THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 9-28-14

LESSON TITLE: “WHO SHOULD 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: HERE WE ARE TOGETHER AGAIN ON ANOTHER FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - THE LORD’S DAY! I AM SO GLAD YOU HAVE DECIDED TO JOIN US TODAY FOR ANOTHER TIME OF SERVICE TO OUR GOD. HOW BLESSED WE ARE THIS MORNING TO AGAIN COME BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD AND PARTICIPATE IN ACTS OF WORSHIP WHICH LAUD AND MAGNIFY HIS GREAT AND HOLY NAME. MY HOPE AND PRAYER IS THAT WE WILL EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME ACCEPTABLE IN HIS SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WONDROUS AND PRECIOUS WILL. SO AS WE BEGIN THIS MORNING, LET’S START BY TALKING TO OUR CREATOR IN PRAYER, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY OF LIFE BUT ESPECIALLY FATHER TODAY FOR THE LORD'S DAY, WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN US TO REMEMBER YOU AND TO WORSHIP YOU AND TO FOCUS ON THOSE THINGS THAT YOU'VE ASKED OF THE FAITHFUL THAT WE MIGHT PRAISE AND LIFT UP YOUR HOLY NAME. FATHER, HELP US EVERY DAY TO SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD THAT ALL AROUND US MAY SEE YOU AND DESIRE TO KNOW YOU AND YOUR WILL. AND FATHER, MAY THEY OBEY AS WE ARE OBEYING. AND ULTIMATELY FATHER, THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS SO THROUGH HIS DEATH WE MIGHT HAVE THAT GREAT HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE WHEN WE ARE FOUND FAITHFUL IN THE END AND YOU EXTEND THAT GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY WHICH YOU HAVE PROMISED. FATHER, IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE SO THANKFUL BECAUSE WE KNOW THEY'RE ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOUR SON. AND IT'S IN HIS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WELL, IT’S TIME TO JOIN IN OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING, SO WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

IT’S INTERESTING TO ME THAT SO MANY IN LIFE ARE LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH AND FOR LIFE ETERNAL - YET THEY SEEM TO HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING IT. THIS IS EVIDENCED IN THE FACT THAT MANY GO TO THE WRONG PLACES TO FIND WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN LIFE! THIS IS FURTHER SEEN IN THE FACT THAT MANY WILL CHOOSE TO FOLLOW OTHER MEN, SERVE THEIR OWN FLESHLY DESIRES, OR EVEN TURN TO EVIL AND VIOLENCE TO QUENCH A NEED THAT THEY COULD BETTER SERVE IN THE GOOD THINGS OF LIFE.

THIS MORNING I MENTION THESE THINGS TO REMIND US THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE PLACE WHERE WE CAN REALLY FIND AND KNOW THE TRUTH, ESPECIALLY IN RELATIONSHIP TO THOSE THINGS WHICH PERTAIN TO ETERNAL LIFE. IF YOU READ WITH ME FROM JOHN 6:68, I THINK THIS IS THE VERY REALIZATION THAT THE APOSTLES HAD COME TO IN RELATIONSHIP TO FOLLOWING JESUS. THERE WE READ, “BUT SIMON PETER ANSWERED HIM, ‘LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.’” JESUS HAD JUST ASKED HIS FOLLOWERS IF THEY WOULD LEAVE HIM OR SEARCH FOR ANOTHER PLACE TO FULFILL THEIR NEED TO FOLLOW GOD. AND WHAT WAS THEIR BEAUTIFUL RESPONSE, WHERE ELSE CAN WE GO - “YOU HAVE THE WORD’S OF ETERNAL LIFE!”

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THIS? DO WE REALLY UNDERSTAND THAT SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE - IS ONLY FOUND IN ONE PLACE AND ONE PERSON - JESUS CHRIST. THIS FACT IS ALSO CONFIRMED FOR US IN ACTS 4:12, WHERE PETER AGAIN PROCLAIMED, “NOR IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER, FOR THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN BY WHICH WE MUST BE SAVED.” I MIGHT ALSO ADD THAT AN EARLIER VERSE IN THIS SAME TEXT TELL US THAT HE SAID THESE THINGS AS HE WAS “FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!” WOW, CONSIDER HOW MUCH GOD LOVES US THAT WE MIGHT KNOW AND BELIEVE IN HIS SON. FURTHERMORE, THAT WE MIGHT RESPOND TO THE GREATEST GIFT THAT WAS EVER OFFERED FOR ALL OF MANKIND. THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS.

