Welcome dearly beloved friends and family to another wonderful Sunday evening service. I need to tell each of you just how grateful I am to have each of you as a part of WTLC of Newark Ministries. I know there's many times that I don't get the sermons on here till very late or it's a holiday weekend and yet y'all are dedicated to reading the sermons. Plus when I post up a prayer request y'all are very diligent to read and pray for those in need. So from the bottom of this old pastor's heart thank you. Now if you're here tonight for the very first time as a guest reader let me take a moment to say how blessed I am to have you join us tonight. I hope you'll enjoy what you read and decide to continue growing in Christ with us each week as we dig into the scriptures together and grow in faith in Christ. Also please invite your friends and family to read God's sermons as well. Remember that if anyone of you would like to hear me preach in person please have your home church pastor get in touch with me so we can schedule a time when I can come preach a revival or just a few sermons. Before we go time the Lord in prayer I've got a prayer request to bring to your attention. Our beloved brother Matt May Sr has been under satanic attack and is in a faith crisis. So please remember Matt in your prayers as He's got some family and friends that needs prayer for they are following man's tradition and man's vain philosophy. They are trying to take Matt into the same. So let's first go boldly to the Throne of Grace together in prayer before we dig in shall we.
Dear Lord Jesus tonight I come to you with a heart full of thanksgiving and gratitude. Jesus you've been blessing this church family and myself so much. You've been reaching out to the lost and bringing them to a saving relationship with you through this ministry and I ask that you continue to reach even more lost and dieing through this ministry Lord. Change people's lives in a miraculous way. Touch the broken hearted and heal the sick Jesus. Tonight dear Jesus I pray that you'll prepare our hearts to receive your word tonight. Help each of us to correctly apply the lessons learned in our every day life. Help each of us to not only be hearers of your word but doers also. Grant each of us the Grace that is sufficient for all to be able to follow you each and every step of the way. Give each of us an even deeper passion dear Lord Jesus to spend more and more time with you studying the Scriptures and time in prayer. Lord tonight I pray that you'll be the one preaching the sermon. I sure hope people hear from you and not just pastor Bucky. Speak through me Oh Lord and have your Devine way. Thank you in advance for everything because by faith I call it done knowing that you'll answer because you're a promise keeper. I love Jesus and again say thank you. AMEN AND AMEN
Tonight we are going to cover a subject that really matters. I honestly believe that second to the Blood of Jesus that washes away our sin the subject tonight is is the most important aspect of a Christian's life. It's basically the breathe of the spiritual life. This topic not only is very important but honestly I can say most widely misunderstood in most of Christianity today. Wondering what it is yet? Well it's prayer of course. We'll go over exactly what is prayer and how to be effective in prayer. Also go over the misconceptions of prayer and demystify this subject so that we can pray with confidence. So let's dig in shall we.
SERIES: REAL DEAL
SERMON: REAL EFFECTIVE PRAYER
1). First and foremost we all need to know what is prayer exactly. So in your thought process what do you think prayer really is? Let's look just a little bit closer at what prayer really is.
A). Definition of prayer is a solemn request for help or an expression of thanks to God or some object of Worship. Notice here that the definition states it's basically a communication between us and God. Yes it's honestly that simple just a communication between us and God. That is what prayer really is. I know some folks make prayer a lot more stringent than that but just prayer is nothing more than communication.
1). For our purposes we'll assume that the object of worship is only Jesus. See let's face the truth here. In today's world system many people turn to many different things to worship that isn't the ONE TRUE GOD. They worship Allah, Buddha, Satan, Mother Nature, Ourselves, and many other things that just aren't the real God. They make them false God's or idols and yes they pray to them. In fact many people even pray to a strange Jesus. They try to make Jesus into what they want Him to be and pray to that false jesus. This isn't a new thing though they have done this exact same thing in times past. (Psalms 115:4-8) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
a). Side note here about our God. Our God, the Jesus of the Bible, is alive. We don't have a dead, lifeless, and powerless God. No GLORY HALLELUJAH our God is alive and omnipotent. A dead god couldn't heal the sick and diseased, mend the broken heart, save the lost, raise the dead from the grave, nor restore sight to the blind but our God has done and continually still does all of this. So let's shout and jump in praise for our God is alive. He's the only one with an empty tomb. Folks Allah, Muhammad, nor any other false gods has an empty tomb with a death shroud that we now know as the Shroud of Turin, Jesus' death shroud with the stone still rolled away. Our Jesus is ALIVE FOREVERMORE AND STILL IN THE MIRACLE WORKING BUSINESS HALLELUJAH!!!!
