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June 29, 2020 9:29 am
You may not pray very often you may feel you pray very badly. You may feel very uncomfortable, praying out loud inside you.
Not even believe in God, but this I got into you every single person listening to me today. Praise at some time, but different on this prayer does not come easily to us because we are by nature independent people. We like to do our own thing, a member seeing a cartoon of a man on these knees praying at the site of his bride saying Lord answered my prayer but make it look as if I did all myself and that's the tension is we know we should pray but so often we do our own thing.
Samuel Chadwick said that Satan's greatest same is to destroy our prayer life.
Satan is not afraid of prayerless activity. Satan is not afraid of prayerless churches.
But Satan trembles.
We get on our knees in prayer.
So we must prayer we must pray in the sermon on the minds as we going through the gospel of Matthew Jesus has already spoken about prayer IDs told us how to pray. We call it the Lord's prayer is recorded in Matthew six from verse nine. Pray then like this. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, and so on. I find it very interesting, as the Lord has developed a very subjects in what we call the sermon on the Mike Dunbar coming towards the end of it is will look at Matthew chapter 7 that Jesus again gives us instructions on prayer. So the sermon on the Mount in two separate parts. Jesus is speaking about prayer. Prayer is very very important and I want to to see prayer not as a Judy, not as a chore, not a something that you feel you must do as a kind of religious exercise, but rather, I want you to regard prayer is one of the greatest privileges we have that it should be a delight that should be a joy as we come and pray with that as an individual with it as a family and as a church that prayer must be central and were going to learn that God is going to bless you. When you pray, so let me read from Matthew chapter 7 verses seven through 12.
If you have a Bible follow along as has been said when you come to a Calvary church next Sunday.
There's number is going be Bibles in the pew someone you to bring your own Bible is not too much to ask.
Bring your Bible and will hear these wonderful pages being opened. Matthew seven then here is our Lord. Ask and it will be given to your seek and you will find knock and it will be open to your for everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened or which one of you, if his son asked him for bread, will give them a stolen or if he asked for a fish, will give him a serpent. If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them for this is the law and the prophets that fascinating section of Scripture given as the Lord sits there. We call it the Mount of Beatitudes and the is speaking to his disciples and gives these magnificent words that we have just read.
I want first of all to give two reasons are many reasons why we should pray, but to suddenly that we find in the sermon on the mind and the first reason that we should pray is that it is a command. We are commanded to pray.
Matthew six verse nine. Our Lord says pray then like this command to pray. Luke chapter 18 verse one. Jesus told a parable to the fact that they ought always to pray, it is you ought always to pray and not to lose heart. Paul in Ephesians Ephesians 6 as he describes the spiritual armor that we should put on he says as he comes to the conclusion of that exhortation in Ephesians 6, verse 18. He says, praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. That's Ephesians next book is Philippians Philippians 4 verse six. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. After Philippians, Colossians, cautions for verse two is Paul to the Christians of Colossae continue steadfastly in prayer. The Spirit is saying to us probably charge other churches is what you must do. You must continue steadfastly in prayer, watchful in its with thanksgiving at the same time.
Pray also for us, that God may open the door to us for the word to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear just how I ought to speak after Colossians is what first Thessalonians 1st Thessalonians 5 verse 17 one little verse, pray without ceasing.
Throughout Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament as were reading. There is this command to pray. Why should you pray, God commands you to pray. Jesus commands you to pray. Martin Luther said to be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. God is very pleased when we obey this command to pray. Is it what spread prayer is talking to God. Prayer is worshiping God. Prayer is confession, confessing our sins to God. Prayer is asking God for good things. Prayer is surrendering our will to God's he commands us to pray, no prayer is not an optional extra for the particularly dedicated zealous Christian is a command to every follower of Jesus.
It is essential you will not be spiritually strong. You will not have spiritual wisdom you will fall into sin very easily. You will make some very foolish decisions.
