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Desperate Prayer

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Crazy. Hard. Worth It.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:18
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Encourage you to turn to the book of 1st Samuel and I'm going to encourage you to turn their because while the words will be on the screen. I'm not just going to read straight through this passage is so I want you to be able to see where we're coming from and the word of God of the word of God given to us revealing him to us and revealing how we respond to him. And today we're going to see an example from the word of God of somebody who was devoted to prayer somebody who was desperate in prayer, but I want to stop before we dive into the text want you to find it. I want you to have it there in front of you, but I want us to just stop and think for a second. What is look like for us to be a church devoted to prayer and as the pastor's as we've been talking about this one of the things that my mind started going to was we just need to provide opportunities to pray. And so we encouraged you to sign up for our prayer updates just a text message that we send out where you can sign up via email email or text message where we send out prayer updates as they come up and we encourage people to be together in prayer. And then we also said we want to make frere more intentional part of our services when we gather together on Sundays where worshiping the Lord part of our worship needs to include praying together as the people of God not just marking a transition in the service with it. But but spending time devoted to prayer together in the service. We set aside a time on Sunday mornings from 8:30 to 9. We have a group that gathers to pray you're well. The Joint if you have questions about that, I'd be glad to give you more info but we wanted that time of prayer and another thing we said we said, all right, we're going to take the first Wednesday night of every month and we're going to set that aside as a time of corporate prayer and then I've been encouraging you guys to be praying at home to be praying in your own lives. But here's the the sad reality. Is it's not being a church to go to the prayer is not just having a lot of opportunities to pray.

It's actually praying. And sometimes I think our problem is we have lots of opportunities to pray how many of you eat three times a day. 4 * 5 Right, we would say grace over food. There's an opportunity to pray how many of you pray with your kids before bedtime. How many if you have morning devotions right there, so it's no shortage of opportunities to pray but I'm afraid that sometimes we don't have the desire to pray and as we as the passes reflecting on this one of our other Pastor said, you know Brandon you can provide all the opportunities. But until we desire to pray. We're not going to be a church devoted to prayer and this morning. I want to talk about that the fact that opportunities to pray don't mean that we are a people of prayer but it is only when we are Desiring to pray that we become a people of prayer. How do we then desire to pray? What what builds that desire in US? And as I reflected on 1st Samuel this week, I realized what builds a desire to pray. Is when we desire things that only God can do. When we desire desperately things that only he can accomplish that's when will begin to desire to pray. That's when we will become a people devoted to prayer. We're never going to be devoted to prayer until we are desperate in prayer at a lady named Hannah who is a hero of the faith who is an example to us of what desperation in prayer looks like in so I encourage you to look at 1st Samuel now, I'm going to I'm going to skim through and I'm going to read some of this word for word summertime. Just going to summarize or track along with me. If you don't have a Bible with you, there's some in the Pew in front of you you can pull that out and turn to 1st Samuel. So we're introduced at the beginning of this book called Samuel not to Samuel cuz that would be just way too obvious instead were introduced to Samuel dad. And we're told that there was this man named elkanah and we get his lineage and then we read that he had two wives the name of the first was Hannah the name of the other was the Nina and tonight. I had children by Hannah had no children and we may kind of miss some of the impact of that verse but let me just tell you in that day in that culture for a woman to not have children. She would have viewed that as a great shame right or wrong. I think wrong she would have used that is God's judgment on her. And she would have seen the fact that she had no children as an indictment on her as a person not that she should have but that's what that culture would have led her to think. She had failed somehow and that God has not given her children because of a personal defect and so she has this mindset. She who's watching. This other wife have children and she having none is thinking I am a failure.

And there's nothing that she can do about it. Now. We're told that this man in verse 3 used to go up to Worship in the sacrifice to the Lord at Shiloh never freeze there and and he would sacrifice but when they would offer sacrifices, they would give part of their sacrifice an animal that would give part of it to the Lord to be burned and in the family would receive back the rest and they would get to Feast on that offering and so God took a portion of it for himself and as part of their worship, but then the family would enjoy a feast as well and it says that when elkanah would sacrifice he would give portions to his wife Pnina and he would give portions to that her children. But he would give a double portion to Hannah. Why does he do that? Because he loved her though. The Lord had closed her womb. Elkanah viewed Hannah differently. Alkanna didn't think she was a failure because she couldn't have kids. He loved his wife and he would give her a double portion.

