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PRAYER AND THE NEW YEAR

SERMON STARTER

Pastor Bruce Richael spoke under a prophetic unction in a Unity Pastor’s Prayer Fellowship Meeting last year.  He was responding to our wrestling over why we haven’t yet experienced the revival our hearts are longing for.

He said,

“A PURE HEART WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY.”

Oracles are dark sayings that carry deep truths concerning the mysteries of God. This oracle inspired this morning’s sermon.

God’s people are a lot more valued by Him than they realize. He has His eye on them. He sends us His favor on a daily basis. Why is he looking at us? He’s looking because He is irresistibly drawn to the heart that is pure in His sight.

Purity of heart is not the absence of sin in a believer’s life. It means that at the core of their being there is a focused innocence that desires only to love God and serve Him. A pure heart will wants what God wants. A pure heart will love sinners and desire to bring them into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

REMEMBER:

“A PURE HEART WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY.”

 

I’m not referring to praying a “perfect prayer,” or making prayer a complicated process so involved that believers will despair of talking to God at all. There are, however, clearly written guidelines in the sacred text that challenges us to approach Him with “clean hands and a pure heart,

 

Starter Illustration #2

Mike Bickle’s Three-Fold Grace of God

Last August I wrote in a sermon:

In the late 1970’s a youth pastor from Western St. Louis recruited ten couples and relocated to Kansas City. He was determined to establish a city-wide church that honored Jesus and was wholly dedicated to prayer. He established prayer teams and a format to pray 24 hours of every day. Everyone in leadership and on staff would be required to put in a “prayer shift” of 3 or more hours.

It was decided that the sanctuary would be dedicated as a special place to meet God on the corporate and individual level. Each prayer shift would be required to have an “intercessory leader.” Prayer leaders serve as a sort of moderator for prayer sessions. Anyone may lead in prayer who wishes to come to the front of the church and prayer into the microphone. A ten-minute rule is observed to quell anyone who might wish to monopolize.

The effect of continuous prayer, plus pastor Mike Bickle’s desire to become “the church of Kansas City” packed the church regularly. When I met him in 1990 he was a part of a symposium in West St. Louis. Two-part sermon series is a further portion of Brother Mike’s prayer concept and approach. Mike Bickle’s “Ten Conditions for Effective Prayer” asks believers to examine themselves about their personal lives as they approach God’s Throne.

 

January 7, 2007, Sheepfold Ministries

                                Pastor Phil Roland

PRAYER AND THE NEW YEAR

TEN CONDITIONS FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER IN 2007 – Part One

Various Texts

“Holy, believing, persevering prayer is an essential aspect of co-laboring with God for the release of the Grace He desires to give us.  Without effective prayer, we can do nothing!  Pray, meditate, seek Him with your whole heart!”          Pastor Phil

 

Ten Conditions for Effective Prayer:

I.   F A I T H - Forsaking All I Trust Him

          A.  Mark 11:23,24 –   Believe you receive it

          "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the

sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,

it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe

that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

            B.  Matt 21:21,22 – Whatever you ask in prayer

            Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can

you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go,

throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive

whatever you ask for in prayer."

          C,  1 John 5:14-15 – Confidence in approaching God

            “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything

according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we

ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.”

II.  P E R S I S T E N C E – The Parable of the Unjust Judge

  1. Luke 18:1-8 – God will bring justice to His chosen ones
  2. Matthew 7:7-11 – God’s gifts to those who ask

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be

opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him

who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will

give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If 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!”

C. Isaiah 30:18,19 – God hears and answers our cries

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.

For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!  O people of

Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be

when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.”

D. Isaiah 62:6,7 – Watch and pray continuously

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent

day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no

rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

E. Luke 11:5-13 – The Holy Spirit is prayer’s reward

 

III.  A  H O L Y   L I F E

  1. Psalm 66:17-19 – No cherished sin in our hearts

“I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.  If I had

cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely

listened and heard my voice in prayer.”

B. Isaiah 59:1,2 – Our sins separate us from God

“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his

face from you, so that he will not hear.”

C. 1 John 3:19-22 – Hear and obey His commands

“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts

at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than

our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn

us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.”

IV.  H O N O R  Y O U R  W I F E / H U S B A N D

  1. 1 Peter 3:7 - Honor spouse for unhindered prayers

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (your wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

  1. 1 John 4:20,21 - Loving spouse is like loving God

“If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

V.  FIND AND PRAY IN THE WILL OF GOD

          A. 1 John 5:14,15 – Ask anything according to His Will

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

B. Luke 1:37 – All God’s “Ray-ma” Possible

"For with God nothing will be impossible." (“Ray-ma” = “no thing”)

C. Matthew 19:26 – With men, no power, with God, all power

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

 

 

 

PRAYER AND THE NEW YEAR, Texts:

Luke 18:1-8  - The Parable of the Unjust Judge

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

2  He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.

3  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

4  "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men,

5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"

6  And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.

7  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

 

Luke 11:5-13 – The Holy Spirit is prayer’s reward

Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,

6  because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

7  "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.'

8  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9  "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

11  "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?

12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"