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January 24, 2022 8:00 pm
As of this morning will continue in how to have a victorious life at all, or preach a message. This is simply titled the power of persistent prayer. The power of persistent prayer. In other words, there is great power when we pray always, we are constantly going before God and be persistent and it not talk about just random prayers or one-off prayers are prayers for our dinner prayer when we need something and seven happens which is all fine and good but there's actually power in a persistent prayer life, not just a consistent prayer life, but a persistent one and so we go to Luke chapter 18 Luke chapter 18 Jesus speak and he shares a parable. I want to share this parable want to read these verses. There's eight verse I want to read first break down a little bit about what a persistent prayer life looks like Syria.
Luke chapter 18 starting verse one Susan. He told them a parable to the effect they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said in a certain city. There was a judge to neither fear God nor respected men and there is a widow in that city who kept coming at him and saying give me justice against my adversary for a while. He refused. But afterward he said to himself, though I neither fear God nor respect man yet because this widow keeps bothering me.
I will give her justice so she will not beat me down by her continual coming verse six and the Lord said here with the unrighteous judge says, and will not, God give justice to his elect who cry to him day and night will he delay long over them. I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith to great parable. I want to just explain the parable real quickly.
In case you missed something. First of all God. God is not the judge in this parable that the judge the ungodly, unholy judge in this parable does not represent God. So the judge that is in this parable he is ungodly is an unbelieving man. He doesn't fear God. The point is this the point is if an unsaved person, a judge in this instance will give justice, then God will surely show justice in response to his people. Similar to the passage that we talked about that long ago that if we who are sinful know how to give good gifts to our kids how much more does God who loves us and is wholly know how to bless and give good gifts to his children as if we who are broken and lost understand justice and understand how to give how much more so would God give. So this parable is showing kind of a an example of. Here's what an unsaved unjust person does that shows mercy and justice because as Wendell kept coming to them how much more than what we go before God we bring our request. Before him we are. Consequently, for how much more when he shows justice and mercy, and answers to our requests than this unjust person. So here's a few things I want to take away the will find is very encouraging. Hopefully little challenging and maybe a little understanding about what a persistent prayer life looks like the first one is his number one is this is that it said to always pray always pray it's a reminder to me that prayer works always in every situation and every point of life that you and I should be praying constantly in Scripture it says that we should be praying continually, which means that that are spirit our attitude should be constantly thinking about the things of God know what this is insane without saying that we should just hide out in our house all day every day and and all we do is pray will assume reality we have to engage in the world got jobs you gotta go to school we got activities, got sports, we got all the stuff happening. So how how then do you always pray.
I think this is a spiritual maturity question and I think it's a reality. I think it's actually attainable. I do believe that in your everyday life.
You and I can continually be praying and thinking about the things of God, even while were doing other things. Even while were at work even while were hanging out with friends, even while working out at school. We should have the mindset of always be thinking about God always be thinking about the kingdom of God. But is that what happens is we always think about everything else. Which is why there's so much stress why there's so much anxiety why there's so much fear, because instead of thinking about the things of God. We think about the things of the world we think about our problems so as a reminder that prayer works is also a reminder that we should constantly be praying let's go to Ephesians chapter 6 Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18.
The writer associates prayer with the armor of God. I think this is important you know we talked about the armor FICA. I had mannequin up your fully decked out in the armor we talked about this last year and those armor pieces. The hell with the breastplate the shield, the sword the boots the. The belt all those things are all things you put on by the end of that. It talks about prayer. It's also prayer is a powerful, powerful thing that associates prayer with our armor and associates prayer with how we defend ourselves how we have offensive weapons and defensive weapons how we live and navigate a spiritual life because, listen, everything is spiritual.
All her battles are spiritual. God is a spirit being everything we do is in that spiritual realm, so prayer is that access prayer is that continual conversation with God and therefore not praying continually for not thinking about the things of God regularly, then what are we doing what were thinking about everything else and it's really easy to turn everything else in the little idols. It's real easy to turn everything else in the fear and the panic in the worry. I just think about going into this Sunday we saw it on the news all week. As soon as they knew a storm was coming immediately.
