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Prayer to God, Your Sovereign Father

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2020 9:00 am

Prayer to God, Your Sovereign Father

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 29, 2020 9:00 am

What is prayer at its most basic level? Is it a wish list that we send up to the genie in the sky, a way to unleash the power of positive thinking, or a ritual we have to go through to gain God’s favor? Or is it just a waste of time, telling God things he already knows? Fortunately, prayer isn’t any of those things! Pastor J.D. takes a fresh look at the basics of our faith as he continues our series called, START.

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Today on Summit life stage from Jamie Greer. Jesus reveals to attribute your character qualities of God that if you got these qualities it would transform prayer from being something that you have to do some of it to get the I would stand up here and compel you to pray. There is no force world that will really keep you from prayer. If you understood quality. No exactly is prayer.

Most basic level, wish list that we send up to the genie is a way to unleash the power of positive thinking were just a waste of time telling God things he already knows. Fortunately, prayer is it any of those things it's so much more today on Summit life after Jamie Greer takes a fresh look at one of the basics of our faith series. He called start.

Let's join Pastor JD for today's message title prayer to God. Your sovereign father You your prayer lives are prophetic backups and customer sure with you earlier this year the beer course and says really want to embarrass the average Christian just ask him or her tell you about his private time with God yesterday about a lot of questions were asked like I owe you to me by your generosity to them about how you serve God Bible verses you know you feel good about that but you want to embarrass the average Christian just ask them to describe their time in prayer with God yesterday and that is a real burden to make some a church because as I want to show you today. According to Jesus, you can measure a person's relationship to God by how much they love to pray about the way not even how much they actually do private is a must tell you that a lot of wrong reasons people get half a brain, but how much you love to pray and how much you do it. Nobody else is around. That is the burden I asked bad cop good cop good.maybe struggle to pray because you just how to make your paradigms meaningful despite your best intentions that you have this idea that it prayer supposed to be some sweet mystical communion where you get swept up in the arms of Jesus and visions of rapture now burst on your site, but now it is for you. You close your eyes and you would like a time warp and 20 minutes later you come to an for the last several minutes you been thinking about the blacklist episode you watched on TV last night and you know the stream of consciousness. I got you there right you like you like you think you pray for your kids and I reminded you that you could arrange a ride home from soccer practice for one your kids which reminded you that you don't think your son is being honest with you about how he's not doing well in school, which remind you what a good detective you would've been, which reminded you of the blacklist episode you watch last night but the point is, you just don't feel like it's that significant you is not assumed our prayer that you always thought others of you.

If you are honest and you are not the start backups up in their younger minutes. But if you were honest you would admit that you is not totally sure whether prayer actually works. You never say that the church but use not really sure because sometimes you pray things happen you pray they don't get to play. The thing that you should pray for isn't happening anyway and see what I was not sure that this actually makes a difference. It just doesn't seem like it's that effective, and I know that you sit there with that pious innocent look on your face, but I know is are you going to totally me. I have a burden for this, like I've told you for two reasons. One, according to Jesus, as I said how much you love to pray is an indication of how much you actually know God. Number two. All the blessings according to the Bible all the blessings that God wants to bestow on your life you got so through prayer. Prayer is the conduit not a conduit but be conduit by which we lay hold of the blessing and the power of God.

So when you sever your relationship with prayer is like cutting the wire that connects you to electricity your cutting yourself off from the means by which God puts his power into your family. There are 667 recorded prayers in the Bible there are 454 recorded answers to those prayers prayers the conduit by which all these things come into your life if you cut yourself off, you cut yourself off in the power of God live love this quote of shared it with you before the one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from prayer our enemy fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion, not even add prayerless parenting. He laughs at our toil he mocks her wisdom trembles.

When we pray. Prayer turns ordinary mortals into men of power prayer brings fire. It brings rain brings life brings God.

There is no power like that of prevailing prayer.

Look at the model prayer that Jesus gave us in Matthew six. If you have a Bible would invite you to open their Matthew six there are so many things in this prayer call we call the Lord's prayer that we can focus on what you preach 100 sermons on a probably were only look at the first two phrases is in the first two phrases God. Jesus reveals to attributes or character qualities of God that if you got these qualities it would transform prayer from being something that you have to do the means of it to get the new I would have to stand up here and compel you to pray. There is no force in the world that will be able to keep you from prayer.