Yes, you will be defeated by the enemy and you will not be greatly used by God. If you do not pray that I garden I foolish for the follower of Jesus Christ to try and live for Christ to try and serve Christ and lack prayer, no prayer is something that you must do, yes, attended discipline. Are you off to the side. I'm going to pray, we read the Scripture hear from Matthew seven verse seven Jesus is saying, ask but something you must do the same to you seek something you must do the saying no, that is something that you must do ask you this, asking God for anything sometimes say to me. Well, it seems that God is not work in my life. I just don't feel the presence of God will how would you answer this question, what are you asking God for what are you seeking Jesus and said that earlier seek first the kingdom of God. Old Testament says seek the Lord while he may be fine what you seeking I want your ambition. What are you knocking for knocking at the door of heaven as it were in and as you come to your heavenly father. How can you expect to see the answer to prayer. If you never praying is one of the greatest joys that we have the humbling joy. We pray that we see God answer our prayer line. Pray first of all obey the command, pray the follower of Jesus, you must pray that the second reason is one that will ready considered. We pray because God is our heavenly father and Jesus gives this very insightful and very done draft example doesn't mean the verses that we read and when Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew six verse nine when he says pray then like this. First thing he says is this our father who is in heaven. Don't you find it tremendously encouraging that when our Lord is teaching us in prayer. The first thing he wants us to understand is that when we pray we come to God who is our father and reflecting on the relationship between God is our father and we as our children helps us to understand very fully the very nature of praying I think you see through the miracle of new birth.
We've been born again and we are born into the family of God. Once we were apart from God. But once we were doing our own thing in our sin in the miracle of conversion when the Holy Spirit comes and we are regenerated and we are born again and now we are born into the very family of God. John tells us in John wanted this to as many as received him, who believed in his name to them he gave the right to become the children of God, and if you have never been born again you don't know God is your father in the Sanchez God is your creator accountable to God. But we who have been born again are brought into this intimate relationship with God that now this Almighty eternal God is my father yogurt is your father is why we emphasize that the Christian faith is a personal relationship that we know God through Jesus Christ who is the way the truth and the life who comes to die for our sins was voted who is raised from the dead and calls on us to repent and to believe in him and when we do that in God's grace we become part of God's family. So when I pray I come and say this father in heaven. Yes, we can describe God in many many ways as we sing about these eternal he's the rock is from everlasting to everlasting, but don't you find this tremendously encouraging the Lord Jesus wants you to understand that when you're praying you're talking to your father who is heaven that emphasizes this close personal, intimate relationship with God know God is not removed from his creation is true in the beginning he spoken broadly worlds into being a guest is a powerful God that is true but these are personal God.
He is my father who is in heaven. And because of that I can come with confidence. In fact, with boldness to the very throne room of God. Why is the presumption is because God is my father. I once worked in an office where when my colleagues was very very busy as the days before emailing and that he was deluge is always on the phone a lot of business on the phone when he was under his phone. He was with clients and if I wanted to speak to him as I joined that office not to speak to him about different cases is very difficult to speak to him because he was so busy. He's crying sometimes complain that that the way some time to see him.
He was so busy but yet there was one person who from time to time would come into the office without an appointment, and it didn't matter whether this man was on the phone nor with clients or whatever he was doing this little boy we just walk right into his office. Why he was the son he had that relationship with his father and therefore there any time you could come into the presence of his father and his father was never too busy to put his arm behind his son. Hebrews says let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace is sometimes afraid to do you sometimes wonder if you're going to be received by God or not. Here is the wonderful encouragement to pray you come with confidence because you have father in heaven and Jesus said in Matthew six verse eight we seen this before your father knows what you need before you ask him. As wonderful as the God knows my needs better than I know them even before I articulate them. He knows my needs, but he still encourages us to combine because he seeks that love relationship. You understand that if your father if your mother if you have a friend of his. God cares for me. This God loves me and therefore he tells me not to worry, why, why you counting these burdens give them to me is like if your father and your your your your little boy is four years old and he struggling with something and in a minute you can help you think why you struggling son, let me help you, but sometimes another pride in her anxiety. We keep these burdens and Jesus is signal.