It was like shut down mode go to the grocery store. Nobody travel on Friday nobody travel on Saturday and whether that's good advice or not is not the point.
The point is that it's really easy to get consume with everything that's going on do you consume what's happening with the virus.
It's easy get consume of what's happening economically in the world. It's easy to consume with what Rush is doing and what other players are doing with our minds. He gets so drafted there that we forget that we are meant to be praying continually to be thinking about the things of God. Ephesians 618, all walk through this. It speaks to isolate a victorious prayer life is starts off by saying this.
Praying at all times over break down real quick. Praying at all times, which means prayer works at all things at all times. So pray at all times good times the bad times. The times were you don't feel anything.
The times we are struggling. The times were you feel like you're being blessed at all times be praying that it qualifies it and if you praying be praying in the spirit. Why is that important.
That's important because the spirit knows the heart and the mind of God in the heart and mind of you as we allow the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf is allow the spirits who pray with us and through us is that Holy Spirit that has that wisdom in that direction that knows the will of God for our life that knows our life that connects the two together so we don't just pray just afraid. What happens when we pray at all times and we praying with and then the Holy Spirit that it breaks down more. It says that as we do that we should do so with all prayer and all supplication. In other words, pray for everything, not just for one thing, pray for everything, not just in one area, pray for all things all situations. Whatever's going on. To that end, it says the keep alert again this is tied to Ephesians 6 which talks about the schemes of the devil. It's also the fiery darts of the enemy is Costley launching at us to intimidate us to cause us to fear, to cause the panic and prayer is that response weapon prayer is that response back that keeps us alert a keeps our spirit activities. Her eyes open. He keeps our minds open to not just the things of God but also to be on the lookout for the schemes of the devil to be lookout for that as attacks of the enemy throws at us and as were praying in the spirit will praying to God will continuously praying were also staying alert and active. Because the enemy is alert and active. Says that he prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Prayer is that thing that keeps us tied to the will and the head of God because, says that with all perseverance. In other words, other variations say that persistence constantly praying persistently praying not just one off, but constant, persistent, persevere through those prayers and ends by saying, making supplication for all the saints. In other words, as your praying, pray for believers pray for your church family and pray for your church staff pray for your small group pray for those around you that are believers that are also struggling the same ways that you're struggling.
Pray for believers around the world. What a great prayer that is just a pray for God to hand move in believers who are not just here but global so pray always the second pilot to bring this morning is this is to not lose heart. I love that the writer says I love that Jesus says that I love that he mentions Russ not to lose heart. And why would he mention for us not to lose heart will because I know how often it's easy for me to lose heart by a suitably unanswered prayers.
It's easy to get discouraged. Isn't it just honest with ourselves. It's easy to get discouraged in our prayer life because there's probably many of you who have pray for things for a long time in your praying in your praying in your praying and eventually if were not careful we get discouraged and lose heart. So I love that Jesus says that he's sharing this parable that you will pray always, and that you won't get discouraged, you won't lose heart. I think is very powerful because, listen the enemy would love nothing more than just the simply cause us to lose heart and the cause us to give up, not just on others but also in God on our self honor circumstances it's easy for the enemy just up whisper those things in our air air to say listen, if God really loves you when you have answered this prayer request by now, how we've heard that that before. You've heard that voice before just questioning God wondering worry is, sometimes we feel like we pray like it is hitting the ceiling in bouncing back and what Jesus is saying listen you gotta be persistent in prayer.
Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't throw in the towel. Often times I like to encourage people listen. Don't give up before you see that miracle happened, I think. So often we just give up before we see that miracle would happen if the if the Israelites walking around Jericho stop the day short, what would happen if they gave up because they got tired and they didn't make it that final day to think about what would happen. Our life if we would just give up ready for that miracle will come. The answer will come. There's so much at stake, not only for us but there's also things at stake is eternity at stake their souls at stake, there's lives at stake as the enemy can get us to give up on our prayer life and to give up on our spiritual victory.
