Faithlife Sermons

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*Seeking God’s Agenda through Prayer*
* *
*I.                   **The Importance of God’s Agenda*
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
John 15:7 (NIV)
And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:3 (NLB)
**The Focus of God’s Agenda*
a.       United
I’m praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
John 17 19,20 (MSG)
Our growth
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. . .
Ephesians 1:18,19 (NASB)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Ephesians 3:15-19 (NLB)
Sharing the Gospel
When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. . .
And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.
Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
Acts 4:23-30 (NLB)
Glorifying His Name
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9,10 (NASB)
**The  Results of Praying God’s Agenda*
a.       Elijah
Elijah was a man just like us.
He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:17,18  (NIV)
New England
c.       Wales
d.      Cali, Colombia
e.       Uganda
\\ *Seeking God’s agenda in Prayer*
The story is told of the woman who heard a message about praying in faith from the text that says if you pray in faith you can tell a mountain, “Be removed into the sea.”
It will happen.
That night she decided to put it to the test.
It was an easy test since she lived in the Northwest and had a view of a Mount St. Helens in the distance from her living room window.
So she screwed up all the faith she could and prayed fervently that the mountain would be removed and cast into the sea.
She got down on her knees.
She moaned and wept.
She raised her hands.
She quoted the verse back to God to make sure.
She even thanked God by faith.
The next morning she got up and made her way to the living room and peered out the front window.
“Just as I thought,” she said, “it’s still there.”
There is a lot of pretty dumb stuff taught about prayer.
One rather popular current is the “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it” approach.
All you have to do get anything is to claim it verbally—to speak it.
The corollary is all you have to do is to refuse to verbalize something to escape it.
Let’s say you get a pink slip from work—or an F on your report card.
I refuse to confess that I failed or that I got fired.
By faith I still have my job.”
How effective would that be?
Let’s say that you have been spending more than your income for some time.
Finally the jig is up and Peter has no more money to take to pay Paul.
You are bankrupt.
“No, I refuse to say those words.”
How will that fly with your mortgage company?
Ask anyone who has escaped alcoholism or any other addiction.
Refusal to face the problem is a big part of the problem.
The first step toward freedom is confessing.
That is biblical.
“If we confess our sins. .
Sometimes we act as if God were a genie.
An Aladdin’s lamp.
Just say the right magic incantation and the Divine Genie pops out and promises to grant your wish.
Sometimes we treat God as if He were a celestial vending machine.
Just put in the your money and hit the button and out comes our selection.
But when you put in your money, make your selection and nothing comes out, what do you do?  Hit the coin return, hit the machine, rock it, kick it, get mad at it.
Same with God.
Think about it a minute.
How does God decide which prayers to answer and in what way?
A farmer is praying for rain because without it his crops will be ruined.
The couple’s group leader and social coordinator at church are praying for a sunny day so they can have the picnic they have planned.
Who does God answer.
Or, check this one out, Tony Dongy and Christians on the Colts football team are praying for a win at the Super Bowl.
At the same time, Lovie Smith and players on the Bears team are praying for a win.
Was Dongy more spiritual than Smith?.  Were there more Christians on the Colts than on the Bears?
How does God decide who to listen to?
On what basis:  Does it depend on who is the most eloquent?
Flowery speech, biblical or spiritual vocabulary—whatever that is.  “O Thou great and holy sovereign Lord of the universe. .
Does it depend on who is the most emotional and passionate in prayer.
How about who believes the hardest?
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