Ask your coming into the very presence of your father in that relationship of father and child is developed through prayer is you know that if your father or mother. The more time you spend with your son or your daughter that the deeper that relationship and you love that when you when they come and sit on your knee are asking for something if the ruler the relationship of father and son so two reasons then for praying the passage first were commanded to pray. Secondly, God is our father. Not but how do we pray when they mention three.
First of all, pray sincerely why do I say that because Jesus says that would back in Matthew six verse five and when you pray, I was talking to his disciples. When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites felt someone praying because it is agreeable that experience sometimes is awesome and easy, but sometimes what would it be to be an advocate in prayer to pray to impress others in the net design so so spiritual Angel dying from heaven. The way you pray your heart is far away from the words where your heart is far away from the us apart isn't it a praying for the praise of people rather than the praise of God.
That's hypocrisy is only time you pray when you give thanks for your foot. Do you pray Lord in your life group you premodern your Bible study. Do you pray more when you're with people or when you're alone. If you find that your prayers are longer and you praying more when you're with others and I get on there may be the seeds of hypocrisy in your heart and Jesus. Earlier in the passage militated Jesus and discourages mindless repetition and really I think discourages long prayers in public praying and there's others around the be mindful of them don't take all of the time, pray to impress people to play along. The dialogue Jesus is no it's this could be hypocrisy mindless repetition.
Remember you're talking to your father in heaven knows your heart. But there's a danger because of trying that we can pray like the hypocrites know.
Pray sincerely. Secondly, pray humbly humble people pray people don't. James says in James four verse six that God gives more grace. Praise him. Therefore, it says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble joint oppose God deprived you want to receive grace the humble, submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God. That's prayer draw near to God with his humble heart and he will draw near to you. Verse 10 humble yourselves therefore before the Lord and he will exalt you. You trying things out yourself trying to make a name for yourself, trying to force something, don't do that. Humble yourself the right time God will exalt you. Prayer and humility are linked.
For more pride when we ourselves will self-reliance independent I will had some success in our lives. We think I can do this on my own. I don't need God soaking the Savior nuts praying regularly you are in fact saying I don't need God's you.
I never would say that now I know you would never say is that the case usually prayer is an expression of our dependence upon God.
Prayer is an articulation over general liens on the power of God to sustain us on his mercy to forgive us on his provision to supply us on his for us to be overwhelmed by his glory. As we understand motor motor God is and what he has done that humility isn't it saying I need you to him and says I need you every hour. That's prayer isn't it is what Paul is meaning when he says prayer. Pray always that we have this attitude. I need you help me with with this Lord. So when you're not praying you're saying is right on time for prayer good understand of a very busy schedule. I understand that but that means that your time and your effort are more important than seeking God's strength God's wisdom God's help. Just think of the decisions you've made of the things you've done all the things you've said that created problems in your life because you didn't pray, but you acted hastily you thought Eigen I can handle this, perhaps impulsively without self-reliance.
If you if it were talk if you are not read a real probably die the church and you've gone when you humbly come before God, you're recognizing that you can fulfill God's will and his purposes. Apart from his help was we went into culvert 19.
I others met with the elders and and and we said we need God's help with this is going to to develop.
We have a child development center. We have a church.
What we Need was good was going to happen was what happened to the flock. We just don't know what we do know is God's in control and God is our father and the let's humble yourselves in the city really don't know what to do here. God you help us you guidance you strengthen us. Humility is key easily off.
Pray at the end of the situation when women were in a real hole in what kind of emergency situation and all of us pray then, but what about praying before you go into it so you will about praying first rather than acting in making decisions and then when things don't come out of the way we want. Then we pray no pray at all times that she humility and we thoughts when we did the cities on the wings of the Eagles from Isaiah 40 how do we get that strength from God that all of us need. As I said, well as you wait on the Lord's prayer is as humble waiting on the look as you wait on the Lord you will be renewed in spirit among top with wings like eagles you walk and not be weary your drawing God's power. Today you're feeling spiritually weak, but this illusion.
