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In Case of Emergency | God's Response to Our Prayers

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 11, 2023 3:00 am

In Case of Emergency | God's Response to Our Prayers

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 11, 2023 3:00 am

Because of the deluge of robocalls we all get, if an unfamiliar number pops up on the phone, many people just don’t answer. Who wants those calls? Do we feel like we’re an unfamiliar number popping up God’s phone when we call on Him in prayer? Do we wonder if He’ll pick up the phone? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God not only answers the phone, He answers our requests. We’re not an unfamiliar number at all. We’re family.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. This is your Father who will always be there. Your Father in Heaven. Because of the deluge of robocalls we all get, if an unfamiliar number pops up on the phone, many people just don't answer. Who wants those calls? Well, do we feel like we're an unfamiliar number popping up on God's phone when we call on Him in prayer? Do we wonder if He'll pick up the phone? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out God not only answers the phone, He answers our requests. We're not an unfamiliar number at all.

No, we're family. I want to talk about prayer and having your prayers answered today in my message that is titled, In Case of Emergency. And I want you to turn to Matthew chapter 6.

Matthew chapter 6, In Case of Emergency is the title. And God hears our prayers and God wants to answer our prayer. Prayer is not just petition, though it includes that. Prayer is not just worship, though it includes that as well. Prayer can also be, dare I say it, complaining. There are Psalms in the Bible that we call Psalms of Lamentation, to lament, where you're crying out to God.

You're not happy about something. I guess our closest form of music today might be someone singing the blues or a lot of country songs actually. I was just watching a special last night on the history of country music and how many of those songs have the most interesting titles. They came across these actual country songs. I'm not making any of these up.

These are real songs. Here's one. She got the gold mine and I got the shaft. Yeah.

That's a modern song of lamentation right there. How about this one. You stuck my heart in an old tin can and shot it off a log. Yeah.

Not good. Here's another one. How come your dog don't bite nobody but me? And here's another. You done tore out my heart and stomped the sucker flat. And it may be the weirdest of all.

You're the reason our kids are so ugly. So Hank Williams. He's a well-known person in country music. He had his song I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and he sings here that lonesome whippoorwill.

He sounds too blue to fly. The midnight train is whining low. I'm so lonesome I could cry. Hey if it's a country song you've got to have a train in there somewhere right. Well the psalmist had his own country song so to speak. Psalm 44 23. He says wake up oh Lord. Why do you sleep? Get up. Do not reject us forever. Why do you look the other way? Rise up and help us Lord.

I thought wow if that was a country song maybe you would call it my heart is aching for you to be waking. I mean I don't know. But here's the point I'm making. He was being honest to God. Lord honestly it seems like you're asleep right now. It seems like you're not paying attention. Wake up Lord.

Hear our cry. It's not always a bad thing to complain to God. To bring your concerns to God. To bring your questions to God.

To bring your pain and sadness to God. Even Jesus as he hung on the cross cried out my God my God why have you forsaken me. Some would suggest Jesus was having a crisis of faith. How ridiculous.

It was the opposite. It was a moment where he was dying for the sin of the world and he was simply describing what was happening as God the Father turned his holy face away and poured the sin of all humanity on Christ who had never committed a single sin. So Jesus cries out in anguish my God my God why have you forsaken me. But Jesus was forsaken so I might be forgiven.

But here's the point. Jesus said my God my God. He was crying out to the Father and you can do the same thing when you're in pain when you're hurting. You should pray. You should pray when you're happy. You should pray when you're sad. You should pray when you're confused. You should pray when you have complaints. James 5 13 says as any of you suffering hardships you should pray. Is any of you happy?

You should sing praises. But let me ask you this. Have you ever been in what appeared to be an impossible situation with no way out?

Let me restate that question. Are you in right now an impossible situation with no way out? Or have you ever ever desperately needed or even wanted something but it seemed there was no way you would ever have it?

Have you ever thought there was no future for you and for you it was just too late? If so you need to know more about the power of God and what can take place through prayer. For one thing certainly stands out in the pages of Scripture is that prayer can dramatically change situations people and on occasion even the course of nature itself. But the thing that prayer changes the most is us.

