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October 27, 2021 8:00 am
Today on fellowship and the word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ exactly what he said joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world about 90% of all Americans claim that they pray weekly. In fact, 70% of all Americans say that they pray daily with that mean they know we are a praying nation. What does it mean who will be praying to what are we praying for you see, it appears that for most people. Prayer is a sort of self talk about what you want to have happen. That's prayer and the problem with that is it.
We live in a fallen world cursed world and so when it comes to things like health issues, and employment in the weather and terminal situations and parking spaces. We often end up extremely disappointed we end up becoming disappointed in our prayer lives, and more specifically, and maybe your part of that group you feel like your prayers are not answered and what your prayer really wises you simply told God what you wanted to have happen. And it didn't happen. And so then you became disappointed. There's nothing new to this, by the way it's always been a problem in Luke chapter 11 disciples came to Jesus and they said that Jesus teach us to pray. Amazing statement.
They didn't say to Jesus teach us to teach that spent over three years with 24 seven didn't even say to Jesus teach us how to resurrect the dead. They didn't ask that basic you need to teach us how to pray and he did. He taught them. Open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 6 Matthew chapter 6.
The middle chapter of the great sermon on the Mount Matthew five, six and seven wall-to-wall red letter. If you have that kind of Bible Jesus is speaking the whole way through which Jesus is going to talk about in five, six and seven is what does an authentic life look like and that's when the master speaks is the most comprehensive view of how to live your life in the entire New Testament but here in chapter 6 and verse five. Jesus decides he wants to take on the subject of prayer.
There is good reason for they don't know how to pray prayer in their culture had become something extremely different from what God never intended it to be.
It became an aspect of ritual and reciting things. Each rabbi within the context of the culture all his students praying in a certain way. As a matter fact that's why Jesus disciples came to him. They said John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. In other words, if you heard a guy praying in public. You said while he must follow John the Baptist to use certain words are said it in a certain way, could you teach us a way to pray like that. And Jesus would have none of that aspect of it, he decides he would teach them anyway what I want to do when I look at these because these verses are so familiar to all of us. What I want to do is I want to ask you a series of questions each verse or two is going to reveal a question and you have to answer for yourself in your own heart. Is this describe the way I pray is this describe my prayer life the way it is. The first question is simply this is my prayer life. Real is my prayer, real, and I'll explain it here in just a moment.
Jesus said when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites to favor word of his.
We get that out of the theater.
The idea of wearing a mask and be an actor behind it you that we all know what a hypocrite is a hypocrite is someone who says one thing but lives in a very different way.
Jesus uses that term and says when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.
And truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Not at the time of Christ. There were a lot of things going on and out one of the things of gone on the culture adopted that there was three times a day when you should pray you, no matter where you are.
You should pray a lot like Islam is today at at 9 o'clock in the morning you should praying at noon. You should pray, and then in the evening our 3 o'clock. You should pray again so the hypocrites what they would do is, it would make sure that they find himself in a specific spot, especially on a street corner at exactly that time. And then when that time came, they would stand and they would pray. Jesus said that when they do that.
In fact, it's interesting when he says this he said they love to stand and pray in the synagogues on the street corners that word stand is an unusual word list two words for standing in a buy in the New Testament one is sort of what I'm doing now understanding, but there is another way of standing up. Sort of like standing in other words, it's got that idea, almost a military ID I'm standing. That's the word Jesus uses. They love the stand. You can see the pride behind us.
They love the stand.
He said on the in the synagogues and on the street corners and the reason for their prayer life is simple, they want to be seen by men. They want people to see them pray in Jesus that they have their reward in full.
In other words, when people think well of them all.
Listen to that. Look at that man stand and pray. Jesus said that's all there is to their prayer life.
There's nothing else know you and I would never, never do things like that would you never pray in a way to draw attention to yourself at all. You, you will leave the door open so that when your children or some commandant see you devoted to prayer or your office door so that someone can look in your office until Lucky's is a strong Christian or she's a strong versus businessperson and look the praying and you can see them. We go to a restaurant and everybody's in their new want to make sure everybody can hear you pray so that everybody can see what you're doing. Jesus said you do that, your reward in full.
