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Defiant Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 31, 2022 9:00 am

Defiant Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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August 31, 2022 9:00 am

Every Christian knows that prayer is important, but if we’re honest, a lot of us wonder what the point is. If God is in control, and he already knows what we need, then why bother telling him?

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. Matthew 6, when Jesus was talking about prayer, he says, knock and the door will be open to you. Knock.

That's not the kind of thing you just do once, right? You don't just go like, you know. You pray for 60 years and there's no answer. Keep praying. I'll be honest with you, I struggle with this. How do you know when to persist in prayer and how do you know when to rest in the sovereignty of God? Welcome to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. And we're so glad that you're back with us today. You're joining us today as we tackle a foundational topic in the Christian life, prayer. And I think every Christian knows that prayer is important, but if we're honest, a lot of us kind of wonder what the point is. After all, if God is truly in control and he already knows what we need or what we're going to ask, then why even bother telling him? Pastor J.D.

answers that question as we conclude our series called Press Through. And if you've missed any of the previous messages, you can find them all at jdgreer.com. Now, here's Pastor J.D. with the second half of our message in Daniel titled Defiant Prayer. Today, we're going to look at another guy whose life was very similar, Daniel. Now, even if you've only been in church a few times, you went to Sunday school a couple times as a kid, Daniel's one of those stories that you likely know, isn't it? Daniel's one of the most famous Bible heroes of all time.

What I want to do is I want to spend a little time in his life looking at a few things. We're going to be in Daniel 6, and I'm going to try to show you three things about Daniel's life and his relationship to prayer because that's a major theme in Daniel's life. Three things about Daniel's prayer. I'm going to show you, first of all, Daniel's discipline in prayer or discipline of prayer. Secondly, I'm going to try to show you Daniel's defiance through prayer, and then I'm going to show you Daniel's endurance in prayer. Daniel did not get his marching orders from the king or the daily newspaper or the school administration officials or what was popular now or what was trending on Twitter or what was deemed socially acceptable or politically correct or anything else. Daniel got his marching orders from God, which was, by the way, the key to his success because when you try to please everybody, you will fail. But when you are concerned with pleasing only God, it makes, first of all, decision-making much easier because you know that there's a lot of decisions you don't have to make because you know that you're going to please God, and God himself prospered Daniel because of it. That's what was the key to his success is he lived for an audience of one.

He knew that whatever decisions he was going to make, there was one he needed to please, and that was God because God was in charge of his success. That's Daniel's story. Now let me extrapolate three things out of that story that I mentioned to you about Daniel's prayer.

Here they are. Number one, I'm going to rephrase them to apply to our lives. Number one, our prayer should be characterized by discipline.

My parents taught it to me when I was a teenager, and by God's grace, with his help, that has been a part of my life almost every day since I was a teenager. It's just daily meeting with God to be able to bring to him these things and let his power and his strength come into me. Honestly, those of you that do not have a time where you meet with God every day, I don't know how you do it. I really don't. I don't know how you gain the wisdom to make decisions. I don't know how you have the strength to maintain your marriage and other relationships. I don't know how you deal with difficulty.

I don't know how you deal with difficult people. I don't know how you raise your children because that is the lifeblood for me because it is the place where God's wisdom and his power, it's the vehicle, the conduit by which God releases that strength. That's the key to Daniel's strength is that he meets with God three times a day.

Jesus, before he made decisions and before he chose his 12 disciples, spent all night in prayer, all night. When's the last time you spent a significant amount of time in prayer before you made a decision? Were you going to go to college? Where are you going to major in? Who are you going to date?

Who are you going to marry? Maybe you don't need it because maybe Jesus was just... Maybe he needed that kind of stuff because he was weak. I would say that if Jesus felt like he needed that kind of prayer coverage before he made significant decisions, it'd probably be a good idea for me and you that we would make significant decisions that we have in prayer.

