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February 15, 2021 3:00 am
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry.
Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal email@example.com. We may feel is of God hears our prayer more in this thing you worry he hears them in the mall or other being sure walking on the street. The main thing is pray God hears our prayers. No matter where we Pastor Grigori says we need to pray without ceasing any physician any time any where you can even pray while you're driving.
Make sure you keep your eyes open Pastor Andrew Murray said we must begin to believe that God and the mysteries of prayer has entrusted us with the force that can move the heavenly powers down to earth today on a new beginning will get some insights on how to put that power to work. Pastor Greg Laurie hope to see how to model Jesus example ring is often possible to learn the value and stay connected all-powerful God like you want I will. Let's grab our Bible turn to two passages, you may be there already. Ephesians chapter 6 Luke chapter 11.
The title of my message is the importance of prayer and the life of the believer. This is a part of our series and were calling, whatever he growing Christian needs to know now if you don't want to be a growing Christian well I guess you don't need to know that's for the fact of the matter is, every believer should recognize that there is a long ways to go. I member when I was a young believer and I met Pastor Chuck Smith and I have Chuck calendar view been a Christian. I think at that point, I don't know how long you been exactly may have said 30 years like that.
I was just like us down to 30 years 30 years I've been a Christian for like four months I think what's it like to be a Christian duty.
You're almost like an apostle or something. Let me tell you what it's like to live in a Christian over 40 years and there's a lot of things that happen in your life.
A lot of changes that take place but you want to know little sacred. The longer you have known the Lord, the more you realize you need to keep growing spiritually. I know I have a long ways to go. Those of you that know me well or seen him in. You sure do.
Guessing you do as well.
We all do, and so if you want to be a growing Christian. There are certain principles that must be constantly in play in your life, because we look at some of the start what we might call the race of life. Some just take off with a burst of energy and the bow across the finish line with flying colors. Others may take off. Maybe they stumble, but they get up on their feet again and they finish and then some to get up in the takeoff of the burst of energy they collapse and they never get up again why why do some make it.
Why do some succeed, why do others fail answer comes down the choices.
Choices hundreds of choices.
Thousands of choices that we make every day every week every month every year we make our choices and that our choices make us then repeat that again we make our choices that our choices make us it comes down to discipline. I know that's where we don't like nowadays showed discipline you have to actually deny myself.
There are certain things you don't want in your life you forget to grow spiritually. There are other things you do want in your life. If you're going to grow spiritually. Show me a person was successful in anything and also your person that applied discipline heard about a concert violinist in New York's Carnegie Hall she was asked how she became so skilled I love her answer. She said it was a planned neglect planned neglect.
She said she planned neglect everything that was not related to her goal. So her case she wanted to be a great concert violinist, but in our case we want to be a strong and fruitful Christian right okay then there's planned neglect. As we read earlier there in second Timothy 222 run from anything that stimulates youthful lust run after anything that makes you want to do what is right pursue faith and love and peace and enjoy the companionship on those that call on the Lord with a pure heart, so follow those things that will build you up, run with those people that are running in the same direction and run away from those things that will pull you down. So let's review what we've learned and will pick up if you want to be a growing Christian number one you must read, study and love the word of God. If you want to be a growing Christian you must read, study and love the word of God, you will never reach a plateau in your life where you movie on your need to study the word of God over and Joshua 18 we read these words. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth. You shall meditate entity and I observe to do all that is written in it and then you will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success. So this is something we want to constantly keep in play now. This brings us principle number two of this is organ a focus on in our time together to be a growing Christian you must have a prayer life. You know in the room where I was preparing for the study I get a little audio feed of the sanctuary and a number of you were here in the church praying before the service, and I heard somebody praying for me by name and that's just really humbling to be prayed for and I listen to that prayer and I was so touched by that and I just thought God bless every one of these people who came to church early and they could be hanging out talking, but these people said to get into the sanctuary. Early phenomena pray that I'll tell you what if this churches was one of the main reasons for this because of people like you to pray like that.
So thank you for that and hope others will join their ranks but if you want to be a growing Christian you must have a prayer life that brings us to our first passage Ephesians 618. There are different kinds of prayer identified in the Bible. Ephesians 618 says we should pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful of this and with all perseverance and supplication for all the same.
