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"The Tragedy Of Prayerlessness"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2022 5:00 am

"The Tragedy Of Prayerlessness"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Hi there this is on Solomon about like you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God. I believe that we as 20th-century Christians have lost our awareness of how potent prayer is and that's a tragedy. I believe that we lost our grasp on how God honors prayer and that's a tragedy that we lost our grasp on how God alters the events of the world and does majestic things in response to prayer, and that's a tragedy. And this morning when I want to try to do is to convince you of the power and the importance of prayer and then to motivate you and me to do a deeper and more thorough job of spending some time in prayer every single day. So let's see if we can do that together you look it up. A passenger from the life of the Old Testament man of God. Samuel, let me give you little background. Remember Samuel been leading Israel for his whole life. Now he was about ready to die is really come to him and said Samuel we need a permanent leader we need a king. So, in response, God had anointed a king.

The king Saul, but here in the chapter. If you read it. I'm not going to read it, but I'll summarize it. Samuel gives a little speech, and here's what he says to the nation. He said you know you guys missed the whole point you guys have dealt with the symptom rather than the problem. You think you need a permanent king, but the problem is you always have a permanent king God has been your permanent king, and he goes on to say when ever you called on God.

God has always come through for you know he said the problem isn't that you needed a king. You could see the problem is you weren't loyal and faithful to the king that you had so by asking for human king you really deal with the problem you have dealt with the symptom fellows and you insulted God.

You imply that God wasn't good enough. God wasn't powerful enough, you insulted God in the process that when he's done. This is what happens. Verse 19 then the people all said to Samuel.

Samuel prayed to the Lord your God for us. Then we will not die for now we understand that we have added to all of our other sins. The sin, the evil of asking 14 and Samuel said to them, don't be afraid you have done all this evil that you say, but if you come back to the Lord.

If you won't turn away from the Lord to serve him with all of your heart. He's not going to kill you, he's not going to wipe you out. Verse 22. For the sake of his great name.

The Lord will not reject his people because the Lord was pleased to to make you his own. What is Samuel really saving them.

He says okay you need to understand that in spite of all the wrong that you've gone. God is the God of the second chance and the third chance, and the 50th chance anything turn back to God and if you'll telling what you did wrong and if your heart can be broken over what you did wrong and if you will be true to a man loyal to him. God will take you right from where you are now and God will restore you and God will redeem you and God will provide for your God is the God of the second chance. I want to take a moment and say that if you're here today and you feel like you made some horrible mistake mistakes because of which are sure that you and God are separated forever. It will just never be a time for you and God will ever be like you used to be. I want to listen to what Samuel says here Samuel says that's not true. Samuel says that God is the God of the open arms and it will come to God with humility and with brokenness apart over things that we've done. God will take us in his arms he will forgive us and he will restore to us the years the locusts have eaten in our lives. If you're here today and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way and you feel like your life is like a locust plague has just been eaten up.

Samuel says hey, God is there with his open arms, ready to restore to you those years if you just give them the chance. I hope you will come to think about. Well now Samuel goes on to say what I think is an incredible thing. Look at verse 23 member the people came and said Samuel pray for us. Here's what he says. Verse 23 asked for me. He says, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you I will let you but that's an amazing statement. Far be it for me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you, what you notice that Samuel calls prayerless in this sin he doesn't call it just an oversight.

