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The Refreshing Power of Prayer | Heaven's Perspective

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Prayer | Heaven's Perspective

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 18, 2024 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 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 in to 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.

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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.

To the day, the day when 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 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. Hey everybody I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV and Google Play among others and you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon and our newest film, Fame. Plus our TV programs, our podcast, Harvest at Home and a lot more.

Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. 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 gave us an example of how to pray.

So let's start with how not to pray. Matthew chapter 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'm baptized with. But to sit on my right and on my left hand is not mine to give but it's for those that have been prepared by my Father.

Try to understand what's 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's saying, This is what's going to happen to me. I'm going to be betrayed. I'm going to be handed over to the Gentiles. I'm going to be scourged. I'm going to be beaten. I'm going to be crucified.

And I'm going to rise again from the dead. As he's sharing this with the disciples they're 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're even asking for? Are you able to drink of the cup that I'm about to drink of? They said, We're able. Their response should have been, Wait. Wait. What's 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's a delicacy over there called the balut. It's 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 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're drinking the fluid and then they eat the egg.

And oh my goodness. 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'll offend the people. I whispered back, If I eat the egg I'll 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's 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're good with the cup. Give us the cup.

He's thinking, You don't even know what you're 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'm 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's necessarily a bad thing.

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

Here's 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. 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's 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, Shh. Don't bother him. He's 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's a family crisis. Maybe your marriage is coming apart. Maybe you have a prodigal child. Maybe it's a health crisis. You've gotten bad news from the doctor and you're scared.

Maybe it's some other kind of a crisis. Call on the Lord. The Bible says you have not because you ask not. Pray about the 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. 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's 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're praying for the salvation of a loved one you're 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're praying for the restoration of a family you're 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's 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're praying according to the will of God. Pray for a spiritual awakening in your nation. These men called out to Jesus. Now it's 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'll 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 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. Pastor Greg just mentioned the verse, If you seek me you will find me if you seek me with your whole heart. Have you ever entered into a relationship with the Lord? A real relationship with him?

If you have, you'll know it. Pastor Greg, what if someone's not sure and they'd like to be sure? I would say that God is just a prayer away. You know, it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. Frankly, it doesn't even take hours.

It can happen so quickly. It just starts with you saying to God, I know I'm a sinner. I know that you love me. I know that you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sin and pay for those sins and then to rise again from the dead and I want him to come into my life. So here's my question to you.

Have you done it yet? Because Jesus, who did die on that cross and rose again from the dead three days later, is alive and standing at the door of your life right now and he's knocking and he's saying, If you'll hear my voice and open the door, I will come in. Why don't you just stop whatever it is you're doing and pray this prayer with me. Say, Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. I ask all of this in Jesus' name.

Amen. Listen, if you just prayed that prayer, the Bible promises that God has heard your prayer and has answered that prayer. The Bible says that we will confess our sin.

He's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, God bless you. You've made the right decision, the decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Yeah, that's right. And listen, as you begin to live this new life, we want to send you something to help you get started off right. It's Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's an easy-to-understand translation plus hundreds and hundreds of study helps, especially for those who are new to the faith.

Millions of people have been helped by this resource. So get in touch for your own copy of the New Believers Bible. We'll send it to you free of any charge. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's again 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. And then, Pastor Greg, go ahead and introduce our special guest. Well, we're very happy to have my good friend, Pastor Levi Lusko, with us here today in studio.

Of course, he's a senior pastor of Fresh Life Church in Montana, which has locations in Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah as well. So, Levi, let's talk about family devotions. I know we have listeners right now that have a hard time communicating God's Word to their children and their grandchildren. But you've given us this great new resource, a devotional book for kids that is titled Marvel at the Moon. So tell us how devotions work in your household. Well, it has been through so many different iterations, depending on their ages, because my youngest is six and my oldest is 18.

So she's an adult now. But when we have breakfast on Saturdays, that's our Sabbath day tradition, having waffles is what we like to have. We make waffles and we sit down and we eat, and we play a game called High Low Buffalo, which is something awesome that happened that week, the high, something sad or bad that happened that week, a low, and then something funny that happened to you that we call the buffalo. So we do all that, and then we'll open up Scripture, we'll read something.

We love these resources and any resource we can get our hands on that will stimulate our minds, our hearts, and our imaginations. And then, yeah, we'll rotate, we'll let kids read, we'll pray, we try and just have some application. Hey, how can we apply this to our life this week? But then, I just always stress this to parents, don't let just the formal devotional time be your only time. You know, whether you're coming, going, Scripture says, while you're walking on the way. So we like to make drives to go skiing or even heading into work, or any time that the kids are with us that we're doing something, just, hey, what did you learn from the sermon this week? Or what did you learn in your Sunday school class? And then, of course, bedtimes are so great because there's this quieting kind of moment, we can really hush, we put a little worship music on, we'll lie in bed, I like to lie with my son and talk and look at the pictures and let him read now because he's learning to sound out words. And it's just, you know, you'll regret a lot on your deathbed, you will never regret the time that you spent pointing your kids to Jesus.

That's so true, no question about it. It's been said, the best thing you can spend on your children is time. And I've got a resource for you, and we've been talking about it with Levi, it's his new book, Marvel at the Moon. This is a way to get those conversations started with your children, even with your grandchildren. So it's 90 devotions based on outer space and the Bible written by Pastor Levi Lusko.

This book is accessible, it's fun, it's beautifully illustrated, and it will not only engage the interest of the child, it'll engage your interest as well as you read it to them. So you can order your copy of Marvel at the Moon from us here at Harvest Ministries. And listen to this, you can have it for your gift of any size. Now, some maybe can only give a little, and we appreciate that, but others can be more generous. And I encourage you to be generous because whatever you give will be used to carry this ministry on so more people can hear the word of God taught and hear the gospel proclaimed. So order your copy of this new devotional by Levi Lusko, Marvel at the Moon. Yeah, it's such a great resource for parents and for grandparents, and we'll send it your way to thank you for your investment right now.

Call us and mention Marvel at the Moon. Our number is 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, very helpful insight as Pastor Greg alerts us to the things that can hinder our prayers. More from his series called Refresh. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor Greg Lusko. And today, the day when life begins. 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 harvestpartners.org. And we'll see you next time. See you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 05:13:41 / 2024-04-18 05:24:33 / 11

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