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Watch & Pray

Daniel Ferraz
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Jesus in Gethemane. The Power of Prayer in the Deapths of Despair  

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Daniel Ferraz

Pastor of the Holly and Grand Blanc Churches in Michigan.

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  • February 21, 2015
    11:00 AM
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But just like to ask you to bow your heads with me as we approach this infinitely important topic Father in heaven. We thank you that you have done all you could to show us how much you love us. By sending your son Jesus to be born of a woman and to live a human life. That the Almighty God the Creator the Word was made flesh so that by his poverty. We might be made rich and he that knew no sin was made sin for us that we would be made the righteousness of God in him. Father. Please come and speak to us today. That we may trust you as never before as we go forward in these last days of Earth's history and we pray these things in Jesus' precious name Amen. So my question to you is Good morning and how are you. A man. Do you have any challenges in your life today do you come to church with challenges. If you have challenges in your life today. What will you have tomorrow. And let's think about it if we don't know how to deal with the challenges of today. How will the challenges of tomorrow deal with us or if I don't know how to deal with the challenges of today. How will the challenges of tomorrow deal with me. How will they deal with you friends I want to share with you what I have found to be extremely encouraging and comforting to me my family and that has sustained me through some of the darkest moments in my life dark moments. Have we ever had any of them have you had any dark moments in your life where you came to such a low point in your life that you felt that it was impossible to go any lower and what was that point. What was that point that was the darkest point in your life maybe you haven't had the darkest point yet maybe you're too young to have a darkest point where somehow life just seems to come to an end come to a halt and you seem to have no strength. You don't know what to do you don't know how to go forward. I think of many young people young I think of many people young and old and the lowest point of their life is when they're driven to the point of not wanting to live anymore. I think that's probably the lowest that a person could go to not wanting to live anymore. You know when I was ministering in England when I was ten years ahead in in England from ninety one to two thousand and one I was at church north of Watford that was called Hemel Hempstead Now watch for it is kind of like the heart of Adventism in England. There you have stand which where the the boarding school is and the main kind of white church. There and you'll know why I said that if you talk to me afterwards and it has the South England conference offices there and watch word. It has the British Union offices on stand or park and even some turbulence is just about thirteen miles away from watch for the all of this is about north of London say twenty minutes up here one. And that's like the one thirty one just goes up from south to north and it goes from London and it's there a little church called Hemel Hempstead I got to know this really young family they had a couple of boys and then they had a third boy and they were similar ages to Esther and Jessica and I really became friends with them they were kind of our age so that was nice you know pasta goes and. And it's easy to mix and mingle with members of your own age and he had a brother the father of this family. He had a brother that was a member in that church as well and he had been through he'd been through some very very trying and difficult times his. His wife had left him. Probably more because of his problems but so I would spend long nights past midnight with with him and praying with him and helping him encouraging. Anyway it was his brother and his wife that had these children and we were really close to them and then we moved to Switzerland and were there for four years and Switzerland has got lots of what lots of snow. Lots of what mountains. Yeah I mean it has the most beautiful mountains in Europe as you know the mom blog reaching there about. Thousand meters will start probably about twelve thousand feet or more. And so they came one winter vacation for skiing. A skiing vacation and we would have them in our home and we would drive just about an hour into France to go on the skis the ski lifts and the slopes there as a whole family. Two families. It was great fun they had three boys and two girls and their middle boy was a very lively little chap and he was very talkative and full of fun and very kind of. Lively and we would enjoy our times together and they they spent about a week with us this particular time and then they would go home and all of this friendship was going on and it was such a wonderful thing and then one one day after we had moved here to the to America. We had a very very sad sad and troubling email from the mother and said that their little fourteen year old boy little middle boy. Had taken his life and you know that is devastating and the thing about it was. Is that he had written a little note he had come to the depths of despair of depression and and apparently depression in teenagers can be very high and very drastic and so with this devastating news. We kind of. Didn't know what to do