SO I ASK YOU, HAVE YOU BEEN SEARCHING IN THE WRONG PLACE FOR TRUTH AND ETERNAL LIFE? IF SO, WHY NOT TURN TO JESUS TODAY TO FIND THAT RIGHT WAY, AND THUS OBEY THOSE THINGS WHICH WILL RESERVE YOU AN ETERNAL PLACE IN HEAVEN!

IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. AS FAR AS OUR SERIES, TODAY WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR FOCUS ON THE REQUEST, “LORD TEACH US TO PRAY!” THE SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH, “WHO SHOULD PRAY?” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG, I 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, “WE PRAISE THEE O GOD.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS MORNING NOW AS WE GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONTINUE IN A SERIES THAT WE JUST BEGAN LAST WEEK FROM THE BOOK OF LUKE CHAPTER 11. CERTAINLY A PARALLEL OF SOMETHING THAT TOOK PLACE THERE IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 6 WHERE JESUS HIMSELF WAS PRAYING IN VERSE 1. AND AS HE WAS PRAYING, ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES SAW THAT HE WAS PRAYING AND THEN ASKED HIM THE QUESTION, “LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.” AND FROM THAT STATEMENT WE'RE USING IT AS A SPRINGBOARD TO LEAD US INTO REALLY MANY DIFFERENT IDEAS CONCERNING PRAYER THAT WE MIGHT REALLY ASK THE QUESTIONS OF WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, AND WHY. BUT EVEN THE HOW OF PRAYER AND UNDERSTAND MORE DEEPLY, HOPEFULLY, WHAT IT IS THAT WE SHOULD DO AND STRIVE FOR IN ORDER TO HAVE A PROPER PRAYER LIFE.

SO AS WE LOOKED AT LAST WEEK THE CONCEPT OF WHAT IS PRAYER, THIS DAY WE WANT TO LOOK AT WHO SHOULD PRAY. THE FACT IS THAT IT'S KIND OF OBVIOUS WHO SHOULD PRAY. IF EVEN JESUS HIMSELF PRAYED, WE UNDERSTAND THE REALITY THAT WE ARE TO BE IMITATORS OF CHRIST AND LEARN FROM THE EXAMPLE WHICH HE HAS LEFT US. EVEN PAUL SAID IN 1CORINTHIANS 1:11, “IMITATE ME AS I ALSO IMITATE CHRIST.” AND SO THEREFORE CHRIST LEFT THE EXAMPLE FOR US TO PRAY. WE SHOULD PRAY. BUT NOT ONLY YOU AND I SHOULD PRAY BUT CERTAINLY ANYONE, AS WE LEARNED ABOUT LAST WEEK, WHO DESIRES TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD. FOR IT IS PRAYER THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US THAT WE MIGHT SPEAK TO OUR CREATOR.

CERTAINLY GOD HAS CHOSEN THROUGHOUT THE DIFFERENT CENTURIES AND YEARS TO SPEAK TO MAN IN DIFFERENT WAYS, INCLUDING IN A WRITTEN FORM. BUT HE HAS GIVEN US THE AVENUE OF PRAYER - THAT WE MIGHT RESPOND AND COMMUNICATE TO HIM EVEN THOUGH HE IS ALL-KNOWING. AND IT ALSO BRINGS UP THE IDEA THAT IN GOD'S REALITY OF BEING AN ALL-KNOWING GOD, WE CERTAINLY PRAY MANY TIMES. NOT AS MUCH EVEN FOR HIS SAKE AS MUCH AS FOR OUR OWN SAKE. THAT WE MIGHT BE OBEDIENT AND BE ABLE TO HEAR OURSELVES, THAT WE ARE FOR FULFILLING THAT COMMANDMENT OF GOD AND THEREFORE COMMITTING OURSELVES. MAKING AGAIN A COVENANT OR RENEWING THE COVENANT, OF WHAT IT IS THAT HE HAS ASKED FOR US OR EVEN MAKING REQUESTS THAT WE HAVE NEED OF HIM, THAT HE MIGHT ANSWER THOSE REQUESTS.

