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Praying with Authority

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 22, 2023 12:00 am

Praying with Authority

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 22, 2023 12:00 am

Learn to pray with authority, and give God the opportunity to glorify Himself in your circumstances.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, August 22nd. When you pray, how confident are you that God hears you and will respond to your requests? Today, you'll hear about every believer's privilege to pray with authority. Would you turn, please, to 1 Kings 18. I want us to begin in verse 37, the title of this message, Praying with Authority.

And while you're turning there, let me remind you of what is happening. Ahab and Elijah have had conflict for quite some time, and so Elijah challenges Ahab and the prophets of Baal to a contest. He says, let's find out whose God is God. If the God of Baal is God, fine, we all should follow him. If the God Jehovah, the God of Israel is fine, then we ought to all follow him.

So their greed, having been asked by him, how long will you halt between two opinions? So he said, here's what we'll do. You build your altar, I'm going to repair the altar of God.

We'll put our sacrifices on it, and then we'll pray for God to consume the sacrifices. And the God who answers by fire is the God whom we'll serve. So if you'll recall the story in this chapter, the prophets of Baal got their altar together, put the sacrifice on, and they began to pray.

And they prayed and prayed and shouted and cried out to their God until finally Elijah walked around. He said, what's the matter? Is your God asleep?

Is he gone on vacation? So he began to mock them. And of course, that stirred them up a little bit more until finally they began to mutilate their own bodies because their God was not answering.

And finally, when the evening was calm, Elijah said, it's my turn. He rebuilt the altar of God. He placed the sacrifice on it.

He said, now, so there'll be no question in anybody's mind about any trickery. He said, I want you to put a barrel of water on it. So they soaked it in water. He said, do it a second time.

They did it a second time. He said, do it a third time until the sacrifice, the wood and everything there was soaking something wet. And when he finished that, here's what happened beginning in verse thirty six. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice that Elijah the prophet came there and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel and that I am thy servant and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me that this people may know that thou art the Lord God and that thou has turned their heart back again.

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and they said, the Lord, he is the God, the Lord, he is the God. Now, I think here is a beautiful demonstration of praying with authority for Elijah certainly did not hide out in some quiet place and said, I'm going to have myself a private prayer meeting and I'll tell you all when I finished what I prayed for.

If he had done that, he could have failed or succeeded. But when he said in public, I want to build an altar before all the prophets have bailed. I want to soak it down with water so there is absolutely no question and right in front of everybody in a sense of humility and dependence upon God. I want to cry out to God and the God who answers by fire is the God whom Israel will serve.

There wasn't anything private, nothing sneaky, nothing tricky. God had the privilege of demonstrating his supernatural power publicly before the nation of Israel. And the thing that motivated Elijah came to pass when the people said, the Lord, he is the God, the Lord, he is the God.

And he had accomplished his purpose. Now, when you think of all the promises that God has given in the scripture about answered prayer and how few of those we claim on a day to day basis and how often we complain more than claim what God has promised to do. And as somebody said the other day, we were praying in a prayer meeting. He said, you know, he said, when I come to God, he said, to be real honest, he said, I feel like I'm just sort of tiptoeing around through the throne room of God.

I'm afraid of what's going to happen instead of coming to God on the basis of what he said we could do. We sort of come weekly and fearfully instead of boldly and fearlessly before God to make a petition and to walk out of that prayer place, wherever it may be, expecting God to demonstrate and to hear and to answer our prayer. And if you'll turn to Hebrews for just a moment and think about what the writer of Hebrews says in this fourth chapter and the 16th verse, beginning in verse 15, he says, for we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. But the truth is that our high priest can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.

And he says he was tempted in all points as we are and yet without sin. Verse 16, let us therefore, that is on the basis of who Jesus Christ is, on the basis of what he's done, on the basis of where he is seated at the Father's right hand, on the basis of who he is, our intercessor, our mediator before God. On the basis of that, let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. We have the privilege and the right to come to pray and to pray with authority and to believe and to expect God to do what he wants to do and what he's willing to do in the life of his children. Now when he says that you and I are to pray, what did the disciples do? They said, Lord, teach us to pray. And he did teach them to pray. Lord, teach us how to pray.

And he taught them how to pray. And you and I know that our relationship with him and our communication with him is through prayer. We read the word of God. He speaks to us. We talk to him.

