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Foundations for Effective Prayer (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2021 7:00 am

Foundations for Effective Prayer (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 19, 2021 7:00 am

The practical ways Jesus taught His followers to communicate with God; worshiping and honoring God as we pray; based on Matthew 6:5-9. (Included in the 5-part series "Foundations for Effective Prayer".)

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Here's the way Jesus put it in Matthew 7. Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.

What's the inference? If you don't ask, don't expect to receive. If you don't seek, don't expect to find it. If you don't knock, nobody don't open the door. You haven't shown that you are proactive in seeking. Is there something you need from God today?

If you're not asking, seeking and knocking, you may not want it bad enough. Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Wherever you are and however you may be listening, on radio, online at, or through podcasting platforms like iHeartRadio, it's always great to have you with us. Well, many believers in Christ have never developed an effective prayer life.

If you're among them, you've come to the right place. In just a few moments, Pastor Paul shares some of the keys to becoming a better asker, a better seeker, and a better knocker. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Foundations for Effective Prayer. You want to pray realistically. Pray in a way that is close to your own heart that makes sense for who you are.

Don't try to impress the other people around you. And I want to encourage some of you, some of you all get intimidated by folks who pray, you know, in public settings, and you say, Pastor, I will never be that person because I, you know, I'm self-conscious. I don't pray like some of the people. And I feel like saying, that's why I want to hear you.

I don't want to hear them. Theirs sounds nice and polite and rehearsed. And it's not always rehearsed. Sometimes they're just used to praying in a certain way. I want to hear from folk who just pray just like they are where they are in their life. That's your spiritual journey. I'll never forget when I was a deacon, when I was a young deacon in the church, before I was preaching, I was a deacon in my dad's church. And one of my jobs was to help disciple young converts. And we had a brother in our church, and he got saved out straight out of the gang life, the thug life in Philly.

I mean, he came, he was straight street, but got saved powerfully and came to our church. And I'm a young deacon. I got to help disciple him. And in those days I started speaking at certain churches, although I wasn't anxious to be considered a preacher, but I would have to speak sometime. And so, because I was discipling him, I would take him on some of my engagements if it was in driving distance to Philly.

I'll never forget one time I was preaching somewhere in Jersey and it was just an hour, hour and 10 minutes, whatever drive from our church. And I had to speak. And I remember taking meals with me and, you know, cause I'm discipling him. He's just learning about God.

He was full of questions, always wanting to know. So we talking and driving. And when I got there, it was a youth service. And so I'm preaching to the young people.

And then I've just had an inspiration on the moment. And I said, you know what? I brought with me a young man. He's learning to walk with the Lord, but God saved him out of the street life in Philly. I'm going to let him share just a few minutes of his testimony. And then I'm going to let him lead in this altar. And we're going to call young people and we're going to pray for you. And he got up and he gave some of his testimony and how he had been shot and then this and that, and God saved him and God delivered him and all that. And so he gives this really good, powerful testimony. I said, okay, go on and just lead them, tell the young folk, we won't pray for them. So go on and start an altar call. And he got up there. He said, all right, all you suckers need to get saved. Come on down here.

I loved it. That's a good altar call. All you suckers need to get saved. He didn't know any better. Now, some of the church people were sitting there fanning hard. But it's the world he came out of.

And it's true. All you suckers need to get saved. You see what I'm saying? You got to learn to pray that way. Talk to God from your heart. Talk to God the way you really feel it. Pray realistic prayers.

You know why? Because when you need a breakthrough, when you need God to move, you don't have time for fancy language. You get into some urgent place. You need God to show up and show up quickly. You need God to help you keep your head right in a situation where you know your flesh wants to go left. Come on. Oh, don't y'all sit here and act like you don't know what it is to be in a situation in the middle of a day on your job dealing with some hard head people, whatever it is, and you feel your flesh getting ready to take you left.

Oh, come on, y'all see. You got to learn to pray. Father, I need you to help me right now.

Well, that's where you are. Pray it. Come on, Lord. You're going to send me some grace. And I feel it at the moment. I'm about to go in this meeting.