If you understood really. These two qualities each qualities are pretty unique to the Christian religion and there in the first phrases in Matthew six, but but before we get to that Jesus sets all this by explaining to you the wrong way to pray which is almost people who do pray pray right this is bad cop Jesus to present for five when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and that the street corners that they may be seen by others. Truly I say to you they have already received their reward. Jesus is here describing a person who loves to pray a lot because he or she is figured out a way that prayer is a way that they can gain respect from other people. In other words there using a relationship with God to gain something that they really want and that is the admiration and respect of others, but when you pray, Jesus said to go in your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your father who sees in secret will reward you on what you reward you with what's there in secret that heavenly father is the heavenly father is the reward. His presence is the primary ought to be the primary reward of your prayer. The main reward. Jesus says of true prayers. Knowing God. God is his own reward, and the person who understands that does not need to be compelled to pray they do it because they want to love and know God more just be in his presence now specifically here, Jesus is talking about people who use God use prayer as a means of gaining respect, but I think you could expand his reasoning to include anybody who uses God for any other thing that they want from God. For example, are many people that use God as a means to good life the good marriage. Finding a husband, a stable career use God as a means of avoiding hell. These are all good things, but you don't really love God and you'd only do all you love those things primarily and you think of God is the best means to get to those things is a sense that here's a lawyer asking the question do you find God, primarily useful or beautiful is God primarily useful or beautiful useful means that you you you know that he's the right way that you can get the family that you want or you could avoid ale or whatever it is you want from God useful or is God primarily beautiful beautiful means you spend time with him just for the pleasure of knowing him. He is a reward using a different right to seek a business partner that you don't really like but you were in them him or her make a lot of money together so you talk to them. Conversations are all business right because there useful in getting the money that you want will compare that to when you have a lover that you're just infatuated with you.

Get together with no agenda Yugoslavia together from her day to grow in high school that before we went out every time I would have to come up with a list of things to talk to her about because conversations were so flat and boring.

Now the handwriting was written on the wall for a relationship right I compare.

That's when I met Veronica, you who would become my wife. We get together and talk until 3 AM about absolutely nothing to talk about some of those like I just love to send your voice.

I love the way your nostrils flared when you laugh. I just did.

I love being with you when you love somebody you find them beautiful. You love being in the presence Jesus as a way to know how beautiful you find God's will.

How much you pray in secret in secret secret.

You see, it is not right in front other people got people afraid about other people because you just like I love you phrases and I love that you know he's like no it's how much you pray when it's just you and God you just you use it for anything as much as you're just finding them beautiful.

It's the joy of being in his presence is God useful to your is a beautiful that's a Rossiter Simone life never ever told you the time that I'm most sensitive to confess my sin to get caught up on my prayer life. There's one time that happens consistently Saturday afternoon, 12 o'clock wife in Ms. because college football generally care about that right. But why do I might try to get it because I'm about to preach and I will God's blessing on my sermon so I did all right with God to the God bless my sermon. In other words, I find God useful but not beautiful. I get all stressed out. My wife G every week because of my PMS date pre-message syndrome.

Her words not mine, but she says she's like is not a love for God is them because you're using God to bless your sermon what is your prayer life like in secret because Jesus said, the way you know how beautiful you find out is whether you love to pray verse seven.

When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do three Gentiles of people who don't know God as father. I'll get to that in a minute but when they think that the be heard for their many words for their many words. Do not be like them, for your heavenly Father knows what you have need of before even asking here is talking about people who think God can hear them because I pray long enough or shout loud enough because they use some magical phrase, a God usually likes to hear that loosens them up near the word that Jesus literally uses.

Therefore many words is the word battle Arguello in Greek, which means battling means when you pray your intent you're sweating in and screaming and stomping your feet you keep repeating yourself anything because of that God hears you the ironically, most religions have some version of this right so if you're Catholic, it's the Hail Marys, if you're Islamic it's reciting verses from the Koran. If your Buddhist is chanting, things are handy for the Bhagavad-Gita, you're in churches like ours is if you yell loud enough and say yes Lord yes Lord yes Lord, I believe it Lord Bennett you say that enough. And God is going to fill time toward you and give you what you're asking for. When you think about it it's actually kind of dumb of all the things that might win God's approval just repeating ourselves over and over is what he really wants high for kids. Everyone has gone through this stage. My four-year-old son is in an hour. They think the key to getting what they wanted to ask over and over and over and over and over again. My summer photos on site Decca hasn't taken that is ignited to Connecticut to get a get together Mike so I could frame you can go ask your mom like he's not. He's not loosened me up and making me feel more disposed toward him. He's annoying me right right you see if you believe Jesus how people prayed as repeating phrases loose and got out to make them like the real problem. Jesus says with this approach is the assumption among the Gentiles are people I don't know God is a God is naturally hostile toward us. After these techniques in prayer are necessary to make them feel more disposed to us. These are the combination of allotment unlocks his affection. But Jesus the gospel that he is preaching is not that you will find leave your good enough become somebody that God will approve of the gospel is that Christ gives you his righteousness as a gift and you're accepted on his behalf on his merits. Your adopted as a son in him, so that's why Jesus says in verse eight. Your father knows what you need before you even asking Caesar pray like this start with our father. He's pointing to the closest possible relationship with God.

