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Praying in a Crisis

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2024 12:00 am

Praying in a Crisis

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 9, 2024 12:00 am

How do we ask God to release his divine energy into our crisis moments to make a difference?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, February 9th. Anxiety and impatience can keep you from hearing God's voice. In today's podcast, you'll learn how to clearly discern God's guidance during stressful times.

What do you do in time of a crisis? Well, you surely pray. But how do you pray in such a way that God hears and answers that prayer? Well, that's what I want to talk about in today's message entitled, Praying in a Crisis. And I want you to turn, if you will, to James chapter five.

And at the end of this crisis mentioned here, there's a simple principle that usually gets lost because we get hung up on what happens before. James chapter five. And you recall this is the chapter in which God has given to the church the way you deal with sickness in the church and how you go about seeing that those people experience healing. And so he says in verse thirteen, Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

Now it's the next phrase. The effective prayer of a righteous man or woman can't accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain.

And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. It is the last part of this sixteenth verse that I want us to look at because herein lies a principle that I think is a good guide for us in praying in time of a crisis. He says, The effective prayer of a righteous man, and you and I know that is a righteous man or a woman, can accomplish much. The word there for accomplish is a word that if you saw it in the Greek, it would look like, the first part of it would look like E-N-E-R-G-Y, energy. And it is the word from which we get our word energy. And what he's saying in this passage is this, that the effective prayer of a righteous man brings about the release of God's supernatural, God's divine energy into our crisis to make a difference.

That's really what he's saying. That when we have effective prayer by righteous men or women, God begins to release His divine supernatural unlimited, listen, unlimited energy and directs it toward the target which is the crises that you and I may face at any given moment. And so you who are facing a crisis today, the issue is not whether God desires to or whether He's promised to or not.

The issue is are you in a position where God is able, not that He's not able to do anything, but are you in a position where God is free to become involved and to release His divine energy in your particular crisis? And if you'll look for a moment back in Ephesians chapter 1, the use of this word here is a good example. He says in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 19, What is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe? These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. Again, the same word, the working, the release of God's divine strength and energy and power in our life. He is more than willing to do that. In the third chapter, if you'll notice the 20th verse of Ephesians, Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.

Think about that. We're talking about a God who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works, the energy of God released within us. God is willing to release His supernatural power in your crisis no matter what it is if the situation is correct.

And that's what we want to clarify in this message to be sure that it is correct. So what we have to ask is, when we cry out to God, is God going to hear us just because we're Christian? No. Is He going to get involved in everybody's crisis?

No. He doesn't promise to do that, but He does promise in this passage. He says the effective prayer of righteous men and women will, you can look for the divine personal intervention of God in that crisis no matter what it is.

Now think about this. There are many crises today and there are individual crises in this man's life, in this woman's life, in this family, in this business, in this relationship. But here's the promise. God says, I'm ready.

I'm willing. And we're talking about supernatural, we're talking about the unlimited omnipotence of God He's willing to release if certain things are true and if certain things are right. And so that's what He's referring here into this particular passage. Now, the comforting thing that you and I can be assured of in any crisis is this, that God knows all about the crisis. He knows every detail. He knows why it is there.

He knows how it came about. And He knows exactly how to solve, to settle, to heal, to deliver, to provide, to protect whatever in that crisis in such a way it is to our best interest. It may not always be what I want and so I want to say up front, just because you and I face a crisis no matter how righteous you and I may be, that doesn't mean that God is going to always do exactly what I ask Him to do. Because what I want God to do sometimes is not the will of God. What I want Him to do sometimes may seem and appear to be right and good and scriptural to me, but on the other hand, if God's purpose is higher than my purpose, He says my ways are higher than your ways and my ways are greater than your ways, He knows and He has ways that I cannot touch and I cannot understand. So some things He's going to do in a crisis no matter what I do.

But here's what happens. When we respond rightly to that crisis and asking for God's divine intervention, we don't have to walk away shaking our hands and thinking, God, why didn't you do it? Why didn't you answer my prayer?

If you keep your promise, why did it turn out this way? God, this is a mess. Because when we see in just a moment what has to be made right, our whole attitude about the crises and the outcome will be different. So that's what He's saying first of all in this passage that you and I can expect and look for. Listen, when He says accomplish much, the Word is the release of God's divine energy in your crisis. Now, we say, well, this is our desire.

