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The Privilege of Prayer

Kameron DeVasher

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Kameron DeVasher

Director of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

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  • December 13, 2014
    11:00 AM
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this is the far we've emphasize the fact that not only the God loves us that he communicates that love to creation through his word was in the word the greatest revelation of his love and his will was Jesus Christ himself was that with the world began but this time in years we get God to us in his son Jesus Christ I communicate up to us but we haven't particularly mentioned is that God expects the same level of communication and return not only does he love us and cleaned it with us he wants us to talk back and that's what we're discussing this morning a message the privilege of prayer but before we get started of course let's begin with a word of prayer heavenly father thank you again that we can be here together now and at this particular time when we open your word to study this important concept of prayer Lord we would ask that you would ask the disciples ask you to teach us to pray that we may have a genuine open and always growing relationship with our Savior for prayer in his precious thing there's a common misconception least in my ruminating about in my thinking about this issue the prayer because it is so personal so intimate between you and the Lord they can't particularly be taught and if it were to be taught it would be too formulaic it would be too structured and it would take away the spirit of prayer and so we don't often get into the nuts and bolts of how to pray but we do talk about how not to pray what to watch out for a newbie you will be encouraged to pray to the practical platitudes like pray hard pray always pray pray pray when you're done price the more sounds good but instructing them to pray without instructing them about the process of prayer doesn't actually predict well this isn't a good and the Christian environment we live in today especially given and seven Dennis Church prayer has become a rather believe it or not hot button issue for the controversy you'll hear warnings against practices like contemplative prayer or meditative prayer of prayer centering prayer warnings against mysticism these are all rightly to be awarded guess we should watch out that we have a general relationship of the true God in the way that he has asked in his word but a danger the concerns me even of these well intended and necessary warnings is that we accidentally end up denouncing the counterfeit as we should without poorly developing with the genuine actually is in the first place so we know that we should pray and we should pray harder we should pray often and don't pray those ways which I do when it comes to my prayer time with the Lord was take a look at this today Luke Chapter 11 first of all it might seem like a very small point but I think is very important to start with a prayer can be taught prayer can be thought of such as the personal whatever you feel like doing whatever they can be thought the Chapter 11 in verse one Jesus was having his personal prayer time and again whenever talk about prayer and your personal devotional steps to Christ I'm not talking up public oration on the talk about the platform you and the Lord your communication to each other a Luke chapter eleven verse one now it came to pass as he was praying in a certain place as Jesus of course when he ceased or when he stopped that one of his disciples that the Lord teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples those breakdown this request is this implying that these disciples did not pray no I believe the disciples prayed they probably grew up in homes where prayer was a part of it they would to church regrows apart if they had prayers a part of their life but something about the qualitative nature the way that Christ prayed the sincerity something about his personal prayer life so significant that then they said Lord whatever it is you are doing tedious to do that to teach us to pray they get an open that thing pray for the very first time the Lord it's almost as though we haven't been praying right all along teach us to pray and barely notice the implication that John also taught his disciples prayer is something that can be taught Jesus life something they wanted to learn Lord teach us to pray like that to their credit when they didn't understand something ask for help now this is not the only time it's hard to give instruction on prayer to go back to Matthew chapter five in the sermon on the Mount he addresses the concept of prayer as well Matthew chapter five is our chapter six apologized that starting verse five Matthew chapter six starting with verse five Jesus addresses this concept of prayer any what not to do before he offers the model prayer of what to do he says when you pray you shall not be like the hypocrites for they love to pray now that that they love to pray no bear had a love for prayer but what about the prayer was so significant to them they love to pray how standing is wrong to stand old aware of expanding in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets that they may be seen by men clearly Chrysler teaching prayer is to be heard by God not to be seen by their brand life had become a public production becomes shall we believe that the first thing you want to do when you pray if not do that don't be like the departments they love to stand presenting with the goggles records but they may be cemented assuredly I say to you they have their reward all they're going to get out of that prayer is the prayer itself they've Artie got but now he knows what to do versus what do you when you pray go into your what your room and when you have what what next shut the door pray to your father who is in the secret place and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly like to reward the results of your prayer will be opened and the rest of your life but when you actually had that prayer communication with the Lord it's private it's personal you go to your