There are absolute souls in eternity at stake in second Thessalonians 313 as as as for you, brothers do not grow weary in doing good, stay encouraged, don't get tired and doing the right thing and and again also encourages there's so many of you, you are holding the line. In truth you are holding them. The line in morality or holding the line spiritual truth you hold the line and Google truth and you're doing the right things sometimes doing the right things is really hard is lot of attacks and you see everybody else doing the wrong things and and you you can assume like all they're doing all the wrong things and and they seem just be fine and here I am over here getting persecuted him over here doing mock them over here being rejected doing the right things and it's easy again.
Just to give up a listen. We can't give up. Don't get weary in doing the good. Keep doing good in second Corinthians 4 1618 it says so. We do not lose heart is as though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day was and that's how you don't lose heart.
By the way, you don't lose heart, because your inner self is being renewed. This is what prayer does prayer that connection to God renews our spirit renews our heart.
It builds our faith. And this is why this is so worn.
This is for the slight momentary affliction is preparing us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen says I read that I was God's Probably a reminder, God is always at work. Even though we might not see it. You might not ever see.
Maybe the results of your prayer but don't ever doubt that God is not moving that God is not working. Our job is the pray.
It's God's job. The answer is of God is at work always so we can't look to just what we physically see, we have no idea. Sometimes what God is doing spiritual we have no idea that our prayers for our loved one that God isn't always working on them and speaking to them. Galatians 69 it says in. Let us not grow weary of doing good. Another reminder for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.
And again, that is, combination rights, a combination reminder wasn't. Don't give up, and we can't give up just because what we do.
So I give up will know we don't give up because as a harvest to reach.
There's souls at stake, there's lives at stake. We cannot give up and doing good which which I want to tie back because if were praying and were getting frustrated and we give up on prayer is really easy then to give up just in life and on God not doing good and I'm standing in the truth to be our energy we get our power all that we get to that prayer life in the spirit. The third point is is number three is that God hears us. And he answers us is a hard one. Sometimes a talk about because I understand what the Bible says, like many of you. The Bible says that as I pray God hears it and he says the answer will and sometimes what will the where where is the answer. If that's true then then where are the answers in first John 514 to 15 a says and this is the confidence we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us, so no one hears you is not deft your cry is not too busy for you is not ignoring you, he hears you.
And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked him. In other words church listen, if we believe that God hears us, they can. We also believe that God's gonna do it. We also believe that God's good answer. He's gonna respond in Jeremiah 2912 the 13 this is your call on me. You come and pray to me and I will hear you. Another promise I'll hear you use as money. We seek him.
That will never find him. We seek him with all of our heart. Again, let let's we cannot allow the enemy to cause us to doubt God's goodness, we can allow the enemy to cause us to doubt whether God hears us. Whether God is listening hears the hard truth that we have to get with God's answer might not be what you want. It might not be the answer you want, but it's always right and it's always just to sometimes we get frustrated because we pray for something and we don't get the answer we actually want again.
Can we trust God that God is good that God is just that God is always right. So how we how does God answer us. So as were praying. I wrote down about four ways just forward is morbid for ways that God will answer us that we are we listening the first way that I've seen in my life were God answers is through his work through through the Bible is that a lot of times women praying for something and I kinda combine pray for something and reading Scripture, and as I'm praying for whatever I'm praying for a little behold it's right there in Scripture and God leads you to a passage in God leads you to the answer. Can we just all testify and be excited that God's word still speaks that his written word, the Bible that we have is still true. Sometimes as we pray God's word is the answer.
The other way that he answers them in my history. What I've seenů Scriptures.
He answers through his Holy Spirit and to me for me it's just that that way that I just know how God speaks to me. I just know what that feels like in my life. I just know in spiritual disciplines what God is speaking to me know. I've never heard God's audible voice, and never seeing God physically G is never just physically came to me and had a conversation tell me that my prayer was being answered. So we have to rely on the Holy Spirit inside of us again that Holy Spirit inside of us to give us that knights can speak to our hearts can speak to our mind that we know what the answer is another way of seeing.
Got answer is through miracles and signs and wonders and I'm a I'm a believer not our church believes this.
