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May 27, 2019 3:00 am
Too many people. The subject of prayer is puzzling and confusing and that is why many people get guilt stricken when they hear a sermon on prayer because very few people ever feel good or confident about their prayer life and consequently they begin to feel guilt will that's not what I want you to do today. I hope that is not what's gonna happen, but what I hope was going to happen is that you will come to political understanding of what prayer is all about and today.
The apostle John concludes his epistle that we have been looking at for some time now entitled life at its best. And today he concludes it by clarifying by crystallizing by making very clear to us what prayer is all about and he tells us two things he tells us about confidence in prayer and he tells us about privilege, prayer. He told us about having confidence in our prayer life.
Very few people pray with confidence that I'm going to explain to you why you are not familiar with how the term prayer is used in public in people in general or in the media, particularly when there is a crisis somewhere in the world, or some problem or some difficulties you hear people in the media talk about what you have our best wishes and prayers and I often wonder what they really mean by that, I think most times they really mean is a wishful thinking about the situation. What they really mean is an expression of a deep desire regarding that situation or wanting something to happen so badly and wishing it so hard that it may happen or sometimes they probably mean controlling some sort of a heavenly entity is someone out there to do something that they cannot do themselves. In fact, most people think of prayer the way my children and I used to play a game when there were little. Probably some of you have played that same game you know someone that gives really little I would put the quarters in my hand and I say if you can try my hand open.
You'll get it so we don't talk about and so there was sit in my lap and I and the rule is assumed as a prior one finger, it cannot be shut again selling her the open one Armature have the point right there about my son is I need to construct with the little thing and then the call and someone else to help government help me and the second finger open the third one, and keep working their way until they get to the coins and knew what happens. They think the cons was your hand away and run away with glee. And that's fine because there are kids and that's a game, but the problem is there are some people when they get into trouble. This is how they think. Prayer is many people do the same thing with God. God help me pass my God help me pass my exam. Will they pass the exam and then they come back thereunder.
When the comeback is all God help me find a job.
Help me find a job. Help me find a job and then to get the job. God help me find a spouse or spouse. God run away every time they want something from God. They work hard yes people to pray for them, they pray like they've never prayed before and as soon as our prayers are answered, they push the hand away and the run with glee. Beloved that is not what prayer is all about.
So I want you to turn with me to what John said in chapter 5, verse 14 and 15 is what John said this is the confidence that we have in approaching God was the confidence that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Someone said this is probably the Bible's most important statement on prayer.
But you know why because John the apostle who wrote the gospel of John heard with his own ears, and he recorded in John 1414 the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when he said, whatever you ask in my name, I'll grant you.
Some people try to use this verse like the use, the Americans express gold card with no credit limit God to me this God, give me this, God give me this God-given is a credit card is a gold card and ask for the wrong things.
They also have they asked with the wrong spirits they are so selfish and self-serving playthings, and when their prayers are not answered and said where is God who said ask in my name and I'll answer verse 14. This is the confidence that we have in approaching God that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us when does the confidence come from what is a confidence come from, where does this baldness in prayer comes from where there is liberty in praying and talking to the Lord comes from.
I wanted to listen carefully place it comes from a deep intimacy with God and his word comes from deep knowledge of God's word comes from deep love for God's word and his desire it comes from deep commitment to the will of God in my life. It comes from a deep desire to obey God. No matter what it comes from a deep longing to please God and in the presence of this deep longing, desire to please God, we find ourselves asking only for that which is in his will. The Scripture said delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you what desires of your heart. Now I got news for you. I live long enough to know that most people like to skip the first part.
Delight yourself in the Lord that actually when even mouthing because rebel give you the desires of your heart. God will give you the desires of your heart. No way limit women what comes first the horse of the budget back.
The horse, and he says delight yourself in the Lord that if you don't lock yourself in the Lord, you have no right to expect God to grant to the desires of your heart. Listen carefully. Prayer is not wanting God to see things my way. Prayer is not extracting from God. That which I prayer is not cajoling God to do that which is reluctant to do all confidence in prayer means of speaking to a friend. In fact, the word that John uses here in the Greek paresthesia means to speak freely like a friend just delighted in speaking to a friend opening his or her heart to friends. That's what it means.
