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Get Your Shine On…As You Pray

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2021 7:00 am

Get Your Shine On…As You Pray

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 11, 2021 7:00 am

Practical lessons from Jesus about praying effectively; based on Matt. 6:5-8.

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We are to examine why we pray. And Jesus said, make sure you're not praying to impress anybody. That's his point here.

Make sure that you are not trying to impress people. Instead, you need to pray because you need a face to face encounter with the Lord every day. Every member of the body of Christ should be a person of prayer. But why we pray is every bit as important as what we pray. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. You know, a consistent prayer life motivated by a genuine desire to draw closer to God is essential in order for believers in Christ to impact the world around them. Today, Pastor Paul reminds us that the light of Christ, which dwells inside us, becomes the light of the world. It becomes clearer and brighter to others as we develop a lifestyle of prayer. Stay with us now, but remember, you can always stop by pastorpaul.net to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. Here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message. Get your shine on as you pray. Please examine why you pray.

Look at what he says. He says, don't be like the hypocrites. And just as we saw in the giving message prior to this one, when Jesus says hypocrites, here in Matthew 6, he's talking very specifically about the Pharisees, about the high brow, religious, holier than thou folks. Let me tell you something, we got some 21st century Pharisees in our churches right now. People who act all super spiritual and all high and mighty and they don't even spend much time with sinners and all that kind of stuff. Jesus called those folk hypocrites. I hope I don't pastor a single 21st century hypocrite. If you belong to destiny, my job is to teach you that you have no business being a hypocrite.

You need to be a person who walks humbly with God and who lets God have his way in your life. He said, don't be like the hypocrites. Well, what were the hypocrites like?

He goes on to explain. He says they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corner of the street that they may be seen by men. Jesus said in his day, the Pharisees wanted to intentionally come out in public and pray and they wanted to be seen of everyone so they stood in the synagogue and they even took it outside of the building and on the corners of the streets and Jesus peeped their motive. He said that they may be seen by men.

Why? We are to examine why we pray and Jesus said, make sure you're not praying to impress anybody. That's his point here. Make sure that you are not trying to impress people instead you need to pray because you need a face to face encounter with the Lord every day of your life. And so he's saying, don't pray to impress people. Now, I had to point this out only because it's in the text and I want to be faithful to the text.

Having pointed it out, let me tell you what my experience has been here in 21st century America. We usually don't have to tell folks, don't show off when you pray. Don't pray to try to impress people.

I just said that because it's in the text. Let me tell you what I find. The challenge today is not getting people to stop and praying to impress people. The challenge today is to get people to pray period. If you know like I know, there's a whole lot of folk who just don't pray period. They live their lives like they are humanists. Like they don't even have a relationship with God. That they don't even have any trust in God. That they don't expect to need God. A whole lot of Christians today live a godless life Monday through Saturday.

Oh, fasten your seat belts because I'm coming for you. If you are one of these folk who are Christian in name but pagan in lifestyle, Jesus said not if you pray, Jesus said when you pray. When you pray, you ought to make sure you examine your motive. But today I need to tell folk by all my means you need to develop a prayer life. Refuse to be one of these people who just lives your life in a secular humanist way and learn the importance of acknowledging the presence of God, acknowledging your need for his power, your need for his grace, your need for his favor, your need for his mercy, your need for his intervention, your need for him to do what only he can do. You and I need to realize we are limited but we serve a limitless God. We can't do much but God can do all things. Therefore, not if you pray, when you pray.

You got to make up your mind I am not only going to be Christian in my profession of faith. I once asked the Lord into my life but that's good but that's just like being in the starting blocks of a race. As you run your Christian race, you're going to need the Lord's help, the Lord's grace every day of your life. And so my brother, my sister, let me tell you right off the bat here, you've got to be a person of prayer. I'm finding more people who are prayerless in their day to day life. They just don't have a prayer life. They are some folk who when they pray, it's automatically a 911 prayer. There are some people, when they pray, they're only praying cause it's 911.

Oh, I'm in trouble. Let me tell you something, Jesus didn't say when you're in trouble, pray. Now you can pray when you're trouble but Jesus here is teaching us to pray as a matter of lifestyle, not pray as a bailout.

Do you hear me? You are to pray as a matter of your lifestyle. You are to pray because you're in trouble. You need the Lord every day. You need to practice his presence. You need to experience his power.

You need his intervention. You need all kinds of things from God and so prayer needs to be part of your everyday experience. And so not if you pray but when you pray.

I want to encourage Christians today, talk about getting your shine on. We need to be praying people because prayer will impact the folks that we have. To deal with and so you need to be a prayerful person every day of your life.

Too many folks around you feel like they are completely self-sufficient but they are not. And so you're going to have to pray that God will move in their lives and whatever he has to do, he will shake them from their sense of self-sufficiency and bring them to the point where they realize they need the Lord. How are people going to come to know they need him?