But it wasn't enough for Hannah for one thing her rival. This other wife would constantly provoke her would constantly make fun of her constantly reinforce this self-image. She had of herself as a failure. And so no matter what I can of did Hannah still was sure. That God was displeased with her and it went on looking for seven. It went on year by year. This is not a brief moment in time visit. This is not a one-time occurrence. This is the life that Hannah lives constantly putting put down constantly feeling unworthy constantly ignoring the love of her husband because she is such a failure in her eyes.

It's a difficult place for her to be in to recognize as she sees it her unworthiness her unfitness to constantly be reminded of that. And have it held up in front of her.

Acana the husband tried to encourage her and so when she would go up Hannah would weep and even though her husband would give her portion of food. She wouldn't eat it or can I try to encourage recent Hannah? Why do You Weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten Sons?

When they had eaten and drunk and Shiloh Hannah Rose, we come to a turning point, right? We just had that the background provided for us. This is this woman Hannah. This is why she is the way she is and now we catch up to the present day. So to speak. So this year this year after many many years of rejection after many many years of feeling like a failure this year. It says Hannah Rose and she went to the Temple of the Lord and she was deeply distressed and verse 10 and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. She was deeply distressed. And she wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, oh lord of hosts. If you will indeed look on the Affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant. That's how Hannah felt she felt like she was being Afflicted. She felt like she was being punished. She felt like the Lord had forgotten her. And she cries out and she weeps she says oh Lord. Give to your servant a son. Then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and no razor shall touch his head year after year weeping constantly feeling like a failure. She comes the part where she goes to the Lord and she says God give me a child. Give me a son and I'll give him right back to you. She's distressed. She's weeping verse 12 as she continued praying before the Lord Eli who's one of the priests observed her mouth Hannah was speaking in her heart only her lips moved and her voice was not heard there for Eli took her to be a drunken woman. This woman who's feeling worthless this woman who feels Afflicted this woman who feels forgotten by God now comes to the place where God is worshipped to the man who represents God to her and he thinks she's drunk.

And the hits just keep right on coming. Right to top everything off her distress is not seen for what it is the Brokenness of a soul crying out to God. It's seen as drunken is now this says something about the worship that in that time in Israel says something about the public morals of that day that he lies first thought and seeing this woman is she must be drunk like the others who've been here before? I just want to thank you guys for being here this morning. And tell you I'm not assuming anything about any of you unless you fall asleep, okay? Hannah shows up and she's pouring your heart out to God in the man of God. Eli says how long verse 14. How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you. How does Hannah feel right now?

How's it going to feel when that's the Assumption that's made about her.

I hate my own life. I feel like I'm worthless this guy thinks I'm drunk. And I could make a choice right here. Hannah could choose to say I'm done. I'm not going to continue praying. I'm not going to continue worshipping I want nothing more to do with this sad. Sorry lot. That is mine. But she doesn't that's not what she does. She says no my Lord. I have been I am not I'm a woman troubled in spirit. I've drunk either wine or strong drink. I've been pouring my soul before the Lord pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman. Do you hear the pain there? That's how she thinks of herself.

And she says don't regard me as a worthless woman for I've been speaking out of great anxiety and vexation then he'll I answered this time. He gets it right go in. Peace and may the god of Israel Grant the petition that you have made to him. And she said let your servant find favor in your eyes, then she went her way and she 8 Do you know why that's a big deal. What are we just read year after year every time they went up to the temple. She wouldn't eat. She would not protect of the offering she wouldn't join her family in their worship because she felt so worthless and now God hasn't answered. Any prayer. God hasn't proved that he's going to do anything and yet because she's poured her heart out and because somebody has entered into her concern enough to pray with her. May the Lord grant your request. She goes with a light heart her face. No longer sad and Ready-to-Eat transformed by her prayer transform by Elie joining her in it. She went her way and 8th. And her face was no longer sad.

This story to me is a great challenge to us.

Church, when was the last time that you felt anything deeply enough to be distressed about it? When was the last time you were so concerned for something that only God could do that you had no other choice but to weep and to pour yourself out before the Lord. When was the last time that that happened?