It means speaking to God in an unhampered way in a relaxed way and open manner sure was reverence sure with respect sure was submission. In fact, that word is repeated in the book of Hebrews, the epistle to the Hebrews chapter 4 verse 16 it says we approach the throne of grace with confidence is that panacea again saw that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our times of me.
This confidence listen to me this confidence does not come out of arrogance but because of his graciousness. This confidence is not because of who we are what we think we did for God and and and now it's because of who he hears what he's done for us. Do you want to get your prayers answered then listen carefully answered prayer have everything to do with our desire to do the will of God answered prayer has everything to do with a childlike submission to the will of God answered prayer has everything to do with believing that his will for me is the most people afraid of the will of God. They really are they really are, and they don't want to know it because in case something they don't like but prayer stems from a deep desire an understanding that God's will for many years from my garden for his glory. Look at verse 50. When you submit to the will of God, as it's revealed in the word of God. God doesn't only hear us. He answers six someone whom I say will Michael I know that I have prayed, according to the will of God. And I know that I prayed. According to the word of God. I did not pray anything contrary to God's word and I know that I prayed for the glory of God. Prayers have not been answered, and I've been praying for long time. I'm still waiting for an answer.
I've been there.
I'm going to testify about this at the very end of the message so that you is what you need to know God does not have a box on his desk, entitled pending fuel prayer is according to the will of God. If your prayers according to the word of God is your prayer is, according to the glory of God.org incident is a limited market when and where, what women what you are doing with you telling the got answered.
He has not answer yes he did. He did not. Yes he did. Yes he didn't want them to be argumentative when you but the fact that you have not seen it and experienced it, it doesn't mean he is not answered. LOL you get that from the way to go in the book of Daniel.
Chapter 10 I'm gonna show you a number proved to you that when you pray according to the will of God.
And when you pray consistent with the will of God.
God already answered your prayer although you might not have experienced it yet. Although you might not seen it with your eyes yet, but God had answered the book of Daniel.
Chapter 10 God reveals his will to Daniel that this is not you and me say will I feel this is according to the will of God. And you know how feelings are so untrustworthy in many ways, but this is not not even a 1% shadow of death.
This is revealed. God appeared to him and he told okay is not out on this one so Daniel on the strength of the revealed will of God.
He goes into prayer and fasting and panting and humbling himself before God and he prays any prayers and he fasts for how long three weeks.
He gave himself totally to praying according to the revealed will of God first day nothing happened prays again.
Christ the Lord, Lord, you told me nothing happened Thursday.
Nothing happened. Nothing happened. End of the week. Promise me and I'm praying on the strength of the revealed will that you have given me second week whatever happened. Lord, I've been trying for midweek messenger from the Lord appears to not remember Daniel was pricing for the revealed will of God. What he already knows God wanted and so in chapter 10 versus 12 and 13 messenger from the Lord appears to him, and here's what he said.
Listen carefully. Do not be afraid, Daniel sends the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding of the humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, is another word for being answered sometimes in Hebrew language was a heard meeting answered, and I have come in response to them all.
But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me for 21 days, when did the answer to Daniel Spread Took Pl. in Italy first day, you're right, Linda Daniel experience that answer to prayer. Three weeks later and the reason given here. Sometimes we don't have reason sometimes we have reasons but the reasons clearly given here that the demon that is in charge of the Persian kingdom was creating havoc in the heavenly places.
The answer is not been experience with three weeks beloved limitation something it is not arbitrary, that the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 612 that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Prayer is dependent on the willingness of the person who's praying willingness to do what willingness to do spiritual's willingness to do spiritual war willingness to align your life with the will of God, pray tell me how can you pray the will of God in your life when you are living outside of the will of God in your life. Pray tell me how can you pray the will of God in your life when your life is contrary to the word of God. In fact, the Bible gives us at least six reasons why our prayers are not answered. Listen to me there may be more but I can only find six if you find more let me know. I'm going to give them to you very quickly. First, according to first Peter 37 matters relationship that's out of kilter can hinder answer to prayer. Secondly, according to Matthew 523 knowingly offending someone noticed that knowingly offending someone will hinder answer to prayer. Certainly, according to Matthew 614 unforgiveness will hinder answers to prayer forcefully in Malachi chapter 3 verse eight, lack of stewardship unfaithfulness with the stewardship of God placed in your hand will hinder answers to prayer for sin.
