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Devotion to Agonizing Prayer

Christian Martin

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Christian Martin

Senior Pastor of the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Oregon Conference

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  • June 19, 2018
    2:15 PM
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Our Father in heaven we thank you that you have blessed us with a good rest Sless night thank you Lord for the morning we've had already it's been so rich and it's been a true blessing and now how thankful we are to be able to gather together once again this afternoon to continue our our journey of just drawing closer to you being able to prepare even more for your soon return but not only for that day but to prepare now today to receive the fullness of the blessing see have in store for us while we're still here while we're waiting for your return we want to receive it all the words we want to be vessels that are filled with your presence and I pray that you would speak to our hearts today that there would be something that we can learn or be convicted of that will only prepares even more for your some coming so think you for answering our prayer in Jesus' name amen. I'd like to begin by sharing with you the references of a few quotes that I shared with you yesterday. That I did not have the reference for so this time I'll share them with you. The 1st quote was when she wrote a revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs the greatest and most urgent and as we talked about priorities we did agree that priorities are things that are the greatest and most urgent. And so you know implied in this in this quotation is is the concept of priority so the revival to calmness among us the grace most of all our needs to seek this should be our 1st work priority see there must be an earnest effort to obtain the presence of the Lord not because the Lords are willing to bestow His blessings upon us but because we are unprepared to receive it were unprepared prepared and this is taken from selects elected messages book one selected messages book one page 2021 page 121 and the 2nd reference was one that is in the same context and this is selected messages page put one page one $24.00 where she wrote there is nothing that Satan fear so much as that the people have guts and clear the way by removing every hindrance so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impotent congregation and I love that quote and that's from page 124 from the same book page 124. And so as we discovered in our last person Taishan and I'll recap somewhat where we covered last week for those who may not have been or a lot yesterday who were here yesterday but we discover that it's really not difficult to know how the devil operates it's not something that is a mystery that we have to try to somehow you know discover and resolve No not at all the fact is that the Bible does not hide the nature of the devil's work and you can thank the Lord for that amen I mean we can be thankful that we are in a world under the sway of the enemy and we have a book an inspired book that exposes our enemy that reveals to us the nature of this work and I think that's that's that's pretty awesome selected page messages book one page 2024 once again haven't you quote from the same chapter the same page now she wrote We are not ignorant of his devices we are not ignorant of his devices it is possible to resus is power it's not it's not some some you know impossible mission or task No not at all. When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God the blessing will come and you notice how it kind of links the 2 thoughts together with that concept of preparing. The 1st quote back to the 1st says we don't receive the blessing because we are unprepared to receive it and now she almost reiterates paraphrases that same thought before but the flip side of it when the way is prepared see as opposed to unprepared when the ways prepared for the spirit of got the blessing will come and I believe that preparation includes re prioritizing that's that's part that's that's part of our preparation taking taking thought in part and stopping ourselves and asking what are my priorities what's what where what's my 1st work what's my greatest and most urgent need right now so in the last days if I were the devil you know George Snipes he once wrote a well known article or book I think entitled if I were the devil so in the last days if I were the devil and I knew that I had a short time when to most definitely concentrate your demonic efforts on anything to stop anything that connects us with God if he if he could just accomplish that one thing that one purpose to get is disconnected unplugged with God He would he would be triumphant so in John Chapter 10 percent 10 and we looked at this last yesterday or last presentation in John Chapter 10 versed 10 Jesus unequivocally Tulsa's with the enemies top priorities are and their threefold. OK You remember when they are he comes only to steal kill and destroy these are the enemies priorities right but when combined with the inspired writings of Paul we discover even more detail don't we that he comes to steal what power to steal power he comes to steal power and we briefly touched on what that really means because in Christ all power is given unto you that's a promise given to us all power is given unto you. And in Christ we have power but then the enemy comes along and he tries to convince us of his lie. Because yes he has no power against us he has no power over us but if he can convince us to believe his lie and we and we choose to believe it then what we're doing is we're placing