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The Purpose of Prayer

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2020 7:00 am

The Purpose of Prayer

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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November 29, 2020 7:00 am

We often picture prayer as something we do with our head bowed, our eyes closed, and our hands neatly folded. But Dr. Tony Evans wants to tell us about the Lords Prayer where Jesus paints a very different picture. Discover how prayer can become an experience that bubbles up inside you when you join him in this lesson.

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There ought to be something welling up in your soul of praise. Dr. Tony Evans says meeting God in prayer should create a positive reaction within us. The reason we don't have volcanic praise is we really don't understand who He is and what He's done. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. We often picture prayer as something we do with our head bowed, our eyes closed, and our hands neatly folded. But today, Dr. Evans takes us to the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, where Jesus paints a very different picture.

Let's join Him. We have all been to and participated in the celebrative moments of a touchdown scored by our home team, or when you're watching the Super Bowl and the game is over, you see the spontaneous rise of joy in the winner's circle as they hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Or if you're watching a baseball game and it's the bottom of the ninth inning, and they need one run, and the batter hits it over the fence for the winning run, and the celebration that breaks out because of what just happened, it's spontaneous. You can't help it because something happened that turned things around at the last moment. Or if your game is basketball, we know what it is to see a player sink the shot as the buzzer goes off and the emotion that wells up in the hometown crowd or on the team to see what just happened. In other words, in moments like that, you don't have to beg for a praise. In moments like that, you don't have to shove people into a celebration.

The nature of the moment demands it, and you can't help it. Well, the Bible has something like that. We call it in theology a doxology, taken from two Greek words. One is dokse, which means praise, and then logos, which means a word or an expression. So a doxology is an expression of praise.

There are many doxologies in the Bible. There are many spontaneous eruptions of the recognition and celebration of God for who He is and for what He has done. It is blowing a lid off of the top. It is a volcanic eruption of the soul. It's not emotionalism. Emotionalism is when you get excited and nothing happened.

But it is legitimate emotion where you are responding to something or someone for who they are or what you just saw them do. It is Jesus' understanding when He concludes the Lord's Prayer that if you really understood what He said, there will be an eruption in your soul. There will be a doxological response when you understand what kind of name He has and that it ought to be hallowed, when you understand what kind of kingdom He oversees, and it ought to be submitted to. When you understand the perfection of His will to carry out His purposes, when you understand that nothing you have or will ever have could come to you if He wasn't the source of it getting to you, and so you praise Him for your daily bread, if you really understood what it means to be a forgiven person and to be a forgiver and letting somebody else off the hook like you want God to let you off the hook.

And if you really understood how bad Satan was out to get you so that God would have to lead you from being overrun by Him or deliver you out of evil, He's already trapped you in. It's Jesus' understanding that if you understood all that He's already said in the Lord's Prayer, that there ought to be a doxological response. There ought to be something welling up in your soul of praise, not because we have a praise leader, not because we have a praise group, not because we have a choir, or even because we have a preacher, but because you've come to know God just a little bit better in the Lord's Prayer, creating a doxological response, a robust expression of praise.

So the reason we don't have volcanic praise is we really don't understand who He is and what He's done, because it's Jesus' understanding and understanding through the doxologies all throughout the Bible that you've got a volcano that wants to erupt in your soul if you really understood who God is, what God deserves, and what you benefit from because of who He is and what He has done. Jesus closes the Lord's Prayer with the famous doxology, one of the great doxologies of Scripture. He says, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever.

Amen. He starts off with the word for. In other words, in light of everything I just taught you to pray, you ought to be excited now. In light of everything that you've learned about the Lord's Prayer, you ought to be motivated now to give Him what He deserves. He says, For thine is the kingdom. You are the ruler.

You are in charge. But the problem is we have too many of God's people who switch kingdoms. They wear a uniform of God's kingdom while they serve another kingdom. And so as a result, they are living in a kingdom in conflict.

So let me help you. If you don't recognize God as your King, not only in what you say but how you function, then you have jeopardized the rest of the Lord's Prayer. For the Lord's Prayer only works if it's His kingdom that is your concern. But if you are concerned about your rule, your management, your status, your position, not under the King, but you just want the King to do what you want for you, then you've jeopardized all the rest of the prayer.