Perhaps a bit critical of a bit about situations in your field very spiritually giddy just feel a bit far away from God and things in your life are not well in spiritually you're a bit it seemed to even be spiritually lost. Pray regarding on your knees pouring out your heart to your heavenly father asking him for wisdom asking him for guidance asking him for strength.
Paul says that God's power is perfected, not in our strength.
But in our one of her favorite verse of many of us is in Ephesians 3. At the end of that magnificent prayer. Paul says this man if you know it. Ephesians 3 verse 20 know him back to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the poet at work within us, we believe that were signaled by these able do you believe in your life and your family, your situation at Calvary church in this world that God is able to do far more abundantly, far more exceedingly, Paul is putting superlative after superlative these able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the part at work within us, you believe that I believe but notice often forgotten verse 14, Paul says, for this reason I bow my knees before the yes you are not power. Yes.
You want God to act supernaturally in your life.
Yes, you want God to deal with that impossible situation. Yes, that's true. But notice, Paul begins by saying I bow my knees before the father humbly coming to him in prayer. You want God to act. You want God's power in your life is wisdom about the knees to the father humbly pray sincerely pray humbly and then as we come to particular to passage pray persistent play with faith. Faith is essential in praying Jesus in Matthew 17 speaks of the faith of a mustard seed, a very small prayer is I don't have much faith sometimes and neither do I think all of us can relate to that knows not so much the morning of my faith is the mind of my understanding of great my goddess is a little faith in the great God that are prayer says Jesus which which most of mine since in other words God can do things that no human being can do is and that one of the reasons we pray a little faith in the great God Charles Spurgeon described prayer as the grand this power in the entire universe like was the greatest power in this universe nuclear power atomic power, political power, economic power, no greatest power in the universe as planned as God is at work and we come humbly. Sincerely, in faith, we come in prayer to the very throne room of God. When we commune with God. When we humbly poured out our hearts to God believing in faith that nothing is impossible with God. We been saying how great our daughters was the morning of saying about if we don't really believe it's is really good. Matthew seven verse seven we see that this faith. Jesus teaching is demonstrated in our persistence in prayer and I think this is often when we fail is what he say we are to ask.
We are to seek, and we are to knock note the rising intensity. First, I asked then I seek that stronger and not one knocking Canute give you sense the urgency you sense the persistence is not just a little prayer father please help me in the situation and we go and forget it know that's not what Jesus say this persistence in the very verbs here point to that point is if you don't keep asking you will not be given if you don't keep seeking.
You'll not find if you don't keep knocking it will not be open to your point when you come to your father loves you your pray sincerely pray humbly, but no, there is an intensity.
There's a persistence praying in faith going give up member Jim says in James four verse two. You do not have because you do not ask that sets us back Wawa by Ms. but have never asked the response I have to ask and I ask you one received CQ one. Find if you don't know it won't be open to you. That's the whole point is I understand there's a mystery of prayer. We both questions are God's sovereignty and human responsibility at all of the I understand all of that. But notice how simply Lord is helping us pray rather difficult parts to understand and some of them might be dealt with some of them but this is not too difficult to understand. Isn't that because think of this verse 11.
Your father in heaven gives good things. There doesn't to those who ask him.
Therefore, I to ask you survive these good things that I should be asking well, the long was the thing in the context of the sermon on the minds. One of the things we should be asking is in response to the teaching of Jesus. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Lord, I need mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, Lord, I want to be a peacemaker.
I don't want to be a troublemaker. I want to be a peacemaker.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, love your enemies is teaching.
Seek first the kingdom of God are these good things to ask. Yes you as God but you could be a peacemaker. However world needs is how a nation needs our city needs it families needed.