He doesn't call it just a careless omission. He doesn't see it is just letting the people down he sees it as spiritual failure. He refers to it as spiritual tragedy that he would fail to be a man of prayer for the people of Israel. I don't know many people in the world who refer to prayerless this is a sin against the Lord. But this is how Samuel this is how he saw that at the end of the passage that were little work through so far this morning but it leads us to ask the really important question. What's that question. I've been a pastor now for almost 20 years and you know when I talk to people, let me tell you the impression that I get from people so often I get the impression it would people open the Bible and they read about the great men and women of God and the Bible. People like Samuel and Moses and Abraham and Ruth. I think that we as Christians have the idea that they were just born as great men and women of God that they're made out of different protoplasm than you and I are and that they just can't walk a different role than you and I walk and focus. The answer is that's absolutely not true. If we want some insight as to what made the difference between these men and women of God and the rest of the world. Samuel gives a choice right here in first Samuel 12 Samuel tells us that he was a mighty man of prayer and what led to him being a mighty man of God was that he was a mighty man of prayer. He reminds me of another guy in the Bible. A guy named Daniel. If you remember, Daniel was the Prime Minister of the entire Persian Empire under Cyrus the great, the Persian Empire stretched in today's terms for what would be to bet to watch Turkey. I mean it was an enormous Empire. He was the Prime Minister of this Empire. I'm sure he had a crowded schedule. I'm sure his datebook was full.

If the it had Newton.

I'm sure it would've been full.

You know what I'm saying and yet here was a man who, in spite of the demands on his time who, in spite of the pressures of being a busy executive Daniel chapter 6 verse 10 tells us that he still found time he didn't find it. He made time to three times a day go into his private quarters dropped onto his knees and seek the face of God in prayer. If you want to know when the right consistency in this man's life came from.

I'll tell you where you can find it.

Take a look at him, spending three times a day on his knees in prayer. If you want to know where his great wisdom and discernment came from.

It came from three times a day on his knees in prayer. If you want to know where his great personal integrity came from. It came from three times a day on his knees in prayer. If you want to know where his courage to going to the lions den with nothing but his faith in God to protect him came from. It came from three times on his knees a day in prayer now.

Lots of us as Christians know what it is to do crisis pray God's get me out of this God you know that, so anything wrong with crisis pray know if you got a crisis, you better pray that's good. But you see Samuel and Daniel and the great men and women of God understood that there was much more to prayer than just crisis. Pray that there were more compelling reasons and deeper reasons to pray than just because there's a crisis in your life and it was because they understood these deeper reasons for praying that they became the men and women of God that they do so I want to take the last little bit of time on God and talk to you about what are some of these deeper, more compelling reasons that you and I ought to have a serious prayer life about five to give your writing down there we go purpose or reason number one is that prayer is how we build intimacy with God. You know, in any relationship or marriage, a dating relationship being friends were never in any human relationship.

What build intimacy into that relationship is consistent regular honest communication and post the same is true in our relationship with God would build intimacy between us and God is consistent, regular, honest communication prayer defined is simply as you can to find it is simply communicating with God and if you and I want to be men and women of God. We've got to have intimacy with God and the only way you and I get it is in prayer you can't get intimacy with God through a book you get it in communication through prayer. Number two. The reason that we should look deeper in terms of our prayer life. Number two is because prayer brings perspective to the situations of life you want to know how to keep from making dumb mistakes in life.

Stupid decisions in life. Linda give you a piece of advice as a Christian learn to pray about those things before you do, because prayer brings perspective to the decisions of life and the question occurred to me a lot. How can you make some of the dumb choices you make and how come you out there make some of the stupid choices.

You may it's all the same reason.

I'll tell you what it is is because we lose perspective we get so close to the situation we lose our focus. We can't see the forest for the trees. So how can you and I as Christians keep this from happening to us. Well, the answer is prayer.

Prayer restores perspective. Prayer is like a spiritual helicopter where we can rise up above the situation and we can see the whole forest and not just the trees and what we can ask ourselves important questions and let God talk to us about important questions like what is the price you're going to have to pay to do this.

One of the consequences you're going to have to live with. Do you really want to do something this stupid you'll solve 32 says this verse eight. God says in Psalm 32. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you where does that happen. It happens in prayer. How do you keep from stepping on alligators in life is Christians friends and making dormant destructive decisions. One of the ways is by being a person that takes these things to God in prayer. Prayer brings perspective.

You to the issues of life. Number three.