ourself under his power we're where we're for fitting the power that we have in cries because now we're believing his lie and now he uses that power the lie to hold us under his sway and so he steals power with the lie you see and I can't be mad I can't begin to tell the many times when people have come to me and said pass you know I the power the enemy has been so powerful in my life is so strong in my life you know it's been the most the most effective approach to that kind of. You know requests for that kind of burden that is simply this let's sit down tell me your story because of the deadly apparently the enemy has power in your life because you've been believing one of his lies you've come to believe one of his lies and say you listen to their story they begin to tell me about you know their spiritual journey and how you know the they just feel so sinful like you know God guided their beyond God's grace and said we had a minute. But what does the Bible say what does the Bible say is true about you and we discover that his grace is sufficient and this is one example and then as they begin to recognize all I've been believing a lie I haven't a yes then we go through a process of Reno and seeing the lies and verb believe renouncing it I remain. In the in the biblical sense the word we now this is a very powerful words a strong word it means to cut off in the Greek it means to cut off to no longer identify with that's word WE NOW IT'S SO WE RE nuns to lie and we choose the truth we choose the truth and then I hear the the story the testimonies of how it how something changed they they they feel they feel that they've been set free yeah because the only power the enemy has the power the lie so he steals power the 2nd thing he does is he what he kills what love he kills love and he kills love he kills those relationships that we have with those closest to us including our spouses he's attacking Mary she kills love. He kills love between fellow believers the harmony the unity that ought to characterize Scott's remnant hurts while the enemy kills love between Brother him and then he ultimately wants to kill love between us and our Savior our and our redeemer our God so he kills love and the 3rd thing he does priorities these are the devil's priorities he tries to do what the 3rd thing he destroys what is sound mind wow he destroys a sound mind and he does that with not just drugs. But he does that with false theories or false doctrines or teachings that truly distort you know our understanding of the truth and so he destroys our sound mind and so sadly we see the we salt of his prioritized work more often than what we wish we did and that the truth don't we see him stealing power from fellow brothers and sisters from family members and people that we know you we see I'm still in power we see him killing love and and these strongholds of pride more failure negative thoughts bitterness they're all around us all around us and just one glimpse of the news headlines you'll see how the busy the devil has been in accomplishing his priorities and so it seems to me sometimes there are times when the devil appears to be more disciplined with his priorities than we are with ours. You see because when someone has priorities and you recognize what those those are and you're devoted to the men and your focus you're single minded in accomplishing your priorities it hurts to sometimes a sense that the devil is more devoted to his priorities than we are to ours and I think that's to give us a POS for thought and to ask ourselves why why why is it that way Greg Crowe soul crucial in his book The Christian atheists when you believe in God but live as if he didn't exist what a title but a book he asked the question was Who do we believe than more ourselves or God Who do we believe in more ourselves or God And you know how you could best answer that question identifying your priorities your priorities will answer that question your priorities will answer that question Who do you we believe in more ourselves or God. You see the more we live as of God didn't exist the less will sense or need of Him me that's obvious progress and right and the more we forget or not recognize our need of him the less we'll expect his return right I mean the less we live as if he did excess the less the more we live as of you know that we don't need him and we go through our days self-sufficient and self you know or you know independent the less will expect his return and the more we go in different to how soon he's coming the less will prioritize. Because we we come to think that we have all the time in the world. And when we always think that we have more time than we originally thought our sense of urgency is decreases and our sense of having knowing what our priorities are are not so pressing because we have so much time. But it's not a contemporary problem really isn't Peter had to address it in his stay come with me to 2nd Peter 2nd Peter chapter 3 2nd Peter chapter 3 and I want to. Share with you here 2nd Peter chapter 3 verses $3.00 and $4.00 notice what would Peter wrote here 2nd Peter $33.00 and $4.00 Knowing this 1st that scoffers will come in the last days walking according to their own lusts and saying we're use the promise of His coming for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation scoffers will come of the deadly they believe the creator but they are forgetting forgetting because that implies that they knew once another word so these are people that are born without a knowledge of God or or anything like that no they they once had a knowledge of God they once had a knowledge of the Creator they knew where they came from but now they are forgetting but then he continues in verse 