God will allow hardship and difficulty in our life so he can reveal himself and put his power on glory on display for those who are watching. Because when we pray we're acknowledging our weakness and we're acknowledging our need for the help of God. Maybe that's why we don't pray as much as we ought to.

I mean I don't know about you. I need to pray more. How many of you feel you need to pray more?

Yeah. How many of you feel you pray enough? Just don't raise your hand. There might be someone. There might be someone. But I think we all know we could pray more.

But prayer is an admission of weakness on our part. And some people don't like to admit they have need. Especially men. And why is that? Simple answer. They're stupid.

Well let me restate that. We're stupid at times. If we don't think we need God. I mean after all who was the strongest man who ever lived? Don't give me a superhero name. Maybe Samson. Well the real answer is the strongest man who ever lived was Jesus Christ himself. And we read repeatedly in the gospels that Jesus prayed and he prayed a lot. He would spend the night in prayer. He would rise up early while the disciples were still sleeping and pray as well. And as the crucifixion approached he turned to the father in prayer in the garden of Gethsemane and said, father if it is possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not my will but yours be done. Now I don't think anyone has ever gotten this right in the film. Because usually when they show Jesus in Gethsemane he's just saying, father if it's possible let this cup pass from me.

It's not the way it was. He was in anguish. He was crying out in pain as he said these words over in Hebrews 5 7 it says, during the days of Jesus life on earth he offered up prayers and pleadings, listen, with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death and he was heard because of his reverend submission.

Loud cries and tears. There's a place for that too in prayer. And it's implied in the original language he said it over and over. So in other words he didn't just pray one time, father if it's possible let this cup pass. But it was more like, father if it's possible let this cup pass. Father if it's possible let this cup pass. Father if it's possible let this cup pass from me.

Nevertheless not my will but yours be done. And Dr. Luke adds the detail that he sweat as it were great drops of blood. So Jesus prayed a lot. And if Jesus who was God prayed a lot you and I need to pray a lot too. And in this passage before us he gives us a prayer.

We often call it the Lord's prayer. Now imagine if you could go to an elite university and have a class taught by the finest person in that field from all of history. For instance you could study music under Beethoven or Tiny Tim. I just threw that in to see if you're listening. How many of you have ever heard of Tiny Tim? Google him.

No but that was a joke. Or how about this. Have a drama class taught by Shakespeare. Be taught political science by Thomas Jefferson. How about a philosophy class taught by C.S.

Lewis. Well we would like that because they are experts in the field. How about this. A class on prayer taught by Jesus Christ. That sounds good to me.

I would be in that class. Who knows more about prayer than Jesus. And so that is what we are going to look at here in just a moment. The disciples came to him. They said, Lord we have a question. Would you teach us how to pray? Now there is a lot of things they could have asked Jesus. One of them could have said, Lord I am having a big family reunion. Can you show me how to do the multiplying of the loaves and fish miracle?

That would really make my life easier and I wouldn't have to go to Costco and buy all that food. Another might say, Lord I am taking a girl out on a date. Could you show me how to walk on water?

That would really impress her. No. They come and say, Lord we have watched you. We have observed you. And we are asking you if you would teach us how to pray. And the fact is that Jesus gave them this prayer which shows prayer is something that can be taught. You need to be taught how to pray.

And sometimes you are taught by watching others do it. And you are taught of course by reading Scripture. And there are certain principles that you can engage when you pray. Now we call this the Lord's Prayer.

And there is nothing wrong with calling it that. The Bible never addresses it as such. I don't think it really was a prayer. Jesus Himself prayed. You say, well of course He didn't. No actually He didn't. Because Jesus would never need to pray, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.

Because Jesus never sinned. If you want to read the real Lord's Prayer, the prayer that only Christ could pray later on, this is for extra credit. I will give you a little gold star if you do it.

Remember gold star from school. That is a long time ago. But John 17. That is the Lord's Prayer.

It is rather long. It is a prayer only Christ could pray. This could better be described as the disciples prayer or maybe the template for prayer.

But call it what you like. We think of it as the Lord's Prayer. It is a model for all prayer. Sort of like when you want to buy a home and maybe you go to a track and the homes aren't built yet and you have those model homes.

