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Keys to Effective Prayer (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 8:00 am

Keys to Effective Prayer (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 30, 2021 8:00 am

Developing a prayer life that is meaningful and effective; using "P.R.A.Y." as an acronym to give you prayer reminders; based on 1 Thess. 5:17 and other passages.

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Let the A remind you to ask what you desire. I not only praise, I not only proclaim, I not only repent, I not only reconcile, but I do get to ask. Prayer is about many things.

One of them is I get to ask God for what I desire. Hello and welcome to this Tuesday edition of Destined for Victory. Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. What you just heard is part of a great message from Pastor Paul Shepherd today, but before we get to that, he's been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, in just a few minutes, we'll get to your message, Keys to an Effective Prayer Life, a message I know will help all of us.

If we're honest, this is something that all of us struggle with, at least from time to time. Tell us why this is so important from your experience and why we struggle so much with having an effective prayer life. Well, I think it's important because even those of us who are baby boomers and were more likely to be raised going to church, the fact of the matter is even those who were raised praying can lose sight of the power and the efficacy of effective praying. So we've got to get back to some continuing education as followers of Christ. More importantly, I think we've got to understand that we have four generations under us boomers, none of whom were raised systematically as a generation in church. So that means we've got to teach them the ABCs of things like prayer.

And that's what this message is about. You'll hear me in this message using prayer as an acronym and saying here's what the P stands for, here's what the R stands for, here's what the A and Y. Because I'm trying to disciple people in ways they can easily understand, and I hope it'll be a real blessing to us older people and to the younger generation.

I have found that keeping a journal, whether it's a detailed journal or not, just reminds me of God at work in my life through prayer in the past. It encourages me to keep at it. Yes, sir.

Yes, sir. We've got to find the tools and the ways to make our prayer lives more effective because the rules don't matter. It is how you are accomplishing what God wants in your life, which is for you to have a vibrant relationship with him. And whatever that means to you, we're trying through this message and others to help people find that place where you don't just endure the idea of praying, but you enjoy going into the Lord's presence.

And one of the things I tell people is don't worry about King James English. When you get in your prayer closet, just tell him exactly what you think, and it really will help people to have an effective prayer life. Well, part of an effective prayer life includes honoring God by asking him to guide you, to direct you, and, yes, to bless you. But as you'll see in today's message from Pastor Paul, this was never designed to be a name it, claim it kind of asking. Context is critical to a proper understanding of God's word, and Pastor Paul is standing by to help you see that context a little more clearly.

Now, to share his message keys to effective prayer here once again is Pastor Paul Shepherd. We are not required to speak words of forgiveness to people who have not asked for it. Now that's one of the things you got to understand when the Bible says we got to forgive people, when they haven't requested that forgiveness, what you do is forgive them in your heart, and you release them to God by doing so.

The word forgive, the Greek word that we translate forgive is a word that means to send. When you forgive, I'm sending you away. I'm not going to keep you in the jail of my heart. I'm sending you away. I ain't got no time to carry you the rest of my life. You're too heavy. I'm not carrying you around in my heart. My heart needs to be free, to do God's will, to love people, to do right by people, to minister to people.

I'm not carrying haters around in my heart. Say amen, somebody, and the fact of the matter is you release them to God. You say, Pastor, where did you get that? Look at what Jesus did on the cross.

What did he say? Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. They're killing him. He doesn't look at them and say, I forgive all y'all. He says, Father, you forgive them. I'm releasing them to you.

They don't know what they're doing. I'm about to check out, but you deal with them, Lord. And he released them to God. What did Stephen, the first Christian martyr, do? As he's being stoned, he looks up to heaven and says, Father, lay not this sin to their charge. What's he doing? These people are stoning him. They're not asking, oh, we're so sorry. We're killing you. They're killing him intentionally.

So what does Stephen do? He doesn't look at all the folks stoning him and say, I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you. He says to the Father, don't hold this sin to their charge.

Why? He's releasing them to God so he can be free and God then will have to deal with them. See, your enemies still have to answer to God.