8 jumping over to verse 8 but Beloved do not forget this Peter saying hey don't forget this one thing he says that with the Lord one day is has as a 1000 years and a 1000 years as one day the Lord is not slack concerning his promises we're going somewhere with this we're talking about re prioritizing and as soon as some counseling but he is long suffering towards us not willing that any once of perish but that all succumb to what. To repentance I'm going to give you another perspective to thinking of reprisal or it ties in because maybe it's just a lot more than just simply taking a step back and revaluate ing you know what do you spend your time doing in and just kind of suffering activities around and saying OK you know it's a little bit more goes a little deeper than that let me ask you Paul Peter wrote here that they shall come to that they should all come to repentance How do you find we Penton How do you define repentance I mean you think of confession and repentance repentance confession are they one in the same are they 2 or are they 2 What's what's what's the what's the distinction between the repentance and confession how to distinguish the 2 repentance is a change of be a year OK OK OK Very good very good odds they're all right I remember listening to this perspective that confession is simply agreeing with God if you're at that before it's agreeing with God because think about the various ways you could respond to conviction. You could well to begin with deny I didn't do it right you could excuse it. You know well you know it wasn't for so and so and it wasn't for this or that we can. What else denied excuse to justify it you know we could justify our actions we can. You know rationalize it saying Well everyone's doing it you know right you get all these things but when you respond in all those different ways you're still flat on your back you're still flat on your back. And it things haven't changed at all since Adam and Eve's fall because if you look at how they responded to when they were you know confronted with their Senate. They they did those things they excused it they justified it they blame someone else right. And then you can see there in Genesis their last 3 words in each of their 1st responses to God are the same you know those last 3 words are and I ate. You know and I don't want you to be good and I ate and those are the women says by the serpent did you know them and I ate it so it's a you know why couldn't they have expressed those 3 words from the very get go to the very beginning confession is agreeing with God that we ate that we did send it and once we agree with God God declares his clean and we stand before God just asked if I justified never sinned just as if I'd had never said that and and we then turn and walk down the path that leads to life that's very true repentance the Greek word trance translated repent is defined in this way a change of mind a change of mind to think differently afterwords. That is to say this is where it comes all together what I once thought was important it's not as important anymore I do know when they write a change of mind I repaint or I read prioritize right because once before my priority was going that way but I've repented I've now reprisal retied now I'm going the other way what really mattered in my life yesterday it does not matter anymore today because I free Penton I've reprisal over it ties so I just to give you a context a call to repentance is also a call to reprice or it ties. So to reprice our ties it's a deep spiritual discipline an act in response to our standing with God It's it's a lot more than just simply you know it's simply evaluating what we do or don't do and doing it differently you know the Bible talks about friendship with the world and friendship with God. I sing examines you know what what are my friendships who are my friendships with because friendship with the world influences what will end up making a priority and repentance compels us re prioritize and turn back to relationship with God And so it was the apostle Peter. Who preached there in the book of Acts repent and be baptized every one of you and I really believe that that same message needs to be preached today paraphrased with the words reprice or it ties in these last days and do what really matters the most and so now now we're going to examine our main passage and start looking our party number one this go to 1st Peter chapter 4 1st Peter chapter 4 and less look at versus the main passages verses 7 to 11. Peter chapter 4 verses 7 to 11 this short passage here contains what I believe are the priorities inspired by the Holy Spirit that ought to be the priorities of the church and modern day disciples in the last days so today we're going to look at priority number 11 of 4 and will do so in the next 4 days beginning with today party number one be serious and watchful in your prayers in verse 7 he writes but the end of all things is at hand therefore because that's the case because that's the setting that's the context that's your ultimate reality because the end of things as I and therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers gets serious about prayer so as we begin to understand a little more with Peter's is getting to there was he speaking about I can help you to notice that Peter himself seems to allude to that statement. Paraphrasing it using different words knows with me 1st Peter chapter 5 and notice verse 18 I find this very curious very interesting Chris Peter chapter 5 or 618. First 8 sorry about that 1st Peter chapter 58 and notice when he says. These sober he says Be vigilant this POS or for a moment be sober be vigilant you see it to be serious is in fact to be sober to be serious