to know what to say other than we're praying for you and of course the mother now is very involved in you know making organizing so that people can be aware of this and how young teenagers that have depression and to realize that these low points can be so low that they crush out the desire to live and friends. What is what is the solution to this kind of thing. What what is it that we can hold onto that will will help us go through the depths of despair and come out on the other side victorious. Is there something or is there nothing. And I want us to think about the depths of despair and look at Jesus in the garden of get so many with me if you will I mean let's turn to Matthew twenty six. And we see Jesus is the one that is constantly encouraging his disciples. He is constantly. Praying for them. He's constantly concerned about them now Jesus in get seventy is looking for human companionship and he's looking for human encourage meant and he wants to see his disciples in prayer. You see they had been in the upper room and Jesus had said that you're going to be offended by me in in other words that they were going to run and leave. And they started saying no no we won't and Peter pipes up and says well if even if everybody leaves you I will never leave you even if I die I will not betray you. And of. Jesus is able to no one understand what's going to happen and he says to Peter. Look it's going to be the cook is going to grow three times and you're going to deny me twice and you going to deny me three times and everybody is thinking that they have their relationship with Jesus OK And Jesus is going through after the the upper room experience. He's going through the Mount of Olives and as he's going through the Mount of Olives he sees the vines and he says that I am the vine and you are the branches. No man can produce fruit. Unless he is in me and so he's he's giving his discourse but then it suddenly hits him when he hit when he comes to the garden of get some money and he says to the majority of the Sipos just stay here and watch with me a while and then you when they came to the Mount of Olives and to the garden of get so many that Jesus was going to pray they had prayed with him before. In fact. James and John had been with Jesus before and they had been with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and so Jesus takes them a little bit further away from the the the rest of the disciples and he says watch here and he says watch and pray. And they're noticing Jesus is is struck with fear he is struck. He is weakened to the point that he says my soul solos on to death he has a burden that is upon him. That is crushing the life out of him. He says in verse thirty eight of Matthew twenty six he said unto them my soul is exceedingly. Is sorrowful even unto death. Now he was thinking of committing suicide but the burden of the sins the terrible nature of sin was upon him and the separation that bred to him was crushing the life out of the Son of God and the Bible says He went a little further and he fell on his face and he prayed saying of father. If it be possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will but as you will and Jesus says to disciples watch and pray what is he looking for friends. He's looking for the encouragement you know what how encouraging it is to see somebody pray to him to come to Promethean and to to know that we are family that prays together Jesus was looking for human companionship. The level of praying with him and being in solidarity with him and he comes to the disciples after His failing on the ground and he's clutching the ground because you feel something's going to wrench him away from this. He goes to his fellow disciples and they are snoring away. They are asleep. You know I was reading it that chapter in desire of ages and it's it seems like it's you of sleep fell upon that and you know that's describing you know you know how it is sometimes Have you ever been to a Friday night vespers and it's been a long week and you've been getting up early going to bed late and you're sitting there and you're fighting for all you're worth you're trying not to go to sleep but your eyes are just going so heavy and it feels just so sweet just to let your eyes kind of close just for a little bit and just fall a little bit sleep because you're so still and you're warm and you. It's like a hypnotist and you're fighting it and you can't and it's that's. Seem to be what happened to them you know what I believe the devil is able to kind of waft his kind of wolf the sleep is sleepiness over the congregation sometimes. And it takes self-discipline. It takes determination not to fail or sleep at sometimes at the most crucial moment in our lives. Let's face it this was the most crucial moment in the life of Jesus when he was desperately looking for that companionship. She writes that that if Jesus had gone back and found them in prayer he would have been encouraged but there was nothing to encourage him. No one to encourage him he was by himself bearing the burden and the guilt of the whole world upon his heart. Now I don't know if you've been sad Have have you been sad. I mean we just heard of of little little Amy. The granddaughter. I think is granddaughter of Charles. She they lost their baby and you imagine the devastation the pain. You know we never really know or understand that kind of pain until we go through it ourselves right there we understand. And so we need to to give each other that. Human companionship that human Walt. Geezers was was going through this experience not in his