room shut your door and you pray to your father in the secret place notices emphasis on personal private secret you should have a prayer life it's not just at meal times or in public things or whatever the think that you have an actual dialogue with your heavenly father personally individually distinct from all other prey with your door shut in your room and he goes on number seven and when you pray do not use vain repetition vein of course means not just arrogant as we come to think that blaming hollow and empty pointless right vein and what is repetition me over and over and over and over and over I could give you an example I could just keep going saying the same thing over the things I mean ten things same thing again same thing why would people do that according to Christ do not even religious and ethnic even do what was right there whatever Connor got reminded even spray barely human the BBB showdown on the caramel between the top of the bail and the prophet Elijah did they set up an altar sure the date the rates of male yes but notice how they prayed all long time right morning noon and night over and over they started yelling and screaming and dancing and chanting in fact he got the bad they started putting themselves about all an effort to hear also avail in the other they thought they could say aloud nothing at all but over that make intention of making craving up then the bear God with the crisis don't do that don't pray in vain repetitions of do for they think that they will be heard for their many words and think it recommends you to God if the waiver you pray with a frequency the intensity of your privileges do it the right way and say the right things in fact if I get those phrases within them over and over and over God will hear me because God loves a good repetition now I know the week on a chocolate that is we probably should but you realize how many people in the world think those thoughts even today even inside the Christian world most religions of the world Christian included appeal to God in that manner if I pray the right way if I say just the right words if I've committed is that I say the same thing over to summon up tell me say this phrase over and over say a hundred times and to be good as Brazil allowed that a little louder similar to or the cry said before I teach you how to pray limited to what not to do most people are getting these things wrong but will be like I think of our dear friends who pray the rosary over over over over completely senior violates the spirit of prayer the crisis trying to implore his people to have make it real make a genuine not just a form over and over and over I think of the religions the world who specify yet great Disney times in this position bring this direction using these words at least at times as if the time the place the repetition would recommend you to go even Bible believing Protestant Christians faced with temptation for praying without nothing like nothing more than people who think that will be heard for their many words again is not from instead of stuff from a lack of sincerity issues I don't believe there's many of us been taught how to pray we been told to pray commanded to pray even with every thought action how do Phyllis move and what prayer is according to God 's word unit knows both in Matthew chapter six and in Luke chapter eleven when his disciples asked him privately the Lord gave an example of prayer of the great irony I think as we come to call this the Lord 's prayer which would in fact he was giving its offspring to be our template for prayer the other irony I see is that right after crisis don't pray in vain repetitions but the Fray like this what we've done is taken that prayer and turned it into a vain repetition within his exact words over and over there's nothing wrong with single or don't get me wrong but is the Lord continue to save these are the words that you say when you approach me know what his languages notice again here in verse eight therefore do not be like them for your father knows the things you have need of before you ask by the way what is the application there should prayer dispute itemization of our needs Lord here's what I need any plaintiff agreed me by the book and here's what I need the this got already know what you need to let me we should tell them of course no but the purpose of prayer is not just to communicate to God here's what I need and want barely got our Dino's with the needs of the Birdland in this manner therefore pray something like this here's a template a model prayer and notice how he outlines our father in heaven hallowed be your name and you for this broken down several times with notice of our father and not sovereign master of my fate father but is not due to either he still on the throne in heaven right the holy name so it should be comfortable and confident but not arrogant and flippant your kingdom come your will be done how many times our prayers but with the Lord here's what I would like to grab the purpose of prayer is to have a relationship with her father and then become more like him I know what is your will how I can do it on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread were to come back to some of these issues but very practical very personal very here's what I need right now here's what's going on in my life today you're my needs forgive us our debts Lord I want forgiveness but notice he ties it is beautifully as we forgive our debtors so Lord I want forgiveness from you to the same proportion that I give forgiveness to others right and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one how may times we stop and ask for forgiveness but don't really ask for victory the next time the temptation comes around I like the forgiveness aspect will you forgive my sins can you keep me out of back can you help me can you give me strength being in a victory over next time it comes up deliberately evil one yours is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and I would defy you an industry challenging work but stick with I would defy anyone to find a more practical treatment on the subject of prayer than the eleventh chapter steps to Christ 's chapter the privilege of prayer right in the