Notice it says pray always with all prayer so the southern translation is all y'all out of the prayer all kinds of prayer all the time by all kinds of people y'all there's a lot of ways and there's a lot of places you can pray.
You can pray publicly.
You can pray privately. You can pray verbally.
You can pray silently, you can pray. Kneeling down, standing up, sitting, laying down. You can even pray while you're driving. Just make sure you keep your eyes open. By the way in the Bible we had people praying with her eyes closed and open it. You know that I think some judges think of you open your eyes or bird is a work my brain with my eyes closed.
The moment I opened the prayer stops just don't work anymore and I know you can pray with your eyes open, we read that Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed to see that when we close our eyes will.
It's a good way to sort of block things out as were concentrating on what were saying I was.
We've been doing with our grandchildren only have them pray before the meal and it's always hilarious to get kids to pray you know is are so honest. Who wants to pray. No one 10 goes upper or you know you can understand them half the time it but when they pray a beautiful prayer just touches your heart so the other day we were having a meal and wants to pray and so I decided I would pray it as it was praying I open my eyes and I looked in my grandmother Stella was eating her French fry with her eyes close. He said it's okay as long as your eyes are closed. Have you been praying with some people maybe earn a little circle your brain about Simon not for a while this by you open your eyes and you see somebody else of the rice opening to make eye contact and it's a really awkward moment like you're both cheating there like oh it's okay. It's okay pray with your eyes open.
The main thing is pray. You can bring any position at any time any where. Sometimes we may feel as though God hears our prayer more in the sanctuary. Then he hears them in the mall or at the beach are walking on the street what God is not anymore in a place where we gather for worship, then he is in any other place. God is omnipresent, which means present everywhere the same time there is no question when God's people gather together for worship and prayer. The Lord manifests his presence in the special way right through to sense his presence when you're worshiping with other believers of God says he inhabits the praises of his people.
That's why that it and Jesus said when two or more are gathered together in my name on there in the midst of them. So when we prayed together, what we pray as a body, there is power in that prayer but having said that God will hear you any place in the Bible we find people praying all kinds of places. Daniel prayed in the lion's den. David prayed in the field. Peter prayed the water and under the water member.
Jesus said, he came in then and then he was on the water.
He was on the door before and under, Joni. He prayed from the deli of the great fish or a whale God will hear your prayer wherever it is the main thing is, Paul says, his praying always, by the way the word all here speaks of the frequency of prayer, their frequency of prayer that major pray in the morning you pray in the afternoon you pray in the evening. The Bible says pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ. Pastor Greg Moore will have the second half of his message just a moment. It's a blessing we hear the people are listening to Pastor Greg's messages on the radio.
Pastor Greg I listen to a new beginning every morning on K PDQ radio in Portland, Oregon.
It's a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you for sending me your Christmas card last year with the pictures of your family. It's a good reminder to pray for you and your family. God bless you. Are you being impacted by the teaching hereunder new beginning. If so, why not drop Pastor Greg an email and let them know. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org doing today what you're thinking about. Again, that's great harvest.org get a good insights on the value of prayer today from Pastor Greg's message the importance of prayer in the life of the believer email@example.com Pastor Greg continues now well know the story of Daniel the prophet, and that he was elevated to a place of great influence in the kingdom there of Babylon and the king trusted his words. King Darius and can you let enemies political opponents. They wanted him out of this place of authority for the prom with Denny was.
While there were no skeletons in his closet. There were no scandals.
The guy just wasn't godly. They said well the only where women nail this guy is that we find something to do with him and just God. They knew Daniel had a habit of praying three times a day to go to his house did open up the windows to get down in his knees and face Jerusalem and he would pray.
Everyone knew that about Jim so of course you know the law was passed that no one could pray to any God except the king, and that law was signed and Daniel heard about it. We went to his house to close all of his windows. He went into a closet and he turned off the lights and he prayed silently is what we rate know we read the Daniel when it was out as he always did every day. He opened up his windows and he knelt down and he pray hears with significant. It says he prayed as he always it done. Listen, giving thanks to his God.
