Prayer and Evangelism
By Bobby Blakey on December 16, 2018
Prayer and Evangelism
By Bobby Blakey on December 16, 2018
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:02] When I was growing up, I was given a nickname, "Half-a-job Bob," that was the nickname my dad gave me because I was a slacker.
[00:00:13] That's why he gave me that nickname, because he would ask me to take out the trash. And I acted like taking out the trash with some rigorous chore.
[00:00:21] I was being asked to do and I would take out the trash after they would really remind me. And finally, I would take it out. And then he would go to throw something away and there would be no bag there in the trash can.
[00:00:33] Anybody ever been there before? Right. And he'd be like half a jar. Bob strikes again, everybody. No bag in the trash. One of the things I was asked to do growing up was scoop up the poop in the backyard from Bill's dog, Boomer. I don't know if anybody else had to do that, that job. And notice how I said it was Bill's dog, Boomer. Right. Which I thought was always an interesting name for a dog. I don't know. I just it just wasn't my dog. Right. I don't know if you've ever been forced to take care of a family member's dog, if anybody else has been in that situation. So I didn't approach it with the right zeal. That was for the task.
[00:01:05] And needless to say, I might have missed a few of the offerings that Boomer had for the backyard. And my dad, when he would go out there to throw the ball with one of us boys.
[00:01:16] He would usually somehow find these things that I would miss and he would he would step in them and he would then say another classic half a job.
[00:01:25] Bob Mome and everybody right now. So that's how I grew up.
[00:01:29] But actually, my dad, he he was a great dad. He disciplined me and he taught me the word of God. And he was an example to me of being a Christian. And he really blazed a trail for how I could live my life. And so from a young age, I had the blessing of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. So I started to really learn how am I going to live as a Christian? And I found myself do in half a job. Like one of the things I really knew God wanted me to do was he wanted me to pray. And I wanted to pray. I wanted to spend time with my father in the secret place and really get to know him and really pour out my heart to him. And I would be like fired up. And I'd say, OK, let's go get pray and I'm going to pray every day. I'm going to do it this way.
[00:02:15] And I get a journal and I start keeping track of my prayers. And like, I do it for one day or two days or three days. And then you would look at the journal and it would just be empty. Or maybe if the journal was full, if you looked through it, you'd see like whole days missing. As I was like, I want to pray, but it was so hard to stick with it. And then there was this other thing that I knew I was called to do as a believer. I knew I was supposed to share my faith to pass on the good news of what I believed, like the how to get to heaven. The good news of eternal life. And I knew there were people at my school or people I worked with growing up that didn't know Jesus the way I'd been blessed to know him. And I knew I should share with them. And he even sometimes there would be opportunities that were right in front of my face and I could see it. And the Holy Spirit, it would feel like he was even telling me, like, you should talk to him right now. You should speak up. And I would keep my mouth shut and I would not talk to them. And I remember this conviction that I felt. I remember even being moved to tears, like there's people that I know that don't know Jesus. And I had the chance to tell them. And I didn't tell them. And I would feel this conviction. Like, maybe I'm not really following through. Maybe I should really be more committed to prayer and evangelism. And I began as a young man to share this conviction with other people and to say, hey, I need to pray more. Hey, I feel like I miss opportunities to share the gospel. And you know what I heard from people around me in the church?
[00:03:47] Oh, yeah, me too. I don't pray that much either. Oh, wow. You actually pray a lot. It sounds like it compared to me. Oh yeah. I just missed an opportunity the other day. Let me tell you how badly I blew this one. I miss opportunities all the time.
[00:04:02] And it was like I had this conviction. Hey, this isn't OK. We're doing half a job. We got to step it up. But around me, what I found was people were OK with it. It was OK not to pray. It was OK not to share your faith. Like, that's just kind of how it was. And I came to this point where I had to make a decision was I going to follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit or was I going to go along with the accepted standards of the people around? What was it going to be? And if you open your Bible and turn with me to a fusion six, 18 to 20, you're going to see what God says that you and I should be doing when it comes to the matter of prayer in our life and how we should think about opening our mouths to share the gospel with other people in this. We've been studying effusions the whole year. We've been going through a series on spiritual warfare, and it all leads to these inspired words written by the apostle Paul under the influence of the Holy Spirit. And here's the conclusion that he comes to. This is a Friesians chapter six versus 18 to 20. Page nine hundred and seventy nine.
[00:05:07] If you got one of our Bibles and it says in Ephesians six, 18, praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication to that and keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. And also for me that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak.