beginning of this chapter we find the following simple yet radically significant explanation prayer is you go one of my favorite sentences and paragraphs prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to what friend opening of your heart to God just like he were your friend because the knot that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are but in order to enable us to receive them prayer does not bring God down to us that brings us up to him on the same page read our minds may be drawn out for him we may meditate upon his works his mercies in his blessings but this is not in the fullest sense communing with God thinking about God is not the same thing as talking with God right and I love thinking about God sewing together these great themes of Scripture and studying his word and look at its creative power all of those things are good and wonderful and should be done but that's not the same thing is prayer reflecting on how good God is not the same thing is just opening your mouth when talking to a knot in the fullest sense the word communing with him in order to commune with God think of the power of this I've thought about this problem in order to commune with God we must have something to say to him concerning our actual life if you talk to God a real conversation take a listen illustrated work a relationship with God 's relationship with your spouse if every time you thought your spouse you said the same wrote phrases over and over and over you might talk to them but you wouldn't be building a real relationship they wouldn't know how the meeting went it wouldn't know what your hopes and dreams with a witness that would just hear you over and over and over the formulaic ceremony around the empty words vain repetition but this is not worth unless you thought about think we must have something to say to him concerning our actual life when I go home by the way I don't have that many friends I'm nothing like what was me on choosing this method I think I think what happens maybe but I really got one really really best friends my wife and I love her to pieces right and when I talk to her I talk to her about silly things and ideas that I'd like to see happen in disappointment and discouragement hopes and dreams and those people at risk no you're not enough what another but I talk to her about real actual things that happened that day now if I don't speak to the Lord said I have is much of the close relationship of the Lord of the habit my earthly best friend my wife should you talk about those frustrations in this confusion than those perplexities in the disappointment of the dreams of these ideas do you have to just talk absolutely but sometimes we notice we have a good close personal friend we had prayer and God 's like one of you treat me the least as good as you treat them just talk in order to commune with God we must have something to say to him concerning the actual life so you put these concepts together one beautiful things can't think of a better definition prayer is talking to God as to a friend concerning our actual life I know that deep philosophical of the big theological terms as talking God like he's your friend because he is use real words you'll have to necessarily lesser covenant making fun but you don't have to shift into King James needs be good Lord if that's your comfortable report on the thing that's wrong but wasn't speak to him in language at least you can understand he can understand any language bring it right but how would you speak to your friend talk about real experiences real thoughts real feeling share with them your ideas your disappointments you want your worries just use biblical temples of the notes of first Samuel first Samuel chapter one starting with verse ten if you know the story behind these verses of that is fascinating it makes sense of course is his first Samuel this is the very opening chapter ups the first book of Samuel 's worst annual comes from the is the story of Samuel 's mother Hannah before there was the Samuel on the scene first Samuel chapter one Hannah and Elkanah were married yet they were this time the Aussie was going to prices are like she was barren she was unable to have children and it was a spiritual conflict was causing quite a budget tensioner home in a personal life for her psyche was dismissed up with this if she brings it to the Lord and while you see how was the first night with a first Samuel chapter one verse nine so Hannah arose after they finished eating and drinking in Shiloh that Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the door post of the tabernacle of the Lord set the scene verse ten and she was in bitterness of soul and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish notice that it was a feelings bridge was actually been talking up vanishing into five and said all Lord of if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me and not forget your maidservant but will give your maidservant a male child then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and no razor shall come upon his head she's basically said Lord if you give me a son all given that only could deal with you Lord she's talking real language very practical she wants to do with the child must be a boy I will not put a razor that no given back to you as you doing with weeping she's anguish here the first book as it happened and it happened as she continued praying before the Lord that Eli watched her mouth but the wind blew weird construction right why was he saying first thirteen now Hannah spoke in her heart only her lips moved so inside you that his dialogue and she was kind of speaking out loud but with making sound but her lips were moving so much so that Eli thought she was drunk what's the only her lips moved her voice was not heard therefore Eli thought she was drunk so he said to her how long will you be drunk to put your wine away from you the hand is that the Lord I'm a woman of sorrowful spirit I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink but have poured out my soul before the Lord do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now just like men are not drunk I'm just talking to God I love you license any eye and said go in peace the God