New Life Chapel

Where ALL are Welcome!

Sermon May 23rd – Faith in Prayer

This morning I would like to talk about prayer. My prayer life has been changing over the last several weeks and months.  Now I wish I could say I spend more time praying than I used to, but that is not the case. What has changed has been the way I pray and what it means to me.

 To start we I think we all can say that Prayer is something that we should do.

James 4:2

2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

 What James is telling us in this verse is that we need to approach God with our prayers. We need to present our requests, our needs, and even our desires to God. If we do not ask, we can never receive. So the first step in prayer is to SAY IT!

 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Pray without ceasing” NKJV

 What we find with this verse is that we need to continually, regularly, and in all circumstances pray. When we are happy, we need to pray. When we are sad, we need to pray. We life is good and everything is great, we need to pray. When we are facing struggles, we need to pray. Prayer is something we need to always do.

Matthew 7:7

7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” NIV

 Here Jesus himself is telling us that we need to be persistent in prayer. We need to Ask for what we need, seek what we are missing, and knock so that we may draw closer to God. Prayer is something we need to do, and it is something we need to do every day. Each day we need to continually Ask, Seek, and Knock as we talk to God. Not because God needs to hear us say it over and over again, but because He wants us to come to Him with all of our needs.

 If we continue reading in Matthew 7:

 “7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” NIV

 Jesus is telling us that if we ask for what we need, seek for what is missing, and knock to draw closer to God we will get what we are after. God wants to answer our prayers.

 Matthew 7:9-11

 9“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” NIV

God wants to answer our prayers, and He will answer our prayers. The trick is that our prayers may not be answered the way we want them. God knows what is best for us, and He will give us the best thing for us. Now this does not mean He is going to make our lives simple, safe, and free of troubles. If you really think about it, what good does us living sheltered, protected lives do us? It doesn’t! Without obstacles and struggles, we would never learn to depend on God. If we don’t learn to depend on God what good will our testimonies be? Some of the most inspiring and moving testimonies are from people who have been on the brink of damnation. There are lost souls out there that can only be reached by someone who has walked in their shoes before. God knows what is best for us and gives it to us, even if it does not make sense to us at the time.

 Another thing we need to be careful about when praying and asking for things is to make sure that we are not asking for something that will only bless ourselves.

 James 4:3

3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” NIV

 Basically we need to be asking for things that will bring God honor and glory. See it is not enough to just ask for good things, but we need to ask with the right intentions. This verse is something I think those that practice what we will call the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ are missing. God is not telling us to ask for anything we want. God is not telling us to ask for material things. He is simply telling us to pray for things that will glorify Him. If I am driving a new Mercedes, it will not glorify Jesus. But if we pray for New Life Chapel to have an impact on the community, or for His healing touch on someone. Our motives will be right and God will be glorified. While we need to Say It, we need to Say it with His will in mind.

 If we flip back to Matthew 7:7-8 for a moment I want to point something out.

 “ 7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” NIV

 This is God saying that prayers will be answered. If we Ask, Seek, and Knock we will Receive, Find, and the Door will be opened. God wants to answer our prayers, and He promises to do so. The trick is we need to believe it.

 Turn to Mark chapter 9, starting at verse 14.

14When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.  16“What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

 17A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”  19“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”  20So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.  21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

   “From childhood,” he answered. 22“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”  23” ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”  26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.  28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  29He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” NIV

 Now I really want us to focus on verse 22 through 24.

 22“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”  23” ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” NIV

 We find the father doubting whether anything can be done. I think that is a common mistake we make when it comes to prayer. It is easy for us to say a prayer, but it is harder for us to have the faith to really believe what we are asking for can happen. I have been guilty of this over the years. There have been many times I have prayed for healing over someone and wonder if God is really going to do anything. I might have thought, does God really want to answer this prayer. The truth is God does want to answer our prayers, but we need to believe it. Jesus tells the father ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.” So while we are Saying It, we need to Believe it! We need to truly, 100% believe that God wants to answer our prayers. We need to have Faith. Once the father in these verses proclaims his belief, his child is healed. Prayer with belief is answered.

 Romans 1:17

17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

 The righteous live by faith, which also means we should be praying by Faith. If we are praying in Faith, we need to Believe it. We need to believe that God will answer our prayers. We need to have Faith in the unseen.

 We are told in 1 John 5:14-15 that:

 “14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” NIV

 We need to have confidence, have faith, we need to believe that if we ask God for things according to His will – He Will Answer our Prayers!

 So far when it comes to prayer we need to Say it, then we need to Believe It. The next step is we need to Live It.

 2 Corinthians 5:7

“We live by Faith, not by sight.”

 Galatians 2:20

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

 To Live it we need to have faith, that God will answer our prayers. We need to have Faith that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, will follow through with what He told us.

 So how do we live it?

We need to proclaim that God is in control!

We need to have confidence that He is going to take care of everything!

We need to realize that the answer may not be what we expect!

We need to continue to pray without ceasing!

In the end we need to continue to praise Him, no matter what!

 Remember Prayer is a powerful thing, if you Say It, Believe It, and Live It. God Does Answer Prayer.

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May 23, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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