And you know how they acted the last time. And Jesus, I'm not for that today. So you're going to have to renew my strength. You had to send some help from another world right now.

You got about 13 seconds. You understand what I'm saying? God can handle you being real. So learn to converse with Him, not only exclusively, but converse with Him realistically. Don't worry about trying to sound a certain way. And so practice praying with others and for others in your own way, because there isn't a right way to sound when you pray and a wrong way to sound. It's whatever's from your heart. Let the Lord hear it.

And don't be intimidated by folk that have been praying in churches and all that, and they sound real smooth and all that. Oh, I can never sound like that. Listen, your heart is what we're listening for.

We're not listening for your words. We're listening for your heart. I want to know that you're connecting with God. If you're in a prayer circle with me, I want you to pray it your way. Don't pray it my way. I just need to know that your heart is connecting with your Savior in prayer.

And He who hears in secret is going to reward you openly. And you don't have to worry about it, because as Jesus said here, the Father already knows. Now, some of you need to understand, but then why should we pray? If the Bible just said the Father already knows, then what's the point of praying?

Why? Because God wants you to pour out your heart to Him. See, out of your heart proceeds the issues of life. Not everybody with a need has a heart to reach out to God to have that need met.

And so here's the way Jesus put it in Matthew 7. Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.

What's the inference? If you don't ask, don't expect to receive. If you don't seek, don't expect to find it. If you don't knock, nobody's going to open the door.

You haven't shown that you are proactive in seeking. Hebrews 11, 6. I'm going to give you so much word you can't fight it. God is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. So you want to learn to pray because you are a diligent seeker. I need a manifestation. I need heaven to touch my earthly situation. Come on, God, and touch this right now. I'm sick. I'm doing everything the doctors are telling me to do, but they're not helping me get better, Lord. Their knowledge is limited.

Your knowledge is infinite. God, touch me. Heal me.

Deliver me. You got to pray specific prayers and pray it with diligence so that the Lord can answer prayer. So converse with Him, not only exclusively, but converse with Him realistically. Now, when Jesus got through with that, look at Matthew 6, verse 9, because this is where He begins to give us a prayer agenda, I call it, a prayer agenda He gives us. Now, this is in response to His disciples asking Him, teach us to pray. It is such a shame that we even have a name for it, the Lord's Prayer. That's unfortunate.

Why? Because it's not the Lord's Prayer. It's the prayer Jesus gave in response to the disciples saying, teach us to pray. So it's not the Lord's Prayer. Technically, it's the prayer He taught His disciples. But more importantly, look at verse 9 carefully. In this manner, therefore, pray. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Stop right there before we get into it further. In this manner, therefore, pray. Notice what Jesus did not say. He didn't say, pray using these words, right? He didn't say, say these words. He said, in this manner, therefore, pray. It means in this way, pray, or pray like this. Not pray using these words.

So I want to free you up. It's okay if you learn to recite the Lord's Prayer. It's a great prayer.

I recite it from time to time. As a pastor, when I'm doing a graveside burial, when I'm there and we're having that final pronouncement over the remains before the body is lowered into the grave, I very often, after giving some good words, then I will say, okay, let us pray before we commit his or her remains to the earth and look forward to the day when they will be resurrected in the presence of God. And so I'll lead a general prayer that I'm praying for my heart. And then often for the benefit of everybody there, some of whom only know things like the Lord's Prayer, I'll say, and I ask this in the name of him who taught us to pray. And then I'll start in on the Lord's Prayer because people will join in.

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. And that allows them to connect with the prayer. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to take a moment to thank those of you that support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the good news of salvation in Christ with a growing audience.

Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry. And as we continue to walk through some challenges together, your support is critical because now more than ever, people are looking for answers that only God can give. Give online safely and securely from our website,, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, the number is 855-339-5500. And when you give, we have a gift of our own to share with you. I'll tell you all about it after today's message. But right now, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of this message, Foundations for Effective Prayer. So there's nothing wrong with the Lord's Prayer. Don't say, Pastor Paul doesn't believe in saying the Lord's Prayer.