The word Jesus uses literally means daddy, daddy, don't think of a big state like our father thought was injured by our father. People use with daddy.

This is when you pray, you calm to him I could do nothing about my own kids that have to change my heart toward them but not repeat phrases enough to earn my affection they have it. They've already got it, even when they have an imperfect them even when they failed to say we support about our sin. What are the places where we haven't lived up to what God wants us to live up to the gospel is that God has adopted us into his family as sons and daughters on the basis of the finished work of Christ. I have been given in Jesus Christ's status as a son. You talk about acceptance. Every time I come in to God the words that God said to Jesus, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

That's what God says to me, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, because God made Jesus to be my sin, so that in him I would get his righteousness.

So I coming to the throne room that is somebody who needs approval, but is somebody who shares in the very approval of Christ, the most astounding and unique of all Christian revelations was that God was father over our other religions on consistently present God as primarily something else. For example, ancient on Canaanite religion like the Babylonian religion. Their chief God was the God Marmaduke and you see ancient depictions of him.

He's the ruler with a bunch of servants back in their creation account that God Marmaduke creates humans because he wants servants and slaves. Aristotle called God be the great uncaused cause is primarily the creator Islam calls him the Almighty, but from the very beginning God revealed himself to the Bible as a father I asked my kids the other night at you family devotions. Few weeks ago as I can be had to choose one word just one word to describe God over that one would be demos and that answers awesome glorious holy gracious you know if you had one word feisty one word to describe God and you had not heard the sermon was that one were that you come up with Chris Gordy, Jesus, and one word is father not creator. Not glorious, not judge, not divine policeman father Jimmy take you deeper minute God for all eternity has been father God for all eternity has not been a creator and is not been a judge, he became a creator when he created us with creations on eternal with me. Those wanting times which he became a creator.

He became a judge when it was something to judge but from all eternity. He was not a judge from all eternity has been a father because for all eternity. God has been in Trinity and Trinity is father son and Holy Spirit was never a time that was not a son, which means it was never time in which he was on father and a father is inherently life-giving is inherently outgoing, which means at the very core essence of who we is is love.

That's why John says the apostle says in first John 48 God is love. Nothing God loves now that he's created, but that God is in his very being. Love because in his very being. He is father son and Holy Spirit, he has always existed in love because he has always existed. His father, son and Holy Spirit was a God created us. John 17 tells us to share in that love God created us as he flowed out the love of the Trinity flowed out and he created us as a father creates children, but we send we made ourselves as enemies to what he knew he bought us back so we could again relate to him as children due to a father. The essence of salvation is not that you're a slave it's been forgiven if that you're a son who is been restored. Talk about something that will revolutionize how you see God he is not a divine policeman.

Like many of you think is you anything about God, you begin to come to him again and negotiate with him what you what you know like a policeman, it's like, hey, you know you have traffic cam on you all day yesterday did this the not okay.

What I do this is that makeup without an and how I get out of this can reduce a sentence on this one that they asked how you relate to God but see if you know God as father.

If you understand that the way parents that we feel about her children. This, in some small way, however weakly and plainly just a glimpse of how daughter heavenly father feels about us. It transforms your relationship is you I can appreciate a policeman who lets me off of a violation never love that policeman. I love a father who showers me with love and protective care and that's what our God is JI Packer, the theologian says if you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity watch this. Find out how much he or she makes her the thought of being God's child, and having goddesses father. If this is not the father prompts and controls his worship and prayer, and his whole outlook on life means that he does not understand Christianity very very well at all feisty one word to describe God. Is it father, incidentally, but not surprisingly, it is bad. Father experiences that are one of the primary things and keep people from faith in God Sigmund Freud. I think you and I think I know he famously pointed out that there is nothing more destructive as my faith in God in a bad relationship with her dad and yet she had a terrible relation with his dad. He was an atheist, but I was reading this book that explained that almost all of the great atheists of the past 200 years have had one thing in common. They all had terrible relationships with their dads, Freud, Huxley, Boelter, Hume, Madalyn Murray O'Hare O'Hare all of them have bad relationships with their dads in this book concluded that somebody's view of their father is usually the weightiest factor in the development of the faith.