If you're like me. It might have been a while. We live in a culture that wants to insulate us from that kind of distress. We live in a culture that wants us to just be satisfied with simple things be satisfied with a couple Facebook likes be satisfied with a few extra dollars in the bank at the end of the month be satisfied because we're not thinking anymore.

When was the last time you cared enough about something? To cry and pour out your heart before the Lord hears the first point that I want you to see in this passage desperate prayers the kind of prayers that lead to devotion and prayer desperate prayers a rise out of desires that nothing else can satisfy. Looking for State again. Anna says Hannah. Why am I not more to you than 10 sons and here I here every single husband ever. What's wrong? You got me like winning the lottery.

More could you want out of life than this?

But Hannah doesn't just need this. And it doesn't just want this is not that she doesn't love L. Can it's not that she doesn't appreciate his love. She sees it. But she can't receive it at that time because she's got a desire that nothing can satisfy. She's got a desire that only God can fulfill only God can give her children, right? She's a barren woman. She is unable to have kids only God can change that and she has a desire that nothing else will satisfy. When was the last time that you wanted something only God could provide.

When was the last time you wanted something that only God can provide and I'm not talking about winning the lottery.

I'm not talking about getting a promotion.

Many people do that apart from God. Many people strike it rich many people are successful many people. Have kids many people feel fulfilled in their lives. And here's my question to you if there's nothing in your life. Did only God can fulfill.

What kind of life is that? What kind of Hope do you have? Beyond this life if every desire you have can be fulfilled by this world REI pray pray

For the things that only God can provide what are the things that only God can provide? How about salvation? How about salvation? When was the last time that you were so concerned for a lost friend or a lost relative somebody who did not know Christ who does not have salvation through the only name given under Heaven by which men may be safe. When was the last time you were so concerned for somebody who was not saved that you poured your heart out before the Lord?

Sanctification the process whereby we forsake our sin and become more like Christ. When was the last time you were so broken over your sin Your Lust your greed your anger. When was the last time the Descent hit you? So Square between the eyes that you could do nothing, but fall down and weep before the Lord and say fix me. I'm broken.

If you prayed those kind of distressed prayers for salvation for sanctification than you know that only God can provide those things, you know that you can fix yourself. You know that there's nothing in you that's going to make you look like Jesus except for Jesus himself making you look like him. When was the last time you were broken enough to pray about it? When was the last time you were willing to not eat to pray about it? When was the last time you were broken about it because desperate prayers arise out the desires that nothing else can satisfy and I'm not even talking about when we got big goals. As a church, we've got some big goals. We want to be a people to go to the prayer. We want to be people who are connected with one another Beyond just Sunday morning. We want to be people who are starting new workout outside these walls. That's what we want to be until you can hear this saying we'll just pray because we've got some big goals. But once those goals are accomplished you can stop praying know there needs to be a part of you. That is so concerned for the things that only God can provide that nothing else will satisfy you that you recognize your desperate need for him and that desperation leads you to pray. To be poured out before God salvation sanctification the growth of the Kingdom. Taking territory from Satan these things don't happen without prayer and I want to take a moment. I just want to thank you guys for praying recently this week. If you were praying for a new Spanish Bible study that was starting out in Milford.

And you guys don't know Satan was attacking the people that were involved in that this last week Satan didn't want to see that started and we had health concerns arise we had we had arguments and fights that came up and in relationships Satan wanted nothing to do with this but you prayed and God resolved those health issues. God resolved those disagreements. and last night there were 24 people gathered for that bible study.

When will we see that? We've got to be desperate to pray for the things that only God can do it comes when our desires or matching what God wants. I love CS Lewis. I love just about everything he's ever written but one thing that he wrote stands out to me and if you've been here at all, you've heard this time and time again, I'm not going to pretend this is the first time I've quoted this but you can pretend it's the first time you've heard it because most of you forgot it. Anyway, you've never heard of CS Lewis said this it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong. But too weak we are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite Joy is offered us like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at Sea. We are far too easily pleased.

