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PRAYER

          My topic this morning is prayer! I need to know something so I've gotta ask questions.  It's good to ask questions. 

          Today I want to ask the questions why some get the things that they ask God for and others seemingly don't. 

          What is the key to prayer?

Why is it we don't get the man or woman we want? the car or the house? 

Is that what prayer is about?

My Bible tells me that prayer healed the sick, prayer opened up the rea sea, prayer changed a man to his right senses after being possessed by thousands of demons

Prayer shut up the heavens and so that it didn't rain for three and a half years.

Prayer made the sun to stand still, prayer caused angry winds to shut up and waves to be still.

And prayer woke up the dead

and if prayer can do all of this why can't I do it?

John 14:12-14 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (KJV)

          I would venture to say as one author put it.  All men pray at one time or another.  Millions of men prayed when they realized that they would have to go into the battle fields of the middle east.  Families and relatives and friends.  People who never heard of the word of God prayed.

          Men prayed on the battlefields, in the air or on sickbeds

alot of prayer and promises were made.

          But what is prayer?

Prayer is communion with God, if you remember nothing else remember that.

          In the beginning there was direct communion open communication with God.  The record states that God walked in the cool of the garden looking for the edenic pair.

The word speaks of Moses who "The Lord spake unto. . . face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend".

  God spoke with man, man spoke with God.  There was perfect communion, perfect relationship. 

But after sin came--it broke that fellowship and caused a chasm between God and man.

But thank God Jesus was and still is that link, that bridge that pulled God and man back together.  He died on the cross and with one arm reached into heaven and with the other took the hand of man.

That channel restored a way of approach could be made Jesus was that channel.

Christ said "I am the way the truth and the life No man cometh unto the father but by me"

"Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you." John 15:16

When we pray we asks in the name of Jesus in order to recieve or have our prayers acknowledged.

The Word of God says a

"new and living way which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is His flesh" Hebrews 10:20

In ancient Israel as a sacrifice was made & the slain animal demonstrated that the wages of sin is death,

The sacrifice was a confession of guilt and acceptance of the provision made by God that the lamb was to take his place.

In their simplest forms sacrifices had the elements of prayer.

A humbling of mind, a broken and sorrowful spirit, a contrite heart and the intense desire to go and sin no more.

. . .  Prayer is coming into communion with God into the very presences of God

          And while it is commendable, while it is right to pray three times a day and have set times to pray, prayer is not just some task to be completed before the setting of the sun.

It is a privilege to converse with the creator of the universe

He is our God also our friend!!!!

Some folk think that prayer some kind of burdensome chore that they must do.

Clean the yard, vacuum the carpet, scrub the floor, pray, clean out the attic.

          The danger of that is that it becomes ritualistic and meaningless.

Just a task to perform, a little boy praying by his bedside said his prayers "God is good, God is great, now we thank Him for our food amen."  When he climbed up to his bed he said to his mother "That's the wrong one for now, isn't it, Mama?"

Man with the list.

          And it has it a sense become like that with so many of us. 

But the prophets knew something of communion with God.

 There prayers took the form of conversation rather than formal petitions. They talked to God and He answered them.

They were on speaking terms with The Almighty.

 Generally getting direction from Him by dreams and visions , but also by word of mouth.  

          And while we may know more about "world without end" and "straight from thy throne" and grant us a Sabbath's day's blessing" and "thank thee for health, strength and food" and "Give Him a special anointing of thy Spirit" and "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart .  .  ." While we know more about that

The men of old knew far more than we do today about how to approach God.

 And it's high time brothers and sisters that we begin to learn afresh how to communicate with our God and practice being in His presence.

         

          You know it's quite interesting when you hear some Christians  say they don't know how to pray, not all Christians now but Some Christians.

          And what's more interesting is when I hear that from young Christians. 

          You ever try calling a house and can't get into the line for an eternity.  I mean you try calling the house (especially on a holiday) and it's not that nobody's home.  It's just that you can't get in through the thing.

          Some of these folk say on the line for hours upon hours from morning till evening there on the phone.  And you wonder what in the world or universe could they find to talk about that long. 

          Worst if they are in love, Oh no!! and when you get the bill from Verizon telephone you wonder whether the statement your reading is the actually payment your supposed to come up with or a new telephone number cause you done used up the one you have by talking on it so much. 

         

I remember when my wife and use to talk, and we'd talk and some of you know she was in Montreal and I was in the Bronx.  And when I'd get the phone bill it would almost want to make me cry.  I said Lord I gotta hurry up and marry this woman else I'm gonna go broke.

          Gotta be in love to do that.  That takes time.

Why is it that some feel that whenever they pray they have to use old English to talk to Jesus?

Thou and thy, etc. It doesn't make it more reverant.

When the King James version of the Bible was written it was written in the language of the people. This is not the language now. The people of the Bible didn't speak old English.

We live in the 21st century. Our Lord exist in this century.

          We need to realize that God can handle a conversation, He's an intelligent being,  We can talk to God!! Although we must be respectful whenever we pray.

He speaks our language He can understand. 

          You can talk to God about the job, you can talk to God about the ridiculous questions on your trig. test, You can tell Him about the girl you had you eye on, you can relate to Him your sorrows, God's always interested, there's always an ear open to hear what you have to say.

Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (KJV)

          But our Lord warned us about prayers that have no meaning

Matthew 6:7-8  7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (NIV)

LeRoy Patterson Writes in an October issue of Eternity 1982 "The Ten Most Unwanted Prayers"

1. The Solemn Assembly prayer

Our majestic and exalted, highly beneficent, monothetistic, holy Father.

2. The Cliche camouflage

Oh Creator of Heaven and Earth, We come because the truth which you have brought us into this message is spirit filled and the field is great but the labor.

3. The prayer of the just.

And Lord just bless us today, and just be with us as we just worship you.

4. The holy promotion, in which the petitioner uses prayer to gain support for his pet project.

5. The lecture prayer

Trying to teach some profound lesson by giving a sermon to the whole church

6. The Father Father prayer

7. The "You Know Syndrome"

8. The round-the-world prayer.

and Jesus bless those in Hong Kong remember the missionaries in Africa and yes, yes I must say something about those Christians in Singapore.

9. The payment on demand prayer

Father come down right now!! and Bless us right now!! Give us what we want now!!

10. The Summary prayer which ends by repeating in outline form all of the request made.  ALL AROUND THE WORLD PRAYER

All should feel it a Christian duty to pray short. Tell the Lord just what you want, without going all over the world. In private prayer all have the privilege of praying as long as they desire and of being as explicit as they please. They can pray for all their relatives and friends. The closet is the place to tell all their private difficulties, and trials, and temptations. A common meeting to worship God is not the place to open the privacies of the heart.  {2T 578.1}

          Some one says why pray when God knows what you need already Why pray when He sends rain on the just and the unjust?  Why pray when He supplies your needs even when you don't pray?

          Why associate with friends or relatives?  Why talk with them for the simple reason that they love each other!!  That is all the reason.

          You don't have to get down on your knees you can talk to God anywhere! Anytime! Anyplace!

          Prayer isn't a long list of gimme this and gimme that.  Even though the relationship with God is like that of a Father It would a shame every time you called Him up is because you wanted something

          Prayer goes with meditation . . . some folk love to do all the talking.  Tell God I want this and that, do this and that and then hang-up on Him.

Prayer is when we talk, but meditation is allow Him to talk to us.

          (shutup)

          Some of us might do well to follow the advice of Eli

"Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, `Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'

         

We also need Jesus to help us learn how to pray and the Spirit help us learn how to pray.

Thy will be done,

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (KJV)

Prayer is power, we join in the strength of One who is all powerful.

In the battle for the mind between Christ and Satan satan can play dirty ball Christ doesn't and cannot.

We must ask in order for God to do what He normally would not.

He must have consent to do more than He normally would.

I believe in every way the devil tries to get the advantage in this warfare so he checks God! Why should you give Him the victory over my temptations God He hasn't asked you for it?

          Prayer is power Elijah prayed and did not rain for three and a half years.  He prayed and the oil did not fail or cake fain.  He talked to God and the dead woke up.

The Christian writer says in the book  pk

"What he was enabled to do under God, all may do in their sphere of activity in God's service;" PK p. 157

"Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence?"  SC p. 94,95

          We have unwanted power at our resource and most of us don't know how to use it!!

          Song writer says "Oh what peace we often forfeit Oh what pain we need not bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer"

Song writer said "Call Him UP"

          How long has it been since you called up your Father?!! How long has it been since you called up your friend!!

          Did you know you have a friend in Jesus all your sins and griefs to bear?  What a privilege it is to carry EVERYTHING!!! TO GOD IN PRAYER!!!

          Yes! you call God collect He can afford it His blood paid the price on Calvary.

          You can call on Him in the midnight hours, My God neither slumbers or sleep.

          You can call on Him when you're in trouble He is always on the line.

          And just in case you didn't want to talk over the phone my God said He would walk with you side by side and talk with ya!!

          In the Garden,       He won't leave you or forsake He walk with you till the end.


 

Prayer

          Prayer is not a means of getting something out of God, "which He may hestitate to give, but which persistent prayer will effect."

          God's will, purposes and designs will succeed. It is set God has a plan and it will be carried out.  Therefore It is not attempt to have God change His mind but to attempt to have the mind of God.

          It is not an endeavor to have God follow some plan of action but basically know what God's plan is and our relationship to it.

          "Learn to harmonize with God attempt to ascertain His will .  As soon as you have done this, your promblem is solved.  You may then ask whatever you want, and expect to get it; for you will want and ask only for that which is in harmony with God's will, something He wants you to have.  You will in all sincerity  and simplicity inquire as did Paul , "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"  Acts 9:6" 

Matthew 21:21,22 21 If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.  22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

          Such answer to prayer can only be true where the one who prays is so completely in harmony with God that his will and God's will are one.

          We will be contented "Phillipians 4:11" Understanding that are natures are changed, from that which would want, want.  But knowing that we can enjoy life.

Prayer cannot undo what Thus saith the Lord has already proclaimed.

         

          Prayer is not a substitute for thus saith the Lord.  In other if we desire something and we know that it is not permissible for us to have that something then prayer cannot effect the granting of that request no matter how much we petition God.  It is useless. 

          Ex: marrying someone who doesn't not know Jesus, or even someone of a different faith?  Can two walk together unless they agree?

          What you need to do is pray for the strength to do His will.

Psalm 63:5,6

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the midnight watches."

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