Pray for the parades to be pure in heart. All of the dirt that comes into our minds as we live our our world Lord give me that pure of you ever come to the Lord asking for your hunger and thirst for righteousness to be increased ever prayed for God to help you to love your enemies, that person who is hurt you badly prayed Lord ever prayed Lord help me to seek first the kingdom of God because often I am concerned minimum I'm worried about these things and I'm worried about my career number. What about Marion worried about my health, and the Lord said no but listen you got your priorities wrong. Lord help me to have this priority to seek first the kingdom of God. These are good things is you think your father in heaven is going to give you these thing of course is these are good things to ask is true we can ask for selfish things, but he gives he responds to his children when they come and ask him for good things. So you ask and help us understand he gives a very practical and down to illustration that which one of you, if his son asked him for Brad will give him a stone or if you asked for fish give him a serpent. Did you then who are able Lord to give good gifts to your children by much more than argument from the lesser to the greater much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
I love this Doņa you know this, you notice if your parents we were earlier this week last week with grandkids and our son and his wife up to see the ark and in Kentucky we took two cars and we see the Arctic sometime explaining things to our grandchildren and we come mightily the ark and I'm trying to help them to understand the meaning of the judgment of God in salvation only found in the art salvation only find in Jesus Christ and the one of the grandkids sees her stall there. Selling final funnel cakes. I think of the right and he asked that dad can we get a funnel cake Heights the top of my list is a good request.
Well I think after big time, coming out of the ark is about request and with his other sundry consist is that time and he buys these several funnel cakes as a signal. The most nutritious of think the grandkids enjoyed them by the United and then there's these kind of fright or something Orioles I never seen it before. The point is if you children ask you for something is not a joy for you as a parent to answer the request and also think of the persistence of children with two of them and they change cars to them sitting behind us, you had before. Brandon friend regarding their I'll tell you when we arrive and that I found we have to go the persistence of a child is is going to irritated by that your heavenly father loves because you ask in faith your father in heaven is a good father. He wants to bless you. He wants to give you good things therefore keep on asking, seeking, and knocking your father loves you. He cares for you. So take advantage of this great great privilege of prayer.
Why would you pray he gives us the pattern we call the Lord's prayer we understand is a great privilege. We understand that there is great power receive from God.
When we pray and we have to be persistent and think of this. You as a father you as a mother give good things to your children when they think God is worse father than you know is a perfect father your perfect your perfect mother. I'm not perfect.
Grandfather God is a perfect father and not only have experiences in life and I'm sure many of you have, God is so good to us that often. He surprises us with his grace. Have you ever asked God for something and he gives you something even better than your last. When Chris was about five years old living in the Pittsburgh and another another kook of money to very good cook so that helps me but to become darting on a Saturday morning for breakfast is generally was cold cereal. If I was in charge and so you come in and say that I want Cheerios or whatever it was, and from time to time I would say the customer know you want to introduce you in any suitable tall today is strong. It is a good request for a five-year-old boy to ask for cereal for breakfast is a good request, I say to him, no you're not getting today you and I go to McDonald's many Cheerios we could eat Egg McMuffin's that in this. I love Egg McMuffin's and my son loves a quick reference acknowledge that I'm feeling hungry right now. His mother and my wife is different taste but she's not so enthusiastic about going to McDonald's for breakfast.
Here is my son, whom I love, asked me for a good thing cereal for breakfast Christopher to get something better.
You and I wouldn't spend time together driving a car with little to McDonald's and Egg McMuffin young men leaving a hashbrowns shonen of a couple coffee you have some juice and will sit down and we'll talk.
He's all that was absolutely wonderful was happened he asked for something good and as a father loves my son gives him something but you experience that with God see what view do you have a view of God is that God is some kind of a miser. Scrooge figured that that would afraid of them. Yes, we are to feel God but don't you believe what Jesus is saying how much more will your Father who is in heaven.
Good things to those who ask him what good thing. Are you asking God. God loves to give his children good things so you're asking for good things. James says in James four verse three you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions know I am to ask for good things. Strands for helpful guidance that I may bless others and so on and so forth good things are Scriptures full of them. You know what the audit in your life and you ask God you keep asking and you keep seeking and you keep knocking on your Father who is in heaven loves to give good things to those who ask. In fact will surprise you with his grace, talking about cooking the night I pray for Christian life, not the top. One was that she was a Christian, very close to the top was she's a good cook but answer that. But also he threw in his beautiful blonde Scandinavian.
