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Sermon #1155

Prayer in the Spirit

A Sermon on John 4:13-14


John 4:13-14 ESV KJV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” …

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Sermon Description

What does it mean to worship God truly? This question has been answered by many different religious teachers. But according to Jesus, to worship God rightly is to worship in Spirit and truth. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the words of Christ from John 4:13–14 in this sermon titled “Prayer in the Spirit.” In this discussion with the woman at the well, Jesus explains that true worship is not about external things, such as where one worships, but rather about one’s heart and intentions. As Christians, God gives His Spirit to enable freedom from sin and think of Him rightly in worship. This true worship is not a matter of the mind only, nor is it simply emotions. But God’s Spirit works in the hearts of His people to allow them to pray to Him rightly and worship Him in truth. They are now free to come before the throne of God and praise and petition Him because of Jesus’s death and resurrection as the High Priest. In Jesus the Christian sees the futility of all worldly and fleshly worship, and that God desires the worship of those who love the truth.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is John 4:13-14 which speaks of the living water offered by Christ which springs up into everlasting life.
  2. True Christianity offers this living water which springs up into everlasting life. The question is whether we possess this, are enjoying this and if not, why not.
  3. The story of the Samaritan woman gives insight into the hindrances that stand between people and this living water. Currently, the sermon is dealing with the difficulty of worship.
  4. Jesus says true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The sermon is examining what it means to worship in spirit.
  5. Worshipping in spirit means worshipping in and by the Holy Spirit. This differentiates New Testament worship from Old Testament worship.
  6. The first characteristic of worshipping in spirit is the realization of God's presence. This is always present when worshipping in spirit.
  7. Another characteristic is a sense of privilege at being admitted into God's presence. This is seen throughout the Psalms.
  8. Worshipping in spirit is always a living act, not mechanical.
  9. Boldness and assurance is another characteristic. This comes from understanding what Christ has done and the privileges we have. Examples are Hebrews 4:14-16 and Hebrews 10:19-22.
  10. There is a difference between carnal confidence and spiritual confidence. Spiritual confidence comes from what God has done, not what we work up.
  11. Warmth is another characteristic of worshipping in spirit. This is something the Holy Spirit does, not something we work up ourselves. Examples are the fire from heaven in the Old Testament and tongues of fire at Pentecost.
  12. Freedom and liberty is another characteristic. There is a difference between struggling to pray and being carried along in prayer. Examples are prophets speaking as moved by the Holy Spirit in 2 Peter 1:21 and John Wesley's heart being "strangely warmed".
  13. Fervency is another characteristic, demonstrated by the "ohs" and longing in prayers and hymns. An example is Epaphras "laboring fervently" in prayer in Colossians 4:12.
  14. Gratitude, thanksgiving and love are other characteristics. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ who glorifies the Father so praise is inevitable. An example is Philippians 4:6. The test is whether we are more concerned with God's glory or our wellbeing.
  15. Persistence is another characteristic. Examples are the early church praying with one accord, Paul striving in prayer, and exhortations to pray without ceasing. When the Spirit leads our prayers, we persist in them.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.