Because your light is shining bright and you make it clear every day that you need the Lord. And so get your shine on as you pray. Not if you pray but as you pray. Don't be a Christian who is functionally a humanist, functionally an atheist, functionally an agnostic because you don't put your trust, your hope, your faith in the Lord. Don't be one of those people who just goes to church because that's what you do. No, no, you need more than church. You need to be in relationship with the head of the church who is Jesus Christ himself.

Not if you pray but when you pray. I want Christians to understand we are living in a world that is increasingly feeling self-sufficient, feeling like the answers to every question are among the human race itself. I'm here to declare to you, you and I have to be the light to let folks know there is a God. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth.

He created everything that exists, both what you see and what you do not see. And we need to let that light shine. There is a God. We need to declare by our very walk with him and by our very presence in the way we live our lives every day. We need to declare to people there is a God and you are not him. Folk need to know there is a God and you're not him.

You don't qualify. You didn't say let there be. You are the created. You are not the creator. How dare you think you are self-made? How dare you think you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps?

You did no such thing. If it weren't for God, you wouldn't have the boots, the straps, or the grace to pull him up. God has given you the power to live your life. The Bible says in him, we live and move and have our being.

Without him, you have no being. And so you and I need to declare, we who are saved by grace, need to declare to this world around us there is a God, you're not him, and you need him in your life. We have humanists all around us. And now I'm noticing more and more there are a lot of folks who sense there is something unexplainable outside of the human race, but notice what people do a lot these days. They talk about the universe doing this and the universe doing that.

Have you all heard them? The universe, oh, the universe sent me a message. Universe didn't send you no message.

The universe is the created. The created can't send you a message, but the creator sure can. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepard. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, be sure to stop by pastorpaul.net anytime to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net, where you can contact us for prayer or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry right there online. And stay tuned after the message when Pastor Paul joins me in the studio. But first, let's listen as he shares the rest of today's message.

Get your shine on as you pray. And so saints, I want you all to get it clear. Don't get caught up in this foolishness with your friends and relatives and loved ones and what have you. Don't get caught up with them talking about the universe sent them somebody. Universe didn't send you anybody. The universe is the created. God is the creator.

And so we need to make this very, very plain as we live our lives. Don't buy into, you hear a lot of folks talking about faith. Did this same thing with universe fate. It was just fate. There is no such thing about you believing in fate without suddenly acknowledging that, you know, there is some force that causes certain things to happen. But that force has a name.

It's not fate and it's not the universe. That force that you're alluding to is the Lord himself. And so we need to let our light shine.

Get your shine on saints and let people know God is real. God exists. He has always been. He is now.

He will always be. Folks, that doesn't make any sense. How can there be a God who doesn't have a beginning? Well, you all who keep talking about the universe, how can there be a universe without a beginning?

It makes no sense. You can't explain what you believe and debunk what I believe. I believe that in the beginning God, because God has revealed himself in creation. He's revealed himself in our conscience.

He's revealed himself especially through his word and ultimately he revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ. I know who I believe. I know why I believe it. You believe in the beginning bang and you can't even explain where the stuff came from that banged. So the fact of the matter is you can't back me up off of my belief. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

That is the universe and all that we see. And so God is the one that we are to pray to on a regular basis. Examine not only your motive for praying, but examine your need for prayer. Make sure that you build prayer into your everyday life. You didn't grow up like some of us as Sunday school children. You weren't taught to pray. Some of us were taught to pray in our homes before we went to sleep. Some of you all can remember. Few of you all can remember, now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. They were teaching us how to pray before we knew the Lord for ourselves. To acknowledge him before we went to sleep.

And we need to get back to that. Christian parents and grandparents, aunties and all that, teach your children to pray. Teach them that God is real.

That God is listening. And teach your children to pray. We've got to return to prayer.

And Christian, you've got to stop acting like you only need God for some quick emergency. You've got to realize that you need to talk to the Lord every day of your life. So that's the why you pray.

Examine your motive. Examine your need to have a regular prayer life. But not only the why, the second thing Jesus alludes to here in this passage is how you should pray. He wants you to examine not only your motive, he wants you to examine your method of praying.

What do I mean by that? Look at verse 6 of Matthew 6. Jesus said, but you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Now, let me just pause there and help you to understand what Jesus is saying.

So he already said examine your motive. He said the Pharisees, they pray intentionally out in public because they want to be seen. And so now he's contrasting it and he says now you, when you pray, find a secret place.

All he's doing is giving us a contrast. He's not being legalistic. He's not saying you can't pray publicly. He's just saying that can't be your motive for praying. Earlier in this service and in every service we have, either I or somebody else prays a prayer for those in the service, those watching, those listening. It's no contradiction to what Jesus said because he wasn't saying you can't pray publicly. He's just saying your motive can't be because you want to impress people. We don't pray when we have prayer in our services.

We're not trying to impress anybody. We're trying to help y'all by praying for you and praying in agreement with you that God will move in your life. And so there's nothing wrong with other people knowing it but that cannot be your motive to be seen and heard of people. So Jesus gives us the contrast and he says when you pray, find a room, shut the door, find a secret place and talk to God. All he's saying is what is important when you pray is that you get a hearing in heaven.