Why? For thine is the kingdom. Let me tell you why you and I, all of us, must be willing to voluntarily submit ourselves to the rule of God over every area of our lives as we pursue our relationship with Him as Father. It is because if He is allowed to rule, then He will control the outcome. Remember thy kingdom come.

Why? So that your will is done. So the outcome ties to His rule. If you lose or leave His rule, you've jeopardized the outcome.

Since everything belongs to God's kingdom, He can use anything that is created for His kingly purposes. The last five years of Tom Landry being head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, I was the chaplain for the team. I was a lot younger then. I would go out, and I would literally work out with the team while they were preparing to go into their practice. And after practice, I would do a Bible study with the team.

So I would go work out. Roger Staubach was the quarterback. Drew Pearson was one of the receivers. Tony Hill was the other receiver. And Tony Dorsett was the running back. So I would actually go do pass patterns with them, and I would catch passes out of the backfield as they were warming up for their practice.

Well, I got to know some of the plays. In one of the particular plays, Roger Staubach would call a fly pattern to Drew Pearson. Now, a fly pattern is where the quarterback receives the ball, goes back, and he's trying to score a touchdown in one play by throwing a long pass to the receiver. So Roger Staubach would get the ball, go back, and he's looking for Drew Pearson to throw a touchdown in one play.

That's a fly pattern. The problem comes in that sometimes the other team would blitz the play. A blitz is where a linebacker or a defensive back waits for an opening and seeks to get to the quarterback before he can execute the play. Because a fly pattern takes a little bit longer because the receiver is running so far, the quarterback needs a little bit more time.

But if a blitz is coming and the other team is seeking to tackle him, he may not have time to fulfill the original play. But that's when something else happened in the huddle. It was called a waggle. Tony Dorsett was told to waggle. A waggle is where the running back is peeling off to the side just in case.

It is where Tony Dorsett peeled off to the side in case the quarterback didn't have enough time to do the original play that was predicted in the huddle because there was a blitz from the enemy. Well, God calls kingdom plays. He calls plays where he wants to score his kingdom program. He called a play with Israel.

He said, Israel, I want you to run down history and I'm going to throw you my son. I want you to receive my son and bring in the kingdom of God. But the problem is Satan blitzed the play because he got the leaders to reject Jesus and to crucify him on a cross.

But what they didn't understand was that God called for a waggle and peeled off to the side and said, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. So the reason you want to be under the kingdom of God is that when Satan blitzes you and tries to sink you, God can waggle you and bring up another scenario to still accomplish his kingdom purposes. So you want to be under his rule.

Thy kingdom come. The biggest thing you can say as part of your doxology is, God, when I get out of my bed this morning, you rule me. When I get out of my bed this morning, you're my authority. I submit to your control. I pursue a relationship with you, but your will will trump my will. Your desire will trump my desire.

Your goal will trump my goal. My way will go your way. And when you do that, then God feels free to waggle you. But if he knows that you're not going to do his thing, then he's not going to call a waggle because he knows he can't trust you to keep his kingdom going. Jesus says, if you really understood the Lord's Prayer, you would say, Thy kingdom come. Daniel chapter 4 verses 34 and 35 said, God alone is king. Nobody should have to beg you to praise him. Nobody should have to beg you to glorify him. In fact, if you only come to church to hear the sermon, that's because you don't have a doxological worship because worship just don't come to hear a preacher. They come to meet the Lord. They come to let him hear them sing, him hear them pray, so that he can hear my praise. Why? Because it's about him.

It's about him. Thy kingdom come. Dr. Evans will talk about God's infinite power when he returns in just a moment to wrap up this final message in his in-depth series on the Lord's Prayer. And that means today is your last chance to take advantage of our special offer for those who can help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. As a way of saying thanks for your contribution, we'll send you a copy of his life-changing book about the Twenty-third Psalm, God Is More Than Enough. Too often, God is the last one we appeal to when we find ourselves facing struggles and hardships. But he'll give you more than enough to handle the issues of life when you truly make him your shepherd and trust him to meet your needs. And as a special bonus, we're bundling this book along with the full-length versions of all eight lessons in Tony's current teaching series, The Lord's Prayer, including quite a bit of bonus material we didn't have time to bring you on the air.