Reason number three that prayer is so important for us is that prayer fortifies us to stand firm for God. I'm sure you realize that ours is not an easy world in which to live for God is not an easy world in which to stand for God, but you know what the world never has been an easy place to live for God and stand for God. I want you to turn back in the Bible to acts chapter 4 and while you're turning. Let me give you the background. The early churches started the early disciples.

Peter and James and John are out preaching in the streets and telling people about Christ is the way Jesus told him to do and they get arrested and the people arrested were the very same people who killed Jesus the chief leaders of Israel and they say to them fellows. This is gotta stop the understand. Look at this chapter. Four of the book of acts look with me at verse 18 and then today the chief priest called them the disciples in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Verse 21 and after further threatening them. They let them go to the disciples about reason to fear these guys will they just got through killing Jesus. About three weeks before I'd say there's reason to worry about these guys if they say and what we did to Jesus.

Do the same thing to you friend if you don't stop reaching out the street with their reason to be concerned.

I would think so, what, how do they handle it.

You know, they didn't stop preaching in the streets, you know, they didn't stop standing up for Christ where they get the courage where they get the fortitude to go on for God in the face of this kind of threat watch verse 23 on the release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

Verse 24 and when they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.

In verse 31 after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness where you and I going to get the strength and the fortitude to stand for God the way we need to when our world to stand for ethics and to stand for decency and to stamp morality and to stand for the truth of the gospel were to get up from the same place. These guys got it from. They got it on their knees from the spirit of God strengthening their life and giving them the courage they needed to stand for God. That's where you'll find number four reason why we should pray is that prayer changes things around us.

It's a simple formula. We pray and God moves the world in response. It's pretty simple and yet do we really believe that God does this was a fascinating article in Time magazine last year called faith and healing.

I don't know if you read it, but the article asked the question can prayer and faith really make a difference in your physical health, and here's the answer they give a growing and surprising body of scientific evidence says yes and then the article went on to cite a number of medical studies presented to suggest that there is an innate independent power to prayer that defies any and all explanation except that there's a supernatural God answering prayer. The study that I love the best is the one done in 1988, which are cited in the article by Dr. Randolph Byrd of San Francisco General Hospital is a cardiologist. Here's what he did he have 393 coronary care patients, most of whom either have heart attacks or heart surgery. He divided them into two groups randomly and without telling the patients they had no idea this was happening, he gave the names of half of the group to born-again Christians in the bay area to pray by name of for these patients. The other half of the patients had nobody pray for at the end of two years. Here's what he found. Listen, he found quoting from the article that the un-pray for patients were five times more likely to have needed antibiotics three times more likely to have developed complications or needed further surgery and that the un-pray for patients recovered significantly slower than the pray for patient and not a single patient even knew this was going on.

So forget the placebo effect.

As you can imagine, he published his in a journal of medicine.

You, as you can imagine this is causing significant angst in the medical community, but this shouldn't cause any angst for us as Christians, we all believe that this should be no problem for us to accept. Doesn't God say call on me at all. Do stuff for you. You can even believe so why does this surprise us and if you got circumstances in your life that you're not really excited about, and you'd like to see God move in them.

Let me tell you how to getting the move. You won't get it by whining and crying and complaining you get it by praying and laying that situation at the feet of God, praying changes situations around us. Reason number five that you and I should be compelled to pray is that praying not only changes things around us, but prayer changes us janitors a lot of us as Christians who think the highest reason for praying is to change the circumstances around us.

That's wrong. The highest reason for praying is to change us. I think of Jesus when he went into the garden of Gethsemane. Remember the story right before the cross. The Bible says how did he go into the garden.

He went to the garden. How in anguish and distress in the Bible says he came out of the garden. A few minutes later, resolute firm called and determined. Why was he in anguish of soul. Why was he distressed and upset when he went in the garden was because in his human nature.