First Samuel 522. Deliberate disobedience can hinder answers to prayer a number six and Psalm 66 verse 18 cherished sin Hornets in unconfessed sin will hinder answers to prayer and that is why after John tells us about confidence in prayer. He goes on to tell us how to pray how to pray. Secondly, verse 16 and 17. He said that you need to pray for the brother of the sister in Christ who is caught in sin not to gossip about them to pray for them, earnestly pray for them not to talk about the sink with other people but to intercede on their behalf. But what is that sin that leads to death. The very purpose of the whole epistle would lead us to think that the sin that leads to death.
In the context of the whole epistle. The one thing that is been repeated over and over and over again that no one can have eternal life. If they do not believe that Jesus and Jesus alone is the way to the father that no one can have eternal life in heaven unless they believed that Jesus through his death and resurrection made it possible for you and me to go to heaven.
That's the whole point of the passage and that was the sin of the Gnostics, the sin that John was fighting and trying to warn the Christians from beloved. That's the sin of the church today. Oodles of churches have abandoned the truth that Jesus came from heaven to die and rise again so that he and he alone can give it on the life. Thus, about a month and that's the sin that leads to death. When you comprehend the privilege and the responsibility of praying for other believers for other Christians. When you comprehend the privilege and the responsibility of praying for those who are seeking God and don't know how to find them when you comprehend the privilege and the responsibility of praying for that which brings glory to the Lord. When you understand that as you persist in prayer according to his will that he has already answered the prayer even though you have not experience an answer yet. Even though you have not seen it with your eyes yet you be here patiently waiting for his answer. I told you want to testify to you about my own prayer life for my personal experience. There were several big moments in my life.
Big issues in my life. The world can look at them on the site it's impossible and if people knew what I was praying for their would say that my senator has left me, but I knew I was praying according to the will of God, at least as unable to discern it in my spirit I knew I was praying consistently with the word of God and I knew that I was not praying for self-serving prayers, but for the glory of God and I knew that I knew that I must persist in prayer and yet between the time that God had answered those prayers in the time that I have experience answer to prayers can be measured not in weeks but in years. One time it was 18 months, another time it was three years I never thought it was six years between the time I knew that God had answered my prayer in the time I've experienced what happened to me during the time what happened to me during the time of waiting like Daniel and us persistent in prayer.
While I grew more like Christ.
I grew in my dependence on Christ. I grew in my love for Christ. I grew in my total reliance on Christ all but listen limited just tell you the good stuff with me also tell you that many times I was tempted to give up praying, all I can't even count them that many times when I was tempted to give up in my persistence in prayer the many times that I was tempted to give up waiting to experience the answer to my prayer, but the grace of God sustain me and I know that he will sustain you. Finally, John says stay away from idols. Secondly, Texas last sentence is closing for good by he said they were from idols sticking that thing and the Mexicans yes it does. Listen carefully you see on idle, is anybody could be a person or persons, or a thing that occupies the top place in your heart. Only you know this as much as I know that for me as an idol. Anything or anybody.
It could be the nearest and dearest to you that is occupying the center place brothers like to share that with anybody that's an idol and as long as there is an idol or multiple idols occupying that place you had an experience in answer to your prayer even though they might be answered in heaven, so give them up and oh please don't give them up temporarily so you can get your presence give them up permanently give them up for good surrender of their to the Lord and maybe some of you who don't know the Lord Jesus Christ. You've never been born again. You've never invited him to give you eternal life.
Today you can say Lord Jesus I surrender to you.
I receive you as my Savior.
I accept what you did on the cross to be done for me in order to give me eternal life today father in the name of Jesus I lift up every heart is here father your word so powerful and you have touched the hearts and lives. Some for conviction.
Some for encouragement, but we know your Holy Spirit is working in Jesus name.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.
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