Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Keep Praying...Does Prayer Really Change Things???

Our lives are filled with plans, promises, pains, and picturesque moments. In every one of these emotions and circumstances we are encouraged to thank God because it is His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But have you ever been in a place where you just didn’t know if you should be thanking God or fussing at him.

In Romans 8:26, Paul writes, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

So, even when we don’t have the right words, we have the Holy Spirit who pushes our broken and unintelligible utterings from our hearts, beyond our lips, and toward God.

Prayer is one the most powerful tools a believer in Christ carries. Prayer calls down angels, calms stormy situations, and sees us through both the cool and the crazy moments of our lives. Yet, given the outstanding benefits of prayer – our prayers are often suffocated by impatience or fear.

I heard a preacher once say that our God is old school. God doesn’t own a microwave. He prefers Crock Pot blessings. Microwaves heat from the out side and will leave parts undone yet stoves and crock pot heat food patiently and thoroughly.

How does a believer develop the patience to hold on and maintain faith when they feel their time is limited?

How does a believer dismiss the fear that God won’t answer when they are praying with all of their might?

(Matthew 26:39)

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Matthew, Mark, and Luke explicitly detail Jesus’ prayer at the Mount of Olives.

In our greatest moments of agony understand that everyone is not going to understand what you are going through. The bible says Jesus traveled with his disciples only so far before He pulled away to be alone. Your family and friends may have been through something similar but its still different from your personal experience.

Luke 22:40 Jesus tells the disciples, “Pray that you will not give into temptation”

On of our greatest challenges is not that we won’t pray but that we will be tempted to GIVE UP on our prayers. 

Jesus says don’t give into temptation…

Then, Jesus walks away approximately 50 feet, drops to his knees and lays on his face. He is about to face an extreme circumstance. In this moment, similar to Jesus tears at the grave of lazarus, we once again get a glimpse at the human side of our Lord and Savior.

POINT #1

We receive REAL answers when we recognize and appeal to a REAL savior

It’s hard to talk to someone who is invisible

Jesus says, “My Father, Father, and Abba, Father” in the Gospels – each denotes that He is speaking to not only the Father of all but also his personal Father. This shows the closeness of their relationship. We have to realize that when we pray, we aren’t praying to an ATM machine, genie, or magic being in the sky. We are praying/communicating to someone who knows us intimately.

Question:
How many of you all are in a relationship
What is a reasonable amount of time you would expect to hear from them per day?
What is a reasonable amount time that your Heavenly Father should hear from you?

POINT #2

We receive REAL answers when we are REAL honest

The bible says in Isaiah 65:24: "Before you call I will answer, while you are still speaking, I will hear."

How cool is it to serve a God that knows exactly what we need even before we ask.

Yet, I believe we just aren’t upfront about our needs. We only want Him to fix the issue but not the root cause of the issue. We want quick solution instead of complete healing. Tell Him everything and allow Him to fix everything. Everything? Everything!

POINT #3 

We receive REAL answers when we wait for REAL answers
If God puts you on hold don’t hang up...

The human nature of Jesus was torn. The arduous task He was about to embark upon would torment His mind, body, and soul. Yet, He declares that God’s will is paramount.

The split second decision of Jesus to fully trust God is sometimes way too long for us to reach.  

In the darkest part of the storm Jesus cried out, Peter cried out, Moses cried out. Each was delivered. Why is your mouth still shut?

God won't give us what we can’t handle and He gives us what He wants us to grow in to.

You are given bigger shoes because your potential for growth is expected.

We I train people at the gym, I tell them, "If you are persistent you will get it – If you are consistent you will keep it"

It's biblical - check out Luke 18:1-5. Your resilience in faith is not begging - its consistent asking with confidence through faith. Begging is done in fear not faith.

The moment Jesus began to pray He was strengthened by the angels and every moment following that God never left his side. You have the Holy spirit in you and God has declared he will never leave you. Stop leaving him when your prayers aren’t answered your way. 

He knows, He gives, and He is on time.

Isaiah 41:9,10:
"You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you, and have not cast you away. Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."