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When We Pray - Eight Words, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2023 6:00 am

When We Pray - Eight Words, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 11, 2023 6:00 am

Have you ever tried to have quiet time with God when suddenly your mind is flooded with everything you have to do that day? In this program, guest teacher Ryan Ingram – lead pastor at Awakening Church in San Jose, California – reveals: you’re not alone! As he continues his series, When We Pray, he talks about the vital habit of stillness and why we need to practice it daily amid this distracted world.

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When you pray, do you find that everything you have to do today floods your mind and you feel like you just can't stop and really hear God's voice? Well, that's you.

I certainly understand because that's me a lot of the time. And today you're going to get some help. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And as many of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher. But for the past several programs, his son Ryan Ingram has been sharing his new series, When We Pray. Today he'll pick up where he left off in Psalm 46, studying eight simple words that can deepen your faith and dependence on God. But before we dive in, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge or you want to learn more about what we do, go to

You'll find tons of resources there and countless programs to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram map is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. OK, here now is Ryan Ingram with today's message. We're in a series called When We Pray. Not if we pray.

Not, yeah, you should pray. But when we pray, because the natural human instinct is prayer. In some form, in some way, at some time, everybody prays. Everybody has some inkling or longing for something bigger than themselves to intervene and help or to be connected to. Just as communication is the foundation for every relationship, prayer is the pathway to intimacy with God. You know, one of the interesting things about the world, the way our world is designed, is the problem is it's designed so that we don't pay attention to that which really matters.

Isn't it true that our eyes get caught off and our lives get consumed with things that when you look back on life, you're going like, why was I so focused on that? How do we pay attention to that which matters? Psalm 46 is the context for the eight words that we're going to dive into. Eight simple words. Be still and know that I am God. It's as simple as that.

It's as difficult as that. Be still and know that I am God. I can imagine what would happen in your life if you felt the permission to be still and redirect your attention and then recognize He's God.

What does that look like? Let's just break this down. Be still. What does it mean to be still?

The word means to put an end to a state or activity, to sink down deep, to relax into. What would it look like if you just began to relax into the presence of God? Instead of rushing into the day, you relaxed into the presence of God. Imagine how your day would shift and change and the pace and maybe your heart rate if you said today, I just want to relax into your presence before I head off into my day. And normally what I do is rush off into my day and I just kind of try to invite you into my rushing. Like busyness.

It's a badge of honor. How are you doing? Busy. Dallas Willard said, Being hurried, listen to this, is an inner condition, a condition of the soul. It means to be so preoccupied with myself and my life that I'm unable to be fully present with God.

With myself and with other people, I'm unable to occupy the present moment. Busyness, listen, migrates to hurry when we let it squeeze God out of our lives. And here's what's fascinating. Psalm 23.

I always found this curious. You know, it's talking about God being our shepherd. And you know, one of the lines that always is intriguing to me is it says, The Lord is our shepherd.

I shall not want. And then notice what it says next. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Like there's something about this internal striving of the human condition that we need help to do this. It is true three thousand years ago. It's true today. And a shepherd with a sheep knows that he has to actually at times make the sheep enjoy and relax and take a break. It goes on. Be still. Hurry is the great enemy of the soul. And then and know this word to know means to notice, to be cognizant or aware of a fact or specific piece of information, to be aware of or to understand or recognize, to observe or to see with our eyes, to perceive, to know by way of experience. I need to be still so that I can know by way of experience that you're God. Stillness is part of the pathway to knowing God's God, by the way.

Shift your attention, shift your perspective, shift your eyes. I don't know what the anxious thought of your day. In fact, I like the way John Orford talks about it. He calls it the troubling thoughts. We all have these troubling thoughts that are consuming us, that rob us of peace and produce anxiety.

The way he says it is simply a way of thinking that does not take God into account. It's not the thought. It's what that thought does is you begin to think that thought and go down that path as if God does not exist. And when you do that, it sucks you down into a spiral of anxious activity and it crushes the soul. Be still and know, which means I have to shift my attention and it's a practice.

It's a practice. It's something I just need to begin to put into practice of shifting my attention to knowing who God is. Be still and know what? That I am God, which means you and I are not God. And that's a very good thing that he is God and you are not.

In fact, the word in Hebrew for God is the right here is Elohim. It's the supernatural being who originated and rules over the universe. God's creative activity. Be still and recognize the supernatural being who originated and rules over the universe, his creative activity, like your God and all that we know, see and understand. You spoke one word and it came into existence.

Can he handle what's going on in your world? When we zoom out and we begin to see who he is. And then when Moses encountered God, he gave him his covenant name. Yahweh, I am. I am ever existing one, uncreated creator, sovereign one. Like he is the great I am, which means I am not. And what a relief, because the source of so much of our striving, of so much of our worrying, of so much anxiety is the things that we're trying to do and be that is God's alone to do and be. Is that his job and not ours?

