Audio, Podcast, Spiritual Life

TTWMN 159: Persistent & Dangerous Prayer

Every believer would say that prayer is important in their relationship with God. But how we treat prayer seems to indicate otherwise—we quickly say a rote “grace” before we eat (if we remember to), our mind wanders as the prayers are said in church, we maybe pray once for somebody who has shared a need with us, then forget it, and when we’re in trouble, we do everything we can think of to fix the situation ourselves before turning to our “9-1-1” God in prayer as a last resort. Maybe it’s because we don’t realize the true importance prayer—what it’s for and how we should be using it as our best weapon against the enemy—that keeps us from doing it as we should. Here today to help us understand prayer and give us guidance in how to do it more consistently and effectively is teacher and author of the book Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.

 

Table Talk Notes

Mt 7:7-12 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

  • Moses was on the backside of a desert for 30+ yrs
  • Daniel prayed for 70 years…
  • Hannah prayed for a child for years…
  • David prayed about his enemies consistently…
  • Prophets prayed for Israel….
  • Jesus was in obscurity for 30 years….and spent hours in prayer with His Father…
  • Paul prayed about his “thorn in the flesh”

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” Sidlow Baxter.  “God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces of good against evil …” E.M. Bounds

“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” William Cowper

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” Abraham Lincoln

 

Jesus’ command [imperative] comes shortly after giving them a pattern for prayer in Matthew 6:7-15

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 

In other words…

  • Pray to Our Father
  • Give glory to the Father’s name
  • Recognize the Kingdom of God
  • Acknowledge He meets our daily needs
  • Acknowledge He never leads us into temptation
  • Acknowledge He is our Deliverer
  • Acknowledge that He is Sovereign King of His Kingdom Who is worthy of honor and praise

 

Attitudes of persistent prayer

  1. Keep Asking – make a request (Phil 4:5…let your requests be known)
  2. Keep Seeking – take an active role “Pray as if everything depends on God, then work as if everything depends on you” (M. Luther) Exercise faith!
  3. Keep Knocking – open doors imply not just an answer, but the potential for a revelation by the Holy Spirit in the answer (even when the answer is “no.”)
    • We ask, seek and knock with authority of the believer (not like the widow banging on the judge’s door day and nigh
      • Women had no authority/ widows had no authority/the poor had no authority
      • Jesus was saying YOU HAVE AUTHORITY
    • The implication is that we pray with fervency, with perseverance, with humility, with faith.

 

The context of Jesus’ words

One condition to the promise of ask & receive is that what we ask for must be good in God’s estimation.  We are incapable of discerning what is “good” for us; we do not/cannot see the whole picture. Our prayers are in context of relationship with the Father

Ps 37:4 | “Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart.”

 

When we delight in Him, our heart is changed…His desires become ours, and our prayers become aligned with his will.

Jn 5:14 | “…ask…according to His will…”

 

Instructions in prayer

  1. According to the will of God
    • Sovereign (known only to God)
    • Revealed (declared in the Word)
    • Perfect (His attitudes & pleasures)
  2. In the authority of Jesus Christ
  3. Persistently (Luke 18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.)
  4. Unselfishly (James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.)
  5. In faith (James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.)

 

Dangerous prayers

  • Lk 11:9 | “…for how much more will the Father give you the Holy Spirit if you ask…”
  • Ps 139:39 | “Search me, oh God and know my heart; try me and know my concerns (anxious thoughts)…”
  • Ps 51:10 | “Create in me a clean heart oh God; place a right spirit within me; let me be like You in all my ways…THEN I will teach transgressors…”

 

Dare to ask for…

  • Obedient, clean & tested hearts
  • Holy Spirit guidance (to do the work of the Kingdom and fulfill His plans for our lives and the church)
  • Being conformed into Jesus’ image (developing and maturing the fruit of the Spirit)
  • Lost souls
  • Our brothers and sisters in Christ
  • To glorify God in all we say and do
  • To be found faithful until the end

 

Response:

Our life in Christ is not about how we feel, but what we are willing to choose….will you choose to be a person of prayer? Will you dare to be a prayer warrior who prays persistently and dangerously?