Suggest you see that's not what prayer is. That's not what prayer is all.
In fact, notice what Jesus says in the next verse, Jesus says, but you, when you pray, you going to rent a room. You close your door and you pray to your Father who is in secret, and your father who sees he said what is done in secret. He will reward you while now what Christians did with this.
Everything you could do wrong with these verses, Christians of gone over 2000 Christian say you know what, that's the point you need to have a prayer closet you do and you don't really pray unless you have a prayer closet. Every person, every Christian who loves the Lord. You have to have a private prayer closet and in a room are you going pray.
That's what Jesus said, that would be kind of ironic when it because Jesus didn't have a prayer closet. Jesus never had a per closet Jesus as foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Jesus did have some in a room and he went to what Jesus is saying is if you prayer is going to be real.
It has to be private.
You see, it has to be between you and God. And he makes it clear he said you pray to your Father who is in secret, and your father who sees what is in secret. He says he will reward you see one juror in secret.
You can pretend anymore.
There's no point in pretending to give just you and God. Pretending the way you speak, and everything is kind of ridiculous and using the secret to prayer is that prayer is a secret.
You see, that's the whole point Jesus is saying look good if you prayer is going to be real with just between you and God is not between any other audience. Just you and God, to them that was stunning. That's not the way they were taught prayer. They were used every day at nine and noon and three seeing people all over the place stopping and praying the way they were taught by the rabbis and Jesus says that is not the way to pray to God is your prayer real. Secondly, in verse seven, eight.
He says he says.
And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they'll be heard for their many words.
Second question is your prayer life simple, not the Gentiles said we don't do it like that of the it's it's tough being a Gentile, the Gentiles, believed in a pantheon of gods they had all kinds of different God they believed in the God's word had strengths and weaknesses in the fuel going to conjure up the gods, you sorta had the prime the pump, you sorta had again gone and so the Gentiles would just go on and on and on and on and it would repeat the same thing over and over and over and over that whole replacer.
Let me illustrate.
Go with me to first Kings in the Old Testament, first Kings chapter 18 and verse 17 first Kings 1817 I give you a moment is a famous story, it's Elijah is a prophet mission of Israel has agonized there Gentile. They worship Gentile especially bail.
And so Elijah decides he's going to challenge all these profits of bail we find in verse 17 it came about that when Ahab saw Elijah and Ahab said to him, is this you you trouble were of Israel. Ahab was an evil king. Elijah is a righteous prophet. Ahab didn't like him. Elijah said I am not.
I have not troubled Israel but you and your father's house have because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed after the bills, your following these pagan Gentile deities, and so as the story goes on. He offers a challenge. Uganda verse 25 and it says so Elijah said to the prophets of bail. Choose one ox for yourselves prepare it. He said, first, for he says, first, for you are many and call on the name of your God, but put no fire under get your offering ready get the ox get it on there but no fire. Now calling your God to bring the fire. There's what happened. And then they took Vioxx which was given to them and they prepared it and they called on the name of bail from morning until noon and here's what they said. Oh well answer us gods from morning until noon. Oh bail.
Answer us old Bill answer us all Bill answer us all bail.
Answer us all bail. That's just five seconds I did it. Just imagine the school for hours and hours all Bill answer Russ Bell answer us. It just went on and on until noon. Anyone even done, he says, but there was no voice. No one answered.
And they leaped up about the outer. The older which inmate they said maybe he's not seeing us so good to jump up and I'm not going to do that. They jump up and down old Bill answer us old Bill answer us old Bill answer us. So the trying her best to conjure up bail and then it says in the came about at noon that Elijah mocked and he said I call out with a loud voice, for he is a God either is occupied or gone aside maybes on a journey. Or perhaps he's asleep.
Maybe you need to awaken him.
That's trash talking prophetic trash talking piece of trash talking them like maybe one somewhere you know. Maybe this sleep you maybe not yelling loud enough so they cried out with a lot place they listen to this kind of money they listen to they cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until blood gushed out on so another jumping up and down screaming all Bill answer us and are cutting themselves all believing that this would stimulate him in order to answer the came about when mid-day was passed they received until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice and no one voice. No one answered. No one paid attention. That's three in the afternoon.