When were far too easily pleased when were satisfied with the brief little endorphin rush that comes from somebody liking our status that comes from somebody liking our picture that comes from that paycheck that we get that comes from that immediate success that we enjoy in this life from time to time when we are satisfied with that. We will never be desperate in prayer. When we see what God is doing and we say we want more of that. We will become desperate in prayer because only God can save Only God Can sanctify only God can push back the boundaries of Satan's kingdom. Only God can start new words. That's God's work when we want it. We will be desperate in prayer. But our desperation is not just desperation to come in to lay our concern down at God's feet and then walk away. emptied of any responsibility desperate prayers often times lead us to make desperate commitments. Look at Hannah again this example from Hannah she is praying she's weeping. She's pouring out her soul to the Lord and she vowed about that. Oh lord of hosts. If you will indeed look on the Affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant but give your service and I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.

How counterintuitive is that Lord this one thing? I want I won't keep if you give it to me Lord. The one thing I want it's yours if you bring it. This is a desperate commitment. This has gone beyond Hannah wanted to have a child and this has gone to the point where she recognized the only way I'm going to have a child as if you give me one and the only way that that matters.

The only thing that matters is I will just thank you and I will give this child back to you. Desperate prayers lead to desperate commitments and this is a part that I think we get wrong A lot of times. We imagine that prayer is all that's asked that that praying about something is enough that there's somehow if we prayed like we're kind of off the hook for whatever comes next but Jesus when the disciples prayed right Jesus says, hey look out at the fields are ripe for the Harvest therefore pray to the Lord of the Harvest. Send workers out. Guess what happens in the next chapter? He sends the people to Just prayed for workers to go out to the Harvest. He sends them out his workers into the Harvest. Write our prayers have to be connected with our daily life. We have to demonstrate that what we're praying has so deeply affected us that we're willing to change everything about our lap order to see if God might answer it that way. Any prayer you pray is one that you should say God. I'm willing to be the answer to this prayer. I'm willing to have me be the instrument to take the gospel to my neighbor to take the gospel to my coworker. I'm willing to be the one to go and reach the people who've never heard the gospel in a Faraway place. I'm willing to be the person who goes

Desperate prayers lead to desperate commitments desperate desires that have their fulfillment only in what God can do will lead us. To be willing to do anything if God would ask. Martin Luther how many of you heard that name now? I know it's Martin Luther King jr. Day tomorrow and I don't want to get confused. The guy he was named for was Martin Luther the reformer Martin Luther did not set out to reform the Catholic Church Martin Luther did not set out to launch the Protestant Reformation. You know what Martin Luther said out to be a lawyer.

No offense to any lawyers in here, but I just think that's not quite as high of a aspiration.

He was going to be a lawyer to his dad wanted to do in Martin City. Okay, I'll do it until one day he was walking on the road to his university to go continue his law studies and a storm came up and a bolt of lightning struck very close to him in the midst of this crazy storm. And Luther cried out if you save me I'll be a monk.

Guess what? The Lord saved him but that desperate prayer led to a desperate commitment and Martin Luther did not forget what he told God he would do and he immediately got rid of his belongings left his university and joined a monastery and began to study the word of God and as he studied the word of God, he became convinced that salvation was by grace through faith, and he became convinced that the Roman teaching on indulgences and a couple other things work. We're off base and he began to go to them and say no this isn't right and he became Martin Luther the reformer. Because he prayed a desperate prayer and you made a desperate commitment and he stuck with it. When we desire things that only God can provide when that desire leads us to desperate prayer. We only know that it's desperate when we're willing to be a part of the answer to it. And so as we become a people devoted to prayer as we become people who are praying for our neighbor to get saved, we necessarily have to include in that a desire to be the answer to that prayer Lord bring Salvation to my neighbor and I'll go share the gospel with him as we become people who are desperate for sanctification. We have to be people who say Lord help me to overcome my sin and if necessary, I'll get rid of the TV. I'll get rid of my smartphone or get rid of the internet. I'll get rid of my car. I'll get rid of all of these things that keep distracting me from you because I want You and the things that you provide in the world to look at you and say that's crazy.

But if you're desperate enough for the things that God desires you'll make any commitment required. To be a part of the answer to that prayer. Next thing desperate prayers are best shared. Desperate prayers are best shared and this ties back in with that idea that desperate prayers lead to desperate commitment when we as a church become desperate for the things that only God can do. Then we'll be willing to make the commitment required to do it when we go to the Lord and say Lord. There are 43 communities in southern Utah that have absolutely no gospel Witness. Lord Lord, there's no church in these places. There's no witness to you. There's no discipleship taking play Lord. We want to make disciples. That's part of our DNA is a church Lord. We're desperate for that when we share that I'm convinced that things happen. There's a Spanish Bible study starting up in Milford now not because Red Hills had a great idea not because Red Hills is sending a bunch of people out there to do it. But because for 7 years. A faithful pastor and his wife were praying for a Spanish work to start in Milford. And then he that Pastor had a conversation with with me. One of the pastors at Red Hills and said let's pray about this together. We start praying about it together in two months later. There's a Spanish work in Milford. Desperate prayers are best shared Hannah. Year after year feeling worthless year after year refusing to worship alongside. Her family goes to the temple and she begins to pour self out. She's broke and she's mistaken for a drunken woman, but she shares her heart with Eli and Eli says, I'll pray that prayer with you. May God grant that request and immediately Hannah is changed. God hasn't answered the prayer. She didn't miraculously get the 8th month bump, right? Nothing's changed except that she shared her request. And Eli prayed with her desperate prayers. All ways are better shared. When we share those prayers will be amazed at how God begins to work. When Shane was praying for that work? He had an idea of what it would look like when I was praying for that work. I had no idea what it would look like. But then a chance conversation with somebody from another church entirely who goes to Sunrise not to Mountain View not to Red Hills. I go to Sunrise and I just having a conversation next thing, you know, they say yeah, we want to be a part of that. When we share desperate prayers, God gets the glory for putting a lot of miscellaneous pieces together. I would have never had the idea to call to talk to Shane and to pray about this with him if it hadn't have been for Griselda and Umberto coming to Red Hills from Milford, right? That would have never happened and yet God brought all of these pieces together and we shared a prayer. and God moved Desperate prayers are best shared desperate prayers are answered.

I don't want to confuse anybody here.

I want you to understand Hannah. Shared her prayer. She walked away. There was no answer to that prayer yet. But desperate prayers are always answered. They're not always answered the way that we want. God says. Yes. God says no or got those I've got a better idea. Just for the record When God says he's got a better idea go with that. He's not kidding. But they're always answered. God doesn't leave his people without Direction. That's what this is. That's that's what this thing is, right? This is God's revelation of himself to us. And sometimes when we're praying and were like Gods just not answering my prayer. It's just because maybe we haven't looked where he said to look. God's not answering my prayer know he's saying what you don't want to hear. Until you're pretending he hasn't answered. Your prayer desperate prayers are always answered whether or not we like what we hear. Yes. No, or I've got a better idea. God is going to answer prayers. Hannah's Prayer was answered.

With a yes, and we see that recorded and it's so amazing to me that it in verse 20. It says end in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son and she called his name Sam before she said I have asked for him from the Lord. I have asked of him from the Lord her prayer was answered with a yes ours aren't always answered with a yes.

But we're always given piece when we seek it where God says to seek it when we pray desperate prayers, but desperate prayers can lead to exultant prayers and we're not going to read the whole thing. But I would encourage you to take some time and read verses 1 through 10 of chapter two sometime and listen to Hannah's rejoicing in What the Lord Has Done but I do want to note verse one this morning and Hannah prayed. This is after the Lord answered her brothers after Sammy was born Hannah prayed and said my heart exults in the Lord. My strength is exalted in the Lord my mouth to ride my enemies because I rejoice in your salvation.

You barely recognize Hannah.

You you'd barely be able to to see her right heel. I didn't recognize her at the end of chapter one. She has to tell him know you remember that lady you thought was drunk. Yeah, that's me. And God answered the prayer and here's Samuel. I'm giving him to the Lord and Samuel serve there in the temple from that day on. and Hannah rejoices Hannah rejoices, it's interesting to note. Even as she's leaving her son. Even as she's fulfilling that desperate commitment. She made she rejoices because she recognizes this desperate prayer of mine. Was answered in a way that only God could have done it. So God gets all the glory. Desperate prayers can lead to exultant prayers. Was it worth it?

It's crazy Eli thought she was drunk. It was hard the life that Hannah LED that letter to that point of desperation. It was very difficult, but was it worth it? You can't read chapter 2 verses 1 through 10 and not conclude Hannah thought it was worth it. Hannah thought it was so worth it to declare the glory of God in the ability of God in the power of

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