means to be sober if you look up the word the definition of serious in me it says there to be sober and if you look at the definition of sober some dictionaries will say to be serious so to be serious is to be sober then that while he said invert in chapter 4 for 7 Be watchful in your prayers there in Chapter 8 verse chapter 5 Verse 8 he says be Michelin's So you see you see how he's using the same the same imperatives using different words but then in verse 8 he adds why why we should be serious and watchful why we should be sober and vigilant why because her adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion in seeking whom he may devour and so the context that Piers getting at here is that the reason we we ought to be serious and watchful now our prayers is because there is an enemy who is like a roaring lion wanting to devour us now why be serious Well 1st of all as a starting point. I believe we ought to be serious take it to heart because the devil himself is serious about devour we knew we are so we are to be serious because the devil himself is serious about devouring you we have to be watchful because the devil himself is watchful for any opportunity to give for you to give him ground for you to give him ground to take around your life in other words the devil is serious and watchful himself and the Bible says rhesus the devil and he will flee from you and we all know the law office 6 states that to withstand any opposing force one must respond with an equal or greater recess students think about whether it's a mob coming towards you if you can or if you're going to recess that mob you have to respond with equal or greater rhesus tense think about a flood a dam breaks the flood comes you know if you're going to with withhold the withstand against that flood you must be prepared to resus hit with an equal or greater rhesus. A herd of animals or whatever it may be we better take it seriously or it will overtake us and so the devil is serious about devouring you today that's what that's what he is serious about and so the question was speedy would I characterize my prayer or would I characterize my prayer as withstanding his opposing force with equal or greater rhesus since in prayer. Would it would I would I would I conclude would I agree that my intensity my my devotion my persistence in prayer is equal to or greater than the enemy's force or attempt to devour me in my life you know in 2001 Roger Dudley he was an Anderson University professor he conducted an 8081 question survey world survey this went to Oct 13th World divisions in 2001 and he sent it out to 408 leaders of church regional local units and and they in turn surveyed their car geisha and this was across again to get across to 13 World divisions in the ministers you know with the surveys revealed they revealed that less than 50 percent of administers members around the world are actively involved in daily Bible study and prayer less than 50 percent and I'm sure you can look it up online if you if you search for these keywords you'll find the survey and the resorts of it and it's it was it was yes it was frankly very very alarming very very socking at least for many in for me it was too because are we not God's from the people in it and if we are should we not be the ones that are the most devoted to Christ and connected in the biting relationship with them but in light of that survey it could be said that less than half of us here can't be eating are currently involved in daily prayer and Bible study. And you know in light of that of that finding Could it be said that half of us in this room right now half of us in this room are actively involved in daily Bible study and prayer and the question is why why why is prayer not a priority and what are your thoughts I'd like to to your from you I mean you know in your you know mingling in interaction with fellow believers and being in the church in observing why why is sprayer not a priority for many people what do you think when you think too busy OK too busy too tired OK we don't realize is a necessity so you think. We're not disciplined. OK yeah yeah yeah and if you're like me though if I if I intend to wake up early that means I have to go to bed early. Because because if I don't it's not doesn't easily happen you know the flesh is willing right but or the other way around the spirit is willing but the place is weak you know it's tired Yeah every everything you said this is spot on it's true spirit true these are the reasons why we don't pray. And they could be all summed up everything you just said could be all summed up in one general encompassing reason that it's not a priority it's not a priority that's that's that's the bottom line I mean we can have all these different reasons but the common denominator there it's not a priority it's not a priority you know in. And we live in a society that that we're programmed to expect everything instantly why we want everything fast right we expect results fast we expect you know the outcome the consequence of the fruit of whatever we we put effort into to happen to be delivered to was quickly isn't that the truth you know everything it's I mean we have instant messenger instant hot water instant Dom loads it's noodles instant cures instant cash fast food fast lanes has internet fast service I mean the list goes on there was over a 1000000 hits when have you when I typed in you know faster instant I mean it just goes on and on On and on and I wonder and I wonder because you know if we live in that kind of mindset of that kind of context could it be could it be just our expectation of instant or a fast response to prayer sometimes causes to question our faith which then leads to being discouraged