God, here's the crisis we face. He says there are two demands. Number one, if you'll notice in this passage what He says. He says number one, the first requirement is effective prayer. Well, the word for effective here is the word translated strong. He said strong praying.

The very word means powerful and strong. So we're talking about prayer that is motivated by a burden of the heart. We're talking about prayer that has much more power and strength and feeling and emotion.

The word fervency. This haphazard, slipshod kind of praying, that won't work. The second requirement is found in these two words, three words, a righteous man. Now, you and I know that's righteous men and women, so that's taken for granted.

We're not denying anybody their particular right in that area. Now, what does He mean when He says righteous man? That is, He says you want to get God's supernatural omnipotence in on what is a crisis in your life or in this nation? Then strong praying, praying with a heart of deep, genuine concern. And secondly, and this is where the rub comes, because a lot of folks who've started praying all of a sudden when they face the crisis, hadn't talked to God, hadn't read the Bible, hadn't gone to church, weren't even interested in the things of God, all of a sudden they started praying. And I want to tell you, I'm sorry, God's not listening.

You see, the Bible says, ask anything and it shall be done unto you. The two great truths in these three words, a righteous man, a woman. Righteousness in the Bible, two ways to look at this. First of all, every single one of us who is a Christian, positionally we're righteous. That is, when you and I became a child of God, the Bible says in Romans chapter 5 verse 17 that you and I have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. That is, he sees us as righteous. That is, we are rightly related to him as sons and daughters of God once we're saved with the grace of God.

That's my position. Just for example, when you were saved, you became a child of God. That's your position in the family. You're a child of God.

No longer an enemy, no longer separated. You're a child of God. That's your position.

It has nothing to do with your conduct. That's the position. A righteous person by position is the person who's been clothed in the righteousness of Christ made righteous in the eyes of God, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, a child of God forever. The second way that word is used is by lifestyle or conduct. That is, righteous living. He says, not by works of righteousness which we've done did he save us, but according to his mercy. And that is, it isn't good conduct that saved us, it's by the grace of God. So now when he says in this passage here, the effective prayer of a righteous man or woman can accomplish much, he's talking about two things. Not only must that person be a child of God, righteous, but that person's conduct, their lifestyle must be right. Look, if you will, in Psalm 66 for a moment.

And let me explain something here. You know this verse by heart, I'm sure. Psalm 66 and verse 18, and there are many, many others here. He says, if I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. What does he mean by regard iniquity in our heart? He means if I willingly and knowingly choose to sin against God and keep on sinning against him and do not deal with it, God is not going to hear my prayer. If he did, he would be contributing to my disobedience, contributing to my rebellion and contributing to my waywardness.

He says if I regard iniquity in my heart, that doesn't mean if I sin against God and deal with it. And you see, one of the reasons he placed this illustration here of Elijah. He was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain.

And you know the story. Elijah wasn't a perfect man. Elijah disobeyed God. He got depressed.

He was full of fear at one time in his life, running from old Jezebel. We're not talking about perfect when we talk about righteous. We're talking about this. That the kind of strong praying that God gets involved with is the kind of strong praying that comes from many women who are living righteously before God by their conduct and when they sin, they deal with it right there and keep moving. Which means that prayer begins with repentance. If I'm right with God, God is going to hear me and He's going to get involved. But this is why I say that folks who have been careless and indifferent, haven't been to church, haven't prayed, only talk to God in case of an emergency, manipulate God, answer my prayer, provide my need, protect me and my family, and then ignore God in other areas of their life. You say, well, I'm not regarding iniquity in my heart. If I choose to do my will in rebellion to God's will, whether it is sophisticated rebellion or outright wicked rebellion, it doesn't make any difference. God says, I'm not going to hear it. If I regard iniquity in my heart, He's not going to hear me. Listen, I didn't say He didn't want to get involved. I didn't say He wasn't sitting in heaven just ready to release His omnipotent power in our life in any crisis.