AND SO AS WE THINK ABOUT THE WHO IN PRAYER CERTAINLY ALL OF GOD'S CREATION - ALL OF GOD'S CREATION THAT HAS BEEN SEPARATED FROM GOD WITH SIN. AS ISAIAH IN CHAPTER 59 OF HIS BOOK THERE IN THE FIRST FEW VERSES SAID, “SIN SEPARATES MAN FROM GOD.” AND THE REALITY IS IN ROMANS CHAPTER 3:23, “ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.” AND THE FACT THAT ALL MEN HAVE SINNED, AND SIN SEPARATES MAN FROM GOD, WE NEED TO LOOK TO GOD. TO TURN TO GOD. TO FIND REDEMPTION IN GOD AND THEREFORE WE NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD. WE NEED TO PRAY TO GOD.

AND SO AS WE THINK ABOUT THAT FURTHER THEN, IN RELATIONSHIP TO THESE THINGS, WE BEGIN TO ASK THE QUESTION THEN - IF ALL PRAY, WHOSE PRAYERS ARE HEARD? AND THAT PROBABLY REALLY IS THE BIGGER QUESTION OF THE DAY BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT CERTAINLY THERE MIGHT BE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS; THOSE WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS, THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE RIGHTEOUS YET THEY ARE IN ERROR OR CHOOSING SIN, AND THEN THOSE WHO REJECT GOD ALTOGETHER WHO DO NOT EVEN KNOW GOD OR SERVE GOD OR WHO HAVE REJECTED TO BE OBEDIENT OR TO, BY FAITH, FOLLOW GOD AND THEREFORE THEY ARE CHOOSING THE LIFE OF SIN. SO AS WE LOOK AT THOSE THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES, ISN'T IT THEN SIGNIFICANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED TO KNOW WHO THEN IS THE RECIPIENT OR REALLY THE ONE PRAYING WHO WILL BE RECEIVED BY GOD IN A GOOD WAY.

FIRST OF ALL AS WE HAVE SAID THAT GOD IS ALL-KNOWING, HE CERTAINLY IS A GOD WHO KNOWS ALL THINGS INCLUDING THEREFORE THE PRAYERS OF ALL MEN. EVEN IF A MAN WERE NOT A FOLLOWER OF GOD, THE QUESTION MIGHT COME UP - CAN GOD HEAR THAT PRAYER? IS GOD AWARE OF THOSE THINGS? CAN HE KNOW THAT ONE PRAYS? CAN HE HEAR? CERTAINLY, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. HE CAN HEAR ALL THINGS FOR HE IS OMNIPRESENT. HE'S ALL PLACES AT ALL TIMES. SO THE REALITY IS - IT'S NOT THAT GOD CAN'T HEAR OR BE AWARE OF PRAYER BUT WHEN WE ASK THE QUESTION WHOSE PRAYERS DOES GOD HEAR? REALLY WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH IS BECAUSE OF WHETHER THEY ARE FAITHFUL OR NOT. DOESN'T THAT DETERMINE WHOSE PRAYERS HE HEARS?

BEFORE WE GET INTO THAT A LITTLE BIT DEEPER I'D LIKE TO ALSO ASK YOU TO CONSIDER WHAT WE LEARNED THERE IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 5:45. DO YOU REMEMBER THERE RIGHT AFTER HE HAS TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE ARE TO LOVE ALL MEN. AND THEN HE SAYS THAT REALLY YOU KNOW, EVEN THE WORLD REALIZES THAT IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL TO LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU. AND SO THEREFORE YOU SHOULD WHAT? EVEN LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. HE MAKES A STATEMENT IN VERSE 45 THAT REALLY INDICATES TO US THAT GOD CAUSES IT TO RAIN ON THE JUST AND THE UNJUST. THE REALITY IS IS THAT GOD'S BLESSINGS MIGHT FALL UPON ALL OF THIS EARTH. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD IN THE FORM OF RAIN MIGHT FALL ON A WICKED INDIVIDUAL AS WELL AS A RIGHTEOUS INDIVIDUAL. IT MIGHT FALL ON A RIGHTEOUS PLACE THAT WE MIGHT DO BUSINESS WITH. AND IT MIGHT FALL ON AN UNRIGHTEOUS PLACE. THEIR YARDS MIGHT BOTH BE WATERED BUT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE IN RELATIONSHIP TO PRAYER IS SOMEONE THAT IS COMMUNICATING WITH GOD AND THEN GOD NOT ONLY AWARE OF THAT PRAYER OR ABLE TO HEAR IT BUT HEARING IT TO THE FACT THAT THEY CAN WHAT? KNOW HE WILL DO WHAT THEY HAVE ASKED. THAT HE WILL NOT ONLY RESPOND, BUT HE WILL RESPOND IN A POSITIVE WAY BECAUSE OF THEIR WHAT? THE BIBLE SAYS THEIR BELIEF. THEIR FAITH. THEIR WILLINGNESS TO KNOW GOD AND TO HEAR HIS WILL.

NOW TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEN AND TO AGAIN CONFIRM THESE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES ARE REAL, EVEN ACCORDING TO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, TURN WITH ME IF YOU HAVE YOUR BIBLES TO JOHN CHAPTER 9. REMEMBER WHAT IT SAID THERE IN JOHN CHAPTER 9 AND SPECIFICALLY IN VERSE 31? THE BIBLE SAYS SPECIFICALLY IN RELATIONSHIP TO SOME STATEMENTS BEING MADE BY ONE WHO HAS JUST BEEN HEALED BY JESUS CHRIST THIS STATEMENT. “NOW WE KNOW THAT GOD DOES NOT HEAR SINNERS. BUT IF ANYONE IS A WORSHIPER OF GOD AND DOES HIS WILL HE HEARS HIM. THE REALITY IS, IS THAT BASED ON THE LAW OF GOD AS HE IS DEALING WITH JEWS AND THE OLD LAW AND COVENANT, AND AS THIS MAN IS CLARIFYING THE FACT THAT WE ALL KNOW - WE KNOW WHAT THE REALITY OF GOD IS. THAT HE HEARS THE PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL IN ORDER THAT HE RESPONDS FAVORABLY AND BLESSES THEM IN ACCORDANCE.

BUT THAT WHEN A SINNER PRAYS TO GOD IT'S DIFFERENT. WHEN SOMEONE IS NOT JUST A SINNER IN THE SENSE THAT WE SAID EARLIER - THAT ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD - BUT THEY'RE A SINNER BY CHOICE REJECTING GOD, REJECTING THE WILL OF GOD, REJECTING REPENTANCE AND THEY WILL NOT DO WHAT GOD SAYS - YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT GOD IS GOING TO BLESS THEM? THAT AN UNRIGHTEOUS, UNGODLY, WICKED, EVIL PERSON PRAYS TO GOD AND ASKS GOD FOR WEALTH AND GOD'S GOING TO BLESS THEM? IN THEIR SICKNESS AND ERROR, CERTAINLY NOT! THAT'S NOT WHAT THE BIBLE...THE BIBLE, AS EVEN IT IS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION HERE, IS CERTAINLY THAT WHICH TEACHES THAT GOD MAY BE ABLE TO HEAR OR BE AWARE OF THOSE PRAYERS, BUT GOD DOES NOT BLESS THOSE WHO CHOOSE SIN AND THE REALITY THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE SOME KIND OF GOOD GIFTS FROM GOD EXCEPT THE FACT THAT THEY WOULD REPENT AND DO HIS WILL.

I'D LIKE TO SHOW THEN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN BECAUSE GOD THEN DOES HERE THE PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS. AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK AND MAKE A CLARIFICATION AFTER THAT. OVER IN THE BOOK OF JAMES, INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, PRAYER IS BEING DISCUSSED NEAR THE END OF THAT BOOK. AND IN CHAPTER 5:16, JAMES VERY CLEARLY TELLS US THAT THERE'S CERTAIN THINGS THAT SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN PRAYER. IN FACT, CONFESSING OUR TRESPASSES ONE TO ANOTHER THAT WHAT? THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER. BUT THEN IT SAYS IN VERSE 16 AT THE END THAT THE FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN UNVEILS MUCH. WHY? BECAUSE THAT PRAYER IS A PRAYER DONE BY THE RIGHTEOUS. THE BELIEVER. THE FAITHFUL OF GOD. ARE WE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD? WELL, YOU SEE IT'S JUST OBVIOUS THAT GOD'S GONNA BLESS HIS CHILDREN. SO WHAT IS THEN THAT DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FAITHFUL, WHO GOD HEARS THEIR PRAYERS AND BLESSES IN A POSITIVE WAY ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, BUT THE PRAYER OF THE UNFAITHFUL, WHO CHOOSE SIN AND HAVE REJECTED GOD AND CONTINUE TO REJECT GOD, AND YET THEY EXPECT GOD TO BLESS THEM. CERTAINLY THAT WOULD NOT BE THE CASE.

BUT THERE IS SOMETHING IN BETWEEN. WHAT ABOUT THAT SINNER WHO HAS CHOSEN SIN WHO BEGINS TO HEAR TRUTH, WHO BEGINS TO HEAR ABOUT GOD AND DESIRES THEN TO REPENT OF THEIR SINS AND TO DO WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS SAID. CAN GOD HEAR THAT KIND OF PRAYER? WE LEARN ABOUT SUCH IN THE STORY OF CORNELIUS IN ACTS CHAPTER 10. A MAN WHO WAS RIGHTEOUS AND DEVOUT. A MAN WHO GAVE ALMS AND WHO EVEN HELPED THOSE WHO WERE IN GREAT NEED AS WE HAVE INDICATED THERE IN THE FIRST FEW VERSES OF THAT CHAPTER. BUT DID YOU NOTICE THAT HE WAS NOT YET A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST? AND DO YOU NOTICE THAT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A MAN OF PRAYER TO GOD, THE TRUE GOD - NOT YET IN HAVING KNOWN JESUS, HE NEEDED TO WHAT? HE NEEDED TO KNOW THE TRUTH MORE. WHAT DID GOD DO? HE SAW THE MAN SINCERE. HE HEARD HIS PRAYERS. HE COULD SEE THE HEART OF THE MAN. THAT HE WANTED TO KNOW THE TRUTH. AND IF HE KNEW TRUTH HE WOULD RESPOND. AND SO WHEN GOD HEARD THE PRAYER OF THAT MAN WHO WAS STILL IN SIN AND OUTSIDE OF CHRIST, WHAT DID HE DO? HE SENT PETER TO TEACH HIM THE TRUTH. AND WHAT WAS THE REACTION? EXACTLY WHAT GOD KNEW. EVENTUALLY CORNELIUS AND ALL OF HIS HOUSEHOLD WERE BAPTIZED AND BECAME FOLLOWERS OF GOD. YOU SEE, THEIR PRAYERS - HIS PRAYER WAS A PRAYER UNTO OBEDIENCE AND GOD HELPED HIM TO KNOW THE TRUTH. THAT HE MIGHT DO WHAT? OBEY, REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED - HAVING CONFESSED THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE. THAT SHOWS US THAT GOD CAN NOT ONLY HEAR THE PRAYER OF THE SINNER BUT IF IT IS A PRAYER, A DESIRE, TO DO GOD'S WILL, TO OBEY, TO KNOW TRUTH - OH THERE'S NO DOUBT. GOD'S GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT PERSON HEARS THE TRUTH UNTO SALVATION IF THEIR HEART IS RIGHT.

SO GOD CAN HEAR THE PRAYER OF EVEN SOMEONE WHO IS OUTSIDE OF CHRIST. AND HE MIGHT ANSWER THAT PRAYER BY GIVING THEM WHAT? HELP TO KNOW THE TRUTH - THAT THEY MIGHT REPENT UNTO SALVATION. BUT KNOW FOR SURE THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT GOD DOES NOT HEAR UNTO A FAVORABLE RESPONSE THE PRAYER OF SINNERS AND BLESSES THEM IN THEIR WICKED AND EVIL DEEDS. JUST LIKE HE DID NOT BLESS THE CITIES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH AS THEY CALLED ON THEIR GODS AND MANY GODS. BUT WE ALSO SEE THAT GOD DOES HEARS THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL AND BLESSES THEM. THERE ARE A FEW MORE SCRIPTURES THAT I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT WHICH AGAIN APPLY MORE TO THE FAVORABLE SIDE OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING. AND ONE IS FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS, THE WISEST MAN WHO THAT EVER LIVED GIVING US THESE WORDS AS CERTAINLY HE HAD BEEN GIVEN THAT KNOWLEDGE FROM GOD. IN PROVERBS CHAPTER 15, BUT THERE SPECIFICALLY VERSE 29, THE BIBLE SAYS THIS, “THE LORD IS FAR FROM THE WICKED BUT HE HEARS THE PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS. THERE IS THAT DISTINCTION AGAIN. GOD HEARS THE PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND ANSWERS THEM FAVORABLY.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRAYER OF THE WICKED? THE WORDS OF THE WICKED? HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO HEAR THAT BUT IT SAYS HERE HE'S FAR FROM THEM. EVEN THE IDEA IN ISAIAH AGAIN. 59 TELLS US THAT GOD'S EARS AREN'T WEAK TO HEAR, IT'S THE SIN THAT SEPARATES. YOU SEE, WHEN WE CHOOSE TO BE OF DARKNESS HOW CAN THE LIGHT BLESS DARKNESS? WELL, IT'S NOT GOING TO DO IT UNLESS WE CHOOSE TO DO WHAT? FIND THE LIGHT AND AS WELL TO MOVE TOWARDS THE LIGHT.

ANOTHER PASSAGE OVER IN THE BOOK OF FIRST PETER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS FOUND THERE IN CHAPTER 3. AND I REALLY LIKE THE CLARIFICATION THAT IS MADE HERE IN THIS TEXT THAT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND AGAIN THOSE THINGS THAT REALLY WERE NOT ONLY TRUE ACCORDING TO WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALED THROUGH PETER BUT THOSE THINGS AS WELL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUND TRUTH ACCORDING TO WHAT WE LEARN EVEN IN THE BOOK OF JOHN, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN CHAPTER 9 AND AROUND VERSE 31. BUT THERE WE READ THIS, “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN AND TO THEIR PRAYERS.” BUT WHAT DOES HE NEXT SAY? “BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”

REITERATED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. SOUND FAMILIAR? KINDA SOUNDS LIKE WHAT SOLOMON SAID UNTO THE OLD COVENANT DOESN'T IT? WHY? BECAUSE GOD'S THE SAME. GOD HAS ALWAYS HEARD THE PRAYER - ANSWERED FAVORABLY THE PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL AND GIVEN THEM THE VERY BEST THAT HE CAN. BUT HE'S ALSO ALWAYS REJECTED THE PRAYERS OF THE WICKED, IN THE SENSE THAT WHEN THEY CHOOSE SIN HE DOES NOT BLESS THEM OR HEAR THEIR PRAYERS UNTO A POSITIVE RESPONSE.

BUT KNOW FOR SURE - THAT IF YOU TODAY HAVE A NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH AND YOU PRAY TO GOD - HE'S GOING TO HELP YOU EVEN AS A SINNER KNOW OR FIND THAT TRUTH THAT YOU MIGHT KNOW WHAT TO DO UNTO SALVATION. WILL YOU NOT PRAY TODAY THAT GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE KNOWLEDGE YOU NEED UNTO SALVATION.

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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THE MAIN QUESTION WE MUST ASK TODAY IS, “HOW IS OUR PRAYER LIFE?” ARE WE CHOOSING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS GREAT BLESSING OF GOD? MAY WE EACH DECIDE TO SPEAK MORE TO OUR CREATOR!