That's not true. It's fine to say it. Just don't think the words are what have the power. What he gives us is an agenda in this manner, pray.

Everybody understand that? He's saying pray in this manner, pray like this, pray this way. And what's the first part of it? The first part of the prayer agenda he gives us when he says, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. The first part of the prayer agenda Jesus gave us is praise. Praise is a specific agenda item. Number one, praise. That includes both worship and thanksgiving. So Jesus taught us, learn how to enter into God's presence, praising him and giving him thanks.

In other words, as a general rule, and that's all it is, is a general rule, don't come in begging. Come in to his presence first, recognizing who you're talking to, who he is and what he's already done. So as a general rule, get used to saying, Lord, thank you that I had this chance to come into your presence. I want to worship you and worship your name. Great is the Lord, greatly to be prayed. And I want to begin then to rehearse in my mind, in my spirit, how great God is and who he is and what he has done. Now again, this is a general rule, because if you are in an emergency, I'm not saying, oh, well, you can't pray until you praise. Sometime you're in an emergency and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is what you need. Father, help me. Father, deliver me.

Oh God, help us right now. You see what I'm saying? Nothing wrong with that, but as a normal practice, start out praising him.

Everybody get that? I want to start out worshiping him. Even David said in the Psalms, he said, enter into his gates with thanksgiving, into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him and bless his name.

Why? Because the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting and his truth endures to all generations. So I want to start out, if I can, I want to start out worshiping him, praising him, thanking him.

Listen, a good idea for you to do when you open your eyes, first person you talk to is the Lord. And the first thing you say to him is, Lord, praise you. I worship you. I thank you. I bless your name. Thank you for this day.

It's a day you have made. As I get ready to enter into it, I already want to give you thanks and praise. You haven't even gotten out of bed, but already you ought to start that praise wheel turning. Start that worship going. You're still laying there.

Start talking to him right now. Lord, I bless you. Thank you. In the shower, Lord, I praise you. I worship you. I've learned to do that.

I'm never showering in silence. I'm always in there worshiping. Oh God, I thank you. I bless you. Bless your name, Lord. Hallelujah.

Why? Because I'm starting the practice of praise and I'm bathing myself in recognition of who he is, how great he is. I'm going to come with some requests, but first I want to just thank you for who you are. I want to praise you for who you are. I want to thank you for what you've already done. So understand that's a general rule.

Don't make it a hard, fast thing that you can never deviate from because you hit the right crisis. First thing you're going to cry out with is what you need in that moment. And you're okay. God's not in heaven mad. Look at you. Haven't even praised me at all. There you come. Every time I see you, give, give, give, give.

Give me, give me, give me, give. That's not God. If you hear that, that's another voice.

That's somebody in your family. That's not God. God's not like that. He's not up there counting how much you asked versus how much you praised. He knows we're frail.

He knows us. Sometimes it's an emergency. Your kids are outside playing in the summer and one of them fell off the bike and scraped himself up real bad.

They run in the house and say, mom, you don't sit there. Here you come. It's time I turn around. You didn't come in thanking me for the breakfast I gave you.

You wouldn't think that way. So why would you expect God to think that way? Come to him just as you are, but teach yourself as a normal practice. I come into his presence, worshiping him. I come into his presence, thanking him. I come into his presence, reminding myself of who he is. I come into his presence, reminding myself of who he is.

Well, who is he? He said, hallowed be your name. Name represents who God is. Name in the Bible is never just a mere tag.

We're the ones in modern society that just give people a tag. Some of y'all don't know what you named your kid. You just threw some syllables together.

You, oh, come on, you know these people. Just threw some stuff together. Some of y'all were playing Scrabble. And you tossed out some, some of the tiles, and then you start spreading them around saying, oh, that'd be an interesting name. Some of these people, when I go to dedicate their children, I just, you tell us who this is. I'm looking at the certificate, but I'm not quite sure how you pronounce that.

