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The Refreshing Power of Prayer | A Fundamental of the Christian Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Prayer | A Fundamental of the Christian Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 19, 2024 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.

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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 If you have not confessed to God, stop rationalizing it. Stop justifying it. You know it'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. 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.

Roger 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 cure. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid 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 onto 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? It 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, Children keep yourself from idols. For some people their idol is their appearance.

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

I mean they're 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. It would 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 have 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 worshipped 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. And I can't wait to see where God's word takes me. Thank you for being such a good role model to me. We appreciate hearing how Pastor Greg's studies are impacting lives.

Would you consider sharing your story? If so call us and let us know. Call 1-866-871-1144.

866-871-1144. 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 tender hearted. 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. 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 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? He 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 five 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 him to answer.

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

Thank God that is not true. And he will 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. Give me the prayer of 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 will hear it said we are all God's children.

I know that sounds nice. But it is actually not biblical. I am sorry to tell you we are not all God's children. We are all created by God.

We are all loved by God. But we are 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 are saying oh you mean raised in a Christian home.

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 are separated from God by your sin.

All of us are. We have all broken God's commandments. We have all fallen short of God's standards. But 2000 years ago God loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in your place. That is 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 am separated from God by my sin but Christ died for my sin. And if I will 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 am not sure. If a family moved into your house at 3 o'clock in the morning and started cooking fish in your kitchen do you think you would notice? Now I am not comparing Jesus to a family moving into your house.

I am just saying if someone came into your house I think you would be aware of it. And in the same way if God Almighty has taken residence in your heart you will know it. And if you don't know it maybe that is because He is 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 will give you the meaning and purpose of life you have been looking for. And then He will give you hope beyond the grave in the afterlife. He will 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 are going to pray. And I am 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 am a sinner, but I also know that You are the Savior. 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. There is a free resource that will answer many of your questions and get you started off right in your new walk of faith. And the scripture text is in the easy-to-read New Living Translation. Just ask for the New Believer's Bible when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or just go online to and click Know God. Well, we're here to talk with Pastor Levi Lesko about his new book called Marvel at the Moon. It's a 90-day devotional for kids.

Now, we can't show you the book on radio, but you can hear one of the devotions, so listen to this. Be like the moon. Jesus said, I am the light of the world.

John 8, 12. Can you know the moon doesn't shine? It doesn't even glow.

Now you may be thinking, sure. Then what's the big bright thing in the sky every night? Okay, yeah, it's the moon. But it's not actually shining, it's reflecting.

Let's try a little demonstration to explain. Grab a small mirror and angle it so the sun hits it. The mirror gets bright, right? But is the mirror making a light? No, it's reflecting it. The moon does the same thing. It doesn't make its own light.

Instead, it acts like a mirror, a gigantic, gray, dusty mirror that reflects the sun's light. Well, that's just a portion of devotion number four, and our thanks to Meadow for reading that for us. Pastor Levi, there's so much humor and insight, and it's just a lot of fun to read these devotions, isn't it?

Yeah, you're absolutely right. I think when you hear that in that beautiful child's voice, you realize why Jesus was so often drawn to children and why children loved being around Jesus. He told his disciples, Don't forbid the little kids from coming to me. And I think for us as grown-ups with our big-person problems and our full schedules, Jesus invites us to become childlike in our faith. Not childish, I'm not saying immature, of course, but I'm saying childlike, that we would have that spirit of whimsy, of wonder, that we would have our imaginations awakened. Kids are so great.

They can play with leaves and grass and streams. A kid will get a great expensive toy to play with the box more than they play with the toy, because it becomes a rocket ship or it becomes a race car. And I think if we had that kind of imagination awakened, we would find a lot less stress and a lot more serenity in our lives. Thanks, Levi. So that's great insight from Pastor Levi Lasko, talking about his new book, Marvel at the Moon, 90 Devotions for Kids, based on outer space. I think your kids are gonna really like this, and that's why we're offering it to you for your gift of any size to our ministry. And when you send that gift in, and I ask you to be generous, we use that to continue this ministry. You know, we wanna reach people of all ages. And all the time, I get letters from not only older folks who listen, but they tell me the little ones listen as well. And so this is a devotion that is gonna be great for the kids.

Marvel at the Moon by Levi Lasko. Dave, tell them how they can order a copy. Yeah, you have three ways to contact us, by phone, by mail, or through our website. We're ready to send a copy your way to thank you for your partnership that helps us bring these studies to you each day.

Your support is vital. So mention Marvel at the Moon when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or go online to Hey everybody, I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Sunday at and on our brand new app, Harvest Plus, which is available on your mobile TV devices. Download it now and you can watch Harvest at Home with Christians from around the world as we worship together and study God's Word.

So again, join us for Harvest at Home at or on Harvest Plus. 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 lives. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. 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 / 2024-04-19 05:12:38 / 2024-04-19 05:22:17 / 10

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