Pastor Mike Gerhardt, July 23, 2017, Series on Prayer - Outline 4, Prayer: In the Blood of Jesus. The Bible uses the word blood over 360 times in the Hebrew OT and over 115 times in the Greek NT. The Bible has a lot to say about the blood of Jesus: Rom 5:9 justified by His blood; Eph. 1:7 redemption through His blood; 1 John 1:7 the blood… cleanses us; Eph. 2:13 brought near by the blood; Rev 1:5 washed…in His own blood. Revelation 12:11: They triumphed over him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. A charismatic evangelist wrote: There is a power that supersedes every other power. That power transforms simple things into powerful weapons. The awesomeness and mystery of the power in the Blood of Jesus are not being preached in the church today. Many present-day Christians do not know many things about victory in the battles of life. Learning to claim the power in the Blood of Jesus, is very important. It is a prayer that brings deliverance and protection. Is he right? In this quote from Rev. 12:11, believers were willing to give their lives for the cause of Christ as we have witnessed in our day and age around the world. Did they get their resolve from praying the blood of Christ? We have been talking about prayer and some phrases that are used like incantations to get God’s attention and to get God to do what we are asking. If this is your reasoning for using the name of Jesus or praying in His blood, then you may not understand why we use these phrases. Hebrews has over 24 occurrences of blood. Chapter 10:19-21: Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence (having boldness NKJV) to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, LET US…!
The blood of Jesus has provided access into the Holiest of Holies, an audience with God Almighty, to be intimate with God. What is intimacy? Erwin McManus said: our souls crave intimacy. Near the end of our 2-year courtship, I broke up with Janet for the fourth time. I wasn’t ready for commitment. I was just in heavy like not love. After four weeks, I needed to see her. I knew she cared for me and put up with me in a way no one else ever did. That night over a cup of tea in her mother’s kitchen I ask her to marry me. We had not been intimate like the world would define it, but we already had intimacy. What is intimacy? It is a relationship with another person based on an agape kind of love. When God the Father sent His Son to bleed to death for us, He opened a way of intimacy. Salvation is more than eternal fire insurance. It is more than an economic transaction. It is more than a cosmic deal between Satan and God for our souls. It is God the Father extending His covenantal, never ending, unconditional, sacrificial love to me to be his adoptive child. How can I resist that kind of love, that kind of intimacy? SO Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our heart sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Closeness with God begins with a faith to let GOD be GOD. One of the more hurtful things we do in relationships is to bring up the past with a vengeance to hurt the one we want to straighten out. Hebrews 10:17 Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more. God forgives and forgets. We must forgive in order to be cleansed from a guilty conscience. GOD knows everything. I would never draw close to God if every time He would rub my face in all of my past mistakes and sins. But he doesn’t do that. When we draw close to him by the blood of Jesus we stand cleansed. This cleansing helps us to have a pure relationship with God. It is not a faulty faith, something we hope for. It is based on the historical sacrifice of Jesus and his shed blood. We all know that historical fact. It can’t be a hypocritical heart. You can’t just play the game and think everything is Okay. Faith is loyal and secure in the blood of Jesus. The psalmist asked Ps 24:3-4 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
Because we pray in the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. I call this a Conviction for Truth. When I was single sometime in the last century, some college and career members went back backing on the Loyal Sock trail in Endless Mountains PA. Once before lunch, we walked switch backs up to the edge of a large canyon 150 feet deep. Someone had tied a rope to a tree and was repelling down the wall of the gorge. I was mouthing off that if I had the chance I would do that. The guy, hearing what I said, took off his gear and handed it to me. Of course, I made excuses like we were about to have lunch but everyone else thought I should stay true to my words. It was a simple belt (this was 1979) with a large ring in the front and a ring on the side. No sophisticated brake which I learned 30 years later would automatically stop you from falling. He gave me a harness, gloves, threaded the rope, and twenty seconds on how to stop myself from a free fall. So, I began my descent. Inch by inch I plopped over the edge hoping the tree would not pull out, or the rope break. The guy said I needed to trust the rope and at the same time let go, knowing it would always be there to stop me. Well at first, I didn’t have that kind of trust looking down into the ravine. Letting go, jumping out, free falling, grabbing the rope and standing on the wall of the canyon was crazy. But what a rush. I felt so empowered. As I touched the floor of the canyon I knew I could do it again, and again. By the blood of Jesus, we can develop an enduring pursuit and conviction for God’s Word, to grab hold of it. We need not be confused or compromise, for God is faithful, so His Word is true. We can hold unswerving to the hope we profess because it is God’s hope. We continue to pursue an accurate real HOPE. By the blood of Jesus, He will deliver us one day into His presence.
SO, then here’s something practical! Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Having this closeness with God and having a conviction for His Truth, will lead to a deep Consideration for People. Love is truly the ultimate reality we will find when we find intimacy with God. When we love Him and begin to know His heart for humanity, we will love others in a similar way. Praying the blood of Jesus reminds us of the high cost of our salvation. This breakthrough into the Holy presence of God changes us. And the more we are with Him in that Holy presence the more we are changed. We begin to display a loving concern for others and for people we don’t even know. The writer speaks of a motivating love spur one another on toward love and good deeds. He writes of a loyal love not giving up on people who aren’t here every Sunday. We think this verse is for people who don’t attend often. Actually, it is for us, we who are here to be loyal friends and find out why they missed and reach out to them. He writes of an encouraging love as we see the Day approaching. I don’t know how much time you think you have on this planet, but I know that whatever time you have left, the best thing that you can do is invest time into right relationships for eternity. Now some of you are thinking of that saying: to live above with saints we love that will sure be glory. But to live below with saints we know now that’s another story.
So we need prayer in the blood of Jesus, which means to go into the presence of God with a holy boldness to draw near with FAITH not to drift away; to hold fast to the HOPE not to waver; to consider LOVE not to forsake others. Let us pray.