I hope you do that, God still can do signs he still can do wonders. He still can do miracles. At times we have prayed and we have seen the hand of God moved in my prayer right now is that there's things in your life that God will answer in such a way that nobody else will know how that got answered, but by God I think often times that that is such a great testimony of God's faithfulness, we can say we been praying about this will know how it happened other than God. And here's the answer. The other way that I see got answer is autonomously through other people. It's really people God can speak through other people. God can speak through circumstances. Now that what I believe and I always say this, you gotta be a little careful with that one, because you never know the city could come to you in and claim to have something from God for you and sometimes it might be right, and sometimes it might be off. That's why you be connected to the Holy Spirit and connected to God is so poor but does God use people in our lives.
Absolutely he will absolute we can be praying for something in God sends along somebody that is an answer that prayer.
God actually can and will use people.
So Ms. ask you a spiritual discipline question that I think it's fair for you to wrestle with me don't know, but here it is, how do you know when God speaks to you. How do you know when God speaks to how do you know it's God, and not just your own idea and listen. There is not just a one simple answer for that.
And here's the beautiful thing God created you. He knows you trust that God also knows how to speak to you in a way that you personally know that it's God who speak into number for the fourth point is this. It talks about God's timing that parable that Jesus read it let us to God's time I go this encourage you what you believe this or not but it is been your experience or not, is this God is never late but is always on time is never late but is always on time and is always on his time that I know most of us would love of God could be just a little early.
Sometimes of God. Good give us the answer.
A little quicker. Sometimes there's things that we pray about and he gets right up to that $12 write ups that that moment I would love an answer and then there's the answer will.
God couldn't you let me know, and that yesterday were to take it a little bit of stress away, but here's the beautiful thing about this it as were praying we are learning about God were learning about ourselves in Psalm 31 verse 14 to 15, it says I trust in your Lord I see you are my God.
Listen to verse 15 says my times are in your head rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors.
I love the first part my time is in your hands. What if we said it this way, God my timing is in your hands.
I just trust you with the I trust you with the time God year.
I can relate. You know what's going on your do you live a blind eye to me. You know my circumstance. So God I'm super my time in your hands.
Isaiah chapter 55 are they denying's another reminder. My thoughts are not your thoughts.
Now there are your ways my ways, declare the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. That is a true verse. Often times I know the people that they they don't like that answer.
People don't like the answer when they question God, and you don't like the answer.
Well, God's ways are not our ways and God thoughts are all thoughts's ways are higher than us. People like that answer because it's it sounds like it's just the an excuse for why God didn't do whatever's going to do, but it is a biblical response. That's true. I don't have the same mind and thought and knowledge that God has his ways are higher than my ways.
The way he thinks is higher and greater then I'm so I'm such an infinite think like a fine. I think I just feel we can only think linear in here and now it and we had this universal God that is been around the universe for all eternity.
This God of everything that knows everything that spans beyond time and space and all that stuff. Of course, his ways are higher than our ways. Which means we trust him. Second Peter chapter 3 verse eight. Nine. Mrs. but do not overlook this one fact 11 that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as one day.
Another reminder that listen God is never in a hurry. God's never rushed God's never caught by surprise.
God's never sin their don't know.
I'm thinking maybe I can't believe I missed this appointment with you about talks about time is such a weird way for us to understand that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years in the thousand years like a day. In other words, time is solely relevant hints in eternity when it comes to our linear start to finish everything we do is just for like time, aging life and is is little span of a linear timeline and then you got this God that's like what is time I'm everywhere. I'm always your past or present your future. Which means for me. Honestly, for me it means I can trust him with that because God did not give me a hurry because not surprised. So you trust your timing in your will in your life praying through God's time. He wants to hear me when I say this praying through God's timing will lead us to greater faith. If we do not lose heart. And if we don't get frustrated if were praying for something persistently if we just keep going before God and keep going for God. What that does.