[00:05:40] So remember what we've been studying? If you've been here, if you're just joining us.
[00:05:44] If you look back up here at verse 10, we're supposed to be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. And the command for us is we got to put on the armor of God and we got to stand firm because we have an enemy.
[00:05:55] We have the devil in all of his subtle schemes and all of the principalities of the demons. And they wanted to see everybody. They want to blind the world in unbelief so they don't see the glory of Jesus. And even Christian people, they want to destroy our faith. The devil's going around like a prowling lie and looking for souls to devour so that he would cause us to fall away from a sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ. So we've got an enemy that's coming against us.
[00:06:25] But we can put on the armor of God. And when we put on the armor of God, we will be able to withstand in the evil day. We will resist the devil. And he will flee from us. So he's been describing spiritual war. The enemy is coming after us. We have to stand firm. And he goes right from that to praying at all times in the spirit. And he gives us four statements about prayer that all have the word all in them.
[00:06:53] So in Paul's mind, there's a battle going on.
[00:06:56] The enemies come in. You got to stand your ground. And here's what you can do to engage in the spiritual war. This is for you.
[00:07:04] Start praying. That's what it says. Now, look at verse 18 and you'll see right before it there. There is a comma, not a period, not a new paragraph. OK. So this is all the same flow of thought.
[00:07:16] The enemy is common. You need to stand against him. So get praying at all times in the spirit.
[00:07:21] Pray all this way that he's going to describe four different all statements here in verse 18.
[00:07:28] The way that you really matter, that you make a difference, that you engage in the spiritual war is through your prayers.
[00:07:38] And so the standard here for prayer in the Christians life, what these Ephesian believers are expected to pray like, it's all describe for us here in verse 18. Look at it with me. Look at the four. All statements here praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication to that and keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. So the standard here on how you and I are called to pray, it's it's detailed. Four different parts. And it's a very high standard if somebody really prayed like this at all times. All kinds of supplications, all perseverance for all the saints.
[00:08:19] There's a word, a phrase that we would use for them today. We would say somebody who prays like that. They are a prayer. What?
[00:08:26] That's what we would say. That's what he's saying. What he's saying to every single one of us, there's a real war going on. There's the devil and his demons. Souls are on the line. If you don't put on the armor of God, you won't stand in the evil day. And here's what we need. All of us to be prayer warriors. Point number one, let's get it down like this. Live like you will die. A prayer warrior. That should be the goal for your life. That should be something that you want to be. And you're working your way towards that goal. You're growing in the pattern of prayer as it's described here in a Feagin six 18. And I've had many people describe their their family members, some of their loved ones who die. They'll talk about their grandma, their and their dad. They'll say, wow, they were a real prayer warrior even when they got old, even when they couldn't do as much physically, even when they were struggling with this disease. They were always praying. They were always praying for us.
[00:09:26] In fact, look at my family. Look at what's happened in my family. I think it's because my relative is a prayer warrior. And now God has done this mighty work in my family. And it all goes back to this person's prayers. That's what you want people saying about you when you die. That's the kind of person that you want to be known for as a person who really made a difference in life, as someone who talked to God in heaven. And it mattered here on earth that you engaged in the spiritual war by being a prayer warrior. That should be your personal goal.
[00:10:01] For every single one of us, this is the standard. This is it for some special group of people. This is every Christian believer is called to be a prayer warrior. And the first one to hear it says praying at all times in the spirit. So we've got four dashes. Let's break it down here. First one is all times. If you're taking notes all times, it's right there.
[00:10:23] This means that prayer is supposed to be a 24/7 conversation between me here on Earth and my father in heaven. That prayer is a mindset that I have where I'm always directing my thoughts to God and I'm always asking him and thanking him and talking to him. And so, yeah, I'm and I have focused times of prayer. Jesus is clear about that. And Matthew six, he says, when you pray not if you pray not if you have time to pray.
[00:10:54] He says when you pray, you need to go into the secret place where it's just you and the father. You need to close the door and leave the distractions outside. And wherever this special time is, the secret places, you need to spend some quality time, you and the father.
[00:11:10] But we know the Bible also says in First Thessalonians five to pray without ceasing all the time. So I have these real quality times where I get to really one on one talk to God. But then even when I'm not in that prayer closet, so to speak, no, I'm still directing my thoughts to him, still asking him for help, still confessing that sin as it comes up. Still thanking him for the good things that I can say.