I bring this up to our staff all the time. You look at the children of Israel in the Old Testament. What you find out is that the places where they went wrong, Joshua 11, is when they forgot to pray about certain decisions and just made them because they looked obvious to them. I would say that you are cutting yourself off from the life and power of God in your family and your life unless you have a daily time that you meet with God and his power flows into you. What if the means by which God steals our spirit and strengthens our resolve is meeting with him and praying so that God gives us the ability to make wise decisions, the ability to bring harmony to our marriage, the ability to raise our kids? What if that was the means by which God did that and you just cut yourself off from it?

You see what I'm getting at? It is the way you overcome the weaknesses of your flesh. It is the way that you gain access to the wisdom and power of God. God, unless you are the one who builds my children, unless you establish my marriage, unless you build my church, my ministry, my life, I'm laboring in vain. How much have you labored in vain building a house that has no spiritual significance at all?

I mean, many of you have labored hard. You've labored hard to build your career and to build your family and you've worked ridiculously hard, but unless God builds the house and the way that you lay hold of the blessing and the power and the promise of God consistently throughout the Bible is by believing in prayer. So our prayer should be characterized by discipline, number two. Our prayer should be characterized by defiance. So you see what Daniel's doing? He's holding up the words of God to God.

He's holding up the promises of God to God and he says, God, you promised. It's your name. Your name's on the line. This is not my idea. You said it and I want you to do what you said you would do.

Write this down. Effective prayer begins when you perceive the gap between where a situation is and where God wants it to be. Now, listen, that in most cases has to be done with humility because we don't always know the will of God, right? There's a lot of times I don't know exactly what God wants, but a lot of the will of God I do know through his word.

So here's my question for you. How well do you know the word of God? How well do you know the word of God? Because the strength of our prayers to God are entirely dependent on our knowledge of the word of God. The strength of your prayers to God are entirely dependent on your knowledge of the word of God. Like I told you last week, the Bible is your prayer book. It is the promises that God has laid out for you.

Write this down. Prayers that start in heaven are heard by heaven. So if you want to have the help of heaven, you've got to listen to the words from heaven because prayers that are effective begin and end with the promises of God. They begin with you perceiving what God intends. It begins with you praying God's words back to him. You listen to the prayers of people who get God's attention, it sounds like they're quoting scripture the whole time.

How well do you know the word of God? Because your prayers will not be any stronger than your knowledge of the word of God. Prayers that are heard by God are expressed according to the will of God and you know the will of God by the word of God.

Therefore you won't know the will of God anymore. You know the word of God and the prayers that you pray are not going to be any more effective than your ability to know the word. Which means the thing that you got to do is you got to start knowing the Bible and you got to start anchoring your prayers in scripture.

The reason some of your prayer lives are so weak. I don't want to say you quote like a mantra that God just likes the sound of the words, but I'm saying you begin to understand the heart and the mind of God and you just pray his words back to him. You have got to know the word of God.

It's not too late to start. I mean as some of you I realize you're in your 40s, you're in your 50s, and you barely know what God says about your marriage and your family or certain situations. You need to become a student of God's word because that will become the means by which you begin to pray because you'll start to perceive situations where God's will says one thing and this is what the situation is. You perceive that gap and you'll start to say God lets your will be done on earth like it is in heaven. It is when you perceive a gap between where God wants a situation to be and where a situation is that you lay hold of God's promises and his power and you change the situation. Where do you perceive a gap in your life? Is it how you struggle with sin?

Is that where the gap is? Is it in your marriage? Is it in the life of one of your children? Is it in the ministry situation that you are in? Are you in a ministry situation whether it's with family or friends or wherever where you see a gap between where you know God wants you to be and where it is? When I was a senior in college I started a Bible study.

