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In Case of Emergency | Embracing God's Power and Provision Through Prayer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2023 3:00 am

In Case of Emergency | Embracing God's Power and Provision Through Prayer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 13, 2023 3:00 am

Ever try to run up a downward escalator? Sounds silly, but kids try it all the time, just to see if they can. When we try to fight against the lures of temptation on our own strength, we’re running up a downward escalator. The momentum against us is just too much. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us change escalators and embrace the power and provision of God through prayer. When we’re moving in the same direction as the Spirit of God, the journey is much easier.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at Lord, help me to be smart and avoid those things that will bring me down. But ultimately, Lord, give me the strength I need to resist. Ever try to run up a downward escalator?

It sounds silly, but kids try it all the time just to see if they can. When we try to fight against the lures of temptation on our own strength, we're running up a downward escalator. The momentum against us is just too much. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us change escalators and embrace the power and provision of God through prayer.

When we're moving in the same direction as the Spirit of God, the journey is a whole lot easier. Now mention 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. 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're experts in the field. How about this? A class on prayer taught by Jesus Christ. That sounds good to me.

I'd be in that class. Who knows more about prayer than Jesus? And so that's what we're going to look at here. The disciples came to them. They said, Lord, we have a question. Would you teach us how to pray? Jesus gave them this prayer. 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. But what does Jesus teach us in this template for prayer? When you pray, you say, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Now if we wrote the Lord's Prayer, it would probably sound like this. Our Father who art in heaven, give us this day our daily bread. Let's just get down to business.

Here's my list. Now there's a place for petition. Nothing wrong with asking the Father in heaven for what you need. But notice that Jesus says first take time, effectively, to contemplate the greatness of God.

Now there are exceptions. If you fall off a ladder and you're on your way down, help will do. Okay? You can't even finish the Lord's Prayer. God help. But as I think about the awesomeness of God, as I contemplate the greatness and bigness of God, it will cause me to see my problem, challenge, need in a different light. It won't change it necessarily, but it will change my perspective.

I'll see it differently because listen to this. God is bigger than your problem. Whatever it is, God is bigger. And so my Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, set apart be your name, honored and glorified be your name. God wants us to bring our needs before Him each and every day.

God wants us to bring our needs before Him each and every day. Verse 11, give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? Well, it's obvious that bread, bread was a staple of the first century diet. So it includes that, but bread speaks of everything. It speaks of your finances. It speaks of a roof over your head.

It speaks of your health. Just everything you need in life, my daily bread. And it's a reminder that everything I have in life is provided for me by God. Notice it says give me this day my daily bread.

It doesn't say give me this month my monthly bread or this year my yearly bread. The Lord will sometimes allow things to happen in our lives that will remind us we need Him every day. Maybe you're going through something like that right now. All of a sudden, oh wow, you have this financial crisis.

All of a sudden you have this health scare. All of a sudden you have this problem in your marriage or you have this problem with your kids or you have this other problem. And it's like, God, help.

That's okay. Sometimes He'll allow these things to remind us that He's the provider and we need to come to Him each and every day. Not just asking for stuff, but giving Him glory for the stuff He's already given. When's the last time you just prayed a prayer of thanks? Oh, Lord, thank You for this. Thank You for providing for this. Thank You for my wife.

Thank You for my husband giving Him thanks. But here's where it gets tricky. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us. Wait, what? Yeah, forgive people. But, Greg, this person, they hurt me. This person bullied me on social media. This person insulted me. This person did something that's so horrible I can't forgive them ever.

Really? Jesus said, you better be praying not only for your daily bread, but you better be praying in extending forgiveness every single day. It's a great concept, forgiveness. I love forgiveness. Until it's time for me to forgive someone that doesn't deserve it. Now, let's just concede the point. They don't deserve it. Therefore, I will not forgive them. Okay, hold on now. Do you deserve forgiveness? Well, no?

Okay. You don't deserve forgiveness, yet God gave it to you. Why would you not extend it to another person as well? The Bible says you've been forgiven. Therefore, be tenderhearted, forgiving others.

But listen to this. One person put it this way. Forgiveness is not about absolving the perpetrator. It's about healing the victim.

Here's another statement I like. Forgiveness isn't giving into another person. It's getting free of that person.

Get it? See, in a way it's even not about that person. Let's just say, here's this person. He did this thing to me. I choose to forgive him. Doesn't deserve it. Did it anyway. Who's getting free now?

Him? Not really. But I am. Because that's not driving me crazy. So when he walks in a room, I'm not seething over in the side. Because I've let it go.

Let it go. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Well, today, Pastor Greg is offering practical help toward a more productive prayer life based on the Lord's Prayer.

And our thanks to our Harvest partners and others who support this ministry for helping to make today's insight possible. My last point. We cannot overcome the devil in our own strength. We cannot overcome the devil in our own strength. Verse 4. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. A better translation of this would be deliver us from the evil one.