Now, do your thing. That's modern. You know, we're not into the significance of names in our society. But in the Bible, the names were indicative of who it was. Remember, Jacob, when he finally had his breakthrough with God, he had been tricky all his life. His name told us who he was. Jacob means trickster, deceiver, con artist.

Get over on you in a second. All that is what Jacob means. And when he had his breakthrough with God, God said, you're no longer Jacob. I'm giving you a new name, Israel.

Why? Because Israel means prince with God. I came to tell you, it matters to God if you know who he is.

Who is he? In the Hebrew Scriptures, you find identifications. You find him, for instance, being referred to as Jehovah Jarrah. That's the God who provides. Jehovah Rapha, that's the God who heals. Jehovah Nissi, that's the God, our banner of victory. Jehovah Rohi, that is the Lord our shepherd. Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our peace. Jehovah Sitkanu, the Lord our righteousness. Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is present.

All of the other names, I don't have the time to work through them. But see, some of y'all say, but see, pastor, you learned Hebrew and all that, and you can break all that down. No, no, I'm trying to help you learn how to pray.

So let me tell you something. If you don't know Rohi, if you don't know all of this, Jarrah, I can't remember which one was it. Jehovah Nissi, I don't even know no Nissi.

I got a cousin named Nissi. I don't know what it is. I don't want you getting confused with Hebrew titles.

Let me give you something that I promise will help you. If you don't know the Hebrew, all you got to know is one thing, Jesus. Because if you know Jesus, you got Jehovah who provides in Jesus.

In him, the Bible says, is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When you got Jesus, you got Jarrah. When you got Jesus, you got Nissi.

When you got Jesus, you got Sitkanu. You got everything God is. When you say Jesus, thank you that you're my provider. When you say Jesus, you can thank him that he's your healer. When you say Jesus, you can thank him that he's your shepherd. He'll guide you through your valley of the shadow of death. When you say Jesus, he is present with you. Lord thou art with me everywhere I go. And so don't worry about you don't have the Hebrew names memorized. Just memorize Jesus.

Everywhere you go, you take Jesus with you. And he promises that he will hear you when you call upon his name. And so the first part of the prayer agenda is praise, worship, thanksgiving before you go to asking.

Tell him, Lord, I'm grateful for who you are. And I'm thankful for what you've already done. In fact, the reason why I know I got some blessings coming is because of who you are.

You are a God who is the alpha and the Omega. And there's some stuff in my life that isn't finished yet. So I know you still got some blessings for me. You'll know when God's through with you because he'll take you out of here. If I'm still here, that means he's still got some blessings for me. Because he's gonna bless me so that I can complete the assignment he's given me in the earth. And I'm going to give him glory every step of the way.

Thanks so much for joining us for this Tuesday edition of destined for victory. Today's message foundations for effective prayer is part of Pastor Paul shepherds five message series when you pray. Look for it online at Again, that's Pastor Paul series when you pray. Click the store tab at the top of the homepage. Speaking of prayer, the destined for victory ministry team is always glad to pray for you and your family. So from our homepage at, use the contact feature to tell us how we can pray for you. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation.

And here's something else. When you give a generous gift this month, we have a gift of our own to share with you. Pastor Paul's booklet, it pays to serve Jesus. In Mark chapter 10, Jesus tells us that all those who follow him will receive 100 times more than they give up. Yes, there will be tough times and sacrifices along the way.

You may have to give up a few things, some old habits, maybe even a relationship or two, but as you'll discover in this outstanding resource from Pastor Paul, following Jesus is always worth it in this life as well as the one to come. That's Pastor Paul's booklet, It Pays to Serve Jesus. It's our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory this month. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website, Start out with praise when you pray.

Yes, there are those emergency times where you start right in on your petition because you're in an emergency. God's not mad at you. You didn't even praise me first. He's just saying, generally speaking, when you come into the presence of God, come in being thankful and grateful for who He is and what He has done. So praise is the first part of the prayer agenda. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Praying Effectively for Other People. Until then remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-02 10:48:14 / 2024-01-02 10:57:53 / 10

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