Just make your donation online at tonyevans.org or call 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our resource team members help you. I'll have our contact information for you again after Dr. Evans brings us part two of today's lesson, right after this. Impactful, amazing, intense, thought-provoking. That's how just a few students describe their experience since enrolling in the Tony Evans Training Center. The best part is, the Training Center is wherever you and your online connection are. Going beyond a Sunday sermon, these compelling Bible study courses take a much deeper look at scripture, the Bible's writers, social issues of today, and so much more. Log on today to learn more at tonyevanstraining.org.

tonyevanstraining.org. Explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. And then he says, thy power. He says, thine is the kingdom. Thine is the power. How much power does God have? The Bible declares that he created the universe ex nihilo. Ex nihilo means without raw material. He simply spoke it into existence.

You know anybody who can do that? He simply spoke it into reality. If you go to a forest where no human being has ever been and you see a rubber ball, you're going to ask the question, how did it get here? Well, when you see a ball the size of earth, you need to ask the question, how did that ball get here?

There had to be somebody who put this ball in space and told it to stay there. What God has done demonstrates his power. Why don't we see more of his power? Because we're not submitted to his kingdom. His kingdom is tied to his power. That's why the Bible says in Ephesians 3 verse 20, now to him who can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all you ask or think. But then he says, according to the power that works in you. So if you're not submitted to his kingdom, you don't have access to his power.

And if you don't have access to his power, you won't see him working in your life even though you hold him in high position. So what God is saying today is that he is the power. Daniel 11 32 says, the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits. The people who know God will see God do stuff, chain stuff, flip stuff, help stuff, reverse stuff, heal stuff, provide stuff.

The people who know their God, not just the people who go to church. The issue in your life, my life, and in our corporate life is are we pursuing God? Not did we have a great song and a great sermon, but are we pursuing him?

We're not pursuing him. Then it was wasted worship. Thine is the kingdom. Thine is the power.

Oh, and then it comes to this one. Thine is the glory. The word glory means to put something on display, to highlight it or advertise it. Glory means to show something off. Thine is the glory. I hate to tell you what I'm getting ready to tell you. I just hate it because I just know that so many will not like it. God's not here for you.

I just thought I'd tell you that. God's not here for you. Psalm 115 verse 1 says, not to us, but to your name give glory. Let me explain glory. Men have ascribed glory. Glory we attribute to people because of who they are or what they have achieved. So that's ascribed glory. We attribute it to a person based on what they've accomplished, and it's temporary. God has intrinsic glory.

Okay, let me explain. What wet is to water, what hot is to fire, what blue is to sky is intrinsic glory. In other words, you can't separate it.

You can't take hot out of fire, you can't take wet out of water, and you can't take blue out of sky because they are intricately related. Now you cannot like that water is wet, you cannot like that sky is blue, and you cannot like that fire is hot, but that's your problem and it's irrelevant because it will never adjust to what you think about it. So no matter how you think or feel about God, He's going to be who He is because He is who He is and He ain't who He ain't. So God will always be glorified whether you glorify Him or not, okay? God's glory is so intrinsic that if nobody glorifies Him, He can glorify Himself and be fine because His glory is intrinsic to His being. Now because He created us, the Bible says, for His glory, the Scripture says we were created for His glory in Isaiah 43 verse 7, you were created for His glory, then you need to know you are going to glorify Him. Now one way or another, everybody is going to glorify God. Now you can glorify Him in one of two ways. You can glorify Him voluntarily or mandatorily because everybody is going to glorify at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. You and I just have the opportunity to do it voluntarily. In hell, folk are doing it mandatorily, but everybody is going to give glory to God.

Now you have to understand something. God says, I will share my glory with no man. I will share my glory with no man. My glory cannot be tampered with. I'm not going to share it, not if it's my glory, Isaiah 48 and 11. I will share my glory with no man.

So here's what you got to do, here's what I have to do. You must be to God what the moon is to the sun. The moon reflects the light of the sun on the earth. So light hits it, but the moon can't keep it.

The moon got to pass it on to planet earth because it has no light of its own. So if you give me glory and I own it and don't reflect it, I'm sharing glory that belongs to somebody else. Your job and my job, when we're hit with glory, is to reflect it back to the source of glory.