And that would be Lucifer or the devil. We cannot completely remove ourselves from temptation. Otherwise we would have to leave the entire planet. And even if you did that, let's say you got into one of those spaceships that Elon Musk is building. And you're in space.

I'm free. Oh, you get tempted in space too. Walking around on the moon, you'll still have bad thoughts.

Come on. He's going to follow you wherever you go. So the point of it is, is that I need God's help. Really what I'm praying is, Lord, don't allow me to walk into a situation that would overwhelm me and cause me to sin, but deliver me from temptation and any trap the devil has set for me.

It's really an acknowledgment of human weakness. One passage I memorized is a very young man I still remember today. It's 1 Corinthians 10, 13, and it says, wait, I forgot it. No, I didn't. You were hoping I did, though, didn't you? No, I have forgotten.

No, I haven't. 1 Corinthians 10, 13. There is no temptation taking you, but such as is common to man. But God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.

Allow me to loosely paraphrase it. There's always a way out of every temptation. How many of you have ever been tempted to sin? Raise your hand.

How many of you have ever given in to that temptation? Raise your hand. Okay, wow, you're a wicked bunch of people. What's going on?

I'm kidding. So we've given in, but there was always a way out, wasn't there? And if you're honest, the way out was sometimes as simple as the door.

I need to walk out of this door and it will be better. It'd be like if you drive by Krispy Kreme donuts. Now, I've eaten six in one sitting.

Really? You're like, ugh. Am I the only one? How many of you have eaten six Krispy Kreme donuts? Raise your hand. Okay, okay. You're as bad as me.

How many of you have eaten more than six? Raise your hand. Ugh.

Now I'm doing it to you. Ugh. They're good though. Aren't they good?

They're good going down. I mean they literally melt in your mouth. Add some cold milk.

Yes. But they're not so good after they've been sitting in your stomach. I went there a while ago with some friends and actually a couple of years ago we were on motorcycles and I ate six and milked.

And literally I'm on my motorcycle at night. It's freezing and I feel like I'm falling asleep. I'm in a food coma. Because there's this sugar spike and then the sugar crash.

Right? Okay. This is like sin. Apologies to Krispy Kreme.

I don't want letters from attorneys. Your donuts are awesome. Okay. But that's the problem. They're nice going down. But afterwards it's like, what was I thinking?

Then you get in your scale and it breaks. Okay. That's not a good sign. There was a way out. I didn't have to say pull the car over. Get out of the car.

Walk in. But they always give you the first one free. They know you'll get hooked.

They're smart over there at Krispy Kreme. There's always a way out of every temptation you face. Don't tell me you can't get out of the trap you're in.

Don't tell me you can't get out of that immoral relationship. Don't tell me you can't stop looking at porn. Don't tell me you can't control your temper. Don't tell me you can't stop drinking or stop using drugs or whatever it is you're doing. Don't tell me that because you can. And there's a way out if you want to take the way out.

But then we'll say, I can't. I'm just the devil got hold of me. The devil made me do it. The devil is powerful but he needs your cooperation. And when I say deliver me from temptation I'm saying Lord help me to be smart and avoid those things that will bring me down. But ultimately Lord give me the strength I need to resist. Jesus gave us this template for prayer to encourage us to pray.

And the reason I chose this message today in particular is I just want to remind you. You need to pray about everything. Just pray about everything.

Get into a habit of prayer. You know we make prayer very formal. Well it's time to ask the blessing. Sometimes it's even like you know. You know the food's there and no one's eating.

No one asks the blessing. Oh everybody stop. Your mouth is full. And then you pray there.

It's like you messed up. You didn't pray the little token prayer. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to give thanks but we get hung up. It becomes a rule. Or we pray with our kids before they go to bed. These are all good things.

But we need to expand way beyond that. And we need to get into a lifestyle of prayer. So when that burden hits me right then I pray. When I'm driving down the road and something comes to me, troubles me, concerns me. I just turn it into a prayer right. Just keep your eyes open.

You're driving. But Philippians 4 says don't worry about anything. Pray about everything.

And the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard, protect your mind in Christ Jesus. Pray. Cry out to God in your sorrow and pain. Call on the Lord for His provision, His protection, and His guidance.

And give thanks to the Lord for your joys in His provision. Let me loop back to something I said earlier. I want to keep talking about Krispy Kreme donuts. No I don't.

I'm done with those. I want to loop back to that statement of Jesus. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us.

That's an interesting word. Debts. You'd think it would just say forgive us our sins and it is translated that way in some translations. But debts is a really apropos word that is chosen here because the word that Jesus uses here for forgive means to cancel a debt specifically. Sin is a debt. And it is a debt I can't pay.

It would be like if you found out you owed the IRS five million dollars and you had ten bucks in your account. There is no way you can pay that debt. You owe all these things because of your sin. Because of our sin. So I'm saying Lord pay my debt.

Pay my debt right now. And that is exactly what He did on the cross. The Bible says He canceled the debt that you owed at the cross. And as I have often said He came to pay a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. But He settled it at the cross.

