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The Refreshing Power of Prayer: Refreshing Reassurance

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 11, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Prayer: Refreshing Reassurance

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 11, 2021 3:00 am

When we think about sitting down, we might think that’s pretty relaxing. But if you’re sitting in traffic, not so much. If you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, you might be fearing bad news. Many are fearful of sitting on an airplane. But is God feeling fear or tension as He sits on His throne? No. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us tap into God’s state of mind through the power of prayer. He invites us to taste of the refreshing reassurance of a heavenly point of view.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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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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Hey everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie offers help. In the Christian life, sometimes we need a refresh because we find ourselves tired and exhausted. But here's what Jesus says, come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will refresh you. Could you use some spiritual refreshment right now? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, again you hear all the angels are singing. This is the day, the day where life begins.

No. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us tap into God's state of mind through the power of prayer. He invites us to taste of the refreshing reassurance of a heavenly point of view.

This is the day, the day where life begins. Have you ever been out running in the hot sun and you're just sweating like crazy? I have to admit, it's been a long time since I've been out running in the hot sun. In fact, it's been a long time since I've been out running, period. The closest I get to running now is jogging my memory. But there are times when I have run and I sweat a lot.

I know that when I'm playing racquetball, I'll run all over a court to chase a little ball. But just think about the last time you were exhausted, you were covered in perspiration, and maybe you dove into the ocean or into a lake or into a swimming pool. You went from hot and bothered to revived and refreshed.

And the same is true when you're really dehydrated and you take a long drink of very cool water. It just refreshes you. I love the word refresh.

It's such a perfect word to speak of starting again or returning to something. In fact, they even use that word for your computer. Sometimes I'm working on a computer and I've left it and I come back and things are sort of frozen or certain programs aren't working properly. So we're told to refresh our computer screen.

Sometimes that means you need to completely reboot. Well, listen, in the Christian life, sometimes we need a reboot. Sometimes we need a refresh because we find ourselves hot and bothered.

We find ourselves tired and exhausted. But here's what Jesus says, Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will refresh you. On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the people, times of refreshment come from the presence of the Lord. Could you use some spiritual refreshment right now? The place to find that is from God himself. Now, the Bible is very specific about where we as Christians can find spiritual refreshment.

Here's a point if you're taking notes. Number one, you will find spiritual refreshment when you read and study the Bible. Psalm 19 says the word of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. Now, I know it's not always an emotional experience when you open up the Bible and read it.

But this is not about emotions. This is about replenishment. This is about restoration. This is about getting perspective on life and getting direction from the Lord. So as you open the word of God, it's going to refresh your soul. And have you ever had a verse just jump off the page to you? Maybe it's a verse you've read before but suddenly it has new meaning applied toward your particular situation.

Yes, that's what it is. You're finding refreshment from the word of God. Number two, listen to this one. You will be spiritually refreshed when you think of others more than yourself. You'll be spiritually refreshed when you think of others more than yourself.

Now, I know this is counterintuitive. In the selfie culture we're living in today where we're all trying to get more followers on social media and we're very aware of our image. Maybe we think of ourselves as an influencer.

And sadly we've heard stories of people who have literally died trying to get the ultimate selfie shot when they've been on the edge of a cliff or some other dangerous situation. But actually the truth is when you stop thinking about yourself so much and think about others it will refresh you spiritually. The Bible actually tells us that he who refreshes others will be refreshed himself.

So as you're giving to others you'll find that you yourself are replenished. So do you want to be spiritually refreshed? Spend time in God's presence. Study the word of God.

Put the needs of others above your own needs and you'll find it will happen. You know there's a great verse in Proverbs 25, 13. It says, reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat. They're refreshing.

Would you let me be that friend too right now and offer you some perspective from God's word on how to be refreshed in your spiritual life? The word refresh means to give new strength or to give energy to. It means to reinvigorate. And sometimes what we need to do is refresh our memories because if you're like me you forget things. I mean I forget things all the time.

