Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

The Refreshing Power of Prayer: Fundamentals of the Christian Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Prayer: Fundamentals of the Christian Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2060 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


November 12, 2021 3:00 am

We’ve all had moments of relief when an annoying problem is finally solved. We remove that little rock from our shoe. Or we clean the bird dropping off our windshield. Or someone finally shuts off that incessant car alarm. What a relief! It’s refreshing. Well currently here on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie is highlighting a number of spiritual issues where many of us could use some refreshment. It’s foundational insight on the fundamentals of the Christian life. Glad you’re along.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

---

Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org.

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.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Moody Church Hour
Pastor Phillip Miller
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Encouraging Prayer
James Banks
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. So if there is a sin in your life that you have not confessed to God, stop rationalizing it. Stop justifying it. You know what's a sin.

Ask God to forgive you. We've all had moments of relief when an annoying problem is finally solved. We remove that little rock from our shoe, or we clean the bird dropping off our windshield, or someone finally shuts off that incessant car alarm. What a relief. It's refreshing. Well, currently here on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie is highlighting a number of spiritual issues where many of us could use some refreshment. His foundational insight on the fundamentals of the Christian life.

Write your long. In this message, I want to talk to you about the refreshing power of prayer. Do you remember the first time your prayer was answered?

How wonderful that was? In light of this, why don't we pray more often? Jeremiah 29 13, God says, If you seek me, you'll find me.

If you seek me with all of your heart. Now there are things that can hinder our prayers. Things that if we do these things, it can stop God from intervening in our life. So let's find out what these barriers are and get rid of them.

Here's one. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayer. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayer. Isaiah 59 says, The Lord's hand is not short that it can't save.

His ear is not closed that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hit his face that he will not hear. The Psalmist says in Psalm 66 18, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

And the word that he uses there for regard means to hold on to or to cling to. So if there is a sin in your life that you have not confessed to God, confess it to him. You say, what do you mean confess? Means admit it. Confess means admit it. Confess means to agree with God.

To see sin for what it is. Stop rationalizing it. Stop justifying it.

Stop saying, well everyone is doing it. You know it's a sin. Ask God to forgive you. We need to be forgiven by God on a daily basis as Christians. Remember in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray as follows. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. So Jesus is teaching us as we pray that we should ask God on a regular basis for our daily bread. What is our daily bread? Well that's just provision. Bread was the staple of the Middle Eastern diet. Nobody was on the keto diet back then.

They had carbs in their diet. And so the idea of asking for bread is just asking God for provision. Lord provide all that I need.

A roof over my head and food on my table. Give me this day my daily bread. So it's daily. That's something I should be praying about daily. He didn't say pray give us this month our monthly bread. No it's a daily thing I come to God for. And by the way when the Lord has provided for you that's why we say grace. What is the point of saying grace? It's to give thanks for what God has given us. So you get that meal in front of you and you say Lord I thank you for providing this meal for me. But he goes on give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. So he's also teaching us to pray for the forgiveness of sins on a regular basis. Sin can separate you from God. Here's another one. Idols in your heart can hinder your prayers as well.

You might say well I'm off the hook on this one. I don't worship any idols. Don't you? We might have some little object that we bowed down before. I doubt that but some do. But an idol is anything or anyone that takes the place of God in our life you see. So a lot of things can become an idol. John writes in his epistle little children keep yourself from idols. For some people their idol is their appearance.

It's all about the way that they look. The effectively worship themselves. Some people worship money. They worship their possessions. They worship the car they drive. They worship the house they live in. What do you mean worship?

I mean they are preoccupied with it and they think about that thing more than God Himself. The Bible tells the story of a young man that came to Jesus. We call him the rich young ruler. Probably cruised up in a super cool lowered chariot holding a latte.

Oh they didn't have lattes back then. He says, hey good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life? It's almost as though he was saying by implication hey Jesus your group of followers are kind of a ragtag bunch.