So what you would've done under the circumstances or what you are pray God help all laws been set. It's illegal to pray know he gave thanks to God because you see, Daniel understood that God was in control.
We call this the sovereignty of God.
The Bible tells us to give thanks and to the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever is the I don't give thanks because I feel good. I don't give thanks because things are always good. I give thanks to the Lord for he is good and makes all the difference in the world to good reminder that our sovereign, powerful, good God is always in control. So we give thanks to the Lord and that's exactly what he did as he offered his prayer. We need to always be praying the Bible tells a story of Nehemiah.
He was the cupbearer of the king. What does that mean that means that his job was to tease the kings good before the king ate.
So basically if someone give the king a burger and he took a bite and died.
The king would not eat the burger and then he would also look for a new cupbearer that was the job of the cupbearer, but it wasn't only that the cupbearer because the king would eat often had to be in close proximity to the king, so it was more than just a guy who tasted his food in time he would become the king's confidant. He would become the king's advisor. He would become the king's friend and Nehemiah, a Jew was in a position of great influence with the king and one day he was down a bit because he was thinking about the plight of his fellow Jews in Jerusalem and how the walls of the city lie in ruins and the king came in and said hey why is your face so long. Nehemiah what are you so sad which would say to me most of the time Nehemiah was a joyful guy. I have a friends name is Ricky.
He lives in Hawaii and he's always smiling. Maybe it's because he lives in Hawaii don't know the pastor there Ricky running one of the happiest guys I've ever met, always joyful, always smiling, always upbeat.
In fact I someone. Denny wasn't smiling any large-screen because he smiles not much. I was probably Nehemiah always smiling, always happy, always upbeat, but not this date why he is so sad and so Nehemiah told the king about the plight of his people. But I love what it says it says before he said anything to the king. Nehemiah 25 with a prayer to the God of heaven. He said if it pleases your Majesty and you're pleased with me. Your servants send me to Judah to rebuild the city or my ancestors are very sentence we have the luxury of time in prayer. Sometimes we just throw up a quick prayer to the God of heaven because you might be called to the principal's office, or you might be called to the bosses office or you might be called to the Oval Office. I don't care where it is but it's a situation that comes up in your think the Lord give me wisdom father give me the right words at the right moment.
Maybe it's an opportunity we are sharing the gospel in the resting you all these questions and those third talking you're just praying that I actually don't know the answer to any of these questions and I need help right now and I have seen the Lord answer those prayers. Haven't you so you pray all the time everywhere.
Okay, so let's answer question number one. Why should I pray why should I pray simple answer because Jesus told you to. You really don't need any more answer than that, but I'll give you a few more reasons but Jesus said in Luke 18 one.
Men ought always to pray and not give up.
And by the way, Christ himself was a model of prayer.
He was always praying in the garden of Gethsemane Aziz contemplating the horrors of the cross he's praying father rivets possible let this cup pass from me on the cross he's praying for his enemies saying father forgive them for they know not what they do. Before you raise Lazarus from the dead. We read in John chapter 11, he looked up to Kevin and prayed father, thank you that you care me and then he shouted Lazarus come forth before Jesus fed the 5000. We read. He looked up to heaven and ask God's blessing on the food. Mothers would bring their children to Jesus. Joey Woodley is hands on them and praying for them.
Now listen, Jesus felt the need to pray, how much more should pastor Greg Lord great insights on prayer today. It's a fundamental part of his series, what every growing Christian needs to know and pastor Greg has another thought from today study before the submission of a new beginning, concludes, and he'll have a word about a new book were making available called turn your season around now. Are you able to hear all the pastor Greg study today. If not, you can hear what you missed firstname.lastname@example.org look for the message called the importance of prayer in the life of the believer or get a CD copy by calling 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock again at 1-800-821-3300 pastor Greg everybody. I'm here in studio with my friend Darrell strawberry know most of you have heard of Darrell and he's obviously a great athlete, a well-known celebrity. What I love about Darrell is he takes a platform that God is given Kim to share the gospel and I've seen Darrell in action. So Darrell, thank you for just being who you are and thank you for writing this brand-new book, turn your season around, you know, one of the things you talk about in this book is you talk about how we have seasons in light. The Bible says to everything there is a season, and Ecclesiastes.