you know from praying or from continuing to pray Could it be that we are just simply impatient. To see to see answers to prayer We're impatient to see the the outcome of our prayer show me the money so me so me that prayer is making a difference and because we don't see it we don't see it we don't see it we subconsciously say think or conclude this to stop Who. Doesn't doesn't do it doesn't do it I pray nothing happens what's the what's what's other options what I'm going to find other ways we don't we don't sub we don't consciously process this kind of reasoning we just suck consciously kind of start behaving that way this isn't working I'm going to look for other ways to make it work for it for there to be a solution to my problem than for example let me ask you Do you believe that God heals yes or no yes of course he heals but my question is do you believe that God heals or they God answers prayer for healing Hey OK. And as I look at the gospels for for examples of of healing in response to our request I do find different stories in some ares some are distinct from others you'll find a category of stories where Jesus heals immediately instant fast a blind man on the streets of Jericho begged him and the healing was immediately Mark uses that word immediately a blind man on the streets of but cited begged him uses that same word pleaded begged same word as the man in Jericho but this time Jesus took him on a long walk yet literally took him by the hand and they walked out of the city. And he spit on his eyes and to add on top of that complete restoration the didn't even come a till a 2nd. Member was a partial heli he saw a man walking like trees and then it wasn't until a 2nd touch that the man was able to see again what do we see here after healing took place but it came our sleeper came our sleeper. And then there's another man who had a house I meant he could not see was possibly going blind we don't have specific evidence of that but it could be and he begged God 3 times 3 times and Jesus answered said you're not you won't be yield because my grace is sufficient I grace is sufficient he was not you he was not you and then you have countless blind men who went to the grave without sights but the gentle healer promises that we should all be changed in a moment. In the twinkling of an eye at the Last Trumpet Did you see it do you see it in all the instances and there's more than one story for each category we see examples have how yes at the end of the day Jesus heals but he doesn't always heal at the at the same pace at this with the same timing with the same timing that's because prayer is an act of trust. Prayers an act of trust of trust in what and who and why trust that God and being fully convinced that God is able to do God is able to do what he has promised and his timing is always perfect we can trust God God heals God heals and it takes persistence bathed with us that God is able prayer also places us on the platform where character development takes place kind of ties into our original codependency Y. which he says a revival of true godliness prayer prayer is a platform where that takes place where character development takes place it is in prayer that we are actually opened up for God to be able to literally transform our character prayer. In steps or crisis here quote a few steps of Christ piece 98 has this to say subsequent space 981 seizing prayer unceasing Prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God so that life from God flows into our life and from our life purity and holiness flow back to God you know what that describe sanctification which is the life of Christ the life of God flowing into our life and it's and it's that unceasing prayer. That permits that lie from God to flow into us so in other words premier is crucial it's a it's a complete it's a it's a necessary component in character development how we Pinta see why you know truth a revival true Godliness is impossible without prayer which is why it obviously ought to be a priority to be serious and watchful in our prayers and there's no there's no such thing as a fast track to godliness we we you know we tend to think that because we have. The time in the world that we have time we have time to be holy We have time for God to do his work in us to transform our characters and make us more like rice we have time we have time I got to tend to this and I got to tend to that but we have time and we think to ourselves I will just take the fast track to godliness just before the trumpet sound will would just get real serious or when we really start to see the signs of the Latter Rain in the last days or the or the the national Sunday law coming in and Revelation 13 really being fulfilled that's when I'll put into 5th gear and really really get on the fast track to get right with God and to get holy you know there's a hymn that reminds us take time to be holy like that Larry the lyrics of that one stanza say this take time to be holy guru rush is on spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. Character change and development takes time it takes time and if we think that the coming of Christ will change our characters we are mistaken when Christ returns his coming will only fix our characters forever beyond all change when he comes let the righteous be righteous still ass is that the filthy be the out of the filthy be filthy still asks is. There is no fast track we must take time to be holy and guess what prayer is the discipline that one must practice in taking time to be holy I ran the Colfax marathon this last month May 20 Any any marathon runners here long distance runners have you you know the feeling right you know you know that feeling. You know there's something