of Israel grant your petition which you've asked beautiful thought she's like I just came to this place just pour out my soul got back to strike a deal with them if he's open to Daniel chapter nine the more familiar prayer but notice the similarities Daniel 's anguish of heart this time is the he's living in starting a chapter nineties living at the time when according to the words of prophecy the release of the captivity of of Israel should be over they should be allowed to return to Jerusalem seventy years are coming to a close and he's looking around he sees the condition of himself and his people is basically were not a people who can be let go I'm afraid the Lord 's love and honor his request as we fallen down and what if they happen in verse three then I set my face towards the Lord got my got the Lord God to make requests by prayer and supplication with fasting sackcloth and ashes and I pray to the Lord my God and made confession and said all Lord great and awesome God keeps his covenant and mercy with those who love them and with those who keep his commandments and you implied it were the people who love you and keep his commandments right when he says we have sinned and committed iniquity that is the current event the framework he says Lord we know that you are merciful and loving and kind and you keep your comment with anyone who obeys you but we transgressed the implication is now I fear begin to be unfaithful to us in the same way that we have been unfaithful to you we have sinned and committed it we we have done wickedly in rebel even by departing from your precepts in your judgment the notice of specific units were six knees are heavily heated your servants the prophets spoken your name to our kings or princes for fathers and all the people who win the Lord righteousness belongs to you with us shame a face as it is this day to the men of Judah to the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel that was near those afar off at all countries to which you have driven them because the unfaithfulness which they have committed against you if we were to go on for this chapter with this prayer over and over he talked about how good and faithful God is and how messed up we have been not one diabetes they got what we did do this right you out none of the whole thing is a confession insincerity in sackcloth and ashes the being genuine and real the Lord now skip down to verse twenty what is the Lord 's response to this prayer now while I was speaking praying confessing my sins of the sin of my people Israel and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God yes while I was speaking in prayer the man Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision of the beginning being caused by swiftly reach me about the time of the evening offering and he informed me in talk to me instead of Daniel I have now come forth to give you skill to understand and of course he was working on a perplexing mystery what are the prophecies all about how does it relate he says I am skilled to understand at the beginning of your supplication the command without it I have come to tell you for you are greatly therefore consider the matter and understand the vision when did God send Gabriel with this answer at the beginning of this W heard enough words are seen enough contrition or hard enough whatever special phrases or whatever is soon as he opened his mouth and sincerity to God conflict with why because your greatly book but had he said yeah that's the whole tenor of the prayer I have said we said we are falling short of your glory once again in God that good on you thanks for at least talk and as soon as this application began the answer was because your greatly steps of Christ one hundred we read keep your wants your joys sorrows your cares and your fears before God you cannot burden him you cannot wear you know this is a powerful thought the Bible says our God does not sleep because of slumber he never grows tired he never gets weary that is good I don't know if you've ever been in a situation where you have had to confide in a friend are going to really deep sorrow in your life for youth but someone else confiding in you and there's a certain amount of empathy you can take but you just get tired I don't know I mean I love and romance pray about it this good luck I don't know that the Lord doesn't tire I doesn't grow weary he invites you to keep coming however long it takes to thought his heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them takes in everything that perplexes the mind nothing is too great for him to bear for he holds up worlds he rules over all the affairs of the universe nothing good in any way concerned our peace is too small for him to notice of you read this book I mean it's not really a big prayer items is the little thing talk to them if the north of the frustration at this point or whatever it is talk to this is no chapter in our experience too dark for him to read I don't know if you've ever had this opportunity but you will say things like Lord forgive my sin you never asked to say with the sinners could even you don't want to say it do you think you know but it does us good give that over to him say it even if that makes you feel awful it will be better on the other side there is no chapter experienced too dark for him to read there's no perplexity too difficult for him to unravel no calamity can befall the least of his children no anxiety harass the soul no joy cheer no sincere prayer escaped the lips of which our heavenly father is unobservant or in which he takes no immediate interest the moment you start saving I love this percentage regular please listen to the relations between God and each soul artist distinct and full as though they were not another soul upon the earth share his watch care not another soul for whom he gave his beloved son your relationship with God is special to God because if you and you are the only you God has you think about that I love this illustration is so true God could create something that looks like you would talk like you would people even your friends and family but it wouldn't be you because each of us has a free moral agency the right to choose the right to the the right to