[00:11:34] And my thoughts are constantly being directed to God as I set my mind on the things of heaven, not on earth. And I'm talking to him throughout the day.
[00:11:44] And then maybe I'm even meeting with a brother or sister and I'm seeing him here at church. And maybe we're taking a moment to pray together and we're gathering together for the purpose of prayer, pray at all times, it says. So you're not supposed to be doing life on your own. You're not supposed to be caught up just in your own head, just thinking through life in your own thoughts. No, they're supposed to be this constant communication between you and the father in heaven so that you're praying at all times. And maybe that seems like a lot. Maybe you're like, how can I possibly do that? We want to start moving towards that goal right away today. I mean, how much are you praying? Are you spending quality time with the father? Do you have your thoughts being directed to him throughout the day? Do you ever get together with other people for the purpose of praying? It's time to start really thinking about how you could move towards the standard here of being a prayer warrior, and if you feel like, wow, that's a high standard to pray at all times, who can do that? We'll look at how it says we're gonna be able to do it. Praying at all times in the spirit, it says.
[00:12:51] This is the power that's going to enable you to pray.
[00:12:54] It can't just be up to you. It has to be the spirit of God. From the moment you believed in Jesus, the spirit of God seals you. He's your eternal security. He now dwells within you. And it's by being in the spirit that you will be able to pray at all times. Now, we've been learning about the spirit, the whole book of Ephesians. But go back to Chapter five and look at verse fifteen, because here it talked about really being under the influence of the spirit. You remember that it said, look carefully then how you walk. You need to evaluate your life. Take a look at your life. Don't walk is unwise, but is wise. Making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Don't waste your life. But redeem the time. Make the most of the opportunities. Therefore, do not be foolish. But understand what the will of the Lord is. Don't just do what makes sense to you.
[00:13:47] Do what God really wills for you to do and do not get drunk with wine. For that is debauchery to be under the influence of alcohol. That's a waste of your time. No. Instead it says be filled with the spirit. You want to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, filling you up, directing your life, guiding you where to go, giving you wisdom and showing you God's will for your life. How can you be influenced by the spirit? And then we've seen that when you're influenced by the spirit, it changes everything. It puts a song in your heart to sing to the Lord. You have other things to good things to say to other people. It changes your marriage, your parenting, the way you go to work. You're able to really walk in power and be strong because the spirit is working in you. And here's something the spirit is gonna do in you.
[00:14:36] He's going to cause you to pray. That's what it says, praying at all times in the spirit.
[00:14:42] And this is really encouraging. If you're thinking, well, I'm not very good at prayer, I'm not sure I really know what to say. I'm not really sure I understand what God's will is. I've got some decisions. I don't know what to pray for. Should I. Should I take this job? Should I. Should I move to this place? Should I pursue this relationship? What should how should I deal with this issue in my family? I mean, I got a lot of things that I'm not quite sure what God wants me to do. So it's hard to pray when I don't really know what to say. Well, here's the good news to everybody who feels like you're not equipped to pray. It's the spirit who's working in you and the Bible go so far as to say when you don't even know what to pray, the spirit will pray the right thing. Turn there with me to Romans Chapter eight. Look at what it says here. This is a real encouragement that you will be able to pray the way that we learn here in a field in six eighteen because it will be the spirit empowering you to do it.
[00:15:37] And it says these are versus that are not talked about as much as they need to be. Romans eight, 26 and 27. I'd encourage you. You're taking notes. Write that down. Look these verses up maybe before you start praying later on this week, because we know that we're praying to our father in heaven and that the only way we're able to go to God's throne of grace and find mercy to help us in our time of need is because Jesus Christ, he's the one interceding for us. He's at the right hand of God. He claims us as his own. And he's the reason that our prayers will be heard in heaven because we're offering those prayers in the name of Jesus through our faith in him. And so Jesus intercedes. But what is often left out is how the spirit intercedes for us when we pray. Romans eight 26. It says likewise, the spirit helps us in our weakness. See, that's what prayer reveals is our weakness. It is hard work for us to pray, to set our mind on the things of God, to stay focused, to keep doing it. Day after day, prayer can really expose how weak we are. Good news, everybody. We've got the spirit to help us with that weakness, for we do not know what to pray for as we are. But the spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning is too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the spirit. Because the spirit intercedes for the Saints. According to the will of God. Wow. You don't know what to say. Guess what? The spirit is interceding for you with grown wings too deep for words. You're not sure what the will of God is like. God. Is this your will? Is this your will? No, it says the spirit. He intercedes and he knows what the will of God is.