You ever walk into those model homes and you go and there are pictures of people that don't live there and you know it is supposed to feel like this is a home of a person. Well this is a model prayer. This is a template for all prayer. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world.

Listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Well we're considering the importance of prayer today and how to follow Jesus' model for effective prayer laid out in what we call the Lord's Prayer.

And a special word of thanks to our Harvest partners for making today's study possible. I'm going to be reading from Matthew 6 verses 9 to 14 and I'll tell you what I want us all to do this out loud together. This is the New King James Version.

Let's read it together. In this manner therefore pray our Father 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 debts as we forgive our debtors and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever amen. Isn't that a beautiful prayer. I love that. The Lord's Prayer.

Now we think of this maybe as the big gun. In case of emergency break glass and pray this prayer. There's nothing wrong with that. If you're in a moment of crisis and you just say our Father who art in heaven that's okay. You pray that prayer.

You're having a hard time getting to sleep at night. Just go through that prayer. Think about that prayer. Ponder that prayer.

That's all good. But it's not just the big gun so to speak. It's not just the in case of emergency prayer. As I said it's a model for prayer.

So here's point number one. If you're taking notes you have complete access to the Creator of the universe through prayer. You have complete and total access and all stage paths if you will to the Creator of the universe through prayer.

Let's start at the beginning. Our Father who art in heaven. I remember when I first was getting to know Billy Graham and he invited me to his home in Montreat North Carolina.

Montreat's outside of Asheville and it was a beautiful humble log home decorated by his wife Ruth. And she was cooking something on the stove. And I just walked in and and to me he was you know the greatest evangelist who ever lived. And as a young evangelist I was just so impressed by everything. And I would just take it all in. And I remember I'd be talking with him and I'd say well Dr. Graham. And he'd say don't call me Dr. Graham. Call me Billy.

And I'd say right. So Dr. Graham you know it was hard for me to call him Billy. I had too much respect. And Billy you know that's kind of that that's southern. They're Billy, Johnny you know. They put Y's and I E's on a lot of their names. And so it just felt too personal to call a man named William Billy. Like really?

No. He said call me Billy. So I finally got around to calling him that. And but his family they had an even more intimate name. It was Daddy. In the south it's Daddy and Mama.

Not father, mother, or even dad and mom. Daddy. And his grandkids called him Daddy Bill. And that's what I used to call my grandfather. Not Daddy Bill but Daddy Charles. And my grandmother was Mama Stella.

Because they were from Arkansas. So this is an intimacy. Now I don't have the right to call him Daddy Bill.

But I did have the right to call him Billy. That is relationship. Now we have relationship with God.

And we have access to God. You know the other day my son Jonathan was saying something before I spoke. And he said, well you know Pastor Greg. I said afterwards, why are you calling me Pastor Greg?

I mean he goes, oh I want to be respectful. Just say dad. It's okay.

You can say that. And you know my grandkids if I'm in a room and I'm talking to someone and my grandkids come running up to me. Sorry. Our conversation is going to be put on pause and I'm going to talk to my grandchild. That's relationship.

Okay. You have relationship with God. You're His daughter.

You're His son. He loves you. He lights up when you walk into the room. He wants to hear from you. He wants to talk to you.

He wants to spend time with you. It's never a drudgery. It's always a delight. And the same should be true for us. Our Father who art in heaven. Well okay our Father. Father. What kind of a Father is He? Well He's a good good Father. And why is He a good good Father? Because we read about it in Scripture. If you want to know what the Father in heaven is like just look at Jesus. Jesus said in John 14 9, He that has seen Me has seen the Father.

All right. What was Jesus like? Well Jesus was approachable. Little children were drawn to Him. He blessed them. Look at the tears streaming down His face as He's at the grave of His friend Lazarus.

Look at Him getting down on His hands and knees and washing the feet of the disciples including Judas in the upper room. Look at that picture that Jesus gave us of the Father and the story of the prodigal son where God the Father is presented as a dad. A father who misses his wayward son and longs for his return.

And then when the boy makes his way back home the father can't wait to see him and bolts from his chair and runs to his son and throws his arms around him and shows deep affection to him and says this my son was dead but he's alive again. This is your Father in heaven. A Father who will always be there. A Father who listens.

