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The Discipline Of Prayer Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2021 1:00 am

The Discipline Of Prayer Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 26, 2021 1:00 am

There’s a startling disconnect between the things the Apostle Paul prayed for, and the things most of us pray for. We often focus on our physical needs, while God wants to change our motivations. In this message, we learn to pray for the things God wants by praying His word back to Him.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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One reason for us to Jesus longer.

Remember there is a startling disconnect between the things the apostle Paul preformed things most of us pray for me to focus on our physical needs.

While God wants to work on our motivation today. Learning to pray for the things God wants by praying his word to him from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Sir clear teaching obsessed make it across the finish line. Mr. Luther can a proper understanding of prayer reorient our minds in the right direction will daily on this answer to your question is yes. You know, one of the reasons that people often don't attend prayer meetings is because they prayed the same old prayers in the same old way and that can get very boring.

That's one of the reasons why praying Scripture is so absolutely important because each day you are praying something else. And furthermore, you are really praying the mind of God and how transforming that is. That's why this series of messages is so absolutely critical. But you know speaking of prayer. We should be praying all the time I find myself. For example, giving thanks to God and seeking his wisdom all during the day, even when I'm doing other things you know you may be lonely today. You may be going through a time of grief. Prayer can help the body of Jesus Christ also is necessary.

I'd given a lecture I guess I can call it that entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness. I want you to have it want you to have it as a resource.

You may need it. Others needed it has to do with good grief, bad grief, how to process grief for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours.

Here is what you do go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I'm going to be giving you that contact information at the end of this message. For now I want you to listen very carefully as we once again talk about the disciplines of the soul is simple fact is, it is our opportunity to pray to God that the things that have been written. God's word that are so many examples that obviously every song is an example, let's suppose that you're going through a difficult time because someone at work is is persecuting you or you are in a situation where someone has it in for you and your going through this difficult time of wondering whether or not God is going to defend you because you have an enemy or two out there somewhere. What about a Psalm like Psalm 31 we don't have time to read it, but many of you remember that now aren't you.

Psalm 31 in you, oh Lord. I've taken refuge. Let me never be put to shame deliberately in your righteousness turn your ear to me.

I must skip these beautiful verses verse for free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge into your hands I commit my spirit. Read being the old Lord, the God of truth and on and on it goes, and one of the loveliest passages quoted by Jesus even on the cross. Verse 13 for right here the slander of many. There is terror on every side they conspire against me and plot to take my life, but I trust in you Lord I say you are my God, my times are in your deliver me from my enemies and from those who would pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant say me in your failing love. What an expression for those who are going through times of difficulty. What a way in which we can we can pray to God as we take his word and were praying his word back to him. Now I can give you many other illustrations you say will that's the Psalms. What about what about the epistles of Paul very very very easy to pray. By the way the epistles are not the wives of the apostles. The word epistle means a letter writing you know in any Ephesians. For example, you have two wonderful prayers.

If you ever wonder how you should pray for us as members of the pastoral staff if you're ever thinking of how do I pray about a missionary I don't know what his needs are. That's not right you know exact late needs are Ephesians chapter 1, you pray that the eyes of his heart will be enlightened that he might know the hope of his calling. A note is in Christ and experience the light in the depth and the love of Christ.

That's the next prayer. Actually in Ephesians chapter 3 and you begin to pray this because when the apostle Paul prayed he was always praying for people spiritually.

I don't want to play down the need to pray for people in their physical ailments and in their needs and so forth. But when you look at Paul's prayers and there's more than a dozen of them in his writings. Every one of them focused on people's relationship with God and nothing was said nothing was said about their physical needs about their conflicts because Paul was convinced that if people are rightly related to God and if the eyes of their mind are in like this. Do they are in Christ, they can endure what it is that they're going off and I prayed. Colossians 1 for my children. What a marvelous prayer but we do not have time to turn to it, but you do and you pray it phrase by phrase seven request. Paul makes that could be made for any Christian and you pray those requests yesterday. I was praying through Romans chapter 12. As you know I have prayer partners and many of my prayer partners pray this way for me and one day one of them read the entire 12th chapter of Romans for me as a prayer while can you imagine being prayed for in that way and I was praying and dead. It says in Romans chapter 12. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. I stopped there I pray for myself that my body would be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

And this is my spiritual act of worship. And then the Lord brought to mind the need to pray for for our three daughters, and for their husband. So I prayed. Romans chapter 12 verses one and two, where it goes on to talk about holiness. Pleasing God and the mind being transformed by the word of God and by the spirit of God.

I pray that for sons-in-law that I prayed it for others and I have to tell you I did not get beyond verses one and two because so many people came to mind for whom I began to pray that this would be true of them.