[00:17:25] The spirit will empower you to pray.
[00:17:28] If you are filled with the spirit, if you're under his influence and you're getting his word in your heart and you're really seeking to pray to your father in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, the spirit is the one who will empower you to pray.
[00:17:42] I mean, what an amazing thing happens when you pray. You go to heaven, when you pray by faith.
[00:17:48] You go into the throne room of the father and the son is there interceding for you. And the spirit is even speaking on your behalf like you. And you enter into relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit every single time that you pray.
[00:18:03] And now we should really be realizing. Yeah, why would there ever be a time when I'm not praying?
[00:18:09] So I could be in that relationship so I could be mindful of all that I have in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how they're with me right now. So it says pray at all times. In this spirit. So what's what's going to be the strategy for you? How are you going to say, OK, I got to spend quality times in prayer. I got to direct my thoughts to God in prayer throughout the day. I need to pray with other people. Just pray at all times and trust it's gonna be the spirit that does this work to empower you. Look at the next thing here in Ephesians six. Go back to Ephesians six. Verse 18. Look at the next all statement here. It actually comes first in the Greek, but its second year.
[00:18:50] And our English translation. It says, with all prayer and supplication. So all kinds of different prayer. There's not just one way to pray. There's not just your way to pray. There's all kinds, says prayers and supplications here, all kinds of prayers.
[00:19:08] All right. Maybe you've met somebody. Will I just pray a certain way? Well, the Bible saying no. There's all kinds of ways to pray. Maybe you've met somebody. I hear this at church. Sometimes I don't pray out loud. I don't pray in public. I don't pray with other people know there's all kinds of different ways that you're gonna learn to pray.
[00:19:24] And one of the ways that you're going to learn, it says, is all supplications supplications is a specific kind of prayer, which is based on our needs. Supplications is when we bring our requests to God because we need God to do something. So let's get that down for our second dash here.
[00:19:42] It's all supplications.
[00:19:45] All needs need to be brought before our father in heaven. Everything, whether it's a physical need like our daily bread, whether it's a spiritual need, like confessing sin, whether it's some kind of provision that we need or protection so that we're not led into temptation, but delivered from the evil one.
[00:20:04] All needs and all of our supplications. Whatever requests you've got, make sure you pray through all of those requests. That's what it says.
[00:20:13] Every single need needs to be brought to God. Now, one of the most popular phrases that I hear people say today in English is America. In America right now is I got this anybody here and here and a lot of that.
[00:20:28] I got this right. I hear people say that all the time. You're talking about what you're going to do at home. Oh, I got this. I got this. It's somebody I work. Oh, yeah, I got this. And they say it like, how dare you question me? And that's why I've said it before, too. Maybe you've said it as well. Like, I have this perfect track record of reliability. Nobody ever called me half a job, Bob, before. Why would you ever question me? Oh, come on. Consider it done. I got this right. Here's the thing.
[00:20:57] Every time you say I got this, you can't go to God and say, I need this.
[00:21:03] You need it, there's you don't have anything is the truth.
[00:21:08] We need to go from an. I got this mentality to what he's got this mentality. And so I take every need that I've got. And I bring it up to God and ask him to get it, admitting that I don't have it.
[00:21:19] What we need to acknowledge in prayer is our great need and let our need drive us to the Lord in dependance upon him.
[00:21:28] That's what it means to really pray. And so if you're going around saying, I got this, what you're thinking is you can get through the day just fine on your own.
[00:21:37] You'll just you'll just figure it out. You'll just get through it. You're tough. You've been doing it for a long time. You'll just keep powering through and then you're not going to bring all your supplications to the Lord and ask him to meet all your needs. You're going to try it to do it on your own strength. And everybody who says, I got this and tries to do it in their own strength. You know what? They eventually realize I don't got this.
[00:22:01] I never really had this. I wasn't even close to getting this from the beginning.
[00:22:05] Turn with me to Philippians just a few pages over to the right, Philippians Chapter four versus six and seven. A famous prayer promise right here in Philippians. Chapter four, verse six and seven. Cause the the. I got this. That's Pride. That's yourself getting puffed up thinking that you got it. In fact, the scripture is very clear that everyone who thinks he stands needs to take heed. Lest he. What? Yeah. You you think you're standing. You think you're doing fine in your own strength. You got to fall. Come in. And that's where the pride goes. It goes before the fall. It goes in the. I got this. And what I got this turns into is it turns into anxiety. It turns into worry, stress, frustration.