I mean that's God's grace right. I asked very good thing. He gives me something even better. I could never ever have imagined. Wife will be by helmet God surprises us with his good start before we conclude with a verse 12. So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them for this is the law and the prophets. This is often called the Golden rule. Someone said the golden rule is whoever has the gold makes the rules know that's not the Golden Ripple and those not do to others bad things before they do bad things to you.
That's are some people operate. No that's not it. Would Jesus put this here just in a sentence summarizing the sermon on the Mike talked about the law and the prophets that he had come not to abolish the law and the prophets do but to fulfill them under the law and the prophets is summarized in this wonderful statement, but I also thought of his close relationship to prayer. Don't you agree that how you treat people has a tremendous impact on your prayer life. That's true, Peter gives an example in first Peter three.
He talks to the Christian life. For the first six verses and then first Peter three verse seven he gives instruction to Christian husbands and he tells us that we are to treat our wives with sensitivity which a trigger live with understanding, remembering that they are equal with horses as as heirs of the grace of God is of life. And then he says, so that your prayers may not be in another words how I as a husband treat my wife is a serious impact in my prayer life but is greater than that isn't how you treat other people you pray sincerely how can you pray humbly, how can you pray persistently by faith.
If you're treating people badly. One of the beautiful ways.
One of the wonderful way's that we commend Christ to others and we display Christ is by doing to others as we wish it would do to us as much in life. You want people to be kind to you. I do be kind, your friends, be friendly. You want people to encourage you.
Are you encouraging them you want people to respect you.
You respect them supplying this again whenever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them for this is the law and the prophets yeses along the prophets on the prophets. They would be thinking about it law and the prophets summarize this you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself do that you fulfilled all on the unit is in a very cryptic way that I am to treat others as I wish they treated me stop being so self-centered. Stop thinking that the world revolves around you revolves on John Monroe know I'm to be concerned about others. How do I treat them. This commends the gospel and then when I get down on my knees and speak to my heavenly father I come with a clear conscience treated my neighbor as I would like to be treated and as I do that I am demonstrating the love of God so that James says in James five verse six the prayer of a righteous person has great as it is working. So as you pray, what does it mean to be righteous is this righteous person whose prayer is so effective. One who is abandoning Matthew seven verse 12 obeying the golden rule that he is loving God and loving his neighbor. So when you get started on these knees praying sincerely to his father because he understands this love that he has received from God through Jesus Christ is the love which is to be to be displayed to others this week. You have wonderful opportunities to put this into practice in your prayer life and how you treat others how you treat others in social media marketable and I mentioned this the other days are more marketable health how Christians can say such nasty vitriolic things on Facebook on Instagram social media, you don't like it if someone did that to you. Don't do to others. Remember, your follower of Christ, and we in a troubled world as a world where there's a lot of hate over the longer term. All over. There's a lot of prejudice a lot of confusion. How wonderful if we the people of God not just talking about what we believe but by our very actions were bringing peace and mercy and love and grace to those around us. Yes, we don't always understand people. Yes, we may sometimes be frustrated with them. Yes we may sometimes be offended with them, but this is true that we as God strengthens us in this. I asked my heavenly father. This Lord I want to do to others as I would they do to me when you do that you are fulfilling the law of the law, the prophets, when you're doing that your righteousness is exceeding the righteousness of the scribes and the father policies Jesus teaching the sermon on the mind so keep asking, keep seeking keep knocking for God's grace to be poured on you that you could been instrumental grace and love to others father in heaven we come humbly to you and ask you will take take these words. This reflection can transform her life's it was a greater love for prayer. Help us father to be more persistent and for those who don't know Christ. For those who don't have this loving relationship with Jesus Christ. Father worked in their hearts and bring them to the cross we see Christ dying for the sins of the world and our father help us and strength of this guidance is a church in Missouri go through this regathering next week. Help us to do alter your glory. But more and more people will know your love and know your grace and salvation in Jesus Christ in his name we pray