You see, there seasons of submarines heart ache and despair that can serve as God's batting cage for teaching you how to persevere and endure and wait for his healing and deliverance so you know little bit about batting cages tell us how that works and maybe there's someone listening right now who is in this season of suffering, or a season of difficulty or some other challenge. So tell us about what it's like to be in God's batting cage.
Well it is a really good place when you finally get to God's batting cage, there are different seasons of life that we all go through even you in the storm of storm on the way are you coming out of the store and then as part of life and his partner like just baseball you play baseball you go through a season and you have a high at the beginning, the first Mark.
Did you have a telehealth in the middle and then you pick it up at the end of the year and your friendship strongly depends on how your first and the reason for turn your season around was a lot of media used to write about me having first half of the season. The first two games I probably just had a subpar season your for so far, but they forgot that I have a second half of the season and that's just the way it is with God you know in your life you know is is having second half for your season where you can have the first tough six months and then you have another six months to go and Dr. turn things around. Within those next six months. If you don't give up if you don't bring this aside baseball you know and the reason why users books are much like baseball trying to season around nine image nine chapters. This is because you don't have to struggle you got house valleys you have some difficult road to get through with and those that end up excelling at the highest level they persevere they don't quit. Nicotine are going to continue to pursue and uses a new MS what it is the same God. You have to continue to pursue a forgot even though it's been a hard time even like this pandemic has been a hard time grasping what is what I just saturated myself again with God. He got closer to God in the middle pandemic to keep me keep me healthy. You got to stay home before God, and I think that's the best.
The real key for a lot of people to what what else did you do, I shall surrender myself everyday and what I do I get up and I worship God, and I think God is recycler base for what I do every day.
I have participated door.
Some new every day when I was in the struggle I had brought out to the batting cage.
I didn't hit on the ballfields and I would just talk to me I would hit the ball the other way coffee over and over and over my head and culture make me do it just that one place until I actually get a hit. Once I got a hit boom will take off. I'll be back in another group is the same way with your walk with God, that's so true. You know, the apostle Paul seemed to be a bit of a sports fan to Darrell because he uses sports analogies all the time talked about running arrays wrestling in their spiritual battle that were in and he said you know that we were running a race.
You need to put your eyes on Jesus, and cast out the excess weight and persevere through it so folks appear going through a storm right now then you need to get a copy of Darrell strawberry's new book, turn your season around how God transforms your life and would be happy to send this to you for your gift of any size. They help us continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel so you can get your copy of turn your season around from Darrell strawberry yet. We have a copy ready for you. It's brand-new and will send it to thank you for your investment in the work of evangelism. You know, through harvest ministries in the last year more than 150,000 people made professions of faith in Christ and if you invested in network that's fruit credited to your account. You help make that possible and with your investment right now we want to say thanks with Darrell's new book, turn your season around, so writers had a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ. Join us this weekend Harvest at Home. Best dawdle next time more valuable inside on the importance of prayer in the life of the healthy believer. Be sure to tune in.
But before we go. Pastor Greg has one final illustration from today's message know what to say to make a point that prayer was the most painful thing you could do. Let's just say that every time you prayed. It was like getting a root canal. How many of you like to go to the dentist you enjoy going to. I didn't think so.
There's always pain.
I don't care what they say there's pain whenever there are sharp objects going into your mouth, there's going to be pain and you know what they do for me is the to clean my teeth okay so they're cleaning it. But first, they start poking around the capital pick thing get out, poking, poking, looking for trouble. I just don't find anything. Don't find anything.
And then the girls think oh Dr. I see something and then the doctor comes in and he looks don't say it.
Well let me need a don't say don't say root canal is in the true he you know that sound you know that smell, you know it. I hated let's say everything you prayed. It felt like a root canal.
That's miserable, but because of the results it would come from prayer you figured it was worth it.
It probably still pray when you yet is Burlington's prayer hard. No, this prayer painful. No, why do we not do it and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and harvest.org