J.I. Packard, when talking about the name of God, says this. The name is not a description of God, but simply a declaration of his self existence, his eternal changelessness, a reminder to mankind that he has life in himself. So every other pursuit is not life. He alone has life and what he is now, he is eternally. Now.

The. The psalmist tells us, be still, cease activity, relax into, know, shift your attention from that troubling thought that he is God, the I am. Sigmund Mowinckel writes this about the Hebrew thought. He says to the Hebrew to be does not mean to exist as all other beings and things do as well, but to be active, to express one's self and active being. So the God who acts or I am the God who really acts. See, it's the invitation of God to cease your activity, to see and recognize the gods is already been acting and working.

Like, be still, relax into. I'm not in control of my boss and I can't change him, but God, you are in control. God, I don't know how my kids are going to respond, and it seems like they're making some really bad decisions.

But every time I get in it, it seems like I'm messing it up. But here's what I know is you're a good father and you love them more than me. And would you meet them because you're God. God, the way this like economy is looking right now is scaring me. And I don't know if I can get a job. Everywhere I'm going is that they're doing these freezes and but God, you are in control and you're sovereign and you will provide. And I recognize that when I cease my activity, I finally recognize your activity.

And see how you're working and moving. You know, throughout the Hebrew scriptures, the names of God took on special form, special meaning as they saw his activity in their lives, as they saw him work and move. And so they they had names like these. Yahweh Nisi, he is my banner. God declares that his banner over you is love.

The banner is what you led out into the battlefield. He's saying, you know what is leading you is my love. The protection ahead of you is my love.

Like where you're headed into is my love. Yahweh Yireh, he is my provider. As we see, as we strive and struggle, he's God's going like, I want to provide for you.

Would you step back and let me let me provide for you? Yahweh Ra, he is my shepherd. The tender, loving care of a shepherd to provide for the sheep what they need the most.

Whether they want it in the moment or not. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you're with me, your rod and your staff. They guard and protect me. Yahweh Tisikinu, he is my righteousness. Like some of our striving and some of our anxiety has to do with we're somehow trying to measure up to become the right person. Like somehow there's this list of the perfect person. And sometimes it's in the religious realm and other times it's just in human like everything.

But we're just trying to be and somehow level up and get better. And the good news of the gospel is this. When God sees you, he sees Jesus. He says you're covered, you're clothed in his righteousness.

Like you have the imputed literally placed upon righteousness of Christ. You can't earn it. There's nothing you can do to deserve it. It's not because you were a good boy or girl this day. It's not because you did something bad. So you lost it.

It's yours. You are covered in Christ. So he sees Christ when he sees you. His righteousness is all over you.

Man, what freedom we would walk in if we just realized, man, I'm covered in the righteousness of God. Yahweh Rafa, he is my healer. He's my healer.

He meets me in the depths of my brokenness, my doubts, my worries, my concerns, my relationships, my physical needs. He is my healer. Yahweh Shalom, he is my peace. He's my peace.

He is wholeness and life. In fact, the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter four would say it this way, don't be anxious about anything, but with prayer and petition, present your request to God. And then it says this, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Like God's peace is not passive, it's proactive.

That word guard is the same word for a centurion. It's like his peace stands guard. When we're still, his peace guards your heart and your mind. We are then shifting our attention and his peace stands as I'm going to guard you in this moment. Be still and know that I'm God.

What would it look like for you to practice this week? Now, I'm not talking about 30 minutes. I'm not talking about 20 minutes. I'm talking about a moment. Like set your phone, maybe it's at 830 a.m., maybe it's at 12 p.m., maybe it's at 7 p.m. Just to go off and be still and you would stop and you know he's God where you shift from those troubling thoughts and invite God into those thoughts and recognize who he is. Just simply relax into his presence. Stillness is hard for us. Silence is hard for us. We like noise because it keeps us distracted. We like noise because then we don't have to deal with the inner stuff going on. That's the reason silence is hard is because the minute we're silent, all the stuff that we've been ignoring bubbles up, doesn't it?

Silence gives space for our soul to speak, to know what's really going on inside. I found it helpful to kind of still myself with three kind of steps. One is just physical stillness where I just stop and I'm still. I'm a drummer and so the drummers are naturally fidgety people.

I'm always like I can barely sit still but it's like I literally get in a very comfortable relaxed into posture. When I'm doing this at home, I have to have my phone in the other room because this has trained me so well. If it's sitting next to me, my hand works without my mind. It just grabs it. It just goes. I'm like why am I on Instagram?

I don't know. I literally get technology out. Physical stillness. Breathe in, breathe out and then mental stillness.

When I do this at home, I actually keep my to-do list because the minute I try to get still, all my to-do list shows up and that's okay. I just write it down so I don't forget about it and it's off my mind. But then the troubling thoughts are what begin to come in and you identify them and then you just bring them to Jesus.

You bring him into the conversation. Then there's the emotional stillness. It's the things that are going on in your heart because the minute we're silent, it does begin to bubble up the internal. It might be fears or concerns.