divinity. But in his humanity and the humanity that he took was the same as ours. He was looking for human comfort. He could have been encouraged if they were prying and he goes to them once he goes with them twice. They're still sleeping and he says What could you not watch with me one I'll watch and pray that you enter a lot into temptation and he says the spirit indeed is with. But the flesh is weak. I don't have the time to go into that I don't want to distract our focus right now which is watch and pray and you. You see often when we need to pray the most is when the devil is wafting that sleep hypnotic kind of air over us and I don't know why it says that if they had been in prayer he would have been encouraged he needed that encouragement and he was praying himself a sort of father take this cup from me but if it doesn't go from me you will be done and what's the point of that watching and pray. That's where he got his strength from do you realize how much was in the balance. This was the pinnacle of the efforts of the devil to make Jesus fail you see the whole point of Jesus coming and living a human life think about it for it he could have come kind of be me down Scotty if fully grown man and you know a few minutes before going to die on the cross and everything be OK. Why does he allow himself to be born of a human thirty one sinful flesh a woman and be a be a baby and be a little total of that so that he identifies one hundred percent with you and me. He is not trying to take any shortcuts in his humanity. He's living everything that any human being after the fall has to live but he lives it not in his divine strength and his innate divinity. He puts out a song. And he lives as you and I must live. And so he relies on the father for every thing. What is that telling you it shows number one job. How far he was willing to come down to pick us up from where we are and take us to be where he wants to have us with him and so everything that he did he said I of my own self can do nothing. I mean was he just you know reading the script to sound good. It was because it was true. Everything that he did friends was through the divine power that he received through prayer from the father. That's telling you and me that there is no limit to how much strength and power. Gordon is willing to make available for you and I but let's get back to those dark moments again discouragement depression. I just spoke about a good friend of mine as a little boy took his life. It's real blackness and hopelessness. Jesus felt it to a greater degree than any human being could possibly do it because you see now the devil was laying everything at him you know that the devil was able to suggest thought to Jesus saying look the religious leaders are all corrupt not one of them has has really supported you your disciples will leave you they hadn't left him yet because he's still in the garden of guess so many Judas hasn't yet arrived yet your disciples are all going to leave you is no worth it Jesus. It really isn't and you know it wasn't so much the toting of the devil that was really cursing him it was the sensation the perception that he had that his father had left him and that the seriousness of sin. Was no crushing the very life out of him and you know sometimes we see these pictures only of Jesus like this and about down his his his chest is hurting as any of you had any chest pains. You know that can happen just because of stress that can happen even when you're approaching a an exam that can happen to a preacher when he's nervous and he knows he has to preach in the morning. It happens to me often I get these pains in my chest. I'm human. Jesus was human as well. I brought his pain and his dog owners were squashing him to the point that he was sweating blood. That's a physical condition that is possible you ask a doctor when it's the the thin blood vessels will work right close to where the the sweat pours are and blood comes out. You need to read the chapter in this are for ages. In fact Would you bear with me and I just read a little bit from from this amazingly inspired. Writing here as Christ felt his unity with the father broken up this is page six eight six he feared that in his human nature. He would be only able to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness in the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conquering now the tempter had come for that last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ's ministry. So the devil is latching up all he can to really Jesus with all these got to make sure that he fails and sometimes we miss this. We miss the element of the possibility of Christ actually failing and we forget that he. Doing it and ensuring it all as a human being prays go. Emmanuel God with us go out in the flesh. But the world was made flesh and dwelt among us and we be be held his glory as of the only be gotten all of the Father. Everything was at stake now if Jesus failed here. Or if the devil failed his hope of mastery was lost the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ he himself would be overthrown cast out the devil is a supernatural being. He had all of his supernatural angels fallen angels enlisted on his side. Jesus is along this is the intensity of the great controversy right there. Everything is at stake your salvation that you and I take so much for granted. So often was in the balance there. We kind of after the fact and we you know just kind of relieved but brothers and sisters of Jesus didn't go through this we wouldn't be here today. If Christ could be overcome the Earth would become Satan's kingdom and the human race would be for ever in his power for ever with the issues of the conflict before him Christ's soul was filled with dread of the separation that he was feeling from the father Satan told him that if he became the surety for the sinful world. The separation would be a turn no. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom. He would never more be one with God If Jesus was going to go through this the devil. To convince him. That's it you're separated from your father forever. What was to be gained by the sacrifice the devil. Would told how hopeless a pit the guilt and ingratitude of men. You see that's that's even harder isn't it. Jesus was going to his disciples and looking for some sympathy. Would they understand what he's going through they were sleeping. Jesus told them watch and pray friends. How about us watch and pray. Jesus prayed Oh my father if it be possible not once but twice if you be possible take this cup from me but he adds nevertheless not as I will but as you will you know even when it hurts even where in the depths of despair. You can still pray we can still watch and pray so that we don't enter into temptation Jesus' temptation was there the greatest thing was to let go I let this this ungrateful race just died and to suffer the consequences of us out of their own sins he could have done that but I don't want rights that he comes to a point when he sees he sees as he sensing the malignant C.E.O. of sin how terrible it is but he sees you and me and he sees that without his sacrifice. We are totally lost. We are hopeless and then she writes and this is the beauty of prayer and. Power of Prayer and the persistence in prayer when we pray let me just quiz you a little bit here when we pray. Where do our prayers ascend to what location. Amen brother our prayers as you look at the Century service. You see the altar of incense and that altar of incense was in front of the the curtain behind which is the Ark of the covenant where the presence of God is and the incense would would go up and one stop over and the Bible says you read Revelation that this was the prayers of the saints. So when we pray we have access to the very through OWN of God. Now the thing about when you get to the throne of God is there is infinite power of a level at your disposal. Amen. Did you get that when we pray. Our prayers ascend up with let's say the translation of the Holy Spirit right up into the heavenly century right over the curtain and into the most holy pretty place into the presence of God where there is power. Now you see sometimes our Prez may be kind of going up and up and up on and we give up with so they don't quite reach the heavenly century and then you know we didn't get an answer but we need to keep on praying and so the press will go up and up. You see God needs us to remain sufficient time in an attitude of prayer. So that we can be changed by communion with him. Prayer is not. Oh give me this give me that and give me the Other Prayer is change me make me into who you want me to be so that I can serve you give me the power that I do not have AS A HUMAN BEING give me the power in also through prayer. So that I can go through this dark valley that I'm going through right now that the devil is using to try and make me give up like that little boy that thought there was nothing worth living for parents loved him. Can you imagine a mother reading a little note of a third boy I mean they even heard the news they didn't didn't know other than that there was police an ambulance or a house prayer can keep us from the depths of despair and so in White writes that as Jesus was praying that their names will came from the most holy place. The angel that was replacing Satan because you know the Cherubim the Bible says that the devil was one of those cherubim that was on the the throne of God and it was once one was one side and one was the other the Satan was the Lucifer the Light Bearer was the chosen angel the Cherubim right there the one that replaced him now came down in to the prayers of the Son of God and the courage to him gave him strength and now that the pain that was crushing is haunt the agony the agony was still there but now that the assurance that he was accepted before the father was followed in his his body his being with energy now to go forward when Jesus came to the disciples and saw his face. They couldn't recognize him. Have you ever had so much pain so much sorrow. So much loss that you don't even look like yourself anymore. And so Jesus against all odds he stayed there doing what he wants us to follow him in as an example follow his example never ever give up. Praying our prayers are sent to the most holy place that's where the power comes from the throne of God I men when the Holy Spirit was poured out where did it come from the most holy place that's where it comes from that's what prayer is all about prayer is us taking ourselves in in submission in humility right to the presence of God Hebrews Chapter four for sixteen. Let us come boldly before the throne of grace that we may find grace to help us in the time of need why boldly because nobody could go there except the high priest once a year but now because Jesus is there representing us in human form and he has got the high priest Lee ropes on him with the names of the tribes of Israel on his chest and on his shoulder the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor mighty God you have the last thing father. The Prince of Peace. He is with your name on his chest. So when we pray. Our prayers