I realize that in almost every case there is truly no such thing as “original ideas.” Someone may have a different approach, a certain way of looking at an idea, or a specific truth and in turn making it unique, but we don’t have to kid ourselves thinking, “Wow, I bet no one’s ever thought of this.” Invariably, someone has thought that statement too. It is like a recipe for tomato soup. Some people may add spices and peppers; others chips and salt, but all must have one common, necessary ingredient, tomatoes. However, I believe no matter the case, it is so imperative that a preacher of the gospel mainly seeks to study the scriptures himself without having to simply copy what he heard “Rev. Joe” say in his weekly revival. One preacher said to me, “I’ll cast other preacher’s stones at the devil any day.” To this I thought, “Yeah, but some stones turn into pebbles if thrown by another, because of a lack of personal preparation.”
Too many preachers are settled with being Parrots and Mimickers of other preachers instead of becoming true, Powerful Ministers through a personal seeking of God’s presence and a passionate study in His Word. However, I do realize that there are small exceptions to where ministers find a diamond in the rough and are led without any slothful disposition to share the message to others. With that being “said”, I will continue my posting of the evening messages. The series is on the teachings of Christ regarding prayer. The title is found in Luke 11:1, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They followed His steps. They saw His life. Often times, they witnessed the holy fire that burned within Christ’s prayers. How simple, yet divinely beautiful they must have been! The power that flowed, the love that shined forth! Every prayer of Jesus was a beacon to the disciples’ darkened understanding of true prayer. Thus, they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” This must be our heart’s cry as well.
1st STUDY –
Before we dive into the words of Christ on prayer, let us see the great purposes of prayer. Of course, we know that every believer has a responsibility to pray. John Bunyan once stated, “If thou art not a praying person, thou art not a Christian.”
a. Direct Fellowship with God
This is so imperative to our lives.
b. Daily Yielding to the Spirit
We become tender to His leading.
a. Of the spiritual battle raging (Ephesians 6:9-11) –
Satan seeks to keep every mind occupied on the material pleasures and temporal problems of life rather than realize the certain victory and unseen, eternal riches in Jesus.
b. Of the blessings and will of God –
We can be so busy that we lose focus of God’s blessing all around us and toss aside opportune moments to reach out in Christ’s name.
3. Peace (Philippians 4:6)
a. Casting away of worries
99.9% of fears and worries are completely counterfeit. They are false advertisements that ensnare our hearts. These frivolous concerns take over 80% of our thoughts and steals about 85% of our time!
b. Resting on God’s love and power (Psalms 37:1-7)
In heartfelt prayer, we will find that The Joy of the Lord is our strength!
a. Over the Strongholds of life
In prayer, we receive strength through the sufficient grace of God, not in our vain efforts. We solely seek to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
b. To Support the saints (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians. 5:25)
We are called to be Intercessors for one another, bridging the gap, yet too many times we are Dividers.
5. Passion (Matthew 9:36, John 4:34)
a. For the lost
As we fall on our knees, many times we will be “moved with compassion.”
b. For the glory of God
It begins with a deep desire for the presence of God, it consummates with a humble diligence to please God in everything we do.
Now, to finish out the first lesson, Let us look at one of Christ’s teachings on prayer.
Jesus said in
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
1. True Prayer heightens Compassion not bitter hatred
Prayer is the rain that falls on the seed of love (Christ’s example – Luke 23:33-34)
2. True Prayer is not crushed under the weight of suffering, but abounds through it.
If your heart is daily intertwined in prayer to God, exercising love and forgiveness to others, the onslaught of Satan and his dark servants cannot unravel your joy nor impale your hope.