You see how this works so that you're not simply praying the Lord bless somebody what you're doing is you are praying God's thoughts, what are the advantages of this kind of prayer. Let me give them to you very quickly because as I've already emphasized. We are now praying God's agenda and not ours. What if I were to speak to a businessman and I were to say to him, would you share with me please how your relationship with God is coming along.

What kind of a relationship you have with the Almighty and he were to say what you know I don't really like my job as a matter fact I wish I could change obsessing like that that's not the question that I'm asking. I'm asking you a different question.

How is your relationship with God and he were to say well you know if we had more money you do a lot of other things that were really short on money, we can hardly pay her bills. I'm saying that that's not what I'm asking you how's your relationship with God and then he says well I want you to know that you had a lot of trouble with my back recently and it hurts.

I'm saying to get it. What I'm asking. We do that with God all the time God is on a different trajectory. What are we doing were asking were talking about this in God's as you know all everything in my site is important, but I'm not. I'm not worried about the circumstances here. That's not my big agenda.

My biggest agenda is your heart in your purity in your holiness and and your ability to endure.

That's much more important to me than solving all your problems and every time you, all that you think of me as is a problem solver. Spurgeon remembers that all blessed acts of sorrow that cuts a pathway to my God. By chopping down the told trees of human come the older doing is where praying for creature comforts make it easier solve the problem's got my agenda and we keep coming to him with an agenda that is really is. It's our only when you're praying Romans 12 and if you've turned to that passage, I hope you stay there because were going to return to it in a moment, but when you're praying that now suddenly sure getting the mind of the Lord your discovering what the will of God really is for your life. Secondly, second advantage, God uses his word to trigger our memories and our concerns to see when you're reading the Bible oftentimes will come across passages that really don't apply to you. So what you do is you say all blessed Holy Spirit does this passage apply to other people tell me to know the Lord.

Other people for whom I can pray this and God will bring people to mind and situations to mind for which you will be able to praying now and use the Scripture in the process of doing the prayed again.

What a wonderful experience that is now. If there's a passage that absolutely does not lend itself to prayer and that may be true of some of the historical sections of the Bible, then what you do is you simply read it and, if possible. If you can't read it out loud at least to read it and let your lips move and read it to God say Lord I'm I'm reading your word, but I'm reading your word in your presence and I'm reading this word to you and in the process God is honored because he says he has exalted his word is high as his name is Cybele Pastor Luther, what about posture in prayer. Will I have my own convictions, but actually they way in which the posture is not that important.

It is the heart I read about one man who had never prayed because he could never have the right posture when he knelt his soup got grace when he stood, his legs ached when he sat.

It seemed to be to your referent. But one day he was walking through an open field and fell headfirst into a narrow well my going too fast for some of you discovered another moments when the posture is not that big a deal.

In fact you can even pray upside down.

If you really have to you say yes but Pastor Luther what about the distractions. Now when you begin to do this you are going to find all kinds of distractions because remember, the devil is now going to really awaken he who has been asleep is suddenly going to come alive and say I Let this go on.

So what will happen is you're going to be distracted. You're going to have so many concern years ago.

Sometimes what I would do is actually take their two answers to this. By the way.

The first is to pray for the thing that has distracted you, it's probably anxiety and so what you do is ask. That distraction comes, you say Lord. This has come to mind in this is distracting me now and so I want to give this to you. I want to pray through that so that I can get back to my adoration of you and get back to the Scriptures. In fact there were times earlier many years ago when I would actually have a notepad next to my open Bible because the minute I would go down to pray. Suddenly I remembered what I should do.

I was thinking about this and so forth. And then I couldn't let go of those thoughts because I thought I might forget what it is that I had to do so I would simply write it down.

You write it down and take care of it so that you can get back to the business of praying I don't necessarily think that you should always put your Bible in your left hand in your palm pilot on your right.

But something has to be done so that we can get back to the business of praying and so that our distractions are used for the glory of God. Instead of destroying the communion that God wants us to have with him. So what happens is God triggers our memories just try this. I was reading in Psalms the other day where it says the fool has said in his heart there is no God but you do with a verse like that.

But immediately I began to think you know I have never prayed for atheists, this might be a good opportunity to do that father and and if you do come to mind. I pray that you will help them to understand how foolish this is God have mercy upon the results you see how reading God's word will trigger in our minds other things and people to pray for that we would never think of on our own disabled, you have a prayer list.

Yes, the prayer list is good because what it does is it helps focus are wondering mind praying this way, we will never pray the same old thing in the same old way and fine. We now have a prayer that will stay with us all during the day because we've combined meditation and intercession.

Now, I encourage you to do this, I encourage you to do it for a month. Commit yourself to a month.

What you'll discover is the hunger and the burden for God's word and the desire to be in God's presence will grow so much that afterwards it'll simply become a part of your whole habit and experience, but the first few weeks will be difficult and you know who's going to try to make it difficult. I asked you a moment ago to keep your Bibles open to the 12 chapter of Romans wouldn't it be wonderful and I just thought of this idea this morning.