Are they not? What do you have some fishermen? A tax collector? Look at me. I'm a ruler and I'm rich and I'm young.

So this guy was probably in his thirties climbing his ladder. Very influential. Be great to have me on your team. Here I am. What do I have to do to inherit eternal life? You would have thought Jesus would have said come on in son. You're one of the team now.

Let's go. No Jesus says I'll tell you what. You need to keep the commandments. And he quotes a few of the ten commandments to this young man. And then the rich young ruler said in response all these I have kept since I've been a young boy. If we would have read at that point and Jesus smacked them across the face it would have made sense.

What a joke. Kept all the commandments since he was a young boy. No one keeps all the commandments. There's only one man who ever walked the earth that kept all of the commandments.

And that was Jesus Christ. Because the fact is no one can keep the commandments. God gives us the commandments to drive us to Jesus.

The commandments open my eyes and they shut my mouth and show me that I sin and I fall short of God's glory. But anyway this young man says all these I've kept from my youth up. And I love how it then goes on to say and Jesus looked at him and loved him. He loved him.

He said you're so cute. Look at you arrogant young man thinking you've done it all. All right Jesus says I'll tell you what. Take all of your stuff. Sell it. Give it to the poor.

And follow me. And the Bible says that man went away sad because he had many possessions. You see the problem with this young man is he worshiped things. Jesus didn't want his stuff. It's possible if the young man would have said okay Lord I'll do it. The Lord might have said never mind. No he said this to only one man in the Bible and that's because this man was ruled by his own possessions. As someone else he might say if you want to follow me break off that relationship that is pulling you down spiritually to another he might say another thing. But you see the idol in that young man's heart was his stuff.

Yes idols can keep us from God. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us this weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It's worship. It's a message from the Word of God.

You can watch it with your family in your front room or you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you. Take the Word of God with you and join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we're getting some important insights on prayer today from Pastor Greg. He's explaining those things that can actually hinder our prayers.

Here's another one. Unforgiveness in your heart can hinder your prayers. Unforgiveness in your heart can hinder your prayers. Mark 11 25 says when you stand praying if you have anything against anyone forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Notice it doesn't say if you have anything against anyone forgive him if they deserve it. No it just says forgive them because we've all been hurt by people haven't we? You've been hurt by your parents perhaps hurt by your children hurt by your husband your wife hurt by someone you thought was a friend who ended up betraying you. We've been hurt in life and the Bible teaches us to be tenderhearted forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven us. Listen to this. Forgiven people should be forgiving people and if you do not forgive bitterness will creep in eating you up inside.

It's been said quote bitterness is an acid that destroys its own container end quote. Years ago someone gave me a shirt as a gift and this was not an attractive shirt I have to say. By the way if you give clothes to someone as a gift don't ask them the next time you see them why aren't you wearing the shirt I gave you or the dress or whatever it was. The reason may be because what you gave them was ugly and you have bad taste but they don't want to say that to you so I'm saying it to you on their behalf. Don't give clothes to people without the option of them returning the clothes. If I give a shirt to someone or a dress to my wife I'll say look return it if you don't like it I'm fine I thought this looked pretty good here's the receipt get whatever you want but anyway you give this ugly shirt to them you expect them to wear it someone gave me this ugly shirt I'm not going to throw it away it was a gift so I put it in the trunk of my car.

I'm not sure what I was going to do with it. Well then I got a problem with my battery and I took my battery out and put it in the trunk of my car and as I drove around I opened up the trunk and realized the battery had tipped over and all this battery acid had filled the shirt. This shirt was wet with battery acid. Now I should have just thrown it away. I took the shirt out let it dry out and inexplicably I don't remember doing this but somehow it ended up at the dry cleaners.

So I get a call on my phone from the dry cleaners like a day later. Uh sir what is this shirt you gave to us to dry clean it's like a pirate shirt. I said a pirate shirt. See it's coming apart in strips right now and strips of this shirt landed on a pile of sheets we had and burned a hole through them.

