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07-03-04.02              vv                           zz              07-03-11.01

07-01-31bs                                                        07-03-14bs

Title:           “Confidence and Compassion in Prayer – VI”

FCF:            prayerlessness

D-Theme:   it is the motive that matters!

M-Thrust:   check our hearts before we pray

App:           Since it is the motive that matters we must check our hearts before we pray!

Comment:  the question I asked @ the end touched a few I think. Other than that – no comments

Subject:     prayer

Date:          9C6E715CFE8F447784CB8847C2119BD5

Text:           James 4:1-3

• Introduction

•   We have been discussing the topic of prayer…

•   I have specifically had in mind prayer for unbelievers…

•   Intercessory prayer for the souls of unbelieving people…

•   The promise of God to grant answers to our prayers…

•   When they are in line with his will…

•   And the clear fact that saving the lost is God’s will…

•   My concern has been for the prayerlessness of the church…

•   And the reality that unanswered prayer contributes…

•   …to a general lack of prayer in the body of Christ…

•   What keeps us from seeing answers to our prayers…?

•   Last time we said that these kept us from seeing answers…

•   Unbelief—doubt—lack of faith…

•   Unconfessed sin—unclean hands and heart

•   Wrong motives—selfish desires

•   Unforgiveness

•   And I asked you to consider this text…

•   James 4:1-3

•   What two reasons does James list for unanswered prayer…?

•   We do not ask — we ask amiss

•   Meaning it is the motive that matters!

•   Suggesting that we must check our hearts before we pray

• You do not ask.............................................. v. 2b

•   We already discussed the first one of why we don’t ask…

•   And as I recall we stopped before we came to…

•   The matter of pride…

•   And the question…

•   How does pride keep a person from praying…?

•   Discuss

•   The teaching of James is so simple, it is almost embarrassing. In short, he is saying, “You can …do just about anything else, but there is only one reason you do not have; it is because you do not ask.” [1]

•   Isn’t it true that the main problem of our prayer lives…

•   …is simply the fact that we don’t pray?

•   We do all the things in the flesh which James speaks of…

•   …lusting and fighting and warring…

•   These seem to be the natural things for us to do

•   And who among us hasn’t ever been told that…

•   “God only helps those who help themselves?”

•   So, even as Christians the temptation is most often…

•   …to try to get things through natural or fleshly means…

•   James is calling us back to the basics of Christian discipleship—reminding us we no longer need to use the tools of sin. They don’t work…

•   Therefore, we simply need to ask.

•   He has promised to supply all of our needs (Phil. 4:19). [2]

• You ask amiss................................................. v. 3

•  3You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

•   A more challenging problem—praying and not receiving…

•   …because we have asked for the wrong reason or motive…

•   The problem with sin is the problem of missing the mark.

•   the problem which James is identifying—asking amiss

•   translated from the Greek word kakōs [3]

•   κακός “whatever is evil in character, base,”[4]

•   and is often translated as “diseased” or “sick”

•   Meaning we can ask for things with motives that are…

•   “sick” or “diseased”

•   In fact, James identifies what such motives are…

•   “that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

•   Referring back to the word hēdŏnē found in verse 1…[5]

•   ἡδονή, sensual delight; by impl. desire: [6]

•   from which we get the English word hedonism

he·don·ism (hēdʹn-ĭz´əm) noun

1.    Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially the pleasures of the senses. [7]

•   Our lusts or our desires for pleasure…

•   …are not (nor can they be) acceptable motives for prayer

•   They are characteristics of the flesh—not the Spirit…

•   And as such will lead us to death rather than life…

•   In contrast, the apostle John declares…

•   …the proper motive for prayer when he writes… [8]

1st John 5:14

14Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. [9]

•   Which takes us back to where we began…

•   Having both confidence and compassion in prayer…

•   The Christian life and the motive of prayer are the same…

•   God has called us to forsake doing our own thing…

•   …and to seek to do the will of God…

•   It is only when we do that we can we be fulfilled

•   …and only then will God answer our prayers. [10]

•   Isn’t this the same as in 1 John 5:14-15…?

•   If we are asking with the wrong motive…

•   For our own selfish pleasures—is that God’s will…?

•   What are some wrong motives for prayer?

•   Discuss

•   What is the right motive for prayer?

•   Discuss

•   But most of all, always and forever…

•   The Glory of God…?

•   Ask yourself

•   Wiil the answer to this prayer…

•   Glorify God and glorify man…?

•   Please God or please me alone…?

•   Satisfy God or satisfy me…?


----

[1]      Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (79). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[2]      Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (80). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[3]      Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (80). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[4]      Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (2:211). Nashville: T. Nelson.

[5]      Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (80). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[6]      Strong, J. (1997, c1996). The new Strong's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (G2237). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7]      Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[8]      Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (80). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[9]      The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.

[10]   Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (80). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

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