2). Now that we know what prayer is. We now need to figure out how to pray. Is there any secret formula or position that we must pray or be in during prayer? Is there this secret of how much time to spend during prayer or magical words or phrases that we can pray to make the prayer more powerful "power pray"? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NO! Remember that prayer is nothing more than communication between you and God. So let's look deeper into Scripture and see what exactly it states about how and when we are to pray.
A). The Bible says that we are to pray continuously. (1 Thessolonians 5:17-18) Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (Jeremiah 33:2-3) Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
1). This isn't saying here that we are to always be on our knees and praying to God on a constant basis. No this is however stating that we are 7having our minds focused always on Heavenly things and the agenda of God and not our own agenda. Basically this is meaning that in every single thing that we do we need to be thinking and asking God for His advice in that decision.
B). We are to pray with faith or expectation that God will answer. (Psalms 5:2-3) Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
1). When David looks up in this scripture He's waiting for or expecting an answer.
2). We must believe that God is who He says He is and that He will answer our prayers. (Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
C). Above we just saw that God is a rewarder of them that DILIGENTLY seek him. Now the word here in the original text is (SPOUDE). This means to earnestly do something or to put forth full effort, to exert ones self. In fact a synonymous word used is zeal. This is very important. See we must earnestly seek God in prayer. I mean if you really want or need something you wouldn't flippantly just say "oh by the way I need or want______", you fill in the blank. No you'd be like "God I really need or want____ please grant this to me". You'd always be after Him asking and asking just like we did to our parents when we were younger are we there yet? Are we there yet? Or I want mommy please I want I want and not leave them alone till they give us what we wanted. Notice in (James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.) the word EFFECTUAL. In fact this means to be at work or application of one's self to complete a task. The words diligent and effectual are synonymous to each other. So in the above scripture the diligent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
D). Also in the above scripture there is another description of effective prayer. That word is fervent. This word in the original text is zeo. It's meaning is to boil over. In this context James is saying that a fervent prayer is one of intense emotional. To have one's heart dead set on it coming true. To seethe or to bubble over.
1). This is very important because God don't want us to memorize some formulated prayer and just repeat it. No He wants us to pour out hearts to Him. He wants us to talk to Him as we would our daddy as He's our ABBA FATHER or our Heavenly daddy. In fact God already knows what you're in need of and what's in your heart. He's looking honestly to see if you flat out right trust Him enough to just be open with Him.
E). So what about this having to kneel down and pray since there is a verse that says not to stand and pray (Matthew 6:5) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
1). All Jesus is saying here is that we ought not to pray for the glory of men. Basically here the Pharacies were praying not to openly communicate with God but to be praised by men. We can pray while driving, working in the factory, or anything else. Remember we discussed how prayer is nothing more complex than simply communicating with God. In fact Jesus prayed several times standing up. Here is an example. (John 11:41-42) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. In fact there are many different examples we could use like Him blessing the food in public and Him on the cross talking to God the Father. So again dearly beloved don't be afraid to talk to God in every situation irregardless if you are lying down, sitting up, standing, driving or doing anything. Jesus will hear you.
a). The reason why we are to get alone in a quiet place and kneel to God is this shows humility and submission to Christ. Plus it's many times easier to be intimate and open to Christ in secret than displaying your faults out in public.
F). So who do we pray to? Do we pray to Mary or the dead in Christ asking them to pray for us? No the Scriptures clearly state that we are to seek Christ Jesus first and only. (Matthew 6:33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 11:28-30)Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
G). So what about long recited and repetitive prayers? Do they really work? Well let's see what Christ Jesus said about them.( Matthew 6:7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
3). So what does prayer actually do in our lives. Does it activate God to change His mind no not at all. So let's look at what prayer actually does.
A). Prayer aligns our minds and our wills with God's will. Notice in the Lord's prayer that He taught us to pray it says for God to have His way on earth as it is in Heaven and notice that even Jesus stated to the Father yet not mine will be done but yours. So as we pray to God and keep our minds Heavenly focused our minds are transformed into being like Christ's. This is why John states that we have the confidence that whatever you and pray in Christ's name it shall be given. (1 John 5:14-15) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. ( John 16:23) And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
1). Many of times you'll see people who pray scriptures and remind themselves through prayer about God's promises to us. Yes I'll even pray Scriptures during prayers. I usually think that I'm reminding God of His promises but in all reality I'm reminding myself of His promises and at the same time showing my faith in what God has said standing on the promises of God, expecting Him to keep His promises which He always does.
B). It activates God to work on our behalf. Remember that we said before that God already knows what we need and want, He made us so He knows us better than we know ourselves. So how does prayer actually activate God? It shows our faith in God. Remember that without faith it's impossible to please God. Plus the just shall walk by faith not by sight. By walking in faith shows our reliance on Jesus through prayer.
C). Prayer also strengthens our faith. See as we see God answer our prayers we become more confident that He'll answer in the future.
D). Prayer also encourages our neighbors. Think about folks when you're going through it, really got it rough, how encouraging is it for a fellow brother or sister in Christ come along side you and pray with you. I know for me this makes me very encouraged and strengthens me to continue on down life's road.
4). So can we be assured that God hears our prayers? I mean many times we font see the answer right away and sometimes the answers are no like they were to Paul.
A). Yes we can be very assured that God hears our every prayer. Here are a few Scriptures to prove that God hears every single prayer. (Isaiah 65:24) And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Psalms 34:17-18) The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Revelation 5:8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
1). Above we read in Revelation the vials full of odors. These odors are all, yes all, the prayers that you and I ever pray. So yes God hears every single prayer and never forgets them.
5). The importance of prayer. Why is prayer so crucial to the believer?
A). First off let me ask you this. If you have any kind of relationship with no communication what type of relationship would that be? Not a very good one I can personally assure you that one. There is absolutely no way to have an intimate and close relationship with Jesus Christ without communication. This is why it's so VERY vital to always be in prayer with Him. See without a relationship with Jesus you are lost and spiritually dead, condemned to spend eternity in Hell Fire with Satan enduring everlasting torment.
B). This thing called prayer is really what strengthens our faith. Remember that without faith it's impossible to follow Jesus and to please Him. In fact without faith it's impossible to be saved. If we don't continue to grow in faith it's very easy for Satan to attack our faith and get us to eventually doubt God's love for us and eventually deny our faith in Christ Jesus. It's basically just like climbing a hill. If you're not advancing and going forward you're going backwards and will usually slip and fall usually getting severely hurt or if high enough be killed by the fall and the injuries sustained.
6). Why is important that we get alone sometimes with God in prayer? This one is to understand. Why would you want to be alone sometimes with your spouse, and not just to make love? That's simple because you love them and want personal time with them. The time in your personal closet alone with Jesus is your private intimate time with Him. This is where you can just pour out your heart to Him.
So now as you can see just how very important it is to always be in prayer. Let me encourage you to be more fervent in your prayer lives. Let's all seek after God more and more in our every day life. In everything seek God's agenda and not our own. I don't know about y'all but I want to have a deeper and more effective prayer life. So I challenge each of you this week to set some time alone with God to just commune with Him. You don't necessarily have to go to an actual closet but get alone with Christ and pour your heart out to Him.
Now let me address those who might be here that doesn't know Jesus as their own savior. Dearly beloved friend let me assure you right now you are dead spiritually. You might be alive physically and everything in your life might be seemingly going okay right now. Let me assure you though one day you'll meet Jesus face to face and be judged. Yes beloved you'll be on trial and you'll be found guilty of your sins that you've committed against Jesus. You'll then find yourself facing the penalty for that sin, which is eternal torment in Hell Fire with Satan. Don't be deceived dearly beloved. Your wealth nor good works here on this earth will save you on Judgment day. No only the Blood of Jesus Christ will save you and wash you clean of your sin. Only the Blood of Jesus Christ will allow you to stand before the Throne and declared innocent and justified. Jesus died for the remission of your sins and to be your replacement in punishment for them. He loves you and me so much that He suffered the most excruciating death ever just so we can live with Him and not suffer eternal torment. So why not ask Jesus into your heart right now. Don't wait dearly beloved. Tomorrow might be too late. For if you die tonight without Jesus as your personal Savior then you will NOT be in Heaven but will endure the suffering and torment of Hell forevermore. So if you'd like to come to Jesus and experience His wonderful love and affection for you just cry out Him right now. Pray with me this simple prayer. Jesus I'm a sinner. I am lost and spiritually dead. I have absolutely nothing to offer you but I come as I am. Save me Jesus and wash my sins away. Be my Lord and Savior. I repent of my sins and turn to you. I accept your gift of eternal life through your sacrifice for me on that cross at Calvary. I love you Jesus and thank you for my salvation through Christ. I pray that you'll help me live a life pleasing to you. AMEN Now if you just prayed that prayer or would like to pray a similar prayer with someone PLEASE get in touch with me so I can personally welcome you into God's loving family and pray with you.
Now if you're here tonight and need prayer for ANYTHING else or have a praise report you'd like to share please also get in touch with me. Y'all can either comment, pm me, text or call me. If it's an emergency please just call me and don't stop calling till I pick up.
Remember folks that next Sunday is the last Sunday of the month so there's no sermon that night. It's family night. If you need anything though feel free to contact me at anytime. So till next time may God richly bless each of you and remember that I love you and Jesus loves you even more.