[00:22:47] Like I thought I had this. I thought it would work out. I trusted in myself. Now my castle is crumbling and I'm realizing I don't have it. And so now I'm really freaking out. And I'm worried and I'm stressed and I'm frustrated with so and so because why didn't they get my back? I know I said I got this, but they still could have had my back. And now you're really getting into it, right?
[00:23:06] You realize that's where anxiety comes from, anxiety is the fall of pride. That's what it is.
[00:23:12] Worry is you think and you could do it and now you're freaking out because you know you can't do it.
[00:23:17] That's what worry is. And every time you're anxious, every time you are worried, you know what that is, that's a signal that that's a need. You haven't prayed about. Every time you're stressed out, you start getting impatient with somebody. Here's the question you should ask next time you're impatient about somebody. Have you prayed for them? You start getting frustrated about a situation immediately, you should have I brought this supplication, this need, this request, have I have I taken that to the Lord in prayer and really asked him to meet that need? Because maybe the reason I'm frustrated with this situation is I haven't given it up to go. It says here in Philippians, chapter four, verse six, it says, Do not be anxious about anything. Don't let yourself worry about it. Don't get stressed out about it. Stop. Stop freaking out. Don't do not be anxious about anything. But in everything by prayer and supplication. Same words as Ephesians six 18.
[00:24:11] But in everything by prayer and supplication. With Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. We'll guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[00:24:26] This is an amazing thing that happens that you can experience through the power of prayer.
[00:24:31] You've got this burden. You've got this worry, this care. And you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. You stop thinking that you've got it. You humble yourself. And now, according to First Peter 567, you cast your care upon the Lord knowing that he cares for you. You make your request known to God. You say, hey, I'm there.
[00:24:52] I'm anxious about this thing. And I'm not thinking about it the right way. I need to come to you and I give my request up to you. And it says the moment that you give that need up to God and ask him to meet it. It's like a miracle happens. It's like this peace comes in and it guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
[00:25:12] It's like this fortress comes in around your soul and you're filled up with this confidence that I know God's got this and it doesn't even make sense. It surpasses understanding because the issue is still on the table.
[00:25:27] The thing that you were just freaking out about, it hasn't been resolved yet. It's still out there. But it's like you took that burden and you gave it up to God and he took it from you. And now you're already thanking him. You're already feeling peace. And it hasn't even played out in real space and time yet. But, you know, God's got it.
[00:25:47] That's the power of prayer that you can experience every single need that you have it, whether it seems super like a big need or just a small little need in your life.
[00:25:57] All of those supplications, you bring them up to God.
[00:26:00] And trust me, he cares about you. Something he's proven when he gave his one and only son to us on Christmas that he loves us. I mean, one thing I was thinking about this week that God knows the number of hairs on my head, I have no clue how many hairs. I don't even know if that counts the beard. You know what I'm saying? I mean, I don't even know. I don't even know how that works.
[00:26:22] Do you know how many hairs you've got on your head? God does.
[00:26:27] God cares for you on a level even beyond your own understanding of yourself. And here we are trying to carry life around on our shoulders when when we have so much needless worry.
[00:26:42] All because we don't take you to the Lord of prayer. Why are you trying to get it? I mean, he's promised to give. Give it up. Let your request even today, take those cares and humble yourself. Stop trying to do it. Stop being proud.
[00:26:58] God gives grace to the humble. Admit to God that you are one hundred percent dependent on him, that he's the only one with a 100 percent reliable track record, that he's the one whose mercy is new every morning.
[00:27:13] Great is his faithfulness and you're going to rely on him. And so you're taking all your cares and you're giving them up to him and he's got.
[00:27:23] And if you're carrying around your own burdens, all supplications, every single need you've got. Give it up to the Lord in prayer and he will remove that burden from you. It's an act of faith. It's a real moment of trust where you are saying, God, I cannot get this and I need you to do it. And you give it up to him and he takes it and it's gone. And it comes in this piece of Jesus Christ surrounding you, protecting you. It's an amazing thing when you and I get to see brothers and sisters. People of faith here at this church as they go through brutal physical problems, financial challenges. Just real relationship struggles, and they have this sense of calm. And they have this piece because they know that the Lord holds it in his hands and they are good with that. It's the opposite of the I got this way to think. It's real faith, real peace. And the way they got there was through prayer. All of us can get there. And what a blessing it is when you're bird. And you give it to the Lord and he takes that bird and he does it.