He speaks to us and we listen to him. Now think about it for a moment. There is not anything that you can mention. There is no place in all the globe. There is not anything anywhere that is not in reach of prayer.

Let me ask you a question. Can you name anything else in existence about which you can say that? By means of prayer, we can reach any spot, any person, penetrate any circumstance, get the divine supernatural power of God in on anything going on anywhere in the world. What other means can you and I use to do that?

And the answer is absolutely unquestionably zero. There is no other means. God has placed in the hands at the disposal of every single believer the most miraculous, absolutely infinite, indescribable, supernatural accessibility into supernatural power this world will ever be able to imagine.

But we grow up along in life weekly. And the church is weak. And the church is weak because its praying is weak. And the nation is weak because the church is weak. And we'll never be able to accomplish in this life what God wants us to accomplish as a body or as individuals until we learn to come before God in dependence upon him, but to come with the authority delegated to us, given to us, that we may exercise in the presence of God.

And what I want you to see here is this. The authority here that he's speaking of is the right, the privilege, the accessibility, the freedom we have. Jesus says, I have the right to say to you, and I'm going to say it, go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel. As you go about carrying out the great commission, I have given you the supernatural capacity and ability through the power of the Holy Spirit to do what I have authorized you to do. Now, when you and I come to God in prayer, and praying with authority does not mean that we come to overwhelm him and demand anything of him.

Now watch this. Coming to God with authority and coming to him egotistically and proudly are not synonymous. Listen, it is authority based on our humility and absolute and total dependence upon God. That is absolutely and must be an essential part of real authority in prayer, which eliminates the idea that I'm coming to tell God what to do. When you and I come to him in prayer, we are coming to him, crying out to him for our needs, relating to him the things that we feel in our heart and bequesting of him supernatural intervention in our life. Now, in order for that to happen, there are several things that must be true.

But I want you to think about it for a moment. If you don't understand you have authority with God, what's going to happen is Satan is going to wipe you out in your prayer life. He's going to defeat you. He's going to say, you don't have any authority with God.

You don't have any power. And let me just remind you of a passage of scripture here, if I might. In Ephesians chapter six, you remember what Paul says about putting on the whole armor of God.

But before he says that, he says, we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. Now, how many of you in your time of prayer have ever started doubting what you were praying about? All right. How many of you have ever begun to think about things you think, what in the world am I doing thinking about that?

Right. How many of you start praying in a few minutes? You know, you just hope you're thinking about something else and you say, you know, I'm talking to God. What am I doing thinking about that? And so with all the sincerity of your heart, the next thing you know, you're over here thinking about something 100 miles away and you have to bring it back and say, Lord, forgive me. I don't know why my mind keeps drifting.

I want to tell you why. The sixth chapter of Ephesians says you and I are in mortal conflict with the devil. Now, the the most this is the most powerful tool in the hands of the believer is prayer.

If that be true, when do you think where do you think he's going to make his most vicious assaults? Not when you walk around in your business, but when you're on your face before God. So what does he say to us? He says to us, you can't ask God that. Who do you think you are? You're just a sinner saved by grace. You have no right to come to the presence of a holy God.

And what does he do? He tricks us with spiritual doctrine. He brings up all these verses about how sinful we are. And the devil knows more scripture than all of us together. Listen, he quote any verse in that Bible because he's been around long enough to memorize that many times.

Right. And to use many of those verses on us. So what does he do? He attacks us viciously at the point in which he knows we are the most deadly against his kingdom. So there is no way, listen, there is no way for you to rebuke the devil if you have no authority with God. There is no way for you to pray for Satan to be bound in a given situation if you cannot come to him. Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to declare Satan bound in this person's life. I want to pray that you put a hedge around that person's life and begin to, you can't do that by saying Lord.

And that's the way we do. We come hoping, listen, Satan doesn't come in like that. Satan comes boldly in to destroy your life. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the power of Satan was broken and crushed. He says he that is within you is greater than what?

He that is in the world. Listen, you are sitting out there and you are, if you are a believer, possessed by the supernatural power of God. Satan's got you blinded, he's got your ears deaf and your mouth closed because he doesn't want you praying.

If he can keep you off your knees, he'll keep you weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak. And that's exactly where he wants the church. He wants us running around doing this and saying, he doesn't care how many sermons preached, sung, sung, how much work we do, program, organization the devil is saying, give it to him brother, grease up the machinery, make him eloquent, help her to sing great, just keep him off their knees. Because when the people of God fall upon their face in humiliation and desperation before God, you know what brother, everything in heaven begins to move in response to prayer.

