Sunday Morning Jan. 15, 2012

Posted by Sherry

BACK TO THE BASICS: PRAYER

Hebrews 4:16 & Lamentations 3:42-44

CBC 1/15/12

Disciples at one point asked Jesus to teach them to pray...Luke 11

  • Prayer
    • means of communication with God
    • verbal, private/public
    • non-verbal meditation
    • confession - agreeing w/ God we have done wrong in His sight by His standard
    • petition - our needs & desires
    • intercession - on behalf of others
    • thanksgiving - expressing gratitude to God

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace t help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

sin hinders our prayer

Lamentations 3:42 We have transgressed and rebelled and You have not pardoned.

43You have covered Yourself with wrath and pursued and afflicted us; You have slain without pity.

44You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.

  1. They complain of his frowns and the tokens of his displeasure against them. Their sins were repented of, and yet (v. 42), Thou hast not pardoned.
  2. 1 John 1:9 If we confess [freely admit] our sin He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises] to forgive us [dismiss our lawlessness] and to cleanse us [continuously] from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
    1. just b/c we don’t “feel” forgiven, doesn’t mean we’re not in actuality
    2. just b/c we don’t “see” results of forgiveness...(former glory, blessing, etc.)...
    3. just b/c we don’t possess the “assurance & comfort” of pardon...
    4. just b/c judgments & consequences of sin are not removed...
      1. enemies persecuted, they were murdered, no protection or deliverance from trouble
    5. just b/c our souls are cast down & disquieted w/in us (depressed, etc) ...
  3. They were “instruments in God’s hand”
    1. It’s not all about us
    2. there’s no law that says:
      1. we should never suffer (told Paul, “My grace is sufficient...)
      2. we should never endure tragedy
      3. we are immune to difficulty
      4. all our babies will be born healthy, wealthy and wise
      5. we will never be persecuted, tortured or murdered
    1. God is sovereign and has a divine purpose to be worked out on this planet & we are a very small part of that plan
      1. God is infinite (unlimited) & we are finite (limited)
        1. we couldn’t understand it if He answered our “WHY” questions
        2. He has promised that what ever happens to us personally is for HIS best and HIS purpose
        3. Romans 8:28 “We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”
  1. The prolonging of troubles is sometimes a temptation
    1. tempts praying people to question whether God be what they always believed Him to be, (a prayer-hearing God)
      1. God is omnipresent & omniscient therefore He is “Present” when we pray & “Knows” every word, thought & intent of our mind
      2. The lack of response from God is where we take offense
      3. that’s when we exercise our “FAITH” & believe the impossible and see the invisible.
      4. without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to God. Hebrews 11:16

1 Peter 3:7 In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker,but [realizing that you] are joint [equal] heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that YOUR PRAYERS MAY NOT BE HINDERED AND CUT OFF. [otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]

James 5:16 Confess your faults [your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) one to another, and PRAY for one another, that YE MAY BE HEALED [restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The effectual fervent [earnest, heartfelt, continued] prayer of a righteous man availeth [makes tremedous power available, dynamic in its working], much.

CONCL:

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING...

in your room

in the lion’s den

at church

to celebrate

for wisdom & guidance

PRAY B/C JESUS SAID, “DON’T GIVE UP” Luke 18

ILLUS: We should be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, "Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask."

She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat back down.

They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet.”

Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?”

And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.


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