And He's willing to do it when we are in a position so that He can. Listen, that's what gives the prayer teeth. It avails much in the eyes of God. It carries weight with God in the throne room of God when those prayers come from strong, listen, there's strong prayers from burdened hearts out of righteous lives. He says, otherwise, I'm not going to listen. Now here's a very encouraging word to me and it's a simple thing. Look at that verse again. He says, the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Now listen carefully because here's why I want you to see how absolutely valuable you as an individual are.

What did He say? He says, the strong prayers of, what's the next word? A, not a whole church, not the whole kingdom of God. A, the effective prayer or strong prayer of a righteous man or woman gets God's supernatural power released in their crisis.

You say, well, I'm just one person. Ask God what your prayer can do because here's what God promises. The strong prayer of a single righteous man or woman gets God's attention and gets God's power released in that crisis no matter what's going on. That's why when somebody comes to you and says, I am desperately, desperately in need of help.

I desperately need something to happen in my life. Don't react by saying, boy, I'm going to get somebody to pray for you. There's somebody who knows God. Listen, if you're saved, you know God. Listen, your single prayer can transform a person's condition just like that. If you will believe God, now listen to me carefully. This I can't my prayer want isn't even scriptural.

Unless you're living in sin, disobeying God and so full of yourself, God can't even give you a burden for someone else. I love that verse. Listen to that. Listen to that.

You understand what he's saying? You, your single prayer from a righteous heart, crying out to God, believing God, trusting God, feeling a sense of helplessness before God, believing that he will release his supernatural power. God will answer your petition. Here's what the devil does. He says, look at how big it is and look at gigantic it is and look how overwhelming it is and look how impossible it is. The devil's line is always this. Look through my eyes. God's line is always this.

Look at this through my eyes. Every mountain becomes a molehill. Every problem begins to be dissolved from the eyes of God. I just want to say to many of you who've been praying and you've been talking to God and crying out to Him, but you've never stopped to think about the past.

What about all the sin and indifference and rebellion in your life that you've not dealt with? You see, you don't start, for example, let's say that I owed you a lot of money. Let's say I owed you a hundred thousand dollars. And I came to you and I said, turned a new leaf.

Man, it's a brand new book in my life. I promise you I'm not going to ever borrow any more money from you. It's a closed deal. Never borrow any more money from you. That settles the whole deal. It may settle the future, but I owe you a hundred thousand dollars.

And my big time confession about not ever borrowing any more money from you hasn't got anything to do with the past. And if I start, oh God, from now on, Lord, if you'll just save this and if you'll just change that and oh God, if you'll do so and so, here's what I'm going to do. God says, mm-hmm, what about the past? Because all this back here that I've not dealt with negates all the promises and all the things that I want God to do. Here's what I want you to see. Listen to me.

God help you listen. His desire is a personal, intimate relationship. Jesus Christ wants you and me in a personal relationship to Him.

Everything we need, He's going to provide. The crisis, He's going to be there in that. And so that's why He's not going to jump just when we holler crisis, when we've ignored Him. Simply I want to ask you a question, are you walking with Him daily, trusting Him, loving Him, obeying Him as best you know how through the power of the Holy Spirit? And when crisis comes, you don't have to straighten up a bunch of stuff in your life, you just begin to cry out to God.

Or what about some of you who've never been saved? How can you reject the One whom God sent? Who makes it possible for us to pray to Him and expect God to ignore your rejection of His Son? To ignore your apathy toward His Son? To ignore your indifference toward His Son?

Or your mocking or using His name in profanity? You expect Him to ignore all of that and then just to come clean and answer all of your prayers? My friend, it will not happen. It cannot happen because that is not the nature of God.

His primary interest is not in my needs but in my relationship. And when I'm in right relationship with Him, all these things Holy God has absolutely promised to take care of. God has our attention in this country. And what we need is a big time wholesale Holy Ghost revival of repentance before Almighty God, crying out to Him to clean up our life and clean up our nation.

Then we'll see God's supernatural power in the most absolute, amazing, miraculous ways. But the question is, are we willing to pay the price of a clean heart to get the supernatural power of God into our crisis? Thank you for listening to Praying in a Crisis. For more inspirational messages like this, visit our online 24-7 station. And 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 / 2024-02-09 02:27:11 / 2024-02-09 02:35:08 / 8

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