go boldly to the throne of grace because Jesus is our High Priest right now and you say my friends. The angel came from the most holy place to comfort. Jesus and all of the heavenly hosts were holding their breath because they knew that if Jesus didn't go through with this everything was at stake the fallen world well hushed there was no noise in heaven. Nobody was singing. Nobody was talking they were watching in silent grief. Have you ever been so grieved so sad you couldn't say a thing that's how they were looking at Jesus but the angel came and thank God The angel came and encourage Jesus. The angel come. And encourage you and I are friends. We're talking about trust today everything that has to do with who we are and religion and Christianity. It's about trust you see Jesus said Father. This is how I'm feeling this is crushing me I can't take any more I'm going to die here unless you do something father take this couple way. Can you please take it away this side was you know even praying. Lord help me. He's there in his humanity suffering and he is up held by an angel that comes to his aid and I believe that the angels of God will come and help each one of us if we would just watch and pray. It's about trusting God It's about knowing who God is he called Jesus called him father Daddy is calling him puppy. Do you trust God enough to pray to him even even though you're going through so much pain you can understand that God can take you if you just hold on if you just hang in there. Don't give up don't listen to the Devil's law eyes to the Devil's discouragement. You know sometimes the devil whisper things like what you keep coming to this church. There's hardly anybody coming to church anyway. I mean look at it it's such a small little group and what's the point what do you go to a bigger church watch and pray you need we need to watch and pray we can never stop watching and pray watch and pray lest you to enter into temptation. So that means if we're watching and praying. We will not enter into temptation temptation will come but temptation will go when we watch and pray how about it for in you know watching and praying takes some effort. Amen. G.'s. Jesus was going to pray all night you see. So in the past they had been praying and then they kind of fall asleep afterwards and then everything was OK Jesus would wake them up and say OK it's time to go into into our day's work now but this time was different Jesus was there all night and not one of them watched with him. What a precious experience they missed an opportunity to be praying with Jesus encouraging him to praise God God does not let one of his praying children be left alone even if there's nobody else humanly speaking around you. Jesus is always there. I mean I remember a time when my wife and I were in the depths of despair. I remember well I still have a recorded message on my cell phone that I'd never delete just to remind me of what we went through. I remember being kneeling on the floor and the saw Obs And the cries and of the pain. We could do no other it's it's amazing isn't it. It's amazing how how sincere our prayers get when when things get a bit drastic isn't it but you know this comfort. There was comfort for me and my wife even through the tears through the pain through the expectation of of severe loss similar to the one that I described to you that my friends experienced it seemed like it was going that way but there was something holy there was something. Sacred about us just crying out to the Lord as we were and trusting him relying on him somehow gave us strength. Somehow it gave us the ability to trust God just crying out to friends. We must watch and pray and you know it's when we're tired and when we're sleepy that we so often neglected and then we only really get down to prayer when a serious. But Jesus kept His habit of prayer all throughout his life. So we knew he had answers before he knew where to go to no friends. Will you. Will you watch and pray with me for for this church will you will you watch and pray for me for every one that suited seated here in the pews. Will you watch and pray though you feel sleepy though you feel tired. Whatever watch and pray because there is no limit to the power that God will give to those that will watch and pray. Will you watch and pray different all of heaven is ready to unleash divine power to be at your own my disposal. That's awesome. That's awesome. We shouldn't be thinking just about planting this church and growing this church we should be thinking of planting other churches out of this one once it gains power and strength through the Word of God and through prayer through prayer friends. Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation and we all can say today. Thank God for Jesus and that he went through it for us so that we can go through it as well in Jesus' name amen. Friends. You are such a hard act to follow that I want to even attempt. I don't need. It's a good thing I don't need to follow up with him he's such a hard act to follow but I would like to open up that joy factor that he's been talking about and it's Jesus is coming again. Amen. And if I might just encourage just pilgrims. Do you this coming again first two one three pages one moon. Please stand for the last calls on him. Do you see this is coming again two one three. And if I might show you just the first verse. It shows that joy factor that we're on tile to be pilgrims be joyful and thing. Amen. She says. You. She says. Oh yes. She was. Yes this. You know I'd like to give you an opportunity. Maybe maybe somebody