That's why I don't have to talk to you. If you hate me, if you are glad you did what you did to me and you wish you could do some more, I don't even have anything to say to you. He said, but the Bible said, love your enemies. Yes, I can love you from afar because you are toxic and you are hateful and you are dangerous. The apostle Paul said to his spiritual son Timothy, he said, watch out for Alexander. He did me great harm and if he could, he'd have done some more.

My son, I'm getting ready to leave this earth, but Alexander is going to be on your heels. He said, watch out. See, that's what y'all got to learn. Stop practicing sloppy agape. Stop grinning at people who are trying to kill you.

If you are coming for me, I got to believe you and I got to govern myself in such a way that I don't give you a clean shot at me. This is good preaching. This is good preaching. If you don't like it, just the Lord will help you get through this. But this is really, really important for you to work through. So reconcile your differences with others, not necessarily, if they will have a decent conversation with you, then go on and reconcile with them.

That's the ideal. But I'm talking about people who hate you and are glad they hate you and want nothing to do with you. You can still reconcile your differences with them by giving them to God. I hope you understand what I'm saying. And there's so much more I could say scripturally about that, but I need to move on, give you these last two points. So I want you to remember when you pray, you're just building your prayer life. Let the P remind you to praise Him continually and to proclaim who you are in Him.

Let the R remind you to repent when you fall short and to reconcile differences with others. Don't carry people around in your heart. I don't care.

I don't care how old it is. Stop and deal with your old baggage. Some of y'all are still carrying people around for years, for decades. Some of y'all are still carrying people around who are dead. And what you need to do is stop and reconcile that.

Say, Lord, so and so, when they were alive, they did this, that, and the other. And it's still in my heart. It still hurt me. And I got bitterness.

And I got real bad stuff going on inside of me. And give it to God. Sometimes y'all need to go to a grave site or at least just speak out loud. So and so, if you were hearing me from beyond the grave, I release you from what you did.

Or if you just want to release Him to God, like I said earlier, however you do it. But get it off of you. Get it off of you. All right? I got to move on.

The A is one word. Ask. When you pray, let the A remind you to ask what you desire.

Let it remind you, ask what you desire. I not only praise, I not only proclaim, I not only repent, I not only reconcile, but I do get to ask. Prayer is about many things.

One of them is I get to ask God for what I desire. But now I need to help you understand something. There are several scriptures that if you read them alone, you will ask in the wrong way.

So I need to take some time and help you understand some things about this asking business. Because very often people get in trouble because they don't understand that there are some guidelines God has given us in terms of our asking. What do you mean by that, Pastor?

Glad you asked the question. Sometimes you will read a verse that says you pray and ask for what you will and it shall be done. If you think that's the only scripture in your Bible and you say, well, the Bible says ask what I will and God's going to give it to me, you haven't read enough.

No single scripture will give you a comprehensive understanding of God's plan for you in the matter of prayer. So let me unpack it. My job as a teacher, pastor in the body of Christ is to do permanent damage to people's ignorance. And I take that job seriously and I don't want people under the influence of my ministry praying wrong.

So I'm going to take some time and unpack some of this for you. You can't just say, the Bible says ask and it shall be given. Well, it says more than that.

Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened. Yes, it does say that. Jesus said that in Matthew 7. But a lot more is said by Jesus and by his apostles. Jesus went on to say, ask anything in my name.

What's the name of Jesus? It doesn't mean end your prayer by saying in Jesus' name I pray. That's not praying in his name. We do that traditionally in a lot of church settings, in a lot of Christian lives, people end their prayers by saying in Jesus' name, amen.

Nothing wrong with it. We do that often out of habit. But that doesn't mean you pray it in his name. To pray in his name means I prayed in his stead. I prayed on the authority he's given me. I asked what he would ask if he were here on earth right now.

That's what it means. I stand in the stead of Jesus and I ask on behalf of what his will is for my life. So praying in Jesus' name is very, very important. Asking in his name is very, very important. James in his epistle, James chapter 4 verse 3, James says sometimes you ask and you do not receive. Why?

Because you ask, what's this word? Amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures. I like how the contemporary English version puts verse 3 of James 4. It says your prayers are not answered because you pray just for selfish reasons. So just because you ask God, you can't say, well, he said asking shall be given. So I want 10 million dollars by Wednesday.