And I hope you understand that in your life. What you need is a hearing in heaven. You don't need anybody to be impressed with how spiritual you are. You don't need any of your friends saying, ooh, I've never seen anybody pray like her. Ooh, that girl can really pray.

No, it doesn't matter what they think. You need to pray because you need a hearing on high. You need the Lord to hear and to answer you.

And so the method can't be that you are specifically trying to be seen even if you are seen by people, make sure that's not your motive. He says because what's most important is that you have a one-on-one contact with God. Jesus prayed publicly at times throughout his ministry so he can't be against public prayer. He prayed often out loud. You see him in John 11. He's at the grave site of Lazarus and he's getting ready to raise the man, but he prays first. He prayed in a lot of different settings throughout his earthly ministry. So it's not against public praying. I don't want you to feel like Jesus says you can't pray and other folks are nearby. Of course you can.

He's just saying it can't be your motive to try to impress people. I'm on the record when I go to a restaurant. Well, these days during COVID, I don't go to restaurants because I don't know what's going on in there. And so when I do get food from out, I bring it to my safe house.

Talk about in my secret closet, I eat in my secret closet. I ain't eating out there with these crazy people. I see them all in these restaurants and sitting across the table from each other because they got to pull their mask down to eat.

Some of them don't even have a mask to begin with. Wait a minute. I stopped preaching and going to fuss and I'm going to go back to preaching. Fact of the matter is I want you to know God will hear you when you pray from a right motive. Don't worry about it. But I also don't want you to be falsely condemned.

Fact of the matter is it is OK to pray. Well, I was starting to say when I eat food back in the restaurant days and hopefully those days of returning, when they bring my food, I'm going to stop and pray over that food. I don't know who was back there in that kitchen. I don't know what kind of bad day they have.

And I don't know if they feel a mischievous that particular day. I'm not going to put my life in their hands. I'm going to say, God, I want you to bless this food.

I hope they prepared it with good intentions. But no matter what, I want you to bless this food. And by blessing it, I'm saying secretly, Lord, if there's something in here that's not supposed to be in here, snatch it out. I'm serious.

I'm not playing. I pray when I go to restaurant. If you at my table, you don't have to pray. If you want to be a heathen, you go ahead and look at me. But I'm praying over my food because I think it's important that we acknowledge God in matters like that.

Acknowledge Him when you get in your car. I believe you ought to pray. If somebody else see you praying in your car, don't be condemned.

I'm praying because I want God to get me where I plan to go. And you got these crazy folk out here. They hide. They're crazy. They're angry. They're mad.

They got all kind of stuff going on. You don't know what the people are doing around you. You can be the most careful driver there is.

But there's some crazy folk around us. So when you get behind the wheel, you need to trust God with your safe passage. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message.

Get your shine on as you pray. As promised, Pastor Paul Shepherd joins me now from his studio in California. Pastor, as a country, we find ourselves just a little over a month into the first 100 days of a new administration. Already, there have been lots of changes. We know that some listening in our audience today are thrilled about what's been done so far.

Others are concerned. But it got me thinking about a conversation you and I had just days before the election last year. And if you would be willing, I thought this would be a good time to remind us of what you said to all of us back then. Take just a moment to share some truth with us about where our hope should be during these days.

Yeah, I'm happy to do that. I think the key truths to following Jesus are reminding ourselves that elections don't change what we're called to do and how we're called to live. Here's one of the things I think we need to keep in mind. You know, I grew up on the old hymns of the church. I grew up in a church where we sang gospel and had fun songs, but we sang hymns and anthems a lot. And so I love the hymn, and I'm thinking about it now in answer to your question. My hope is built on nothing less but Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

And the fact of the matter is, I think you need to make sure that your hope lies firmly and solely in Jesus Christ. It can never be in the White House. It can never be in a party. It can never be in Congress. It can't even be in the decisions made in the Supreme Court. It has to remain in Christ.

All other ground is sinking sand. And I think if our listeners put their hope in Jesus Christ, then we will continue looking to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Well, I'm reminded of Psalm 20, verse 7, Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Thanks for those words of wisdom, Pastor Paul. At a time when there's so much pain and uncertainty in the world, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ remains a source of hope for all who embrace it.

And now more than ever, many are searching for that hope. This is why your prayers and financial support have destined for victory is so critical. As our way of saying thanks for your generous donation, we'd like to send you a booklet called Your Purpose is Calling. You know, God often uses other people to push us into fulfilling our God-given purpose.

He also uses challenges or crises to help steer us in the right direction. In Your Purpose is Calling, Pastor Paul shares three directives for anyone who's trying to discover his or her purpose. That's Your Purpose is Calling, our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. And of course, you can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, our address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You say, well, how do you get your shine on and your pray? Because while people, I'm not trying to impress them, they're going to see God bless me. They're going to see God take me through my trials. They're going to see God get me through my hardships. They're going to see God manifest his blessings in my life. They're going to see the answers to prayer. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Sheppard's message, get your shine on as you pray. But until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-16 22:35:37 / 2023-12-16 22:44:42 / 9

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