THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 9-21-14

LESSON TITLE: “WHAT IS PRAYER.”

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.

WHAT A WONDERFUL LORD’S DAY IT IS, AS WE AGAIN GATHER TOGETHER BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD TO WORSHIP OUR MAKER! WE ARE SO HAPPY THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE WITH US TODAY AND TO GIVE THIS TIME TO THE LORD. IN FACT, IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE TO BE WITH YOU EVERY SUNDAY MORNING, AS WE CONSIDER TOGETHER, GOD’S LIVING WORD. IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER TODAY THAT WE ARE ALL UPLIFTED IN OUR FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER. FURTHERMORE, I PRAY THAT WE WILL GLORIFY AND PRAISE OUR CREATOR IN THESE ACTS OF WORSHIP WHICH WE PARTICIPATE IN COLLECTIVELY AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD. AS WE BEGIN OUR HOMAGE TO GOD ON THIS DAY, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY, EVERYDAY OF LIFE, AND EVERY BLESSING OF LIFE. FOR FATHER WE KNOW THAT YOU GIVE ALL PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. AND THEREFORE FATHER WE HAVE NEED OF NOTHING BECAUSE YOU PROVIDE FOR US ALL SUBSTANCE IN THIS LIFE SO THAT WE MIGHT NOT ONLY FIND THAT WE NEED EVERY DAY IN THIS LIFE BUT ULTIMATELY THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THAT WHICH WE NEED TO PREPARE TO RECEIVE THAT LIFE TO COME. MAY WE SOMEDAY FATHER RECEIVE THAT GREAT REWARD AND MANSION IN HEAVEN WHEN WE HAVE BEEN FOUND FAITHFUL IN THE END THROUGH YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO WORSHIP OUR GOD IN SONG THIS DAY. OUR FIRST HYMN OF THE DAY FOCUSES ON OUR NEED TO DO WHAT GOD SAYS AT ALL TIMES! SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “TRUST AND OBEY.”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

THERE ARE MANY SOBERING COMMANDS FROM GOD WHICH WE ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW. THANKFULLY, GOD TELLS US THAT HIS LAWS ARE NOT BURDENSOME TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND DESIRE TO FOLLOW HIS WILL. HOWEVER, IT IS STILL A CHALLENGE TO DO OUR BEST AND TO GET THINGS RIGHT IN HIS SIGHT.

ONE COMMAND FROM GOD WHICH IS A GREAT PRIVILEGE AND OPPORTUNITY IS THAT OF WORSHIP. HOW SOBERING IT IS FOR US ALL TO CONSIDER THE RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH IN WORSHIPING OUR GOD AND CREATOR. BUT WHY DO I SAY SOBERING? BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT NOT ALL WORSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE TO OUR GOD. IN FACT, JESUS CONFIRMED THIS VERY POINT IN MATTHEW 15:9, THERE WE READ, “AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” YOU SEE THERE IS WORSHIP BEING DONE BY MANY IN LIFE THAT IS ACTUALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND VAIN IN THE EYES OF GOD! AND WHY? BECAUSE IT IS ACCORDING TO THE DOCTRINES OF MAN AND NOT GOD. WITH THESE THINGS IN MIND, I AM ALSO REMINDED OF WHAT OUR LORD SAID IN LUKE 6:46, “BUT WHY DO YOU CALL ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ AND NOT DO THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?” YOU SEE IT ISN’T ENOUGH TO KNOW GOD, TO LOVE HIM, OR TO SIMPLY CALL HIS NAME. THERE IS DEFINITELY MORE TO IT. SO WHAT THEN IS NEEDED TO BE PLEASING TO GOD. WELL, LET’S RETURN TO THE SAME PASSAGE IN LUKE 6, GUESS WHAT JESUS ADDS TO HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENT? IN VERSE 47, THE LORD SAID, “WHOEVER COMES TO ME, AND HEARS MY SAYINGS AND DOES THEM, I WILL SHOW YOU WHOM HE IS LIKE.” DID YOU CATCH THE MAIN POINT? WE NEED TO NOT ONLY HEAR BUT TO DO! ARE YOU A DOER OF GOD’S WILL, AS HE COMMANDS AND IN HIS WAY? FAITHFULNESS AND OBEDIENCE ARE THE ONLY OPTIONS IF WE ARE TO BE TRULY PLEASING TO OUR CREATOR.