surreal and and then chanting about standing among runners all facing the same direction standing there surrounded by hundreds of runners while the sun is trying to come up because it's usually early in the morning that we all gather behind that start line and am prepared to race we have our watches set ready to press start as soon and since we cross that start line and national anthem is sung in and everyone's getting all hyped up you can see everyone says you can see the drilling beginning to flow and and S. and rapturing as that might be if I haven't taken time to train properly it's not going to be a very pleasant experience. It even with training it's not going to be a pleasant experience using it. But how so much more they say that in every marathon in every marathon about 10 to 15 percent don't finish they started but they don't finish and I remember one time waiting on line for the for the porridge on their end and with races there's there's 100 in line ready you know you can meeting was bad but but in races it's 10 times worse and I remember listening over here in conversations around me of people literally bragging you know and saying I'm not I've been trained you know I'm doing this without any training up you know like of a think about kids like the most amusing thing you know but. What's your guess I think that they're among the 1010 to 15 percent well it's likely. Because I see as I'm running often I'll see in Mile 20 and beyond all else I'll see I'll see the stretcher and I'll see an ambulance or 2 with stretchers carrying runners because well they didn't train and it's not what you're wearing you know you could be wearing tiny sorts or or $150.00 running shoes but all of these things that you're putting on won't get you across the finish line and if I claim to be a marathon runner I'm expected to run. To train for and if we claim to be disciples of God sees this expects us to pray he expects us to pray in Matthew chapter 6 you know this this well known passages chapter in Matthew chapter 6 Sermon on the Mount. We have Jesus expounding on spiritual disciplines and he talks about prayer and there in Matthew chapter 6 you'll notice a repeat a phrase that she says keeps repeating and repeating and repeating just quickly here in verse 5 when you pray that it's for 6 but you when you pray verse 7 but when you pray verse 9 in this manner therefore pray do you see to see what would Jesus how Jesus the word ceases juices to chooses to use there's an expectation when you pray never uses the word if but when so when I go on a long trip and I leave home and my wife says goodbye and my kids say goodbye she expects me to call numerous times she expects me to call when I get to my destination and she'll tell me hey I have something I want to talk about but I'll tell you when you call because he knows I will or still say something like Hey all you forgot to tell me about that he don't worry about it just go don't forget to tell me when you call you notice that he speaks confidence not doubt the confidence it's it's a confident expectation that I will call and when I look at the Greek word. Translated pray in most of the uses of the word in the Gospels in that when you see the English word pray the Greek word off it is that the line that the oh my that's the word Greek word translated pray and it means earnest sleeplessly earnestly plea it's a strong word and let me say with you just a couple of verses in the Bible that uses that Greek word that though my. 2 speak of prayer in Luke Chapter 5 verse 12. Look at Luke Chapter 5 verse 12. Luke Tepper 5 or 612 this is this is interesting it says and it happened when he was in a certain city that behold a man who is so full of what of leprosy saw Jesus and he fell on his face and ditto my bed oh my he begged him saying lowered if you are willing you can make me clean heat that the mind hears a man who begged God pleaded with him in other ways in other passages prayer or he prayed prayer prayer is used as the translation for that same word but think about this here's a man full of leprosy and he's begging to God And my question for for personal application is this When was the last time you prayed as if you needed a miracle to be healed from ending curable disease when was the last time that you were that you were earnest soreness asked is if you were sick with an illness that was terminal and in the incurable disease. I'm not sure I pray like that very much. I want to I need to for God's grace I will Here's another example Luke 838 look at Luke 838 Here's another example of the word debt though my look 838. It says now the man from whom the demons had departed had told Ma there's that rude word that to my begged that he might be with him that he might be with him here's a man who had been a demon possessed and now he's begging God Jesus I want to be with you I would be close to I want to be by your side. How many of us start the day that way when was the last time you prayed to remain in the presence of Jesus as if you had just been set free from demons. Do you do you see that intensity there that's there. It's a question of you know have I come have I comes to the point where to pray he is just a very you know Cashel indifferent you know kind of experience that that simply you know I'm communicating to God but put the sense of urgency the sense of crisis the sense of the sense of of life or death it's not there but one thing does give me hope as I think about all these things and that is this that prayer can be and is learned prayer is something learned prayer is something that that you can actually develop and grow in and an exercise and mature in progressively gradually you can be able to look back and think about your