They spent seven or eight hours, screaming, yelling oh Bill answer us cutting themselves up, jumping up and down being repetition just going on and on with it. We know how the story went that Elijah prayed verse 38 the fire of the Lord fell consumed the burnt offering in the wood in the stones in the dust that licked up the water that was in the trench and when all the people saw that they fell on their faces and they said the Lord he is God, the Lord he is God. Very different kind of prayer. Now let's go back to Matthew, Jesus says, and when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition meaningless repetition. That word is Bob Tulloch go meaningless repetition about Tommy's empty legato means words or phrases don't use empty words don't repeat them don't do it over and over, isn't it astounding that the church of Jesus Christ took this these words it is going to say and for 2000 years we repeated them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over exactly what he said don't do. We did some you public come traditions you need.
You need to give 510 our father's, 15 our fathers. 20 our fathers. 25. Our fathers it's astounding.
It's alarming that you could read this passage and then come up with that that he wants you to repeated over and over and over and over again is exactly what he doesn't want you to do is let your prayer be simple is good reason for. By the way, I'm sure you thought prayer never informs God. You understand that when you pray, you are never giving God information. It's just like I didn't know that.
Thank you for giving me this in. That's not prayer repeating something over and over.
You see it's a difference between not giving information. Prayer is prayer reveals my faith in God that's repaired us. Prayer reveals my faith in God. God speaks to me through his word I speak to him through prayer and my prayer reveals my faith in God. That's what prayer is is never to inform God. You see, and that's not the way prayer operates is a very different thing. He said you can keep this extremely simple now understand Jesus did talk about the idea of being persistent in prayer gave great parables about any talk about it. You need to be persistent but not repetitive. In other words, he loves it when you come to him over and over again why because he loves the conversation you have with he loves that is it's an important thing to God. This is all part of the relationship between you and God is you can keep that very very simple for you and for me, so is my prayer real is my prayer. Simple and then walked let me reversing before I go. The third one he says. So do not be like them, for your father knows what you need before you ask, you see it's never a matter of asking for so many of us.
I think that's our prayer life there's a way I want my world to be. Here's my list, Lord, and I want my world to be this way. And then when it's not that way you go, and he doesn't answer my prayers.
There's a reason he's God, you're not. You see there's a difference there. That's the whole idea. This is in a matter of and by the way, there are whole aspects of our Christian faith, especially if what now that reverses the whole thing and basically says that God's role is to give you what you want.
That's his role in your faith has so much power. It makes God give you what you want. Many, many years ago, probably only chose a pastor in South Korea of a very large church. I remember reading a quote of his, and his quote was simply this. Jesus Christ is the slave of my lips. In other words, I tell God what I want. And because of the power I have over him. He then gives me what I want. Jesus would very much disagree with that is my prayer real and is my prayer. Simple and then third question is my prayer.
Worshipful is my prayer worshipful. He said pray then in this way. So Jesus is now going to give them the disciples prayer how to pray in this way at first of all, pray, is interesting.
It's an imperative mood. It means it's commanded people often say what God knows everything than what I have to pray for. There are a lot of good reasons you should pray because one of them, he commanded you to see that kind of ends the whole thing. I'm commanded to pray he said you pray.
Okay I'll pray he said pray in any when it says in the new American Standard says he says pray then in this way. In this way is a little bit. I don't know if it's the best acro weights to toast in Greek and it means pray like this pray in this manner the last thing Jesus intended with this short prayer is that you would pray the prayer he doesn't want you to pray the prayer you want to pray like this, you see, that's not the way they prayed.
They prayed in a very different kind of way.
Jesus of the gun wanted to be very short and very sweet to do this. Pray in this manner pray in this way possible you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember the little great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FPC Nola.org that SBC and of LA.Margie at our website you will find hundreds of possible sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking for.
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Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and anchoring. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FPC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt injuries and hard. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order