SO ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH DOING GOD’S WILL IN HIS WAY? ARE YOU A TRUE WORSHIPPER OF GOD AS THE BIBLE MENTIONS IN JOHN 4:24? DO YOU WORSHIP YOUR GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH?

TODAY WE ARE HAPPY TO AGAIN HAVE BROTHER BRENT GREEN WITH US AS OUR GUEST SPEAKER. BROTHER BRENT IS THE MINISTER FOR THE HWY 13 CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BOLIVAR, MISSOURI AND HE IS ALSO A FULL TIME INSTRUCTOR AT THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI. WE ARE GLAD HE IS WITH US AND THANKFUL THAT HE WILL BE LEADING US IN OUR LESSON OF THE MORNING AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. AS FAR AS OUR STUDY, TODAY WE WILL BEGIN A NEW SERIES ENTITLED, “LORD TEACH US TO PRAY.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON THIS MORNING ANSWERS THE QUESTION, “WHAT IS PRAYER.” SO STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, BROTHER GREEN WILL RETURN WITH THIS LESSON FROM GOD’S WORD. BUT FOR NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “VICTORY IN JESUS.”

LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

WHAT A GREAT PRIVILEGE IT IS AS ALWAYS TO OPEN GOD'S WORD AND STUDY FROM IT. AND AS WE FIND KNOWLEDGE IN THE BIBLE IT ACTUALLY TEACHES US THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO TO BE ABLE TO BE PLEASING IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. WE UNDERSTAND KNOWLEDGE IS SO NECESSARY. IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF ANYTHING, IT'S NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT SOMETHING IS EVEN BEFORE YOU'RE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE. SAY FOR INSTANCE YOU HAD A CAR PROBLEM AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS BUT YOU INVITED SOMEBODY OVER TO LOOK AT YOUR CAR WHO KNEW A LOT ABOUT CARS. AND THEY TELL YOU LOOK, YOU'VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ALTERNATOR. AND YOU LOOK AT THEM VERY STRANGELY AND SAY WELL, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS AN ALTERNATOR? WELL, THEY EXPLAIN IT TO YOU AND WHAT IT DOES AND THEN YOU'RE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND. WELL, I KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT I NEED TO CHANGE OR NEED TO REPLACE SO THAT MY CAR WILL WORK AGAIN. BUT BEFORE YOU COULD REPLACE THE PART THAT WAS BROKEN YOU HAD TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS THAT WAS BROKEN. YOU HAD TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS THAT YOU NEEDED TO FIX. THAT KNOWLEDGE OF THAT BROKEN PART WAS NECESSARY BEFORE YOU COULD TAKE THE ACTION TO FIX THAT CAR. THE SAME IS TRUE WHEN WE THINK ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS CONCERNING THE WORD OF GOD.

AS YOU THINK ABOUT EVEN NOW PRAYER AS WE TALK ABOUT THIS FROM GOD'S WORD. IF WE'RE GOING TO OFFER PRAYERS, DON'T WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT IS? DON'T WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE ACTION THAT GOD REQUIRES OF US SO WE CAN MAKE THOSE PRAYERS PROPERLY TO HIM? MANY PEOPLE OFFER UP PRAYERS ALL OF THE TIME. MANY PEOPLE WILL OFFER UP WHAT THEY THINK ARE HONEST AND SINCERE WORDS THAT THEY OFFER UNTO GOD. BUT MANY MAY NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS IS. MANY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO OFFER A PRAYER. BUT JUST LIKE KNOWLEDGE IT IS NECESSARY FOR ANYTHING IN LIFE, KNOWLEDGE ABOUT PRAYER AND WHAT IS NECESSARY TO ENABLE US TO BE ABLE TO OFFER UP THOSE PROPER PRAYERS UNTO GOD.

THERE IN THE BOOK OF LUKE, LUKE CHAPTER 11:1 SAYS, “IT CAME TO PASS AS HE WAS PRAYING IN A CERTAIN PLACE WHEN HE SEES THAT ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES SAYS TO HIM, ‘LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES.’” JESUS HAD BEEN PRAYING THERE AND AS HE STOPPED AND AS HE FINISHED HIS DISCIPLES CAME AND ASKED HIM LORD, CAN YOU PLEASE TEACH US TO PRAY? WHAT WERE THEY ASKING FOR? THEY WERE ASKING FOR KNOWLEDGE. AND SPECIFICALLY YES, THEY WERE ASKING FOR HOW TO PRAY. AND JESUS GIVES TO THEM WHAT WE OFTEN REFER TO AS THAT MODEL PRAYER. BUT I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE SEEKING. THEY WERE SEEKING KNOWLEDGE. THEY WERE WANTING TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT PRAYER. WELL, WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT SAME DESIRE WITHIN US. WE NEED TO SEEK KNOWLEDGE AND SPECIFICALLY HERE WE NEED TO SEEK THE KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING PRAYER - ASK OURSELVES WHAT IS PRAYER? WHAT IS IT THAT GOD WANTS US TO DO WHEN WE WOULD OFFER THESE PRAYERS TO HIM?

BEFORE WE EVER GO THROUGH THAT ACTION, BEFORE WE EVER BEGAN UTTERING THOSE WORDS, IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR US FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT PRAYER IS. I THINK ANY TIME YOU APPROACH THE QUESTION WHAT IS SOMETHING? YOU CAN ELIMINATE SOME POSSIBILITIES VERY QUICKLY BY ALSO ASKING THE QUESTION WHAT SOMETHING ISN'T. WHAT IS PRAYER NOT? THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT. PRAYER AGAIN IS OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD. PEOPLE DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND MANY TIMES WHAT IT IS THAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING WHEN THEY OFFER A PRAYER. THEY'LL OFFER UP AGAIN WHAT THEY BELIEVE TO BE PRAYERS BUT IF YOU OFFER UP SOMETHING THAT'S NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD, YOU REALLY DO SOMETHING THAT BRINGS PRAYER DOWN. YOU REALLY DO SOMETHING THAT WOULD WATER IT DOWN OR MAKE IT SOMETHING THAT GOD DOES NOT INTEND IT TO BE. WELL, WE DON'T WANT TO DO THAT. WE DON'T WANT TO DEGRADE PRAYER. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE KEEP IT IN ITS PROPER UNDERSTANDING. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE OFFER IS TRULY WHAT IT IS.

SO, WHAT IS PRAYER NOT? WELL, PRAYER IS NOT A MAGIC WAND TO ERASE ALL OF LIFE'S PROBLEMS. SOMETIMES PEOPLE HAVE THE IDEA THAT - YOU KNOW, I'M IN A LOT OF TROUBLE AND I'VE GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I CAN JUST PRAY TO GOD AND ALL OF THAT'S GONNA BE TAKING CARE OF. WELL, LIFE DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY AND PRAYER DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY EITHER. SOMETIMES PEOPLE THINK THAT PRAYER IS JUST A DESIRE OR A FEELING OR AN EMOTION THAT WE HAVE WITHIN. WELL, INDEED IT SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT IS HEARTFELT BUT PRAYER IS JUST NOT A DESIRE. IT'S SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT.

PRAYER ALSO SOMETIMES BY MANY IS THOUGHT TO BE A SERMON THAT'S PREACHED. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH CONSIDERING GOD'S WORD AND PREACHING AND TEACHING THAT WORD AND PROCLAIMING IT BUT PRAYER IS SOMETHING MORE THAN THE RECITATION OF THE SCRIPTURE ITSELF. THERE HAS TO BE MORE THERE. AND SO DON'T GET CONFUSED EITHER OR MISUNDERSTAND THAT PRAYER INDEED CAN INCLUDE BIBLICAL CONCEPTS. AND IT SHOULD AS WE THINK ABOUT GOD'S WORD, AS WE OFFER UP PRAYERS ACCORDINGLY. BUT IT'S MORE THAN A SERMON. THE SERMON IS ANOTHER ASPECT OF WORSHIP THAT GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO ENGAGE IN.

PRAYER IS ALSO NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR OBEDIENCE. MANY AGAIN MISUNDERSTAND THE IDEA AND THINK WELL, I CAN LIVE ANY WAY THAT I WANT TO LIVE. I CAN GO OUT AND I CAN SIN AND I CAN SAY THINGS THAT I SHOULDN'T SAY AND DO THINGS THAT I SHOULDN'T DO. I CAN LIVE ANYWAY THAT I WANT TO AND AT THE END OF THE DAY I CAN OFFER A PRAYER AND GOD WILL FORGIVE ME. WELL INDEED, PRAYER IS SOMETHING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US THAT WE SHOULD ASK FOR FORGIVENESS WHEN WE SIN. BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT REPLACES OBEDIENCE. WE STILL HAVE TO LIVE FAITHFUL LIVES EVEN FOR OUR PRAYERS TO BE HEARD.

SO PRAYER IS NOT ANY OF THOSE THINGS. PRAYER IS ALSO NOT JUST OR ONLY AN EMERGENCY CALL. IF YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN A DISASTER, A NATURAL DISASTER, AND YOU WERE IN A DIRE SITUATION - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? MOST LIKELY YOU WOULD OFFER UP A PRAYER. YOU FOUND YOURSELF WITH AN EMERGENCY SICKNESS - A LOVED ONE OR EVEN YOU YOURSELF ARE SUFFERING SOME SICKNESS THAT'S GOING TO TAKE YOU TO THE E.R. - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? YOU WOULD PRAY AND WE SHOULD PRAY IN THOSE DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES BUT THE POINT IS THAT SHOULDN'T BE THE ONLY TIME WE PRAY. PRAYER SHOULDN'T BE FOR AS JUST AN EMERGENCY CALL THAT WE MAKE TO GOD. THERE IN 1THESSALONIANS 5:17 IT SAYS WE SHOULD, “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.” WELL, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? BOTH IN TIMES THAT ARE BAD FOR US, BOTH IN TIMES OF STRUGGLE, BUT ALSO IN TIMES OF JOY, AND AT TIMES OF THANKSGIVING, AND TIMES OF REJOICING. THROUGHOUT ALL OUR LIVES, WHATEVER COMES OUR WAY, WE SHOULD BE PRAYERFUL PEOPLE AS CHRISTIANS.

WELL, IF WE UNDERSTAND WHAT PRAYER IS NOT, I THINK WE CAN DIRECT OUR ATTENTION AGAIN TO GOD'S WORD AND TO THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD ITSELF AND GLEAM FROM THIS A KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING THAT WOULD HELP US TO OFFER UP PRAYERS IN A WAY THAT GOD REQUIRES. THERE IN LUKE 1:11 THAT WE JUST READ WHEN THE DISCIPLES CAME AND SAID LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. THE WORD USED THERE IS ACTUALLY USED MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE GREEK WORD THERE IS USED OVER 80 TIMES AS YOU WOULD FIND IN THE WRITINGS FROM MATTHEW ALL THE WAY TO REVELATION. THE WORD SPECIFICALLY MEANS, AS IT IS A COMPOUND WORD, BOTH ONLY TO PRAY AND THE WORD TO. AND SO TO PRAY TO OR TO MAKE SUPPLICATION WOULD BE ANOTHER SYNONYM THAT COULD BE USED TO HELP DEFINE THAT WORD. WELL, IN THIS CASE WHEN THEY'RE ASKING LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, WHAT ARE THEY ASKING THERE? LORD, TEACH US HOW TO MAKE SUPPLICATION TO GOD. LORD, TEACH US HOW TO PRAY TO GOD. AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE AGAIN HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION.

IT'S ALSO AN ASPECT OF WORSHIP. PROPERLY DEFINED, THIS WORD DOES PUT IT IN THE REALM OF BEING AN ASPECT OR AN AVENUE OF THE WORSHIP THAT GOD REQUIRES OF US. AND SO WE'VE GOTTA MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S A LEVEL OF REVERENCE HERE, NOT SOMETHING WE CAN OFFER FLIPPANTLY. NOT SOMETHING WE JUST OFFER WITHOUT GIVING GREAT THOUGHT TO IT. THAT PRAYER HAS TO BE SOMETHING, AGAIN, THAT'S DONE IN THE REALM OF WORSHIP - THAT'S DONE IN A WAY THAT'S REVERENT BEFORE GOD.

ALSO, AS YOU WOULD DEFINE PRAYER, IT'S AN INDIVIDUAL ACT OR AN INDIVIDUAL SUPPLICATION THAT YOU WOULD MAKE. AND INDEED THERE ARE OCCASIONS WHERE WE WOULD PRAY, NOT ONLY INDIVIDUALLY JUST FOR OURSELVES, BUT WE WOULD PRAY COLLECTIVELY WITH OUR FAMILIES OR WITH A CONGREGATION OF GOD'S PEOPLE. BUT THERE'S STILL ONE PERSON OFFERING UP THAT PRAYER - WHETHER IT'S FOR SELF OR FOR THE CONGREGATION OR FOR OUR FAMILY AS A WHOLE. AND SO AS WE THINK ABOUT THIS ACTION HERE, AS WE OFFER UP SOMETHING TO GOD, I WANT TO THINK ALSO ABOUT THE SCRIPTURAL USAGE OF THIS SAME WORD. BECAUSE IF WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE BASIC DEFINITION, WHICH I THINK MOST PEOPLE UNDERSTAND PRETTY CLEARLY, THAT WHEN WE'RE OFFERING UP THESE WORDS - IT'S NOT TO OUR FELLOW MAN - IT'S NOT TO SOME OTHER OBJECT, BUT WE'RE OFFERING UP WORDS UNTO GOD.

AS WE OFFER UP THOSE WORDS UNTO GOD, AS WE MAKE THESE PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS, IF WE LOOK AT THE BIBLE, IF WE LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS HERE WERE THE WORD OF GOD USES THIS VERY WORD THAT WE'VE DEFINED, I THINK IT GIVES US A GREATER INSIGHT INTO WHAT THAT MEANING IS. IT GIVES US THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PRAYER IS AS WE WOULD OFFER THOSE PRAYERS. THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT AS WE OFFER PRAYER THAT PRAYER IS A PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION TO OR WITH GOD. THERE AS WE ALREADY BEGAN IN LUKE CHAPTER 11, JESUS GAVE THEM WHAT CAN BE CONSIDERED THERE THAT MODEL PRAYER. HE SAID WHEN YOU PRAY SAY THIS, “OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” WELL, WHAT IS HE TEACHING HIS DISCIPLES THERE? THAT YOU'RE MAKING A PRAYER TO GOD - TO GOD THE FATHER. EVEN MATTHEW'S ACCOUNT WE LEARN THAT VERY SAME THING.

OVER IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 6 WHEN MATTHEW RECORDS FOR US THERE AGAIN THE SAME PRAYER THAT LUKE RECORDED BUT A FEW VERSES BEFORE THE PASSAGE IT SAYS THIS. MATTHEW 6:6. IT SAYS, “BUT YOU WHEN YOU PRAY GO INTO YOUR ROOM AND WHEN YOU HAVE SHUT YOUR DOOR PRAY TO YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN THE SECRET PLACE. AND YOUR FATHER WHO SEES IN SECRET WILL REWARD YOU OPENLY.” IN JESUS IN THE CONTEXT IS ALSO POINTING OUT THE HYPOCRISY OF SOME AS THEY WOULD STAND ON THE STREET CORNER SIMPLY WANTING PEOPLE TO SEE THEM PRAY. PRAYER IS NOT ABOUT MAN, PRAYER IS NOT ABOUT MAN FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GIVING HONOR AND GLORY TO US. NO, PRAYER IS ABOUT OFFERING UP OUR REQUEST OR SUPPLICATION TO GOD. HERE JESUS POINTS OUT THAT WHEN YOU DO THAT, TO WHOM ARE YOU MAKING THOSE REQUESTS? TO WHOM ARE YOU MAKING THOSE SUPPLICATIONS? YOU'RE MAKING THEM TO GOD THE FATHER. AND THEN AGAIN, JESUS THERE WOULD GIVE THE INSTRUCTIONS IN VERSE NINE IN MATTHEW'S ACCOUNT AS WELL, “IN THIS MANNER THEREFORE, PRAY OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” ADDRESSING AGAIN TO GOD OUR PRAYERS. AND SO WE LEARN THAT PRAYER AGAIN IS A COMMUNICATION WITH GOD. WE ARE TALKING TO GOD, WERE OFFERING OUR WORDS TO HIM.

IT MIGHT BE IMPORTANT TO CLARIFY THAT GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS WORD. WE READ THE WORD OF GOD, WE UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS WILL IS FOR US, AND WE OFFER OUR PRAYERS TO HIM. SO GOD DOESN'T SPEAK TO US BEYOND HIS WORD BUT WE DO COMMUNICATE TO HIM BY THIS AVENUE OF PRAYER. JESUS EVEN THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 6:12 IT SAYS OF HIM THAT HE CONTINUED ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER TO GOD. WE LEARN HERE THAT PRAYER IS A COMMUNICATION ONCE AGAIN WITH GOD. PRAYER IS ALSO AN EARNEST REQUEST. YOU GET THE IDEA OF IT BEING HEARTFELT BUT SOMETHING YOU ARE ASKING OF GOD. WE CAN SEE IN THE SCRIPTURE, LIKE IN LUKE CHAPTER 22, JESUS THERE IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE WHEN HE'S OFFERING HIS PRAYER THERE, IT SAYS THAT HE PRAYED MORE EARNESTLY. WELL, THINK ABOUT THE PRAYER THAT HE'S OFFERING. HE'S COMMUNICATING TO THE FATHER IN HEAVEN AND HE'S DOING SO IN AN EARNEST WAY. THERE'S NO LACK OF PASSION, THERE'S NO LACK OF DESIRE. DESIRE AND PASSION SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT IS PART OF OUR PRAYER LIFE AND WE SEE THAT IN JESUS.

ALSO IF YOU'LL CONSIDER WITH ME THE BOOK OF JAMES, JAMES CHAPTER 5. THERE WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT VERSE THAT, JUST LIKE JESUS AND NO DOUBT THIS OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET MENTIONED HERE IN THE BOOK OF JAMES, WAS FOLLOWING THE PATTERN THAT WE FIND IN THE SCRIPTURE. NOT ONLY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, BUT THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, THOSE WHO OFFERED PRAYERS - HOW WOULD THEY DO THAT? THEY WOULD DO IT EARNESTLY. JAMES CHAPTER 5 MENTIONS A MAN, A PROPHET ELIJAH. JAMES 5:17 SAYS, “ELIJAH WAS A MAN WITH A NATURE LIKE OURS AND HE PRAYED EARNESTLY THAT IT WOULD NOT RAIN. AND IT DID NOT RAIN ON THE LAND FOR THREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS.” WOULD ANYONE QUESTION THE EARNESTNESS OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH? HE WAS A MAN WHO HAD A GREAT FAITH IN GOD. A MAN WHO HERE OFFERED AN EARNEST PRAYER - A PRAYER THAT WAS HEARD BY GOD. AND HERE WE UNDERSTAND THAT PRAYER IS SOMETHING THAT WE SHOULD MAKE IN AN EARNEST WAY. AN EARNEST REQUEST IS WHAT PRAYER IS, IN ONE REGARD.

PRAYER IS ALSO, AGAIN AS WE'VE USED THE WORD, A SUPPLICATION. A SUPPLICATION AGAIN TO GOD. CONSIDER WITH ME EPHESIANS CHAPTER 6. ANOTHER VERSE THERE WE FIND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT WILL TEACH US WHAT PRAYER IS AS WE SEE THIS SAME WORD BEING USED ONCE AGAIN. EPHESIANS CHAPTER 6:18. WE READ THE FOLLOWING, AND THIS COMES HERE IN THE CHAPTER WHERE WE LEARN ABOUT THE ARMOR THERE THAT WE ARE TO PUT ON - THAT SPIRITUAL ARMOR OF GOD. AND ALL THOSE PIECES THAT WE PUT ON, HE SAYS THERE IN VERSE 17, “TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION AND THE SWORD OF SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.” BUT WATCH IT ACCOMPANY ALL THAT ARMOR THAT WE PUT ON. IN VERSE 18 HE SAYS, “PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT, BEING WATCHFUL TO THIS END WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE AND SUPPLICATION FOR ALL THE SAINTS.” WHAT SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE ARMOR OF GOD THAT WE WEAR ALL THE TIME? HE SAYS THERE OUR PRAYERS. OUR PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATION, THOSE THINGS THAT WE BRING BEFORE GOD.

WE'RE FACING A TRIAL IN THIS WORLD SPIRITUALLY. SATAN PUTS TEMPTATION BEFORE OUR EYES. WHEN ALL THE THINGS WE FACE WE WONDER WELL, HOW AM I TO MAKE IT THROUGH? WELL, WE EQUIP OURSELVES WITH GOD'S ARMOR AND WE PRAY AND MAKE SUPPLICATION BEFORE GOD. WE ASK GOD TO HELP US THROUGH THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. WE ASK GOD TO HELP US FIND THAT WAY OF ESCAPE. WE ASK GOD TO SEE US THROUGH THOSE CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE IN THIS LIFE. JUST LIKE ELIJAH PRAYED AND MADE SUPPLICATION. JUST LIKE JESUS PRAYED AND MADE SUPPLICATION. WE OURSELVES MAKE THOSE PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATION. WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD CONSTANTLY BE MAKING OUR SUPPLICATIONS BEFORE GOD. AND THAT HELPS US AGAIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PRAYER IS.

PRAYER IS ALSO AS WE WOULD SEE IN THE SCRIPTURE A SINCERE PETITION AND ALSO A PRAISE TO GOD. CONSIDER WITH ME A COUPLE OTHER VERSUS. ONE OF THOSE BEING IN THE BOOK OF MARK, MARK CHAPTER 11. THERE AS WE WOULD FIND ONCE AGAIN IN GOD'S WORD THE SCRIPTURES THAT HELP US TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PRAYER IS. THINK ABOUT IT WITH ME WHAT IT SAYS HERE IN MARK CHAPTER 11, SPECIFICALLY THERE IN VERSE 24. THERE JESUS SAYS, “THEREFORE I SAY TO YOU, WHATEVER THINGS YOU ASK WHEN YOU PRAY BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE THEM AND YOU WILL HAVE THEM.” IF YOU DON'T ASK BELIEVING YOU'RE NOT GOING TO RECEIVE ANYTHING. AND JAMES WOULD INDICATE THAT SAME THING IN JAMES CHAPTER 1; THAT WE HAVE TO ASK IN FAITH. WELL HERE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A PETITION OR A REQUEST THAT IS SINCERE. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU BELIEVE DEEP DOWN THAT GOD WILL HEAR YOUR PRAYER, AND THAT HE WILL ANSWER THAT PRAYER. AND SO PRAYER BECOMES BY DEFINITION A SINCERE PETITION. NOT ONE MADE OUT OF DOUBT.

BUT ALSO TO GO ALONG WITH THAT SINCERITY, THAT PETITION THAT WE MAKE PRAYER, IS ALSO SOMETHING THAT YOU COULD SAY IS A PRAISE TO GOD. THOSE WHO WOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN DIRE SITUATIONS, MAYBE EVEN IN PRISON, THERE IN THE BOOK OF ACTS - ACTS CHAPTER 16 - WE SEE PAUL AND SILAS SPECIFICALLY THERE WHILE THEY'RE IN PRISON, WHAT WERE THEY DOING? THEY WERE PRAYING BUT IT ALSO SAYS THERE IN ACTS CHAPTER 16:25 THAT THEY WERE SINGING HYMNS TO GOD. BOTH THEIR PRAYERS AND THEIR SINGING WERE PRAISE UNTO GOD, WERE A FORM OF WORSHIP AS THEY OFFERED THOSE THINGS. DID THEY HAVE REQUESTS OF GOD? WERE THEY SINCERE IN WHAT THEY WERE OFFERING? WELL, NO DOUBT THEY FOUND THEMSELVES IN PRISON IN A DIRE SITUATION YET WHO DID THEY TURN TO? THEY TURNED TO GOD TO OFFER THOSE PRAYERS AND THAT PRAISE.

PRAYER IS A HUMBLE ENTREATY TO GOD. THERE IN JAMES CHAPTER 5 ONCE AGAIN WE SEE THAT. AS SOMEONE WOULD FACE A STRUGGLE AND A PROBLEM, THEY OFFER AN ENTREATY TO GOD. GOD HELP ME, I'M SICK - OFFERING UP AGAIN PRAYER TO GOD. PRAYER IS ALSO A THANKSGIVING. WHAT WE SEE THERE IN THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS, COLOSSIANS 1:3, AND ALSO OVER IN COLOSSIANS 4:2-3. THAT WHEN WE MAKE OUR PRAYERS, THEY'RE FOR WHAT PURPOSE? WELL, IN PART TO OFFER THANKSGIVINGS FOR ALL THAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US. AND SOME HAVE SAID ALSO THAT PRAYER IS MAN'S RESPONSE TO GOD'S WILLINGNESS. GOD IS WILLING TO HEAR AND ANSWER OUR PRAYERS. WHAT SHOULD WE DO? OFFER THOSE PRAYERS AND OFFER THEM ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE.

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN GIVING THIS TIME TO GOD. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND BLESSING TO ALL OF US. WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY LORDÕS DAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS OFFERING FOR GOD! BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAYÕS 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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HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE THE AVENUE OF PRAYER FROM GOD THAT WE MIGHT COMMUNICATE WITH OUR CREATOR WHENEVER WE WANT. MAY WE ALL TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THIS GREAT BLESSING OF GOD, FOR THE PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS TRULY AVAIL MUCH!