What is this shirt? I said oh I don't want it. You can just keep it. See that the acid the battery acid in the shirt was destroying things and that's what bitterness does to you. That's what unforgiveness does to you as well. Forgive.

Jesus on the cross said father forgive them for they know not what they do. You say oh give me a break Greg that's Jesus. I'm not Jesus. No you're not.

Nor am I. But remember Stephen the first martyr of the church he was put to death for his faith in Christ and what did he pray. Said I see Jesus standing on the right hand of the father. Then he said Lord don't lay this sin to their charge.

Listen you need to forgive for yourself so you can be free. One last thing unbelief can hinder your prayer. Unbelief can hinder your prayer. James 1 5 says if you need wisdom if you want to know what God wants you to do ask him and he'll gladly tell you he will not resent you asking but when you ask him be sure you really expect him to answer for a doubtful mind is unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind people like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Yeah pray for wisdom. Pray for provision. Pray for God's blessing and direction and expect and expect him to answer.

Expect him to answer. A lot of times we cancel our prayers out because we're filled with so much doubt. Now there's a teaching that would say whatever you want you speak it into existence you name it and you claim it you you gab it and you grab it and God will do whatever you ask him to do.

Thank God that's not true and he'll overrule my requests especially when they would hurt me. But having said that there is a place for faith and prayer so with as much faith as you can muster bring your need to Jesus Christ. I love the prayer that one man who said Lord I believe but help my unbelief. God will more than meet you halfway as you bring your need to him. Let me close by asking you this. Do you have a need right now? Do you need a touch in your body physically like blind Bartimaeus? Then call out to Jesus.

Do you have a child or a marriage that needs help right now? Then call out to Jesus. Don't give up. Pray.

Jesus said knock and the door will be open. Keep knocking. Keep asking.

Keep seeking. Be persistent in your prayer. But again as I said earlier prayer is only the privilege of a child of God.

Oh sure anyone can pray a prayer but if you want to have a prayer life you need to be a Christian. Now sometimes you'll hear it said we're all God's children. I know that sounds nice but it's actually not biblical. I'm sorry to tell you we are not all God's children. We're all created by God. We're all loved by God but we're not all by default children of God. To become a child of God you need to be part of the family of God. And to become part of the family of God you need to be born into that family. So you're saying oh you mean raised in a Christian home.

No not at all. I wasn't raised in a Christian home. I was raised in the opposite of a Christian home. No the way you join the family of God is by being born into it. Or maybe I should say by being born again into it. Because Jesus said you must be born again or literally born from above. You see you're separated from God by your sin.

All of us are. We've all broken God's commandments. We've all fallen short of God's standards. But 2,000 years ago God loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in your place. That's what Jesus was talking about in the story we read. That the Son of Man Himself was going to go and suffer and die for their sins and for our sins and for all of humanity's sins. So I'm separated from God by my sin but Christ died for my sin. And if I'll turn from that sin and put my faith in Him He will forgive me.

So let me ask you. Have you been forgiven of your sin? Is Jesus Christ living inside of you right now? The Bible says for as many as received Him He gave them the power to become sons of God. Being a Christian isn't just believing a creed or reading the Bible or going to church. Being a Christian is having Christ living inside of you. Is Jesus living in your heart and life right now? You might say well I think so.

I'm not sure. If a family moved into your house at three o'clock in the morning and started cooking fish in your kitchen do you think you would notice? Now I'm not comparing Jesus to a family moving into your house.

I'm just saying if someone came into your house I think you'd be aware of it. And in the same way if God Almighty has taken residence in your heart you'll know it. And if you don't know it maybe that's because He's not there yet. Would you like to ask Jesus to come into your life? Would you like to be forgiven of your sin?

I began by talking about refreshment. Would you like to be refreshed? Again Jesus said, Come to me all you that labor and are burdened and I will refresh you.