If we as a church were to take verse nine of Romans chapter 12 Romans chapter 12 verse nine to the end of the chapter and all of us pray it. This is we for Moody church.

Can you imagine love must be sincere. Oh God, we pray, make us people who are sincere and devoted. There may be specific situations of the Lord brings to mind that you need to commit to him in your own life and in the lives of others here church. Oh God, as a congregation, may we hate what is evil. May we cling to what is good and ask God to give us a burden to intercede for those who are tied up with the people who are bound by evil, and then be devoted to one another in brotherly love and and go down all the way and pray that prayer for our congregation just simply being out blessed Moody church. It'll be God's agenda for God's people and what will happen if we begin to pray this way will finally obey the words of Scripture which say pray continuously because the words will be in our minds and our hearts. And as we need God in the morning and as we finally surrender the day to him and begin every day at the foot of the cross so to speak. And as we commit ourselves to him and is where meditating and praying will have something to take with us throughout the day and the prayer that we prayed in the morning will be our minds and in our hearts. Yes, we will be rebuked exhorted encourage smitten with conviction. Given hope all of those things will take place if we treat the Scriptures in this way will discover as someone has said that when we pray something that is not God's will. He'll say no.

If we pray something that is not his timing.

He will say, slow, and if he we pray in a way God sees that we are the problem. He will say grow but in the process and the process will finally meet God and what will discover is that it's not not abnormal to be able to say that you belong to the prayer watch in and spend an hour with the Lord because what you're doing is you're reading his word. Your prayer list is on one side of your hand in the Bible is on the other and you're connecting the two in God is leading the depths of prayer. Some of you are here today in your surprise that the intimacy that all of us one with the God and the reason may be, is because you personally have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you say well how do you do that is what a man asked me one time. Is that how you do that what you say will of course it's not the words that are important but it is the expression of the heart, but there is a prayer in the Bible that you can pray and some of you need to pray at this morning.

Bible says Jesus tells the story about two people who went into a temple to pray, both were praying for the one man was praying his own agenda he was not praying God's agenda at all.

He said I thank the Lord that I'm not like other men.

They are extortioners and adulterers.

But I fast twice a week and I give tithes of everything that I present you don't find that the Bible bragging like that present coming from his pray in his own ideas he is exalting himself in the very presence of the God who should humble them, but next to the Pharisee. There was a another man, a publican despise thought of to the lower class and the Bible says that he would hardly even look to heaven. He couldn't stand to look up as if he would see the face of God. He simply smote his breast, and here's the prayer that he prayed that some of you really should pray today is God, the merciful to me, the center Jesus said that that man. The second man went home justified and the other did not. How do we connect with God we connect by acknowledging our own sinfulness and are need of a Savior and we sale God I receive your mercy as it is given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. We receive our mercy from his loving hand.

It is a gift given to those who finally get a hold dependence upon works and trust Christ alone. God be merciful to me, the center let's pray together.

Our father today. We want to pray as earnestly as the disciples did when you were here on earth, Lord Jesus, when they said, Lord, teach us to pray we confess today that there are many people who have listened to this message, you have never gotten beyond good intentions transformed today we pray make it different yesterday that you will help us to be able to meditate and to pray and to pray your thoughts back to you and to pray your agenda and not ours.

Make us a praying people. We ask, we think Lord of those who perhaps have never attended a prayer meeting here would you share with us that burden and that hunger that would transform our lives and the lives of our community and our family through through burning continual faith all intercessory prayer for those who have never trusted Christ we pray today that they might cry out to him and say yes. Be merciful to me, the center and received your grace we ask in Jesus name, amen.

I know today that I'm speaking to many people who have come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

If you haven't call out to him right now. Admit your sinfulness and receive his mercy and his grace.

But for those of you who have believed. I know how difficult it can be to do intercessory prayer and that's why God gives us so many needs so many needs in our families and in our communities and in our churches so that we might call out to him because prayer ultimately is a confession of our dependence and you know we also need prayer, especially when we are going through times of grief and loneliness. I've given a lecture which actually is on DVD or CD entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness. What makes this special is I quote the words of a man.

His story was still in the process of grieving the death of his dear wife and what you will learn from him. I think will be very transforming for a gift of any amount. This can be yours. It's entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness and as I mentioned, it's available in CD or in DVD.

Your choice. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that info again to give you time to write it down, but I want to share my heart with you and thank you so much for your support of this media ministry because together we are making a difference running to win is in more than 20 different countries in three different languages because of you. Thank you for being a part of our family. But if you're interested in the DVD or the CD entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. was so hard.

Chicago line 60614 real worship.

It's not about how it makes us feel genuine worship is about ascribing worth to God whether we feel like it or not, next time I'm running to win some straight talk about what worship really is and why it takes discipline to worship God properly. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the church

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