I just one example, the postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault. Michelle is a dude.

The majority of his life work was on the evils of authority Yuri's biography draws all things to go back to his relationship with his dad. Foucault Senior she was a really tough man. He was a man's man and he was one of France's most famous urges. He thought his son Michelle was not a man's man that he was little bit you. Shall we say, sophomore and artistic side, so he was constantly berating him for not be a manlier polish and amend the Michelle okay dear, for that matter, but I'm he's constantly berating on that and in humiliating him embarrassing him in front other people, even as an eight-year-old son even make him watch the amputation of limbs in his operating room to try to toughen them up so Foucault drawl grows up, not with this understanding of God's fatherly love as being about protection, the associate fatherhood with a whole host of dark images in a group representing in disbelieving our view of our father is the weightiest factor in the development of our faith quite often. Procedure created for a heavenly father and how your earthly father was was supposed to be a model for unit taught you about God. So when your relationship with your earthly father goes bad and your father rules you more like the devil does abusively selfishly. Yuri abandons you, that makes it difficult for you to ever believe in God you think you hate God, but what you activate is the devil, and you mistake the devil, for God because of your dad. So Jesus taught us to pray, taught us to pray day daddy would that not change how you pray. If you understand is not a tyrant to please is not a policeman and negotiate with you the father who cherishes you who watches over you who says he is so in touch with the life that he knows when even one hair falls from your head father who feels every pain before you fill it and as much as you fill it if not more money take you to a place where God talks about his fatherly relationship to his children. I love this passage is a 43 now says, thus says the Lord, you created, you old Jacob D who formed you, O Israel, fear not Redeemed. You have called you by your name individually. I called your name you are mine.

When you pass to the waters I want to go with you to the rivers that will overwhelm you when you want to fire you will not be burned the flame when I consume you why because I am walking with you every step of the way I might by your side and I'm feeling everything that you feel when you go to the worst things on earth I'm going through them with you and I'm feeling them with you in our father does dinner father when his child is in pain is and that father with the child hurting with that child and I think here of the of when Jesus was by the tomb of Lazarus.

It's really strange thing Jesus by the tomb of Lazarus promoted he does traverse in the Bible John 1135 Jesus wept. My question is why is it weeping me know that like in 10 minutes is to raise Lazarus from the dead. July he weeping now I would have been like a prime I'm going to fix it. Why is he standing by the tomb weeping if he knows he's about to resolve the situation is also the father does father stands by his child in pain and weeps with them.

He doesn't beat them up with theological answers to shoulders their pain and he cries with them. The reason he does. That is because he's showing you that in your darkest hour in your deepest moment in your point of loneliness and brokenness. How would it change you if you understood that there was a God who stood right beside you in that hour wept with you who felt the pain felt the rejection felt the sting literally wept with you in your hour of room to go to the these been encouraging words today from Pastor Jane Greer here on Senate life to hear this message again or to find other free resources. Visit our new resource for you called start that continues to build on the foundational truths we heard in this teaching series at the Bible study work but that will take you through the foundations of the Christian faith in just six weeks each week leverages four different learning styles to help us process. Some of the most important truths will ever now growing closer to God requires transformation information, which is why each learning style is so important in the study. Each week includes a practice teaching component.

We often learn best by showing others what we are learning so this is what makes this study so unique and perfect to do with a small group or with a friend will send you this workbook as an expression of our thanks when you donate today to support this ministry Senate light blinded by listeners like you see your gift truly make a difference for the start Bible study done when you get by calling 866-335-5228 six 633-5220 we can get online or mail your gift. Our address is JD Greer ministry, PO Box 12293, Durham, NC 709. By the way if you check out Pastor Janie's newest podcast can't be anything you want to do that get honest answers to tricky question find online dating favorite unbelieving events, like most people probably been through seasons bring appears to down from the ceiling in that get ready for a prospective chef prayer more than anything within Thursday night

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