Everything is paid for. Another way this is sometimes translated is trespasses. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

That is a good translation as well. You know the word trespass. Sometimes you see it maybe in a park. They just planted some grass and they have a little cord there and a sign hanging off of it. No trespassing.

They don't want you to be stomping on their new grass. And so when I trespass I am breaking a commandment. I am crossing a line.

Listen. Every one of us has crossed that line. Every one of us has sinned. Every one of us needs Jesus.

And I want to close by asking you this. Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sin? Only the Christian. Only the child of God can say my Father who art in heaven. Now if you are a nonbeliever you can say God up there somewhere. But for me for us He is our Father. And that is because of what Jesus did. After Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead He appeared to Mary Magdalene there at the tomb and He said, I am going to go to my Father and to your Father. To my God and your God. Oh wait. Now it is not just that Jesus calls them Father.

You can call them Father too because of relationship. Only through Christ. Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin? Are you still bound by the power of sin? Are you trapped by some vice? Some addiction?

Whatever it is. The root of it is sin. It may express itself in other ways but the root is sin. Only Christ can break the power of sin in your life and He can do it for you right here right now. But you have to reach out to Him and say, God help me. Lord I know I have sinned.

I am sorry. I turn from it. Jesus rescue me. Come into my life and forgive me of all of my sin.

And that can happen for you as well. Because Jesus who died on the cross rose again from the dead three days later. And He is right here right now standing at the door of your life and He is knocking. And He is saying if you will hear His voice and open the door, He will come in. Would you like Jesus to come into your life? Would you like to know God is your Father? Would you like your sin forgiven today?

It can happen. Let's all pray together. Father I ask you to speak to the hearts here and those that are listening wherever they are. Help them to see their need for you. Help them to come to you.

Help them to believe in you. Right now we ask, Amen. He and his wife have authored the new book, The Marriage Devotional. A great resource to help strengthen that important relationship. Levi, let's dispense a little first aid. If somebody is listening and their marriage is hemorrhaging, obviously the book is going to be a great source of insight and help and we want to get a copy into their hands. But what is something they can do right now to stop the bleeding?

Well, I would say immediately you need to assess and do an inventory and a checklist of the words that you're speaking. You know, when God wanted to create the world, He spoke, let there be light, and there was. And He made us in His image with the ability to create or destroy with our tongues. There's a great story we include in the book about the famous chef, Julia Child, who at the end of her life had cancer, had to have a double mastectomy, and she was devastated that Paul, her longtime husband, would not have desire for her anymore with no breasts. And he said to her words that just gave her life and built her up, he said, oh honey, I didn't marry you for your breasts, I married you for your legs. And that just brought her such joy and love to say, hey, I still desire you.

Think about what a power is in that one sentence, I still love you, basically. So if your marriage is hanging on by a thread, ask yourself the kind of words that are speaking. Have you become just sort of roommates? Have you just ended up just sort of living together under the same roof separately?

And are you choosing to use your words to speak life? When was the last time you complimented your spouse? When was the last time you just stopped, looked them in the eyes and said, thank you, thank you for this, and were specific about something? I'm telling you, like Mark Twain said, you could go almost a whole year on just one compliment. So build your spouse up and you'll be glad you did.

Yes. The Bible even speaks of the virtuous woman and it says her husband praises her. And I think it's a wonderful thing not only to their face but in front of other people to say, let me tell you about my husband, let me tell you about my wife. And it's always a compliment. I would also add, never critique your spouse in front of other people. You have a criticism, you say that to them privately, not publicly about them, where you end up humiliating them. And also never talk down your spouse in front of your children. That's their mother or their father. You need a united front as father and mother, as husband and wife in a solid family.

Yes, you will have your conflicts, but those are things you resolve together or with a good counselor, but you don't put it out there in the public and make other people have to watch it or deal with it. But listen, we want to send you Levi Lusko's brand new book that he wrote with his wife, Jennie. It's called The Marriage Devotional, 52 Devotions to Strengthen Your Marriage. And it's yours for your gift of any size this month to any beginning.

Yeah, that's right. That's an investment, a good investment in bringing the hope of God to people who need it. There's no better time for this good news. And when you make that donation today, be sure to ask for Pastor Levi's new book, The Marriage Devotional. You can call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or just go online.

You can make your donation securely at And then, Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to, Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah, you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you. Deep in the recesses of your heart, and it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus, and I want Jesus.

But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sin. And I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it. Maybe you felt nothing.

That doesn't really matter. Because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say, so you may think you have it, or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood.

No, that you can know it. And I want you to know, if you prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations. You're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you, we'd like to send you some resource materials we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. Again, it's the New Believers Growth Packet. We'll send it free of charge. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to and click Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg launches an encouraging series called Relentless Grace. It's a deep dive into the rich truth found in the book of Romans. 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 / 2023-04-13 05:26:55 / 2023-04-13 05:36:47 / 10

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