I think I've told some of you this before. I started a Bible study on our campus together with one of my best friends named Bruce Ashford who's now an elder here at our church that grew from a handful of people my senior year to my senior year to several hundred people. For whatever reason it threatened the school administration mainly because I think we'd started a small movement and because the gospel was being preached and you know this the gospel people are okay with the idea of Christians but when the gospel freaks that becomes offensive to people because it's their salvation found in one that's Jesus and you had to be saved through him. So we were seeing this kind of gospel awakening happen and so the school administration tried various ways to discourage our group.

They kept closing down buildings and wouldn't allow us to meet in them. Finally they told me at the end of that year that I was no longer welcome to teach the Bible on their campus. Now by that point I'd graduated so I was like well you're telling me that I can't come back to the campus and teach the Bible? They said no. I said even if I'm invited by a student could I come? Yes.

No. You were not allowed to do that. They said as far as we're concerned you are not allowed to walk on this campus with an open Bible and teach somebody the Bible.

But as far as I know that ban is still under effect because they've never lifted that on me. Now a group of us a group we just had one of the most fruitful years of ministry I'd ever seen or heard about and a group of students that this involved we were looking at scores of people who had come to Christ, been discipled. I know people on the mission field today who came out of that movement. We couldn't see how it was God's will to just shut all that down. So a group of 21 year olds who didn't know any better just laid it before God said God this is your situation.

I don't know what to do. The administration knew it was too big to just cancel it. So they asked for somebody in their religion department that would take it over and just kind of you know more shape it and conform this movement of students into what they wanted. One guy came forward a rising star in their religion department named Alex. Alex said I'd like to take it over. He was a religion student.

They said fine. Little did they know this was a guy that we had been discipling for six months and he took over the Bible study and led it for the next three years grew it beyond larger than anything we ever had and because he was a student there there was so much less they could forbid him to do. We perceived a gap as a group of 21 year olds who had very little tact and not much knowledge. We perceived a gap between what was and what God wanted so we laid hold of the promises of God and pray the door open for the gospel and God took what they intended for evil and God used it for good. You're listening to a message titled Defiant Prayer here on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. I wanted to take a moment and ask you about your email inbox. Is it full of spam and newsletters like mine like you don't remember signing up for? For many of us that's the case so why not invite something both wholesome and valuable to replace those things? Take the time to sign up today for the daily email devotional from Pastor J.D. The devotionals follow along with our current teaching here on the program so you can stay plugged into these messages regardless of your schedule. What better way to remember and rehearse all that we're learning about prayer right now by staying plugged in even after the show is over?

Sign up for this free resource at jdgreer.com slash resources. Now let's return for the final moments in our teaching series titled Press Through. Once again here's Pastor J.D. Summit Church I perceive a gap between where our church is and where I perceive God wants the gospel to be. I know that what God wants is for the homeless, the orphan, the prisoner, the unborn mother, and the high school dropout to have a felt experience with the healing power of Jesus and that he wants his people saturating every broken part of this city so that they can testify to them in those places of how much God loves them and how much and how able he is to heal. I know that what God wants is a spirit of unity between the churches in Riley Durham, an unbelievable spirit of unity where they serve one another and wash one another's feet that is itself a testimony of the gospel. I know that God wants the racial diversity among believers in the Riley Durham area to be a testimony to the reconciling power of the gospel.

I know that he wants us to plant a thousand churches and bless a thousand cities and places all around the world that don't even have churches that that thrive. I know that because that's what God told me he wanted and I defy the situation when I perceive the gap between where it is and where God wants it to be and people that aren't from a church are like why is it gonna yell at you all the time and why do you listen when yell at you? It's because I believe this and because you believe it because God's word tells us and so we believe it we perceive the gap between where it is and where God wants it and we rise up to claim the promises that God has made available for it and we will defy anyone like Darius or his jealous satraps who try to keep us from obeying God.

So bring it on King Darius you can put us in the you can put us in the in the lion's den. Our God is a God who shuts the mouths of lions. Daniel prayed with discipline he prayed with defiance. Number three last one our prayers should be characterized by endurance.