here that has been tempted to go. If you want to ask for strength to carry on I'd like to invite you to just come forward. We want to pray with you you can maybe just continue the music. You know the temptation to give is sometimes overwhelmingly big to give up on your faith to give up on your studies. To give up on your family friends but I hope that you have seen Jesus in His humanity. He did not give up and the only thing that helped him and kept him from giving up was his prayers to the father and friends. If you want to say Lord help me never never ever to give up never to give up on the Adventist Church. I just want you to come forward because this is serious the devil is doing all he can to mix up our church change what we believe and confuse everybody. And it's going that we're having a White says that the the Lord allows arrow to come into the church to purify the church. So we need to watch and pray now more than ever before it's not just about our own lives. It's about the life of this church this church here are you willing to come forward and say Lord help me never to leave the church the remnant church how me never to entertain thoughts of saying well this maybe isn't your church again just come forward so that God can see you mean business and if anybody wants to recommit their lives to Jesus and say Lord here I am take me as I am I want to recommit my life to you if you want to do that just come forward. God is in this place. He is calling and you know friends when he calls. He also equips he will give you the power. You see friends the faith that we need and the trust that we need is not something that we can fabricate ourselves. It's something that is given to us as a gift that I am here today. Not because I'm. Not because I'm clever but by the grace of Jesus Christ is there anybody else that wants to say Lord I want to come forward because from now on I want to live only by your grace just you come forward to just come forward so that Jesus can be the one that will help you go forward. You see friends. God has amazing plans for your life. And so often we we we discount that because we look so much at our surroundings. And then the devil is trying to use that discouraging surroundings to make us kind of deviate. Prince Jesus's. Almighty God He is the everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace. The government is upon his shoulders he carries you upon his shoulders. You know that song he's got the whole world in his hand and there. He's carrying us but we must be willing to surrender. We must be willing to submit Jesus was tempted to say this is too much. I cannot take this but he held on to the point where he was strengthened by an angel from the most holy place friends this is the kind of relationship that God wants to have with you do you want to have a closer walk with Jesus just come forward just come forward. Do you want to really be sure that God is real and this isn't just or a phony thing you really want to know that God lives in your heart just just come forward and say Lord Jesus. I want you to live in my heart. Amen God bless you know. Coming forward see what what I'm I'm sharing with you is the power of God our faith shouldn't stand in the words of men but in the power of God Amen. The music has stopped but heaven is singing. Heaven is singing right now would you bow with me and join me in prayer that every one of us not one of us would be lost and that we would all be in the kingdom of heaven shall we pray that prayer. That's it's deferred or in heaven. Lord at the sacred hour we give you thanks. Because you have demonstrated your power in our lives each one of us has a story of sorrow was sadness or grief or difficulty pain or suffering a loss depression part of sometimes our brain just tricks us and we have these strange thoughts that are trying to discourage us trying to make us throw in the towel and just give up Lord Jesus Father Son and Holy Spirit. We thank you for your amazing plan of salvation and we thank you for Jesus and one day we will see Jesus face to face father. Many have come forward today because they're saying they don't we don't want ever to turn our backs on you or in your church. We want to be planting new churches. We want to see your spirit move. It's not anybody's. Intellectual ability or preaching skill or charisma. It's none of that it's not by might know by power humanly speaking but by my Spirit says The Lord of Hosts and he is the LORD of hosts and we thank you for them their father. So please bless everyone that is here we are praying Lotus and we are asking you that not one of us here would be lost and then because of that experience that you give us of joy and the assurance of salvation that we put out these crazy. So the devil tries to discourage us with that we would go forward with strength courage of victory power in durance. To bring those to the foot of the cross of Jesus Father. We want to go from this place knowing that we need Jesus more today than ever before we need more today to be born again of the Spirit than ever before we need to let sinful flesh die. More than ever before and for in fact father let us do that every day. Thank you for your message of love to us today and we praise you and look forward to the soon coming of Jesus ready made this place be filled and we rejoice to see you coming soon is our prayer in Jesus' precious name and don't forget this media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio or if you would like to listen to more sermon visit W.W.W. ORG.

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