It leads us to greater faith to greater trust. If we just won't lose heart and we just don't get frustrated. The fifth and final point this morning as this is Jesus, and that parable by basis and will he find anybody faithful will Jesus find you and be faithful at the end of it when it's all said and done when the Son of Man returns will he find that we been faithful see prayers tied the faith is in has to be perhaps three tied to faith because faith in general is believing in something you just don't see what we are praying to a God that we physically aren't seeing were praying to God that audibly might not be responding to in John chapter 20 Jesus is having a conversation with Thomas affectionately known as doubting Thomas and Thomas as doubting whether or not what he's seeing in front of him is actually Jesus because he just witnessed Jesus crucifixion. He just witnessed Jesus going into a tomb disciples been afraid and and all the other disciples of Thomasina, but Thomas was one of the last ones to see Jesus and Jesus, appears and he knows he recognizes Tom is your your doubting me Archie Thomas and so when we a lot of you know this passes what is today's date and touch my hands Thomas to touch my hands. Is this not me touch my side put your hand in my would seek see that I am who I am and Tom's.
Of course, leaves and how could she write just before you physically and are touching him and he speaking to you elicited Jesus did that for you. We do not overwhelmingly said yes. I believe in Jesus himself today. Right now, just popped into your living room is that I am the Christ. Here my wounds here's assistant and the other thing, let me show you myself. Me talk you, then you would believe you would see him face-to-face makes sense. But Jesus is this the Thomas he says have you believed because you have seen me. I like this next part is speaking about you and me along with the Gentiles and the others in the church advancing in the early years. He said the Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed to talk about you suck about Meese en masse that that believe even though we haven't seen will Jesus find us faithful will remain faithful in our prayer life. So again ask you question a different way.
What are you persistently praying for now what is it right now in your life that you have been praying for and maybe another way of saying it is is what if you kinda given up on. Are there things that you were praying persistently informed that you've just lost heart and you just stop praying. Maybe you have things right now that you are actively praying for through can I encourage you don't give up.
God hears you, your job is the prey it's God's job to answer. Don't give up how to close this morning bye-bye praying alongside of you all pray for you this morning those you that have things in your life that you are persistently praying for that.
There's things your life that you're just putting before God. Their sleazy life that you just actively seeking God and that there's areas like that that you want to see victory and I want to pray with you this morning as you begin a close. But before I do that more talking a lot today about prayer at the end of the day. The most effective prayer. Sometimes just the a cry from our heart and acknowledgment that we need him suing wonderful things in my life that I love about prayer is that it's a personal relational communication between me and my Savior that at any moment I can go to the God of the universe I go to the Jesus that loves me and saves me and and I can speak to him as a friend speaks with a friend. As the Bible says I just go to talk to I can do that because there was the first prayer parade. Maybe the most meaningful prayer and I was a prayer of salvation to be canceled well prayer and persistent prayer in relation without also talking about prayer salvation. I want encourage you, you might be watching right now, wherever you're watching from. I'll just encourage you that if you've never prayed a prayer to receive Jesus in your life right now right here, let's do that. Were we waiting for.
He loves you he created you he wants a relationship with you. You know that there is no real formulaic prayer and scripture that just says pray these words exactly.
And you'll be saved. But what the Bible does say is that if you confess with your mouth that he is Lord and we believe that in our hearts is that he will save us to rescue us so right knives want to give you a moment wherever you are, that if you never accepted Jesus in your life would you just right now just speak words to him. Would you right now just speak and say Jesus I want you my life GS would you just come in just forgive me of my sins just I recognize I don't have relation with you and and I want one right now. Today. So Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins and I acknowledge right now that I invite you my life to my Lord and my Savior that you would help me for the rest of my days live for you in Jesus name, amen. For the rest of us this morning.
I want to close in prayer for you as a closing prayer and I want you to agree with me in these areas of your life that you need to see victory in the areas your life or you need to be persistent in and let's not give upů Bring these request before God costly because a good and just God is here in your request and we just talked about how good and just God hears them response to them loves you so spray together GS right now we come before you right now and we just put before you all these prayer requests all the prayer requests right now for victory in our life. All the needs we have all the areas of our life that we need to be persistent and so bored right now. I pray for those that that maybe they've never never consistently pray for something. This is once in a while slow right now that you just speak to the hearts allow them to just persistently keep praying for that and believing for answers believing for victory. I prefer those that have given up that are frustrated, but I hope that today that your spirit encourages them to continue in prayer to get back into that prayer moment.
So right now I pray for a realist.
I praise you will bless them with victory in your life and all the areas that we are praying in your will. In Jesus name. Everybody said amen