Endurance. Two quick observations from Daniel's life that will show you this jot these down if you take a notice. Number one Daniel was willing to be thrown into the lion's den before he'd stop praying. Daniel was willing to be thrown into the lion's den before he'd stop praying that's how much he endured. Here's my question how valuable is prayer to you? Daniel was willing to lose his life before he'd stop praying. How much of a priority is it in your day?

The game changer. Some of you will look back to this time in your life this will be the game changer if this is all you get out of this series that you need to have a daily time that you meet with God. I've told you this before some of you that have been around the church for a while one of the top two or three memories I have growing up in my house is when I would get up early when I get up early for whatever reason I can remember as a five-year-old going in to where my dad at 5 30 in the morning before he went off to work was on his knees with his bible open praying for us. Nothing that my dad ever taught me had as big of an impact on me as seeing him on his knees praying and asking God to work in his family because I saw the belief he had in the God of prayer and I felt the effects of the answers to prayer.

Some of your children death desperately need to see that you have a time that you meet with God so they know the source of what is going on and you ought to do it with them and in front of them. That's how Daniel endured. All right number two Daniel under this Daniel was willing to persist in prayer until God answered.

Daniel was willing to persist until God answered. You know we know listen to this we know the return from exile that he prayed for we know that it took 70 years. If you do the math you'll figure out that Daniel prayed for at least 60 years before God answered. 60 years! Are you willing to pray for something for 60 years before God answers?

Would you make it that long? Would you pray for something for 60 years with no answer? That's how Daniel endured and you know it's like all right so you ever look up and you're like what is going on? There's a lot more happening than you realize is going on when you pray. Now listen it doesn't directly say just to be fair it doesn't directly say the second angel came because Daniel kept praying but you got to wonder about the connection. Daniel's praying for 21 days. God why aren't you answering?

The angel's like I'm trying to answer but there's demons in the way. Daniel keeps praying. Here's my question what if Daniel had quit praying on day 20? What if he quit praying on day 20?

I don't know to be honest with you. There is so much mystery here it is unwise to speculate but I know the uniform teaching in scripture like I shared with you last week is that some answers are only given in response to persistent prayer. Some answers are only given in response to persistent prayer. So you prayed for 20 days and there's no answer. Keep praying. You prayed for 60 years and there's no answer. Keep praying. I'll be honest with you I struggle with this.

How do you know? How do you know when to persist in prayer and how do you know when to rest in the sovereignty of God? Matthew 6 when Jesus was talking about prayer he says knock and the door will be open to you. Knock that's not the kind of thing you just do once right you don't just go like you know when you're knocking on somebody's door they think like a bird ran into their door or something.

You know what is that? You repeatedly knock. He said knock. He said be like the persistent widow who wears the judge down through her persistent asking. Be like Jacob who wrestled with God.

Be like Daniel who pressed through for 21 days and 60 years. We know the early church prayed. We know they prayed all night for the release of Peter. They didn't just ask God one time go home watch tv and leave it in the sovereignty of God's hands. They kept praying until God released him. The Bible honestly presents both sides.