A Father who loves us. Your Father in heaven. You say but that's a problem in heaven. Heaven is so far away.

I need someone here on earth. Well for starters God is omnipresent which means present everywhere so He isn't heaven in here. But is heaven really that far away? I think we think you know here's the the sky and now here's the solar system and now here's the third heaven and it's just so so far. And maybe in a sense that's true but in another sense heaven is closer than you realize. Heaven is another dimension.

It's a supernatural realm. So for the Father in heaven to step into your world is nothing to Him. He's here. My Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So God is deeply involved and deeply concerned about what you're facing right now.

If it concerns you it concerns Him. Some practical encouragement today from Pastor Greg Laurie about the way God the Father responds to our prayers. And there's much more to come from this study here on A New Beginning.

A study called In Case of Emergency. Pastor Greg so many people if they were truly candid might admit that there are times when their marriage is sort of on autopilot. Yes.

You know with the demands of making a living and rearing children and fixing the flat tire and the fourth load of laundry for the day and oh look Aunt Gertrude just popped in for a visit. You know it can be easy to just drift from urgency to urgency and neglect that important relationship. Isn't that right?

Yeah I think that's really true. You know the Bible tells us that God brings a man and a woman together and there's two operative words and the words are leave and cleave. For this reason Jesus said quoting Moses shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife or be joined to his wife. So a successful marriage is built on leaving other relationships. Now that doesn't mean you're not still a child to your parents or a sibling or whatever other relationships you have but a new family has begun. It's a marriage and this family now takes precedence over your other family connections. So there's the leaving then there's the cleaving and the word that is used there in the original language speaks of something that's intentional.

Think of yourself as scaling the side of a mountain you're holding on for dear life. So cleaving doesn't mean you're stuck together it means you're sticking together you're holding on to each other and that's something that is intentional and something you need to work at every day. It's almost as though the culture has declared war on marriage and you could take almost every societal ill right now and it would be traced back to the breakdown of the family and this is why here at A New Beginning we care about the family. We care about marriage and we want to strengthen your marriage and we have a great resource this month that we're offering you. It's a brand new book written by my friend Levi Lusko along with his wife Jenny. And it's called The Marriage Devotional. Levi let me ask you a question what are some practical ways that a husband and wife can engage in cleaving or being closer to one another?

You know I think that's a really important question and I think you have to get out of the norm. You know Dave was talking about the fourth load of laundry and that's true. I think it's really easy to get stuck in a rut and so you have to ask yourself the question do I still hear the music? Paul McCartney was asked at one point when he knew the beginning of the end had come for the Beatles and he pointed back to their sold out concert at Shea Stadium because they didn't have in-ear monitors. They had to rely on stage wedges and he said because the the crowd was screaming so loud we couldn't hear the music but we just kept playing anyway. And so I ask you in your marriage when was the last time you stopped to listen to the music?

Can you still hear the music? You know there was a day when you swept each other off your feet and that's why you decided to court and get married but 20 years in 30 years in even you know seven years in there can come sort of the daily urgency of paying the bills and you know the college fund and the are we feeding the the Roth IRA and we're not hearing the music anymore. So we point in couples in the book to something as simple as a staycation booking a hotel room overnight in the same city you live in getting away getting out of the routine order some room service in assess go back to the beginning in your mind tell each other what you originally loved about each other fight to hear the music.

Beautiful that's great. So these are some of the thoughts that you'll find in this new book by Levi and Jenny Lesko simply titled the marriage devotional that we want to send you for your gift of any size to our ministry here at a new beginning this month order your copy the marriage devotional. Yeah that's right and think about how you might give it as a gift maybe an anniversary gift or a wedding gift again we'll be glad to send it your way to thank you for partnering with us to keep these daily studies coming your way just ask for the marriage devotional when you make your donation today call us at 1-800-821-3300.

You can reach us anytime again dial 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or take care of all the details online at Well next time more insight drawn from the Lord's Prayer and how we can maximize our petitions before the Father. Join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Craig Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners so for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-11 05:31:39 / 2023-04-11 05:41:13 / 10

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