Are you burdened by your sin? That can all change right now. Jesus is ready to step into your life and change everything. He'll give you the meaning and purpose of life you've been looking for. And then He'll give you hope beyond the grave in the afterlife. He'll give you the hope of heaven. But you must ask Him to come and live in your heart right here right now.

In a moment we're going to pray. And I'm going to extend an invitation for you to believe in Jesus Christ. So if you need Jesus to come into your life. If you want Him to forgive you of your sin. If you want this huge burden of guilt lifted off of you.

If you want to find the meaning and purpose of your life. Then simply pray this simple prayer I will lead you in now. Pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner.

But I also know that you are the Savior. Jesus I ask you to come into my life and live in Jesus. I ask you to come into my life right now and forgive me of all of my sin. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Such an important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you've just prayed that prayer, well first of all we want to be the first to welcome you into God's family. And we also want to help you grow as a Christian. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Growth Packet. It's a free resource that will answer many of your questions and get you started off right in your new walk of faith.

Just ask for the New Believers Growth Packet as you write a new beginning. Box 4000 Riverside, California 92514. Or when you call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7. Again the number 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. And then we're so excited to make available a new book called The Jesus Music. You know Pastor Greg, in the mid-seventies I was a DJ at a Jesus music station not far from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa where so much of that music was born. And our entire library was about 60 albums. So even by the mid-seventies it was still a fledgling music format, nothing like it is today. And we tried to expand its reach. We tried to work through the churches to get the word out about this new music. And frankly most resisted. You know it was different. It had drums and guitars and they didn't want any of that stuff.

Well things have changed haven't they? I mean it's not uncommon to see electric guitars and drums and all that in churches today. A lot of the things that you see in the church today actually came from the Jesus movement. One of them is contemporary Christian music.

Another is I would say a more casual approach by the preacher, maybe dressed in a more relaxed way. A lot of things that are commonplace in the church were born in this time of revival that started somewhere around maybe 69 went on through the 70s. And one of the big things was the music. The Jesus music was the soundtrack of that movement.

And I had the privilege of having a front row seat. I didn't know that I'd walk smack dab into the middle of a genuine spiritual awakening. In fact I wrote a book about it called The Jesus Revolution.

By the way it's being made into a feature film that will be released in 2022. But this music was happening. Amazing fresh new music that was current for our generation.

And not only was it made back then but it continues to this present day. So a book has been written about this called The Jesus Music. It's a beautiful hardbound book with glossy pages filled with photographs and stories about these artists. The ones who pioneered the Jesus music. People like Love Song, Andre Crouch and the Disciples, and of course Larry Norman on through artists like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith through bands like Petra and Striper.

To the present day with bands that we listen to today and artists that we listen to today. Fascinating origins. And this book is a story of well flawed individuals that God worked through. A lot of these artists weren't perfect people.

But who is a perfect person? It's not the whole Bible. The story of flawed people that God worked through. So this is a book that will tell you things about this music that you've probably grown to love that you have never heard before or seen before. It's a brand new book called The Jesus Music. I had the privilege of writing the foreword. And I think you're gonna really enjoy this.

This is the kind of book you'll probably sit down on your coffee table and keep out to look at again and again. So we're encouraging you to order your own copy of The Jesus Music written by Marshall Terrell who I wrote three books with and I'm working on a fourth book with by the way. And this is something you're gonna love and it will be yours for your gift of any size. Now some of you can give a lot. We appreciate that. Some of you can only give a little. Whatever you give we will send you your own copy of The Jesus Music as our way of saying thanks to you.

Yeah that's right. And we hope you'll contact us today with your investment in this ministry. And we'll send you this book and we'll send you this beautiful hardback edition of The Jesus Music.

So many great pictures and such great stories of the birth of contemporary Christian music. You can write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call anytime 24-7, 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well next time as Pastor Greg's refresh series continues, we'll see how refreshing it is to live a Spirit led life. We'll discover the Spirit provides both power and direction in our walk of faith. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-23 11:36:21 / 2023-07-23 11:45:40 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime