
    1. John 16:23–24

24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

  1. Never before had our Lord laid such stress on any promise or command—never!
    1. This truly marvelous promise is given to us six
    2. Six times, almost in the same breath, our Savior commands us to ask whatsoever we will.
    3. This is the greatest—the most wonderful—promise ever made to mankind.
    4. Yet most people, even Christians, virtually ignore it!


  1. John 16:26-27
    1. So just to make sure that we would not ignore it, our blessed Jesus gives the final exhortation, before he is seized, and bound, and scourged, before his gracious lips are silenced on the cross
      1. “In that day you will ask in my name . . . for the Father himself loves you John 16:26-27
        • 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.


  1. Jesus’ Sevenfold Invitation to Pray
    1. There has been so much written and studied on our Lord’s seven words from the cross.
      1. And we should do so!
      2. But have you ever spent even one hour in meditating on our Savior’s sevenfold invitation to pray?
      3. The exceeding greatness of His promises seems to overwhelm us!
      4. Yet we know that He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
    2. Today Jesus sits on His throne in heaven, and he offers to us holds out to us the promise of His power and authority in our lives.
      1. So do we tell Him our desires?
      2. He longs to grant us “according to the riches of His glory,” that we may “be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.”
      3. He tells us that our strength and our fruitfulness depend upon our prayers.
      4. He even reminds us that our very joy depends on His answers to our prayers (John 16:24).
    3. And yet we allow the Devil to persuade us to neglect prayer!
      1. He makes us believe that we can do more by our own efforts than by our prayers.
      2. Why do we listen so little to our Lord’s sevenfold invitation and command and promise!
      3. If we are going to work for Christ, then we need to spend a great deal of time on our knees.
      4. It is very clear that Jesus wants us to ask of Him, and to ask much!
      5. He tells us that we glorify God when we do.
      6. Nothing is beyond the scope of prayer as long as it is not beyond the will of God.
      7. And trust me, we do not desire to go beyond His will!


  1. Why Does God Say “No” to Some of Our Prayers?
    1. “God did not answer my prayer!”
      1. One time a Sunday-school teacher wrote his pastor saying, “I have never had an answer to prayer in all my life.”
        1. But why? Is God a liar? Is not God trustworthy?
        2. Do He not fulfill His promises?
        3. Does God really mean what He says?
      2. I have had so many people ask me, “Why did God not answer my prayer?”
        1. Please do not say that your prayers are not answered.
        2. Our prayers are always answered, but not necessarily granted!
        3. God delights to answer prayer; and he has given us his word that he will answer, but sometimes He says “No”.
        4. And when He does, we should say, “Thank you, Lord! Praise Your holy name!”


  1. What you should expect from prayer! – Luke 11:9

9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you

  1. What, then, did Jesus mean when He commanded in verse 9, “Keep on asking. . . keep on seeking . . . keep on knocking . . .”?
    1. He is encouraging persistence in prayer!
    2. But please notice that He immediately ties this encouragement to sonship in verse 11: “If a son shall ask bread . . .”
  2. Here Jesus is encouraging us to come to Him as children of God.
    1. A child should not come to their father only when there is a crisis or an emergency.
    2. They should keep in constant fellowship with their father, enjoying the father’s love and learning the father’s will.
    3. Then, when there is a crisis, they won’t be a stranger to their father.
  3. Persistence in prayer does not mean that we must twist God’s arm to get what we want.
    1. It means we must persist in walking with the Lord God!
    2. It means we must keep out lives cleansed of sin so that we may fellowship with Him at all times!
    3. It means
      • Keeping in close communion with the Father.
      • Knowing His will.
      • Asking Him to perform His will and to use our prayers to accomplish His will on earth and in our lives!


  1. Another Promise from Jesus about Prayer – Luke 11:9-12
    1. Jesus’ Promise to us regarding prayer:
      1. Ask and you shall receive
      2. Seek and you shall find
      3. Knock and it shall be opened unto you
    2. What if the prayer is not answered the way we are seeking?

If we claim to be God’s children, God’s nature should be reflected in our lives. Jesus shows us here something of what our heavenly Father’s love is like. First, He gives several illustrations from human family relationships by asking two rhetorical questions.

  1. Ask for bread –> stone? (worthless)
    • What man . . . among you, that is to say, what loving father, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone?
    • The obvious answer is no man, no loving father.
    • The cruelest of fathers would hardly deceive his own son by giving him a stone to eat that looked like bread.
    • Even if the son discovered the deception before breaking a tooth, his heart would be broken by his father’s cruelty.
  2. Ask for fish –> serpent? (unclean)
    • If the son shall ask for a fish, the father will not give him a snake, will he?
    • The idea is not that the snake would be alive and poisonous, and therefore of physical danger to the son.
    • The suggestion is of a snake that is cooked to look like ordinary meat and would, unlike the stone, meet the son’s physical need.
    • But because they were among the unclean animals (Lev. 11:12), snakes were not to be eaten by Jews.
    • A loving Jewish father would not defile his son into dishonoring the Word of God by allowing him to eat unclean food.
    • Our Lord is saying that no good father would ignore either the physical or the spiritual needs of his son.
  3. Ask for an egg –> scorpion? (dangerous)
    • Jesus gives an even more dramatic illustration of a scorpion being substituted for an egg.
    • Certain Near East scorpions were quite large and resembled a bird’s egg when they curled up to sleep.
    • No good father would give his son something that would cause great physical danger to the son just because he asked for it!


  1. If you then, being evil — as sinful human fathers — know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give the Holy Spirit (Matthew 7 = what is good) to those who ask Him!
    1. We must never be afraid of answered prayer in the will of God.
    2. God only wants to give us the very best in answer to our prayers.
    3. God the Father will never answer prayer to give us anything that is
      • Worthless!
      • Unclean!
      • Dangerous!
    4. The Father knows what we need, and He will only give us what is righteous and the very best for us in our lives.
    5. God always answers our prayers if we are in the proper relationship with Him!
    6. Never be afraid to pray and never be afraid of the answer.
    7. It has often been said, “Your Father in heaven loves you too much to harm you, and He is too wise to make a mistake.”
    8. We have learned three lessons:
      • We must pray,
      • We must pray in God’s will, and
      • We must pray as children coming to a Father.


  • Why Do We Not Pray Enough?
    1. We dare not say that our Lord’s words are not true.
      1. Yet somehow few Christians really seem to believe them enough to act on them.
      2. What is it that holds us back?
      3. What is it that keeps us from making prayer the most important part of our walk with the Lord?
      4. Do we doubt his love? Never! He gave his life for us and to us.
      5. Do we doubt his power? Not for a moment, He is the Creator of the universe.
      6. Do we doubt his wisdom and mistrust his choices for us?
      7. Are we afraid to put God to the test? He has said we may do so.
      8. And yet so few believers really consider prayer worth the effort.
      9. Of course, they would deny this—but actions speak louder than words.
    2. Whenever God makes us a promise, let us boldly say, “I believe God” (Acts 27:25), and trust him to keep His word.
      1. Let’s start today to be a people of prayer.
      2. Do not put it off until it is more convenient.
      3. God wants you and me to pray.
      4. Our Savior wants us to pray.
      5. He needs your prayers and my prayers.
      6. So much, in fact, that everything depends upon prayer.
    3. How often do you pray?
      1. Three times a day, and all the day besides?
      2. Is prayer to just a duty, or is it a privilege, a pleasure, a real joy, a necessity?
    4. See Christ in all his glory, and all the “riches of his glory” which he places at our disposal.
      1. Then see the world and all its needs – has the world ever been as needy as it is today?
      2. Realize your own need of your home and your loved ones.
      3. Realize the needs of your pastor and the Church.
      4. Realize the needs of our city, of our country, of all the lost people around us.
      5. Then realize that “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory, in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
      6. But to share in His riches we must pray, and Lord is rich unto all that call upon him (Romans 10:12).
    5. Prayer is so important that God has taken care to anticipate all the excuses or objections we may be likely to make.
      1. Romans 8:26–28
      2. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    6. Remember how the our Lord Jesus sometimes spent whole nights in prayer.
      1. Why? Our blessed Lord did not pray simply as an example to us: he never did things merely as an example.
      2. He prayed because he needed to pray.
      3. As perfect Man, prayer to him was a necessity.
      4. Then how much more is it necessary to you and me?
    7. I am quite certain of this fact: God wants me to pray: wants you to pray. The question is, are we willing to pray?