Well, that's wonderful. But I would like that too, but I don't have the authority from heaven to expect that necessarily if God hasn't said that's his will for me by Wednesday. You understand what I'm saying? You got to ask according to his plan, his purpose for your life. I get to ask for whatever I want. I just don't get to expect things that he has not ordained for me. I need you to follow me. I'm a teacher. I got to lay this case out for you. If you don't like this point, stick with me because it's going to help you live a fruitful life and have a fruitful, meaningful, effective prayer life.

Well, don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you love our Destined for Victory program, we know you'll enjoy watching some of Pastor Paul's best video clips. You can subscribe at YouTube.com or for more details and links to all of his social media, be sure to visit PastorPaul.net. PastorPaul.net. Now let's get back to Pastor Paul's Destined for Victory message, Keys to Effective Prayer.

So this is where a lot of people get really, really mixed up. I've seen people pray fervently for the wrong thing, and I don't want anybody under my influence, any Destiny people or any of the people under my influence as a teacher on Destined for Victory ministries. I don't want you all praying ill-advised prayers.

Let me give you a few examples. Over the decades, from time to time, I've seen people pray and fast earnestly for the wrong things. Give you one example, I've seen people have prayer and fasting sessions that God would break up a couple and keep them from getting married.

I'm telling you what I've seen. Good, well-meaning, godly people, but they don't like this couple for whatever reason getting together. They don't think these people ought to be together, whatever the case might be, and so they try to sit God on them, and they pray and they fast.

I mean, and sit very sincere people. Oh, God, break this up. This is not your will.

Let me help you understand something. Marriage isn't a result of God's will all the time. Marriage is a result of people's will. The Bible said marry who you will, save in the Lord. Even the believers, it says marry who you will. I get to pick my spouse. Now, I can pull God in and ask God to lead me as much as possible and all that.

I get to do that. I get to trust the Lord's leadership, but my point is marriage is a human institution blessed by heaven. Marriage is two people saying, I want you, you want me? Good, let's get married. All right, bottom line, we make it more spooky. We love that, oh, I knew that this was my spouse in eternity past.

Okay, all right, great. Here's the reason why I know there's some holes in that because some of the best marriages are people who weren't even saved when they got married. They weren't talking about God. They weren't acknowledging God. They care less about God. They got together, they had compatibility, and they made strong commitments, and they've lived them out. I know some folk who are atheists, agnostics, have the best marriage you ever saw.

Why? Because they planned on doing that. I know some saints who said they got a word of prophecy they were supposed to marry so-and-so, and it didn't work out. I've seen people do that and make a mess. I've seen people pray on provisions without taking other things into consideration. I've seen people pray and say things like, Lord, if you want me to take a trip to the Caribbean this year, even though I'm broken in debt, let a commercial come on the television today while I'm watching TV about such a vacation, and then Sandals commercial comes on.

Oh, there's my word. If you broke, you ain't got no business going to no vacation in no Caribbean. You need to get your finances in order. Now, if you choose to go, you did that. Don't blame that on God, and then when you get home, say, Lord, all right, I know I spent money. I put it on a credit card, and I don't even know how I'm going to pay it, but, oh, God, bail me out. Well, repent first for being selfish and self-centered, then ask the Lord to bail you out. God's merciful. He's bailed a lot of us out of a lot of things, but don't try to make right wrong or wrong right. This is good.

You just don't like it, but you're going to get over it. Let me give you another example, because I'm troubled by some things I'm seeing these days when sometimes people will mix prayer, prophecy together, and they try to make it out a promise, and it wasn't a promise from God, and they try to use prayer to push something that isn't necessarily a God agenda. Now, destiny is a politics-free zone. Every meeting in our church, I tell the leaders, do not discuss politics in a destiny meeting. If you all talk politics, do it on your own time. When the meeting is over, we don't do that in destiny meetings. Politics is one of the most divisive areas in life, and we don't do it as a church that seeks to walk in the unity that God has commanded us to walk in as the body of Christ, so we don't do politics in any of our buildings. You've never heard me stand in this pulpit and talk about who you need to vote for.

Never. If you say you heard me say it, you're a liar. I never said it. I told you to vote your conscience and your convictions and to use your civic responsibility and let your voice be known by your vote.

I don't tell you anything about who that should be for. But in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, I saw a pastor online praying fervently, very fervently, very sincerely, because they were saying the Lord had said to them sometime during this election cycle that God was going to have President Trump reelected. I'm only pointing this out to teach you about prayer. That's the only reason I'm bringing it up, because if you were exposed to any such thing, I'm trying to show you just like you got no business praying for a vacation when you're broke, just like you got no business praying over other people's marriage when they marry who they want to, you have no business doing this.

Somebody praying fervently. The Lord said he was to be reelected. And after the results came, they said, I got to have a prayer meeting and we got to resist this and we got to believe God to break up this election result.

My brother, my sister, I don't care how well intended you are. You are wrong, biblically speaking, to try to get God to do something that is not in his purview. God is sovereign and could, but elections are the result of the people's choice.

I know the scriptures you want to run me to. They do not mean every leader of every government in human history was personally God-ordained. That is not what the scriptures teach. Romans 13 tells you God has given authorities and we are to honor those authorities. God gave the authority. It is like when you say a husband is the head of his family, God didn't place that person, say honor that person because of who he is. God said honor him because I am holding him responsible for the welfare of the family. When a president, a king, any ruler is in an office, God says I ordain earthly governments. I don't necessarily ordain individual people. Just walk with me through it because I'm trying to teach you how to pray right. However well intended, this pastor had no business trying to invoke angelic help to overturn a human election. It is not in our purview as followers of Christ. I'm preaching.

I don't know why you're scared. I said it on purpose. I know what I said.

It's in my notes. You have no business trying to be manipulative of things that are not in our purview when you pray. And so we simply need to let the word be true and we need to learn how to be properly guided. So when you pray you can ask for what you desire but the caveat is you got to make sure it's lined up with the truth of scripture.

It's lined up with reality. All right. Now let me get back to the scripture. So the bottom line before I get to the why, let me just tell you, you need to make sure that when you ask, ask according to his will as best you can.

Now here's the problem. We don't always know what God's will is in every specific instance. So there are limitations in our ability to be effective in prayer simply because I don't have full understanding of God's will in every matter. See 1 John 5.14 says this is the confidence we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us and if he hears us we know we have the desire. But if I asked it according to his will that's where my confidence comes from. What about when I ask and I'm not absolutely sure this specific request is specifically in line with his will.

What then? Then I still ask but I don't have any guarantee and when I don't get the answer I want I can't fault God. The why stands for one simple but very extremely important thing. Why stands for yield to the will of God in all things. When you pray, when you build your prayer life, learn to praise him continually, learn to proclaim who you are in Christ, learn to ask for what you desire with the necessary caveats. And at the end of the day yield, why is yield to the will of God in all things. Do what Jesus taught you to do. In the garden Luke 22 42 Jesus said after he said Lord if it's your will, Father if it's your will take this cup from me. Then he did what you and I have to learn to do. Nevertheless not my will but yours be done. Look at him.

He is there in the garden. He knows he's about to experience excruciatingly painful not only torture and physical humiliation. He knows he's about to experience spiritual torment because the sins of the world are going to be placed on him.

Can you imagine bearing the sins of everybody past, present and future. That's what Jesus knew he was facing. And in his body he said if there's any way please take this away from me. Then he said what you and I have to learn to say.

Nevertheless not my will. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message keys to effective prayer. To find out more about this ministry or to contact us for prayer be sure to stop by our website pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net.

Well we're just about out of time but let me remind you that as you give your generous donation today. We'd be glad to send you by request pastor Paul's booklet your purpose is calling. That's your purpose is calling a booklet from pastor Paul that will help you discover your God given purpose. It's our gift to you by request for your gift to destined for victory.

Call us at 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to destined for victory post office box 1767 Fremont California 94538. Of course you can also make a safe and secure donation on our website pastorpaul.net. Whole lot of people say I want to know what the will of God is for my life. Well yes there are some very specific things God wants to reveal to you about his plan to use you. But please don't ever ignore the general will of God because it is part of you fulfilling God's purpose. That's tomorrow in pastor Paul Shepherd's message conspicuous gratitude. 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 / 2023-12-10 01:06:05 / 2023-12-10 01:15:59 / 10

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