Honestly I do not know how to tell you which is which. I just tell you there's a tension and the Holy Spirit has to guide you. That's why you got him. You got the Holy Spirit so he could guide you in things like this. I would say as a general rule as a general rule you should keep pressing through until God makes it clear for you to stop and when you're sure something is God's word and that you're interpreting God's word correctly right then never give up you press through until you get it so that thing that God has put in your heart that place you know God wants to work in your life has God told you to stop praying about it that place that you know that God you believe God wants to work has God told you to stop praying about it then don't you pray until God makes it clear stop that let me conclude this message with the conclusion of this story and some of you especially if you think you're not in church you're like what happens you know lid of lions okay it ends bad then it ends good all right bad Daniel gets thrown in the lions den king Darius it was evidently a pretty good guy and he liked Daniel he didn't want this to happen but like I told you he's gullible weak-willed and stupid so he didn't know how to stop it so Daniel gets thrown in the tent of lions and king Darius it says it's up all night worrying about him all night pacing worrying about Daniel in fact I think this is interesting um king Darius is up all night worrying Daniel's enemies are up all night partying Daniel is the only one who got a great night's sleep out of the whole the whole group of them king Darius rushes down to the den of lions the next morning because that's the law said he had to stay there one night he yells in to Daniel Daniel did your god protect you and did he keep you and there's Daniel got a good night's sleep cup of coffee newspaper feet up reading reading between the lions you know I mean just it's a great scene I'm a professional all right God kept Daniel safe through his prayer and the plot of wicked men was overturned and God was glorified but do not conclude that the message of this story is simply if you pray and trust God like Daniel he will always keep you safe and deliver you from harm that's not true you know that's not true there are too many people in the bible that didn't make it out of the lion's den God's people died in lion's dens all the time so the message of this story is not just dare to be a Daniel be like Daniel and you'll get out of your lion's den the message of the book of Daniel the message of Daniel's life is something bigger because Daniel points you like all old testament stories do beyond himself it points you to the way that you can endure the way you can have discipline the way you'll have the strength to defy in prayer you know you know how he does that Daniel was innocent it tells us right he was he was flawless and yet he was sentenced to death there was another that we know who was even more innocent than Daniel yet he was sentenced to death as well death by the lions if you read psalm 22 you'll find that the crucifixion is described in terms of the lions encircling Jesus and tearing his flesh from his body Jesus was innocent Jesus was sentenced to death like Daniel Daniel trusted God in some pretty impressive ways there was one who trusted God even more than Daniel Jesus Daniel came out of the lion's den without a scratch Jesus would come out of his trial filled with wounds you see what that tells me what that tells me is no matter where I find myself with prayer no matter what situation I face I can trust God because God went into the lion's den for me and God was torn apart for me so that I would have no condemnation left over me so I can be sure in whatever situation I'm in that God hears me because God proved that once and for all on the cross that's the bigger and better message of Daniel so I can pray for 60 years with no answer why because I know that God's listening how do I know he's listening because he went into the lion's den for me and was torn apart for me because I know that God hears I know that God answers because God became the victim of the lion's den that I deserved it's an encouraging it's an encouraging message from pastor jd greer on summit life and with that we've wrapped up this short series called press through but remember you can always hear the entire study again free of charge when you go to jdgrier.com so jd most christians believe that prayer is important but I think when it comes down to it we sometimes go whole days or even weeks without really spending time in prayer why do you think that is yeah most of us want to blame our lack of prayer our prayerlessness on a lack of self-discipline same reason we don't work out enough eat enough broccoli and alfalfa sprouts it's a lack of discipline but prayerlessness is I always think of it as a gospel problem because I'm not aware of how dependent I am on God or how willing he is to help me that's why what we're offering this month is a great little prayer bundle five things to pray for your kids by Melissa Kruger there's five things to pray for your parents by Chelsea Stanley and then five things to pray for your city by Helen Thomas and Pete Nicklaus it's a great bundle that will really put some structure and maybe even jump start your prayer life I'm very excited to be able to to commend them to you if you'll reach out to us at at jdgrier.com we'd love to start a partnership with you where you support the ministry here and this is would be our way of saying thank you just a reminder that today is the last day to get your bundle of the five things to pray books so don't miss out in each book the prayer suggestions are based on a passage of the bible so you can be confident that as you use it you are praying great prayers so don't wait another moment contact us today and we'll send you this bundle when you generously give to support this ministry call 866-335-5220 or give online and request your copy at jdgrier.com I'm Molly Vidovich tomorrow we're beginning a new teaching series that gets to the heart of this ministry as Pastor JD often says the gospel isn't the diving board that we jump off of into the pool of the Christian life it's actually the entire pool find out what this means when you join us Thursday on Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-03 22:59:16 / 2023-03-03 23:10:07 / 11

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