It might be anger or worry, discouragement, depression. You bring God into the middle of that. Would you just recognize that he's God, that he's in control, that he's a good, loving, heavenly Father? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Ryan Ingram has been our guest teacher for this program, Eight Words, which is from his series, When We Pray.

Chip and Ryan will both join us in just a minute to share their application for this message. If you're like most Christians, this subject is often a confusing, mis-prioritized, and forgotten part of our faith journey. But in this new series, guest teacher Ryan Ingram will motivate us to get a healthier, more beneficial view of prayer. He'll debunk common misbeliefs about talking to God, how to practice stillness, and what we're to do when our prayers seemingly go unanswered. If you genuinely want to strengthen your prayer life, this teaching will help. Catch up on any part of this series by visiting or the Chip Ingram app. Well, before we go any further, here's Chip. Thanks, Dave.

And let me ask you a direct question. Have you ever struggled with the goodness of God? And if so, what I want to suggest is that is very, very normal. We tend to remember pain, difficulty, and struggle, and we tend to really forget blessing.

It's not so much your actual experience as it is the faulty memory. And that's why the Psalm in 103 says, you know, bless the Lord O my soul, bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not any of his benefits. And I share that because I think we need a tool to remember. And so I keep a journal for that purpose.

And I don't feel like I have to write in it every day, but, you know, a few times a week, I'm writing down. I put a little asterisk, thank you, God, for. And I mean, it may sound mundane, but thank you that one of my sons called and, you know, he's been out of town for a long time.

Thank you so much for the sunset. Thank you so much for speaking to me out of, you know, Psalm 46. And I'll list things I'm thankful for. Or, you know, I'll have a struggle and I put a little box and I'll write a prayer request.

And when it's answered, I go back and I put a check and I put a date and a little answer. And then I do get discouraged. I do forget that God is good. I have mornings and times where I don't want to pray, I don't want to read. The issue is I've lost perspective and I get that journal and I'll go back a week or two weeks or a month and I'll read what God has done the last month or so.

And all of a sudden my perspective is, oh wow, you have been good to me. And so if you've never kept a journal, we have created one that is uniquely designed for you in a way that will help you personally. It has some great quotes, some great songs and hymns, some prompts. I would encourage you if you struggle with remembering and tracking your journey, this journal will be a great help.

Dave, why don't you take a minute and tell people how they can get a hold of it. To learn more about our prayer journals, visit or tap special offers on the Chip Ingram app. These beautiful, compact notebooks have plenty of space for your prayers and personal journaling along with scripture verses, hymn lyrics and quotes to encourage you. So if you want a more intentional, enriching time with God, this tool is going to help you. Again, for more details about our prayer journals, visit app listeners tap special offers. With that, Chip, let's get to your and Ryan's application for today.

Thanks, Dave. Ryan, as you unpack those eight words from Psalm 46, toward the end of your message, you had some interesting things that you do about having the phone in the other room, or I know you and I have talked where I have a little pad of paper, my to-do list, and right in the middle of when I'm praying, literally just stuff. It just keeps popping in my mind and I just stop and I actually write it down just like in a real conversation.

But this idea of eliminating distractions, learning to focus, that's really a challenge for a lot of people. Could you address maybe that aspect of either shame or discouragement that we feel when we know we're talking with God and then an interruption comes? Because I know for me, I've often felt like I've been so disrespectful to the Lord and maybe knowing that He's understanding and that it takes some practice to declutter our prayer life and to stay focused might be helpful for all of us. Yeah, I think this goes all the way back to our understanding of God as Father, that He just loves spending time with us. He loves hearing our voice and He's so very patient with us. My daughter who's a senior in high school let me know a few months ago that she wanted to start getting up with me at 5 a.m. to go to coffee. Now, I wondered if this was really going to happen, but sure enough, each Thursday morning she gets up and we head to Pete's Coffee Shop. The reality is most of that time she's working on her homework and I'm doing my work.

We don't really have too many deep conversations, but it's so great just to be with her and her to desire to be with me. In fact, I texted my wife that I just love these mornings with our daughter and even though some mornings are hard for me to wake up, I wouldn't miss it for anything. Withness has always been the Father's heart from the very beginning. That's why He's called Emmanuel, God with us. And when we hear the voice of shame or condemnation, that is not from the Father.

It's the voice of the enemy wanting to keep you from the presence of the Father. The very fact that you're trying, that you're setting aside time, that you showed up today to be with Him absolutely delights the heart of the Father. Thanks for that encouragement, Ryan. As we wrap up this program, just a quick but important thought. Living on the Edge depends on listeners like you to help us continue encouraging Christians to live like Christians. So would you consider partnering with us every month so others can benefit from the ministry of Living on the Edge? You can set up a recurring donation at or through the Chip Ingram app or text donate to 74141.

It's so easy. Text the word donate to 74141. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 05:22:08 / 2023-05-11 05:30:47 / 9

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