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02(Exodus 02,23-25) The Cry of God's People

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If there's anything that everyone needs to do, it is to learn how to pray. The man who can pray can do anything, for prayer can do anything that God can do, and God can do anything. Our desperate need in these days is to link our lives with the omnipotent God, who has called upon us and told us to pray. Jesus said, "Ask and ye shall receive, and James says, "You have not because you ask not.

You don't have a failure in your life but what it is a prayer failure. You don't have a sin in your life but what prayer could have prevented that sin. You don't have a genuine need in your life but that that need cannot be met through fervent believing prayer. How we need to learn how to pray.

Exodus 2:23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

The divine action of God is charted in these four verbs:

I.       God heard them (24a)

A.     The God who created ears, must himself hear.

§  Psalm 94:9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?...

§  God gave us voice to commune with Him. Speaking to God is not overstepping our bounds, it is worship of a God who desires to hear our cries.

B.     I want you to see the presumption of un-offered prayer. "Ye have not because ye ask not." (James 4:2)

§  God wants to bless us, to give us what we need.

§  But we're so presumptuous. We're so proud. We go about in our own strength: fighting, warring, scheming, planning, hating, killing, conniving, striving, trying in our own way to get the things we think we need.

§  It is prayer that links our lives with the omnipotent power of God.

§  A little boy was trying one day in his play to move a huge stone and was trying with all of his might to roll that stone over, to shove the stone. And his little muscles were bulging and there was perspiration on his face. And he was biting his tongue and just trying to move that stone. His father was watching and said to him, "Son, are you using all of your strength? And the little boy said, "Yes, Daddy, I'm using all of my strength. And his dad said, “No you're not. You haven't asked me to help you.”

§  Sometimes we are burdened down with weighty problems and we strive and we fight and we war and we're saying I'm doing everything I know to do. Have you asked your Father to help?

§  Could it be that God wants to bless you and the reason that God is not blessing you could be so simple? You have not because you ask not.

§  "Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

C.     Did you know that prayerlessness is a sin?

§  Samuel told the people, "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.”

§  Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,

§  When you don't pray, you're not just simply missing a blessing. You're committing a sin. You're doing without the things that God wants you to have and you're sinning against the Lord.

§  And as I said in the introduction to this message. There is no sin in your life but what prayer would have prevented it. The Bible says in Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation.”

§  John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim's Progress "Prayer will make a man cease from sin, and sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.

D.     The problem of unacceptable prayers

§  Sometimes the problem is not that we don't offer our prayers, but that we offer them and God will not accept them. God will not hear our prayers. Why?

§  James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

§  And why is it unacceptable? Because it is based on the wrong motivation.

§  We become a friend of the world and then say, "God, give me that I might commit spiritual adultery with the world.”

§  The reason some prayers are unanswered is they're selfish. We're not interested in the glory of God.

§  The motivation is simply that we might have more, do more, and enjoy more.

§  “Well, I thought I could come to God and get my needs met.” You can.

§  Phil. 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

§  Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

II.    God remembered His covenant with them (24b)

A.     God has made covenant with us as well.

§  He promised to give descendents of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob a land flowing with milk and honey.

B.     God is moved by our cries, but also by His own Word.

III. God considered (looked upon) them (25a)

A.     God evaluates our condition

B.     God seeks the best solution to our groaning

IV. God acknowledged (was concerned about) them (25b)

A.     God put into motion a plan of deliverance.

B.     God had foreseen this, of course, 80 years before their cry was uttered.

§  Before they saw their need for God, he had made provision for them.

§  Before you ever thought you needed rescue, God had sent His Son to die for you.

V.    Where are the cries of God’s people today?

§  When was the last time you ever shed a tear over a lost soul?

§  When was the last time you missed a meal to pray?

§  When is the last time you spent a night in prayer?

§  When is the last time when you got hold of God and said, "Oh God, I'll not let you go unless you bless me?

God forgive our weak prayers, our easy prayers, our lazy prayers, our unbroken prayers. "A broken and a contrite heart thou wilt not despise, O God.

God can tell when we mean business.

O God, help me, help us to learn the secret of victorious prayer.

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