Jesus knew the cross was right in front of him and in his human nature. He didn't want to go to the cross. And yet when he came out of the garden. Something had happened and never again was there even a Pete that he ordered. He went to the cross firm resolute call and gave his life for our students know what happened in the garden that changed his whole perspective on the will of God for his life, say well he attended a seminar on the results seminar in the garden. He read a book, no Chuck Swindoll was there preached a great message to it. No Billy Graham. No folks, he did hear a sermon he did listen to a tape he didn't read a book he didn't go to a seminar. Jesus only did one thing in the garden. What did he do he. It's all he did and he said father you need to change me from the inside out on this issue across, and God did you know the greatest problem I face in my life is the gap problem GAP. So what is the gap problem with the gap problem is the gap between what I know God wants me to be and what I am is a huge gap. There and you know I've been reading the Bible for 26 years now I've got a pretty good handle what God wants me to be.

That's not the problem anymore.

The problem is how do I get to be what God wants me to be how to why bridge that gap and what I have learned is that seminars are good and books are good and sermons are good but none of those things will bridge the gap in my life. None of those things will change my values, my behavior, my heart, my worldview and bring those into alignment with the will of God for my life only prayer the Holy Spirit working in my life because I'm on my knees praying about these things. That's what closes the gap and you know what I'll bet you got a gap to with your Christian in your life, how you gonna close well how did Jesus close.

He did it by prayer and God is given you and me, the very same mechanism to use in our lives to bring us into alignment with the will of God. Just like it worked in Jesus. Here's the key point prayer not only changes things, prayer changes us from the inside out in a local starter Kennedy the great preacher said he said prayer is not an easy way of getting what we want, but rather it's the only way of becoming what God wants us to prayer is not an easy way getting what we want. It's the mechanism that helps us become what God wants us to an emotional praying.

His reach that level you have not cloned into the depths of prayer. Yet, until it gets to the place where your praying about God changing you and you still got to drive deeper because there's more. Therefore, why do we pray, let me summarize one because prayer is how we build intimacy with God to because prayer brings perspective to the situations of life and he keeps us from doing stupid things. Number three because prayer brings the courage to our lives that we need to stand firm for God, for because prayer can change things around us, and five because prayer changes need prayer changes me, and if you want to be a giant in your Christian life. Let me tell you how to be one.

It's the same way. Samuel became one of the same way. Daniel became one it's by becoming a giant in your prayer life.I would suspect everyone of us here was a Christian would agree we don't pray enough. I never met a Christian who says oh you're my prayer life's totally what it all released under met or maybe there are some so here's what I want to challenge you to do today I want to challenge her for 10 minutes. 10 minutes you don't pray at all.

I want to challenge you to make a commitment to God you going to start praying 10 minutes a day so that's not very much. I know what you will be amazed what God will do in your life if you just give them 10 minutes you won't believe it. And if you already pray some everyday I want to challenge you to give God 10 more.

That's my challenge and let God do what he says call to me and what did he say I'll answer give him a chance to do it and show you what is capable of in your life with our hips with our heads bowed and her eyes closed just before we are dismissed.

I want to give you a chance to make that commitment to God.

If you want to. So if you're willing to say, God, I'm going to commit to 10 minutes a day of secret privates focused prayer, or from already praying on the commit to 10 minutes more.

And I mean a God starting tomorrow morning.

I want you to change my life because of this commitment. If you're willing to do that than with our heads bowed, her eyes closed. I just simply would like you to stick your hand up say God I meet anybody wanted. Thank you God bless Lord for the folks who raise their hand and for others who may be, have made this commitment or will make it razor. I want to pray that you would honor what they've done here and I want to pray that you would move so magnificently in their lives that they will not be able to believe what 10 minutes a day has produced so Lord shock us with what you're going to do with 10 minutes a day and motivate us to want to even spend more time seeking your face in prayer Lord, change us into the people you want us to be and do all these other things that we talked about prayer doing, we commit ourselves to you, Lord, may we look back on the commitment we made here today is one of the most life-changing things we ever did because of the way you're going to move in our lives. We thank you in advance for that in Jesus name amen been listening to send letter to Dr. Lon Solomon said, when is an outrage of Lon Solomon ministry to listen to today's message more. For more information visit our website. Lon Solomon

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