life how your per life was a year ago 5 years ago 10 years ago and today be able to see a very distinct level of growth or maturity in that journey it is it is something that you learn it is something that you can actually discipline yourself to. Unproven and to mature him so what are some practical ways to actually learn to pray as Jesus prayed because don't forget that story in Luke 111 that the disciples asked Jesus Lord teach us to pray right teach us to pray and I can't help but to notice and on and on the trivial and see why it actually bring this brings this light and that is that that sees a sprain visibly he's in he's in a place where he sees he's distanced himself somewhat to pray to God but he can still be seen by society as at a distance and they actually watch him pray and they observe him praying and that is what ignites with them them an earnest desire to to learn it because Jesus is praying like they have never prayed before so when Jesus approve completes his prayer and comes to them that's when they see Jesus we've been watching you teach us please to pray. So we're some practices I want to share with you a few but but I want to hear from you 1st what are Would you be willing the next minute or 2 what what practices have Todd used to pray more earnestly. We we learn from one another that's why we're the church that a symbol together in and learn and encourage one another as we see the day of approaching but what has taught you to pray more earnestly maybe Would you share will be just what some of us need to hear so so she's saying that praying specifically for specific people specific names the more specific you have been the more you recognize specific answers to specific prayers if we if we just keep it very very you know Brod in general will will miss answers because we never identified you know the way that that we need. Or response to that care so thank you for saying that so it's being able to recognize desperate situations and being able to recognize those things and be able to realize that because this is desperate there's no one else nothing else I can do there's nothing else I can do there's no one else I can go to but dot right. So sweet as we go through our days yes we believe in prayer yes I take time to pray but I sweep reprice or it ties in these last days you know maybe some of us I can say Lord. I need to partner I need to I need to intensely partner with someone that I can pray together with there's something powerful about that after all when the disciple says Jesus teaches to pray did you notice how you modeled a prayer right and how did he begin by saying by praying did he say my father which are in heaven would he say Our Father do you see what that would imply that would imply that prayer ideally ought to be done together with others. Praying our father. That something really powerful think you are saying that any other thoughts. Surely in and what disturbingly do that naturally not journaling wouldn't be able to do like what is what are some of the things you the benefits you reap from actually turn him. Helps you focus OK OK because not only are you thinking with your needs are your praises are but you're actually visibly reading them as you write them keeps you focused what else. Oh because he can you can refer back to back to the entries of the past and see how God led to in the past that's great and the other any other benefits to journaling Yeah yeah being able to do this really really you know be thoughtful of because as you're writing your thoughtful the words that you're going to use and and so you identify with CERN descriptive words that that otherwise you wouldn't really think of. Awesome awesome I hope everyone's frame these steps because all these ideas that we've been sharing is part of reprisal retire using because we all we all agree that we need to pray we all agree on that but we need to repress it to reprivatize prayer. To put it in a place where we truly engage with God in prayer on a constant unceasing basis we have to put these things into practice otherwise they just moan that you know if you ever feel like you just don't feel like praying OK Well guess what what would you could do tell because why you don't feel like praying think about Pat tell God why God This is why you don't feel like praying because and and just be transparent with him and what will you be doing you'll be praying as as you tell him why you don't want to pray he you know. You know being real with God being transparent Yeah I mean look at look at the prayers talk about scripture person scripture they were they were just so real with God then say God you can tell me right now you know they were they were just really were all with God They were they were sometimes angry with God and we got to be the same way being transparent with God. Some of the things that I've discovered are yours as well as one is you learn to pray you learn to pay by praying you learn to pray for I pray now yeah of course that's obvious but wait a minute you learned to pay by praying when I mean by that is being able to find yourself praying when you don't feel like Prain praying when you feel like praying and praying constantly without ceasing will talk a little bit about in a minute but you know one way that I've actually learned to actually discipline myself to be engaged in prayer is Pashley timing myself let me explain what I mean by that we hear piano students saying you know I'm going to discipline myself to practice for 30 minutes. You hear you hear swimmer say I'm going to discipline myself to swim 20 laps. You hear a runner say I'm going to discipline myself to run 10 miles if that's what it takes for these men and women to discipline themselves to