THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 10-5-14

LESSON TITLE: “HOW DO WE PRAY?”



WELCOME

ANNOUNCER: TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

RAY: ISN'T IT GREAT TO KNOW GOD AND TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF GATHERING TOGETHER AND PRAISING HIS NAME ON THIS WONDROUS LORD'S DAY? THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THIS SPECIAL DAY. WE ARE SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU THIS MORNING FOR THIS TIME OF OFFERING TO GOD. HOW BLESSED WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE THIS DAY AND TO GIVE THIS TIME TO OUR CREATOR. IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER THAT WE WILL EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME OF WORSHIP ACCEPTABLE IN GOD'S SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WILL!NOW AS WE BEGIN TO FOCUS OUR THOUGHTS ON GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME BEFORE HIS THRONE IN PRAYER.

PRAYER: DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE. THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO SERVE YOU AND TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, WE ASK THAT YOU'LL HELP US TO ALWAYS LIVE LIVES THAT IS PLEASING IN YOUR SIGHT THAT WE MIGHT SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD. AND THAT WE MIGHT NOT ONLY WORK TO DO THOSE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE ASKED THAT WE MIGHT BE RECIPIENTS OF YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY BUT THAT WE MIGHT HELP OTHERS TO KNOW YOU AND TO OBEY AS WELL. WE THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS AND ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR US TO GIVE US THE HOPE OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WE OFTEN HEAR THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE BEEN "CALLED BY GOD." THE FACT IS GOD HAS CALLED US IN MANY WAYS, TO LEAVE THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD AND LIFE, IN ORDER TO TURN TO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL. THIS MORNING WE WANT TO BEGIN WITH A SONG THAT DEALS WITH AN IMPORTANT REASON WE SHOULD RESPOND TO THE CALL OF GOD. SO WON'T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION IN OUR FIRST HYMN, WHICH IS ENTITLED, "WHEN THE ROLL IS CALLED UP YONDER!"

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF BEING ASKED TO GIVE? IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYWHERE WE TURN THAT SOMEONE IS ASKING FOR A HANDOUT. IN FACT, IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, YOU PROBABLY GET TIRED OF ALL THE CALLS ASKING FOR MONEY AND HELP FROM DAY TO DAY.

NOW CONSIDER THIS SAME IDEA FROM A RELIGIOUS STANDPOINT, MANY OF US MAY OFTEN GET TIRED AS WELL OF FEELING LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE TO GIVE. HOWEVER, LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT IF OUR MINDS AND HEART ARE RIGHT WITH GOD - GIVING FOR HIS SAKE IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLGAME. IN FACT, IN PROVERBS 21:26, THE WISEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED MADE THIS STATEMENT, "HE COVETS GREEDILY ALL DAY LONG, BUT THE RIGHTEOUS GIVES AND DOES NOT SPARE." CONSIDER THE IMPORTANT LESSON WE LEARN HERE -SOME COVET THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD WHICH THEY HAVE ACQUIRED, HOWEVER, THE GODLY MAN LOVES TO GIVE AND GIVE A LOT!

DOESN'T THIS JUST MAKE GOOD SENSE IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHAT WE LEARN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? REMEMBER WHAT JESUS SAID IN ACTS 20:35, "IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE." WHEN WE GIVE, GOD SAYS WE WILL BE BLESSED AND BLESSED ACCORDING TO OUR GENEROSITY. NOTICE WHAT JESUS FURTHER SAID ABOUT THIS IN LUKE 6:38, "GIVE, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU: GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER WILL BE PUT INTO YOUR BOSOM. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YOU USE, IT WILL BE MEASURED BACK TO YOU." HAVE YOU GOT IT FIGURED OUT YET?

IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE, BECAUSE WHEN WE GIVE - WE HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD. FURTHERMORE, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE, BECAUSE WHEN WE GIVE GOD IS PLEASED AND IN RETURN BLESSES US - ACCORDING TO OUR WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE TO SEE HIS WILL ACCOMPLISHED. SO HOW WELL ARE YOU GIVING TO YOUR GOD? ARE YOU GIVING ENOUGH, IN A CHEERFUL WAY AND FROM THE HEART? MAY WE ALL LEARN TO BE BETTER AND MORE GRACIOUS GIVERS TO THE GLORY OF GOD!

TODAY WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE BROTHER JERRY SULLINS WITH US AGAIN AS OUR GUEST SPEAKER. BROTHER JERRY DIRECTS OF BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. WE THANK HIM FOR JOINING US AND LOOK FORWARD TO HIS PROCLAMATION OF GOD'S WORD IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

AS ARE AS OUR LESSON, THIS MORNING WE WILL CONTINUE OUR SERIES OF STUDY ENTITLED, "LORD TEACH US TO PRAY" THE SPECIFIC MESSAGE OF THE DAY CONSIDERS THE QUESTION, "HOW DO WE PRAY?" SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG, BROTHER JERRY WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS STUDY FROM GOD'S WORD. NOW LET'S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE DAY. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, "WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD."

LESSON

BY JERRY SULLINS

WELCOME AGAIN TO THE LIVING WORD BROADCAST. IT IS COMPLETELY OUR JOY TO HAVE YOU IN THE VIEWING AUDIENCE THIS MORNING AS EVERY SUNDAY MORNING. I'M TOLD THAT MANY OF YOU, YOU MENTION TO ME HOW YOU DO TUNE INTO THIS PROGRAM AND YOU WATCH THIS AND YOU ENJOY THE FACT THAT WE STICK WITH GOD'S WORD AND PREACH AND TEACH GOD'S WORD ONLY. IN FACT, THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TOLD US - WHO PROCLAIM HIS WORD - TO DO; 1PETER 4:11, “IF ANY MAN SPEAK LET HIM SPEAK THE ORACLES OR THE UTTERANCES OF GOD.” SO I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT WHATEVER YOU HEAR ON THIS PROGRAM WILL BE THE UTTERANCES OF GOD. WE AS PREACHERS OF THE GOSPEL BASICALLY THAT'S ALL WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DO AND THAT'S ALL WE MUST DO IF WE FOLLOW WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO AS HIS HEROLDS OR PROCLAIMERS OF GOD'S WORD.

PRESENTLY WE ARE IN A SERIES OF STUDY CONCERNING PRAYER. WE DISCUSSED WHAT PRAYER IS AND MANY FACETS CONCERNING PRAYER BUT TODAY I'M GOING TO BE DEALING WITH SOME OF THE THINGS OR HOW WE SHOULD PRAY AND WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR AND TAKING MY SCRIPTURE FROM JAMES CHAPTER 5:13-18. I THINK YOU'LL BE VERY INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING BECAUSE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF MISUNDERSTANDING IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD TODAY AS TO WHAT WE SHOULD BE PRAYING FOR AND AMONG THOSE WHO ARE CLAIMING TO BE CHILDREN OF GOD.

SO LET'S LOOK INTO THE PAGES OF GOD'S WORD AND SEE WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT PRAYER ITSELF CONCERNING WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR OR HOW WE SHOULD PRAY. JESUS WAS A MAN WHO PRAYED AND WE SAW AND WE CAN SEE VERY CLEARLY IN THE SCRIPTURE THAT JESUS PRAYED ON MANY OCCASIONS. AT HIS BAPTISM HE PRAYED TO THE FATHER. WHEN HE WAS CHOOSING THE 12 HE PRAYED TO THE FATHER. AT HIS TRANSFIGURATION WHERE PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN TRANSFIGURED BEFORE THEM WAS MOSES, ELIJAH, AND JESUS HIMSELF. JESUS PRAYED THERE AT THAT PLACE. WE ALSO KNOW THAT HE PRAYED IN GETHSEMANE. REMEMBER THOSE BEAUTIFUL WORDS HE SAID, “FATHER, IF IT BE POSSIBLE LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME. BUT NEVERTHELESS NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE.” THROUGHOUT JESUS' LIFE HE WAS ONE WHO PRAYED TO THE FATHER. ALTHOUGH HE WAS THE SON OF GOD AND HAD ALL THE ATTRIBUTES THAT GOD DID HE STILL RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR HIMSELF TO PLEAD OR TO MAKE HIS CASE BEFORE THE FATHER AND WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS PRAYER.

PRAYER, MY FRIENDS AND MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST, IS A POWERFUL THING. THIS HAS BEEN MENTIONED ON THIS PROGRAM BEFORE BUT INDEED HOW POWERFUL IT IS. IN FACT, JAMES ENCOURAGED ITS USE AND I CALL YOU TO OPEN UP YOUR BIBLES NOW TO THE TEXT OF THIS MORNING IN JAMES CHAPTER 5:13. THE BIBLE SAYS, “IS ANY AMONG YOU SUFFERING, LET HIM PRAY. IS ANYONE CHEERFUL? LET HIM SING PRAISE. IS ANYONE AMONG YOU SICK LET HIM CALL FOR THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH AND LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM ANOINTING HIM WITH ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. AND THE PRAYER OF FAITH WILL SAVE THE SICK AND THE LORD WILL RAISE HIM UP. AND IF HE IS COMMITTED SINS HE WILL BE FORGIVEN.” SO HERE WE HAVE PRAYER FOR WHAT? WHEN ONE IS SUFFERING, WE HAVE PRAYER FOR ONE WHO IS SICK, WE HAVE PRAYER FOR ONE WHO IS WILLING TO CONFESS HIS OR HER SINS.

SO HOW IMPORTANT PRAYER IS TO US CANNOT REALLY BE UNDERESTIMATED. WE CANNOT UNDER THINK THIS ONE. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT PRAYER IS A TOOL THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US SO THAT WE MIGHT APPROACH HIS HOLY THRONE AND ASK HIM FOR CERTAIN THINGS AS WELL AS ADORE HIM AS OUR FATHER. AS WELL AS CONFESS OUR SINS. AS WELL AS GIVE THANKSGIVING. AS WELL AS SUBMIT OURSELVES TO HIM. AS WELL AS RENDER SUPPLICATION IDEAS BEFORE HIS ETERNAL THRONE. WELL, WE SEE HERE AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT IF ANYONE IS SUFFERING OR WEAK, THAT IS WITHOUT STRENGTH, LET HIM PRAY. LET HIM PRAY FOR WHAT? LET HIM PRAY FOR THAT STRENGTH.

REMEMBER WHEN PAUL AND SILAS WERE IN THE JAIL IN PHILIPPI IN ACTS CHAPTER 16? ONE OF THE THINGS ALONG WITH THEIR SINGING PRAISES TO GOD WAS THEIR OFFERING UP PETITIONS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN. NOW, I KNOW THAT THIS CAN HAPPEN MYSELF. I FOUND MYSELF IN THAT SITUATION. NOT IN A PRISON, BUT I WAS IN A JAIL IN UGANDA, BUCIA UGANDA MANY MANY YEARS AGO. IT WAS ABOUT 1981 WHEN I WAS JUST A YOUNGER MAN AND I REMEMBER THAT THE OFFICER THERE WHO CLAIMED TO BE A CHRISTIAN WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THAT PLACE TOLD ME NOW, MR. SULLINS. YOU AND YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST THERE WHO WAS FRANCIS WHO WAS A UGANDAN AND A KENYAN-DUAL NATIONALITY- WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS WHAT PAUL AND SILAS DID WHEN THEY WERE IN THE PHILIPPIAN JAIL. AND THAT IS THEY SANG PRAISES AND THEY PRAYED TO GOD. AND I SAID I'M SO GLAD THAT YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN AND I'M HAPPY THAT I KNOW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND MY SITUATION. WE CERTAINLY WILL SING PRAISES AND PRAY TONIGHT. AND WE PRAYED AND WE SANG PRAISES. WE WERE AWAKE ALL NIGHT LONG UNTIL AFTER MAYBE NOON THE NEXT DAY WE WERE RELEASED BUT WE WERE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE. PRAYER BRINGS GOD INTO OUR SITUATIONS IN LIFE AND WE NEED HIM. THERE ARE SOMETIMES THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHERE TO TURN BUT I KNOW THERE'S ONE PLACE THAT WE CAN ALWAYS TURN AND THAT IS TO GOD HIMSELF.

I WANT TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO A SERIES OF VERSES IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 4:4. HERE PAUL SAYS TO THE CHURCH AT PHILIPPI, BY THE WAY THIS IS WHERE HE WAS IN PRISON SINGING AND PRAYING WITH SILAS - HIS COWORKER IN THE LORD - HE SAID IN VERSE FOUR, “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS. AGAIN I SAY REJOICE. LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE KNOWN TO ALL MEN THE LORD IS AT HAND.” AND THEN HE SAID, “BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WHICH IS PART OF PRAYER.” WE'RE ASKING GOD FOR THINGS WITH THANKSGIVING. LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD AND THE PEACE OF GOD THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING SHALL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

NOW WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE A GREAT POWER AND THAT POWER IS PRAYER AND SO WHEN WE GET IN A SITUATION IN LIFE, WHATEVER MAY COME OUR WAY, WE CAN SUBMIT OUR PETITION TO THE LORD AND THE PRAYER THAT WE SUBMIT WILL GIVE US THAT PEACE AND THAT UNDERSTANDING - THAT UNDERSTANDING AND THAT PEACE THAT WE NEED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD. WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING.

SO WHAT DO WE DO? I MEAN HOW DO WE PRAY AND WHAT DO WE PRAY FOR. WE PRAY TO THE LORD GOD FOR ANYTHING THAT WE NEED IN THIS LIFE. IN ANY SITUATION THAT WE COME INTO. THAT IS ANY SITUATION THAT WE'RE PUT INTO. WE KNOW THAT THERE IS SOMEONE THERE WHO KNOWS OF OUR SITUATION WHO CARES FOR US, WHO LOVES US, AND WHO WILL ANSWER OUR PETITIONS. IN THE CASE OF SICKNESS, HERE IN THE BOOK OF JAMES CHAPTER 5, IT SAYS THAT WE SHOULD CALL FOR THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH. NOW MANY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S SPIRITUAL LEADERS IN EVERY LOCAL CONGREGATION AND THEY WERE IN THE CHURCH, THE EARLY CHURCH. PHILIPPIANS 1:1 PAUL WROTE TO THE CHURCH AT PHILIPPI TO ITS ELDERS AND DEACONS. SO THERE WAS A GROUP OF MEN, A GROUP OF MEN CALLED ELDERS - PASTORS. THEY WERE CALLED PASTORS, THEY WERE CALLED OVERSEERS, THEY WERE CALLED PRESBYTERS AND THESE MEN WERE INVOLVED IN THE SPIRITUAL AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH. AND WHEN SOMEONE GREW SICK, THAT IS THEY BECAME ILL, THEN THE ELDERS WOULD BE CALLED AND THEY WOULD GO IN AND IN A MEDICINAL WAY AS WELL AS SOMEWHAT SOME SPIRITUAL WAY POSSIBLY THEY ANOINTED THAT BODY WITH OIL AND THEY PRAYED FOR THAT PERSON AND THAT PERSON RECEIVED HEALING.

NOW IN THAT DAY AND TIME THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS UPON THOSE PEOPLE, WHERE THEY COULD ACTUALLY CALL UPON THE LORD IF THE APOSTLES HAD LAID HANDS UPON THEM AND HEAL THE SICK. IN OUR DAY AND TIME WE WAIT ON THE LORD TO WORK HIS HEALING POWER ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. AND EVEN WHEN WE PRAY WE CAN'T GUARANTEE THAT A PERSON WILL BECOME WELL BUT WE CAN BE GUARANTEED THIS. THAT GOD WILL HEAR OUR PRAYERS AND HE WILL ANSWER OUR PRAYERS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. AND THIS IS ALSO FOUND HERE IN THE BOOK OF JAMES CHAPTER 4:15. SO IN THE CASE OF SICKNESS, YES WE DO CALL FOR PEOPLE TO PRAY WITH US. IT IS ALL ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.

NOW ALSO WHAT IS MENTIONED HERE IN JAMES CHAPTER 5 IS THE ASPECT OF DEALING WITH SINS. I MIGHT CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO WHAT WE HAVE JUST READ AND THAT IS IN VERSE 15 OF CHAPTER 5. IT SAYS, “AND THE PRAYER OF FAITH WILL SAVE THE SICK AND THE LORD WILL RAISE HIM UP AND IF HE HAS COMMITTED SINS HE WILL BE FORGIVEN.” NOW THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THIS MAN IS SICK BECAUSE OF HIS SIN, IT'S JUST SIMPLY SAYING THAT PRAYER CAN BE OFFERED FOR THE SICKNESS OF HIS BODY AND PRAYER CAN BE OFFERED FOR THE SICKNESS OF HIS SOUL, WHICH REPRESENTS SIN. AND IF YOU PRAY FOR THIS PERSON, AND VERY WELL WE CAN PRAY WITH THAT PERSON, THEN CERTAINLY THAT PERSON CAN RECEIVE WHAT? THE FORGIVENESS OF HIS SINS. DID NOT JAMES EVEN SAY HERE IN VERSE 16, “CONFESS YOUR TRESPASSES TO ONE ANOTHER AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTIVE FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILS MUCH.” SO WHAT CAN WE DO IN THIS LIFE? IF WE HAVE SINS, WE HAVE THE POWER OF PRAYER. IF WE CONFESS OUR THOUGHTS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OF THOSE THINGS. AS JOHN SAID IN 1JOHN 1:9 IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OF OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.

NOW WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING THAT IS WHEN WE KNOW THAT WE CAN APPROACH THE THRONE OF GOD WHENEVER WE SIN. I HAD SOMEONE ASK ME ONE TIME, THEY WERE A NEW CHRISTIAN AND THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION. I DIDN'T LAUGH AT THIS PERSON ALTHOUGH I KNEW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION ITSELF. THEY SAID NOW, IF I BECOME A CHRISTIAN AND I'M BAPTIZED IN CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF MY SINS, EVERY TIME I SIN DO I NEED TO COME AND BE BAPTIZED AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN? WELL CERTAINLY NOT. AND THAT'S WHAT JOHN ANSWERED. THAT'S A QUESTION THAT JOHN ANSWERED IN 1JOHN 1:9 WHERE HE SAYS THAT, IF WE HAVE SIN IN OUR LIFE WE CAN COME AND CONFESS IT AND JESUS CHRIST WILL CLEANSE US OF ALL OF OUR SINS. AND SO WE SIMPLY PRAY TO GOD FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS.

NOW MY FRIEND, THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOU'RE NOT IN CHRIST. CHRIST WILL NOT HEAR THE PRAYER OF AN UNRIGHTEOUS PERSON. WHETHER HE BE A CHRISTIAN OR NOT A CHRISTIAN, HE'S NOT GOING TO HEAR THAT PRAYER. HE'S NOT GOING TO ADVOCATE FOR US. HE'S NOT GOING TO MEDIATE FOR US IF WE ARE NOT TRULY TRYING TO FOLLOW HIS GOOD WILL. AND THAT'S WHAT THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD DOES NOT ANSWER THE PRAYER OF SINNERS, THAT IS PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN SIN. GOD WILL NOT ANSWER THOSE PRAYERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE FORSAKEN GOD HIMSELF.

NOW WHAT DOES THE BIBLE ALSO SAY HERE IN JAMES CHAPTER FIVE? IT SAYS, “THE EFFECTIVE FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILS MUCH.” WELL WE KNOW THAT WAS AN EXAMPLE GIVEN TO US IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. DID NOT JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF TELL HIS DISCIPLES IN MATTHEW 21 VERSE 22: WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER BELIEVING YOU WILL RECEIVE. NOW, IF THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY WOULD RECEIVE THE ANSWERS OF THAT PRAYER. YOU KNOW SOMEONE TOLD ME ONE TIME GOD DOES ANSWER EVERY PRAYER AND HE ANSWERS IT IN ONE OF THREE WAYS. HE SAYS OKAY, I'VE HEARD YOUR REQUEST. I'M GOING TO GRANT IT. I HAVE HEARD YOUR REQUEST, I'M NOT GOING TO GRANT IT. OR I'VE HEARD YOUR REQUEST BUT I WILL GRANT IT AT A LATER TIME. AND BASICALLY GOD LOOKS AT OUR CONDITION AND HE ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. NOW, THE DISCIPLES ACCORDING TO HIS WILL COULD ASK IF GOD WOULD HEAL THIS BLIND MAN AND GIVE HIM SIGHT AND HE WOULD RECEIVE HIS SIGHT. IT WAS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD. IN SOMEWHAT THE SAME WAY TODAY BUT NOT EXACTLY IN THE SAME WAY WE CAN ASK THAT OUR LOVED ONES BE HEALED AND IF IT IS GOD'S HOLY WILL THEN THAT PERSON CAN BE HEALED.

WHAT DID PAUL SAY SIMPLY ABOUT PRAYER IN FIRST THESSALONIANS 5:17? HE SAID SIMPLY, “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.” THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE NECESSARILY PRAY EVERY BREATH OF THE DAY AND AS WE'RE DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY WITH OUR EYES OPEN WE ARE CONSTANTLY IN PRAYER. BUT I TELL YOU ONE THING. YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO KEEP CLOSE TO GOD? THE SAME WAY YOU KEEP CLOSE TO YOUR FATHER ON EARTH OR YOUR MOTHER OR YOUR RELATIVES AND LOVED ONES. IF YOU APPROACH THEM, YOU TALK TO THEM. YOU CONVERSE WITH THEM. AND AS WE AS CHRISTIANS CONVERSE WITH OUR GOD AND PRAY TO OUR GOD WE HAVE A MORE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. HE KNOWS THAT WE LOVE HIM. THAT WE TRUST HIM. THAT HE WILL ALLOW OUR PETITIONS TO BE HEARD IN EVERY WAY AND WILL ANSWER THOSE PETITIONS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. WE KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE.

PRAYER CHANGES MANY THINGS AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS SO TRUE. BECAUSE OF ELIJAH'S PRAYER FOR THREE AND HALF YEARS, IT DID NOT RAIN. AND THEN HE PRAYED AND IT STARTED RAINING. BUT LOOK AT WHAT THIS VERSE SAYS IN EPHESIANS6:18. CAN WE ASSIST OTHER CHRISTIANS IN PRAYER? CERTAINLY WE CAN. THE BIBLE SAYS IN EPHESIANS 6:18, “PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT, BEING WATCHFUL TO THIS END WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE AND SUPPLICATION FOR ALL THE SAINTS.” SO ARE WE TO BE IN PRAYER FOR ONE ANOTHER? WELL CERTAINLY, IF WE LOVE EACH OTHER. WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO PRAY FOR THEIR CHILDREN? WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO PRAY FOR THEIR LOVED ONES? WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO PRAY FOR PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS? WHO NEED OUR VOICES LIFTING UP HOLY PETITIONS UNDER THE LORD SO THAT THEY MIGHT BE ANSWERED.

EPHESIANS 3:20. A BEAUTIFUL VERSE WHICH TO CONCLUDE OUR THOUGHTS THIS MORNING. PAUL SPOKE TO THE BRETHREN AT EPHESUS AND HE SAID, “NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US.” THAT POWER, MY FRIEND, IS JESUS CHRIST. BUT IT WORKS IN AND THROUGH US BY OUR ABILITY ALSO, A PART OF IT, TO PRAY AND MAKE PETITIONS TO OUR GOD. AND LET ME ASSURE YOU OF ONE THING. IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN, GOD IS THERE FOR YOU. YOU NEED ONLY TO PRAY THAT GOD WILL ANSWER YOUR NEEDS AND HE HAS GUARANTEED US THAT HE WILL DO EVERYTHING THAT HE CAN ACCORDING TO HIS WILL TO MEET OUR EVERY NEED. WAS IT NOT ONE THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS WHO SAID THAT OUR GOD IS A PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE. SO I PLEAD WITH YOU TO USE THAT POWER THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US BY OUR GOD. TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, TO MAKE YOUR PETITIONS MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD AND HE WILL ANSWER YOU. MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MAY I AGAIN TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND THUS A BLESSING TO US ALL. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE INVITED BACK TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY'S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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MAY WE STRIVE TO PRAY IN A WAY WHICH GOD COMMANDS SO THAT OUR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE HINDERED IN ANY WAY. SO LET ME ASK, ARE YOU FOCUSED ON COMMUNICATING WITH GOD IN YOUR DAILY LIFE? IF NOT, WHY NOT BEGIN TO SPEAK WITH YOUR CREATOR EVEN TODAY, FOR PRAYER IS POWERFUL!