The source of light on the earth comes from the sun and is merely reflected by the moon. So when you give me glory or I give you glory, make sure you go back to the source and give recognition, God, I ain't taking your glory. All I'm doing is a pass through. They gave me some recognition for writing a study Bible, but it's your Bible, it's your book. So you get the glory. And the moment any man, any woman, any preacher, any politician who takes the glory to themselves and doesn't pass it on to God has insulted God and taken a position like Herod when he took the glory to himself and the Bible says, and the worms ate him up because God will not share it sooner or later. You're going to bow to the glory of God.

So you might as well do it now voluntarily since He's going to make you do it later mandatorily. Thine is the glory. The glory belongs to you.

Psalm 19 verse 1, the heavens declare the glory of God. Okay? To be an atheist, you must equally be a fool. The Bible says, the fool has said in his heart, there is no God. So to be an atheist, you are equally a fool or you've been to college, one of the two. But if you, you have to be trained to become an atheist because that's not natural.

Okay? So atheists are fools because they want the glory through science to define human existence and the existence of the world. The reason the Bible can call you a fool is this. People say, well, I can't see God. Well, you can't see wind either, but you know when it's blowing. You can't see air, but you know when the trees are moving. A lot of things you believe you don't necessarily see. Now, the heavens declare the glory of God.

Okay? If you have a painting, you got a painter. If you got a watch, you got a watchmaker.

If you got a building, you got an architect. If you've got something visible, there is something that you don't see somewhere that's responsible for something you do see in every area of life, except foolish men want to change the rules when it comes to creation. And you know why they want to change the rules?

Because they don't want to have to answer to God. So if I can get rid of Him, then I don't have to answer to Him. If I can dismiss Him.

No. The Bible declares to ascribe Psalm 29, verse 1 and 2, to the Lord, the glory do His name. In other words, the bigger you see Him, the more praise you'll give to Him. The smaller you make Him, the less praise you're going to give Him. You know why more of us don't praise God? Because He's too small. I'm not going to praise God. We give more praise to LeBron James than we give to God.

Why? Because God has gotten so small. That's why the Lord's prayer is designed for you to magnify God. There are two ways to make something bigger.

You magnify it or you get closer to it. And when you do those two things, He gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And the bigger He gets, the more praise you're going to give. The folk who really praise God have seen how big He is and understand every good and perfect gift comes from above.

And then He says one other thing here. Thine is the kingdom. Thine is the power. Thine is the glory.

Okay, watch this. Forever. Forever. When you go to heaven, if you've accepted Jesus Christ, when you go to heaven, there will be no night. Night is canceled.

No nighttime. There will be no sleep because you will have a glorified body that is a body that will not and cannot get tired, cannot be bored. It is a body that is pulsating with life.

Okay? So God is going to give you the equipment to handle heaven, a glorified body. What God is going to do when you get to heaven is give you and me and us, believers in Christ, the uninterrupted glory of God. Right now, you have the interrupted glory of God because you have nighttime, you have sleep, you have problems. We have all these things that interrupt us seeing how massive God is. But when we get to glory, God is going to remove all the interruptions and He's going to show us infinitude.

Infinitude means that which is without end because God is inexhaustible, He's infinite, therefore there is no conclusion to Him. That's why it will take forever to learn Him. It will take forever because He goes on forever.

Now that's an excedrin headache. I understand that you can't grasp what I just said. You need a glorified body to grasp it. But 100 quad zillion years from now, you will be learning new things about God's kingdom, God's power, and God's glory because He says it goes on forever.

So guess what you're supposed to be doing now? Practicing, practicing praising His kingdom, practicing praising His power, practicing praising His glory, giving Him the word, the doxology, the praise. Dr. Tony Evans, with encouraging words as he wraps up our look at Jesus' definitive example of prayer. Now this is the final message in Tony's in-depth examination of the Lord's Prayer, which means it's your last chance to take advantage of the special double resource package that includes all eight full-length messages from this series on CD and digital download, as well as his powerful book, God is More Than Enough. Both of these helpful resources are yours with our thanks for your donation to keep this listener-supported program coming your way. Again, this special offer ends today, so visit tonyevans.org and make the arrangements to receive your copy before time runs out. Or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night, and one of our friendly team members will assist with your request.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. It's pretty easy to spot a Christian who looks the part, but not as easy to spot one who lives the part, a believer who's authentic through and through. Next week, you'll discover how to become that kind of disciple as we kick off a series highlighting some of Tony's most powerful messages from 2020. I hope you'll join us. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 03:59:21 / 2024-01-21 04:09:20 / 10

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