act as we see fit we doesn't want the bill it looks like you and felt like he wants you in your the only user and his relationship with you though we might talk to ten million other people that day it would still be less of a day for him if he didn't get a chance to talk to you you are you you are a special thing and has not that no one else can take the place stated in the relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though they were not another soul upon the earth to share his I would imagine the Christ felt that way about his father and as the disciples came upon him in prayer they recognized a sincerity and intimacy the directness though they had prayed all their lives they didn't have that unsolicited Lord teach us pray we give you some six six oh practical applications tips that could improve from a biblical spirit for these are things we find in Scripture we could improve and towards that prayer life number one think about time and place freight in a solitary place every morning or every evening set your time apart and pray the solitary place Jesus not only taught the importance of alone time with God he lived in good stead now in the morning having written a long while before daylight he went out and departed to a solitary place place and there he prayed it's hard to pray when the Michael is going off the TV is going to give the little bit hard to have that real direct communication when not other things are vying for your attention prices like if I would make this make a time limit for Mobile Google place that's my conflicts is the best prey before the day begins in a place we can be alone and without distraction should do this every day and that marbles in the book proclaims vital prayer page twelve is white right neglect the exercise of prayer or engage in prayer spasmodically now and then just every now and then occasionally on the off chance as it seems convenient and you lose your hold on God you lose that daily connection number two as we saw in heaven I would imagine Daniel as well probably crisis what specifically Christ pray out loud there are a lot of times that I come to my wife and I just look at her we discover non- and shaken at some point you could like you have something to say of course the Lord can hear your thoughts you know the but saying what you mean to say is the power to progress object lesson speaking about the time when in Luke eleven the disciples happen upon Christ's prayer life is we find these words of Christ disciples found him absorbed in supplication seeming unconscious of their presence he continued praying aloud that is that if you look back at the test that awaits we stopped it he was Frank Whiteley how would they know that it come they were listening and they heard something which they written it down and now that his prayer is you guys just talk teach us pray out loud even if just a whisper or even like Nana slip let's move you try strength interface helps prevent the mind from wandering during prayer in number three pray earnestly numbered Christ in the Garden Gethsemane how did he pray the bigger the conflict was coming deeper the intensity of the prayer being an agony he prayed more earnestly thoughts that everyone with every other one was trite and superficial but that last was a real threat of this logistically to a deeper level we cannot assume that the Lord will answer casual or mechanical prayers again book for every semi- five word monitor our language halfhearted prayers will not bring this return to heaven only need to press our petitions be earnest in the matter yet we do have the assurance from James chapter two the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails be sincere with feeling them for pray for others you look at Christ's prayer to his father the end-of-life John chapter seventeen he starts with his own relationship with God is the shortest part of the prayer then he prays for his disciples any pray for those who are going to come to God through his disciples who genes with every person we meet the bulk of his prayers praying for others we should do this properly should make a list of those people or friends or families or coworkers our neighbors our extended family church family members those week those you want to intercede for us the Lord be with take time to pray again Leslie talked that time sometimes if you make it not sometimes every time you make a commitment to the Lord in time or in finances or anything else they will I promise you come in and try to morning on that particular thing in Central Park it is a Lord I would be eating like this all the sudden options become available that where was that last week is a Lord I will spend this amount of time with you this day all of a sudden your schedules can give full on that point I guarantee it make it the highest party keep that time apart that the report in here number six intensely practical just like physical exercise breakfast in the same way do it even when you don't feel like it that much more to say but that would Jesus thought that quote is from Luke eighteen one min always ought to pray and not lose heart sometimes it may have feel like the Lord 's answer pray anyway your building character and his leg muscle takes time takes time to build that relationship every true relationship requires timely communication so here's my challenge at this message try to preach with a particular concrete challenge for the remainder of this entire year all three weeks devoted at least fifteen minutes of every day to personal private Ernest prayer speak to the Lord about your daily experiences thoughts and your feelings or confusions frustrations it worries and your victories good things bad things all points in between talk to the Lord pray for your family or friends or coworkers or neighbors your classmates your church family members and on and on pray especially for those with physical pain or emotional distress spiritual despair and you realize that there truly is a friend that stick is closer than a brother he's revealed his love you in so many ways and all investment will turn is communication read on sincere and earnest with you a media was brought by audio 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