We have authority in our prayer, but there are five prerequisites and you need to write fast. Listen, first of all, you've got to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that begins with salvation, but it's growing in your relationship to him because you cannot grow in your relationship to him until you're growing in your knowledge and understanding of him. And you're not growing your knowledge and understanding of him until you're saved. And then the cloaks off your mind and your eyes, your heart, you begin to know who he is.

First of all, a personal relationship to him. Secondly, listen, the only way to have authority with God, listen, the only way to have authority with God, friend, is to know what God thinks. How do you know what God thinks when you begin to read what God says and you get the mind of God, the heart of God, the spirit of God, the word of God? And when you and I look into the scriptures and he gives us a promise about something, when we come to him, our authority primarily is based on what we know he's promised in this book.

When you and I come to God and we say, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if we say, Lord God, Heavenly Father, however you want to address him, you said in your word, being the omnipotent, holy, righteous God that you are, that if I had a need, I had the right to come to you and expect you to meet my need. Here's the problem I have. Here's the circumstance. Here's the desperation.

Here is my need. But you said in your word, my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Father, I'm coming in Jesus' name to claim what you promised that you would meet all my need.

Let me tell you something, friend. If you don't know the book, I want to tell you, you cannot pray with authority unless you know what God said, which leads me to say, one of the ways to strengthen your confidence in God and to be able to come to him with authority is find a prayer in the Bible that relates to something that you are praying about and just bring it to God and say, Lord, Moses brought this to you, David brought this to you, Daniel brought this to you, and here's what you did. If you'll do it for Daniel, you'll do it for me. If you'll do it for Joseph, you'll do it for me.

How do I know that? Because the same God who called them, the same God who revealed himself, the same God who spoke to them, the same God who demonstrated his power is the same God who's doing it today. What is the verse?

Jesus Christ what? The same yesterday, today, and forever. That means if he's the same, he released his power through his servants then. He does it today, he'll do it tomorrow. But you see, the truth is, we've got to get in the Word and get God's basic promise, and then what do we do?

I've told you so many times, what do we do? We stand on the Word, but we are saying, God, here's what you said, and God, if you said it, you are committed to fulfilling your Word. The third thing that is essential I think at this point is purity of heart. Sin in the human heart does what? Weakens the faith, weakens our confidence, causes us to bow our head before God, and in shame because of our disobedience. You cannot come to God with authority, my friend, if there is sin in your heart. The fourth thing I want you to notice is this, and that is there must be purity of motive.

That is what is my motive. You remember what Elijah said here? He said, Lord, you know why I did this. He says, Lord God, in Israel, and that I am thy servant and that I have done all these things at thy word. When you and I come to the Heavenly Father and we know in our heart that our motive is pure, you say, well, but can I pray for something selfish?

You know what I want to ask people who tell me that? How do you define selfishness? Many things that we think are selfishness are not selfishness at all. Many of those things, the things that God wants to personally do for us, and He's waiting for us to get in the position so we can do it. My heart must be pure, my motive must be pure. And the fifth thing is this, I must have a persistent confidence in the faithfulness of God. Now, listen, that doesn't mean I come and say, well, I'm going to believe Him today, and tomorrow I'm up and the next day I'm down. Listen, if I'm going to come to Him with authority, I've got to come to Him based on what He says in the Word, always able to look back and say, God did this, God did that, God did the other.

That's why I say you ought to keep a diary. What you're doing is you're keeping a record of God's intervention in your life. And when you look back to see the things that He's done in the past that bolsters up your faith and you come to Him and say, Lord, on the basis of what you've done before, on the basis of what you promised in the Word, on the basis, listen, this is the key.

You're listening? Above everything else, the thing that gives us the confidence to go to Him with authority is this, that our Heavenly Father, our righteous God is faithful to keep His Word. He's going to be faithful to His nature, faithful to His character. And when we come to Him, God is going to do what we ask when we ask according to His will on the basis of His Word. And my friend, if you and I are willing to abide by those five simple prerequisites, your prayer life will change. Your life will change. And the people around you whom God wants to affect through you will begin to feel the unbelievable, indescribable, supernatural power of an omnipotent God working through your life. Thank you for listening to Praying with Authority. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-27 22:18:55 / 2023-08-27 22:26:56 / 8

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