Turning Sorrow Into Joy Through Prayer, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #182)

TEXT: John 16:21-27

21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 181 messages in this series.

This is message #182 titled, Turning Sorrow Into Joy Through Prayer, Part 3

We return to the scene of the Last Supper as Jesus is seeking to calm His disciples’ fears about the future. They were becoming sorrowful as the time of Jesus’ crucifixion drew near. However, Jesus promised to turn their sorrow into joy. This would happen in a physical sense when Jesus rose from the dead: the disciples would forget all about the sorrow they felt when they saw that Jesus was alive again. However, this promise also applies to us today because, as Jesus would be leaving His disciples once again in the Ascension, He told them that they could have their sorrow turned to joy through communion with the Father in the act of prayer.

We saw last week that Jesus directed the disciples to make requests of the Father in His absence. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” Even though the devil will try to keep us back from going to God in prayer for various reasons, Jesus tells us that we are able to enter God’s presence in prayer because of what Jesus did for us.

Now, the only way we can make requests of the Father is if we do it in Jesus’ name. In fact, Jesus encouraged the disciples — even commanded them — to do this. He said, “Hitherto [up until this point] have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive.” Dr. R.C.H. Lenski points out that the disciples had been praying as traditional Jews prayed — to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, with the crucifixion just a few hours away and the resurrection a few days after that, it was time for Jesus to impress upon His disciples the great change that was taking place. The Messianic promises which God made to the Jewish patriarchs were being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It was time for a new covenant to take effect — one in which God was no longer divided from His people by laws and consequences, priests and sacrifices, but was united to them through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Jesus promised that this new union would bring His disciples great joy. He said, “ask, and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.” The perfect tense of this phrase indicates that their “joy would be filling up more and more until it is completely full.” The disciples would need to look to only one source for their joy, and that is their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The best relationships are facilitated by good and open communication. Prayer is our way of communicating with God in the name of Jesus Christ. And Jesus has promised that this communication will bring us joy.

I’m sure that most of us would say that there is room in our lives for more joy — “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Joy that springs up in our hearts no matter the circumstances that we face — even when we, like the disciples, feel that God has left us alone. The wonderful news that Jesus gives us today is that we can have that joy through prayers that God hears and answers in Jesus’ name. Because of prayer, we have no need to be sorrowful or to despair. As the French-Irish poet, Richard Trench, expressed —

Lord, why should we ever weak or heartless be,
Why are we ever overborne with care,
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage are with Thee?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


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