Sometimes I forget where I parked my car at a mall. Sometimes I forget other things and I need my memory refreshed. And even as a Christian there are things that I know.

I've been a believer now for 50 years. I've read so many passages of the Bible but there are times I forget a passage or I forget a spiritual truth or I forget a lesson that the Lord has taught me. So I find I need to have my memory refreshed.

Here's the problem. We often remember what we ought to forget and we forget what we ought to remember. There are things I want to remember and I'll forget them. And there are things I don't want to remember that I can't get out of my brain.

I think it's true for some of you too. Certain jingles that we've heard on the radio or television commercial songs that are still with us or theme songs to television shows. I mean why is it that I know all of the lyrics to the Flintstones TV show. I never consciously sat down and said I'm going to learn these words but I know them.

I never wanted to memorize that. But there's passages I'll forget from Scripture but I remember the lyrics to that song or weird songs I've heard on the radio. So I need to jog my memory. I need to refresh my memory.

In fact Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1.13, I think it's right to refresh your memory as long as you live. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We hear from listeners all over. Some who listen to A New Beginning, Pastor Greg's podcasts, and even to the recent SoCal Harvest. My message is to Pastor Greg Laurie and amazing SoCal Harvest. I watched on my cell phone and I was crying and wanted to let him know that my son died in a car accident too like his son and you never get over it.

But I have a grandson named Jonathan. His same name is his son and it's amazing that he has to go through the same thing but yet his son is a pastor now but my grandson is a prodigal so could you please hold him up in prayer. I'll never forget watching that. It was beautiful. I watched the whole thing and it came in so clear and I want to let you know how much I appreciate you Pastor Greg Laurie. Thank you so much.

God bless you. Be assured that when you request prayer we'll make sure to pray for your need. If you have a story of how one of Pastor Greg's outreaches has touched your life, would you call and share it with us? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well as a part of Pastor Greg's new series called Refresh, he offers some solid refreshing counsel on the power of prayer. Let's continue. Here before us now in Matthew 20 is two scenarios of prayer. And in this text we're going to find how to and how not to pray.

How to and how not to pray. In both of the stories Jesus asks the people before him, what is it that you want? First we're going to look at a mother who had two sons. She loved them as mothers loved sons and daughters. And she was very ambitious for them. And she asked Jesus to give something to them that was completely inappropriate.

She stands as an example of how not to pray. In contrast we have another story of two men who were unable to see. They were blind. And they called upon Jesus. And the way they prayed give us an example of how to pray.

So let's start with how not to pray. Matthew 20 verse 17. Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. He took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, Behold we're going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes and they'll condemn him to death.

And they'll deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and discourage and to crucify and on the third day he'll rise again. Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to him with her sons kneeling down and asking something from him. By the way this mother's name is Salome.

And the sons here are James and John. And Jesus says to her, What do you wish? She said, Grant that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other on your left in your kingdom. Jesus answered, You don't know what you're asking for. Are you able to drink of the cup that I'm going to drink of and be baptized with the baptism I will be baptized with? And they said, We are able. Jesus said, You will indeed drink my cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with. But to sit on my right and on my left hand is not mine to give but it is for those that have been prepared by my Father.

Try to understand what is going on. Jesus is giving a detailed view of what is about to happen. He knew the future.

He knew the thoughts of every person that He spoke to. And now He is saying, This is what is going to happen to me. I am going to be betrayed. I am going to be handed over to the Gentiles. I am going to be scourged.

I am going to be beaten. I am going to be crucified and I am going to rise again from the dead. As He is sharing this with the disciples they are just not getting it. Because you see their view was that when Messiah came and Jesus was Messiah that He would establish an earthly kingdom then and there. They were mistaken in their understanding of the role of Messiah. Because Scripture clearly teaches first Messiah would come and suffer and die for the sins of the world. Then He would return again and establish His kingdom. They missed the first part and only understood the latter part.

So they thought He would drive out the Romans and they would rule and reign with Him in positions of great power. Hence the request from Siloam. And Jesus is saying to them, Do you know what you are even asking for? Are you able to drink of the cup that I am about to drink of? They said, We are able.