put into practice what it's going to take for them to accomplish will fulfill or or reach the end resolder the finish line or the destination they want to reach why not discipline ourselves to pray for a predetermined amount of time and I've often have taken my my my phone and all said I'll go to stopwatch and I say I'm going to I'm going to pray for 30 minutes and that's just before I close my eyes start and I pray and you know everyone Somaly look 18 minutes OK you gotta keep praying you know I'm going to look 27 minutes OK a look and then the more the more I've done this there are good times so the 1st glance that is 20 or 28 minutes well that was fast time went by fast and then after a while it's like oh I got a couple minutes left then in men and then I look 45 minutes you know I went for that you see what I'm saying it's like I put it started by being intentional I'm going to be praying for 30 minutes and sticking to it sticking to it I've got time and I need to pray. And what does it mean to pray without ceasing do we need to be on our knees eyes closed hand together no of course not right. What has been your most you know practical you know. Understanding of that of that phrase unceasing prayer or pray without ceasing what does that mean to you I've heard a mindset and that's what I believe it really is as well because think about this there's been times when I'm in my home office at home Heidi's not home yet but I'm home and and I know she's not home because I mean I don't buy myself but then she arrives and I may here come into through the garage store I'm home and then she's in and most humans go by and I don't see hide out don't I don't hear Heidi but I have that sense that she's home you know sees her presence is in this house again I don't hear her I don't see her but but I know that she's here she's in within reach it's is could it not be just simply sensing the presence of God wherever you are at any time in any place when I walk into Wal-Mart God is with me. When I walk into a classroom God is with me when I step into the cafeteria the presence of God is with me just sensing recognizing the presence of God with you Jesus with me he is there with you that is being in a state of prayer and matching being able to reach a state of existence of mind said where at any waking moments where you call us of where I am and what I'm doing I sense the presence of God with me just as much as I sense my wife's presence would seek arrives home and you have yet to see her or hear her but I know she's there with me amen you know in coming to that point and some of the most godly people I know are those that have Jesus with them wherever they go good post this if you want to teach young people how to exercise that kind of mindset take posts it's a sticker post sits right Jesus with me 20 times and then go around the house and place that posted at different places around the house under your televisions. On your computer screen on your stereo in your refrigerator on the bathroom sink on the bedroom on the on the dresser you know different places every time your eyes set sight on when those poses Jesus with me at that very moment just believe that Jesus is with you is presence is right there by your side and every time you see that you practice that thought and then after 21 days 3 weeks you remove all of those but the mind the thought stays and you will be reminded of the presence of Jesus and anxiously everywhere you go as you exercise your minds towards that in closing I'm going to take to you one verse in closing as we. As we come to Colossians Chapter 4 verse 2 in this with this will will conclude galoshes chapter 4 and verse 2 and Paul wrote this continue earnestly he says in prayer being vigilant in it with thanks giving. The word where it says to attend constantly to continue earnestly that means to devote yourself to to devote yourselves to and when you devote yourself to something it's a priority and when you make something a priority when you will sacrifice for it when you will give it time to it regardless of amounts of how much you have to do you know you are devoted to it. And today I want to challenge you I want to appeal to you that you will take all these practical exercises that you heard in the last 15 minutes that you will think to yourself about the year the bout the prayer of the heart take aim for men who were dying of leprosy for men who had just been set free from demons and by the grace of God pray to Him taught to him plead with him that Tomas I beg him and talk to him as if you were in those same circumstances and reprisal were ties by actually taking time to put these things into practice for they will not happen you're always going to find something else something more to do Believe me you will. So we have to re prowar ties and take our prayer life to the next level what do you say. Let's let's pray together Father in Heaven Lord we could we could hear about prayer we can we can take notes about prayer we can we can talk about prayer but by the grace of God and with the Grace says the fish and with the power of Greece and with the the strength of the Holy Spirit I pray in the name of Jesus Lord that you would drop us down to our knees that you will give us the mind of Christ and that we would learn to pray in a way that we never have before by the grace of God Lord in the next 24 hours before we need to hear again tomorrow May we have put into practice some of these things and me our prayer life will literally be strengthened and mature even within the next 24 hours Thank you Lord for answering our prayer in Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermon leaders visit W.W.W.. 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