Their response should have been, Wait. What is in the cup? We want to know about the cup before we say we will. Years ago I was in the Philippines speaking and there is a delicacy over there called the balut. It is actually a duck egg. And inside of this egg is a partially formed duck, some feathers, a little beak, and some fluid. And I was over at the home of a missionary and there were a lot of people there and they said, In front of everybody, Greg we want to give you this balut to eat. And I said, Well what is that?

And they said, Let us demonstrate. And someone took the egg and they broke it open. And I saw the duck's head and I saw the feathers and they are drinking the fluid and then they eat the egg. And they said, Greg now you need to eat the egg. I said, I don't think I can do that. And then someone whispered in my ear, If you don't eat the egg you will offend the people. I whispered back, If I eat the egg I will throw up. I can't do it.

I just can't go there. I mean there are some things that you just don't want to eat. Some things you don't want to drink. What was the cup? Jesus was going to drink the cup of the wrath of God Almighty as the sins of the world would be placed upon Him. And He recoiled from this. You remember in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed to the Father, Father if it is possible let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless not My will but Yours be done. So He says to James and John, You want a drink of the cup? Yeah yeah. We are good with the cup.

Give us the cup. He is thinking, You don't even know what you are asking for. What did Salome the mother and James and John want? She wanted her sons to be on the right and left hand of Jesus. Salome by the way happened to be standing at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified. Who was on the right and left hand of Jesus?

Two criminals who were also crucified. I am sure at that moment Salome said, Lord thank You for not answering my prayer. So listen if God has said no to your request recently don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.

It actually could be a very good thing because God sees the big picture. That is how not to pray. Now let's talk about how to pray.

Here is a couple of guys who prayed in the right way. Go back to Matthew 20. Look at verse 29. As they went out of Jericho a great multitude followed Him and behold two blind men sitting by the road when they heard that Jesus was passing by cried out saying, Have mercy on us O Lord son of David. Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet and they cried out all the more saying, Have mercy on us O Lord son of David. Jesus stood still and called them and said, What do you want me to do for you? They said, Lord that our eyes may be opened. Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes.

And immediately their eyes received sight and they followed Him. So here is Jesus still on His way to the cross. On His way to suffer.

And two guys are on the roadside. Here Christ is passing by. They call out to Him. Someone says, Shhh. Don't bother Him. He is busy. He has things on His mind. And they call out even louder.

Actually the word translated from the Greek would be they screamed. And Jesus stopped and He heard them and He answered their prayer. Isn't it amazing to think that God cares about us? I mean He cares about the things that concern us. God is never too busy or preoccupied to take time for you.

Listen if it concerns you it concerns Him. So here were two men with a very real need and Jesus responded to the need. So what do we learn about prayer from this story? Number one in times of crisis they prayed and so should we. In their time of crisis they prayed and so should we. Listen this is what prayer is for.

To put us in touch with God. Psalm 50 verse 15 says the Lord speaking, Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I shall rescue you and you will honor Me. Are you in trouble right now? Am I talking to somebody facing a crisis? You don't see any way you can resolve it. Maybe it is a family crisis. Maybe your marriage is coming apart. Maybe you have a prodigal child. Maybe it is a health crisis. You have gotten bad news from the doctor and you are scared.

Maybe it is some other kind of a crisis. Call on the Lord. The Bible says you have not because you ask not. Pray about that thing that is troubling you. I love what Ephesians 6 18 says. Paul writes, Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

I love how Paul used that word all so many times. With all prayer and all perseverance for all the saints. The Texas translation would be all y'all ought to be praying all the time.

All the time y'all. All the time praying about everything. This is what we need to be doing. They prayed with passion and persistence as well. Again as I said they didn't just say have mercy on us. They screamed the word out and that is how we need to pray as well. Just keep praying about the thing that is troubling you. Let me come back to some things we all ought to be praying for. When you are praying for the salvation of a loved one you are praying according to the will of God.

Because the Bible says God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Keep praying for that person you care about. When you are praying for the restoration of a family you are praying for the will of God. God has established the family. A man and a woman coming together in marriage. Committed to one another for a lifetime.

He will bless this bond. This is why Satan is always attacking it and always trying to redefine it and to break it apart. But the family is so important for the health of a nation. You know it has been said that a family can survive without a nation. But a nation cannot survive without the family. Pray for the family but pray for your family.

Make sure your family is strong. And speaking of the nation when we pray for a spiritual awakening in our country we are praying according to the will of God. Pray for a spiritual awakening in your nation. These men called out to Jesus. Now it is interesting because another gospel identifies one in particular and his name was Bartimaeus. So there were two men praying but one was more noticeable than the other. And it was Bartimaeus crying out and his prayer was heard by Jesus.

I love what we read here. Verse 32. Jesus stood still and he called them and said, What do you want me to do for you? They said, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. Jeremiah 29 13 God says, If you seek me, you will find me. If you seek me with all of your heart. You bring your need to Jesus.

You watch how he will meet your need. Great encouragement today from Pastor Greg Laurie. Our study today here on A New Beginning is called The Refreshing Power of Prayer. And there's more to come in this message.

We'll hear that next time. But to hear this insight again or even review what Pastor Greg brought us last time, go online to Harvest.org. Once again the message is titled The Refreshing Power of Prayer. Well, Pastor Greg, we're making available a brand new book called The Jesus Music. And it explores the humble beginnings of what we now call contemporary Christian music. I had a number of friends who were early Jesus music artists, and they would load their gear into an old, beat-up van and drive all day through the desert to get to the church that was hosting them. They'd play all the songs they knew, and the church would take up an offering, which they gifted to the band for their efforts, but sometimes it didn't even cover the cost of gas. And then they'd drive that old van all night long back through the desert to get back home. And then several days later they'd do it all again. It was very humble, but these guys and gals all had willing hearts, didn't they? Yeah, and they were really innovators, I think, in many ways, doing something that had not been done up to that point, and that is taking the message of the Gospel and putting it in contemporary Christian music.

Now, by the way, this has been done historically. Martin Luther took a lot of the old songs they would sing in the bars and put Christian lyrics to them. But this group of young men and women were forming these bands and performing as artists in a language that my generation understood. You know, music is a way to communicate. Music touches the emotions.

It touches the heart. And that's why I've always worked with music over the years, because it opens people up to the message that I have to teach them or to preach to them. And I've known a lot of these artists personally. The early artists that were just starting out, the Guys in Love song.

I was friends with Andre Crouch and other artists of the first phase of the Jesus music, but I'm friends with the artists today that you'll hear in the Christian radio stations. These are great people that love God, and they're artists. And so they're trying to take their art and use it in a way that glorifies God.

But isn't that the best use of art? So this is a book that tells you how it started and how it became what it is today. It's called The Jesus Music, and it's a beautifully done book. It's hardcover, thick glossy pages with lots of photographs and stories about these individuals that were really trailblazers, and brought us this music we've come to love and music that is so much a part of our life today. So listen, I want to send you a copy of this brand new book titled The Jesus Music written by my friend Marshall Terrell, and I've written three books with. And I want to give it to you for your gift of any size. So whatever you can send to us here at A New Beginning, we'll use that money to reach more people with the gospel and with the teaching of the word of God, and we'll send you your copy of The Jesus Music. I hope some of you will be generous, because this enables us to do more. But whatever you send, I'll give you a copy of this brand new book that I know you're going to love. Yeah, that's right. And you know, it would make a great Christmas gift for someone who enjoys contemporary Christian music, or a great coffee table book for yourself.

But the stories are fascinating. So get in touch today with your investment in the work we do here each day, and we'll be glad to send you The Jesus Music upon request. Write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514, or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300, or go online to harvest.org. Well next time, very helpful insight, as Pastor Greg alerts us to things that can hinder our prayers. More from his refresh series. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher, Greg Laurie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-23 19:38:32 / 2023-07-23 19:48:13 / 10

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