[00:28:33] How powerful an experience can I get any Amen from anybody on that? You know what I'm talking about.
[00:28:38] That's something you can experience through prayer. Don't be anxious about it and everything. Bring those supplications. All your requests. Make them known to the Lord. Go back to Ephesians. Just a couple of pages to the left, Ephesians six 18. Because the next phrase. This is where it gets hard. This is where it's going to be work.
[00:28:59] It's going to require effort. You're going to have to make prayer. If you're going to really become a prayer warrior, you're going to have to make it a major priority in your life.
[00:29:07] One of the top things that you're committed to, it says to that end, to this end of praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end.
[00:29:15] Keep alert with all perseverance. That's the third one we want to get down.
[00:29:21] All perseverance, endurance, bearing up under the weight of it. You're going to have to have, as we might say today, some stick to it ness when it comes to prayer. OK, maybe you've experienced what I've experienced where you have these great intentions to go pray and you do it for some time, but it's hard to keep doing it day after day, week after week, month after month, till it really defines who you are and becomes the practice of your life.
[00:29:51] And it's saying you've got to persevere. Maybe there's some you're hearing this message about prayer and you're like. But how much does prayer really do? There's a lot of there's a lot of people who really don't believe there's much happening in prayer these days. And a lot of the reason they don't believe it is not because of what the Bible says.
[00:30:08] Jesus says, ask anything in my name and I'll do it. Jesus says, if you ask anything, according to my will, consider it done. Jesus says if you pray with faith, you can move mountains. Jesus is always encouraging prayer. He's always saying prayers get answered. He's saying ask. Receive. Seek. Find. Knock. The door is open to father. He's waiting. He wants to give you good gifts. Just go ask him. That's always how Jesus is talking about prayer.
[00:30:34] That's not how people are talking about it today. Oh, I prayed. Nothing happened. Well, let me ask you. Did you stick with it? Did you persevere or did you pray?
[00:30:42] Nothing happened and you gave up. Maybe prayers. Not the problem. Maybe you're not keeping alert with all perseverence. Maybe your commitment to prayer isn't what it needs to be in God's sight.
[00:30:55] See, we are quick to blame God and quick to blame prayer when really maybe we are the problem, that we started out with good intentions, but we did not follow through.
[00:31:05] It's saying you've got to pray with all perseverance. You've got to keep alert. You know how you could translate that word. People were alert. Stay awake. That's how you can say stay awake. And isn't really sleep the enemy of prayer and a lot of our lives. Isn't that really the core issue that some of us think that what's going to help us get through the next day is a full night's sleep rather than a full time of prayer with the Lord? And we may not say that in church. We may not even think that in our own head, but we kind of prove it when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. I'm not a big fan of alarm clocks, anybody with me on that but want to say, man. I mean, even now, these days, a lot of people their alarm clock is your phone. Right? And you're going to bed near like, what time am I going to wake up? And you you feel ambitious sometimes when you go to bed. You know what I'm talking about. You feel like tomorrow is gonna be the day. I'm really going to wake up. I'm really going to get the day going. I'm going to spend that Kutty time, that quality time in prayer tomorrow morning. And so you don't you go big. You don't just set one alarm. You set four or five alarms. You know what I'm talking about? And you're like, yeah, this is gonna be the day. And then they start going off and you're like, who set all these alarms? What was I thinking? You know, and you just start snooze in your way. That's how your day begins, is a big ole snooze fest. Am I speaking to anybody here this morning? Right.
[00:32:29] Just keep alert. Literally stay awake.
[00:32:35] Biggest problem, the prayer is you're gonna be too tired to do it at the end of the day and too tired to wake up and do it, because if you really want that quiet quality time where it's just you and the father, maybe some of us are blessed with schedules where you've got this beautiful secret place of time in the middle of the day. But for some of us, the secret place is only start an either before everybody else or after everybody else.
[00:32:58] And it's going to come down to how committed are you really? Are you ready to stay away?
[00:33:04] I mean, Jesus went to Peter and he said, Satan's coming after you.
[00:33:08] Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, but I've prayed for you that you would stand strong. And after you turn strengthen your brothers, I'd pray that your faith will not fail. Peter. I'm praying for you. But watch out. Satan is going to come after you and you're going to deny me three times.
[00:33:24] And then he says, OK, let's go to the garden. And they have this prayer meeting in the garden where Jesus is starting to feel the burden of bearing our sin and drinking the cup of God's wrath so that we could be saved. He gets judged so that we don't have to be.
[00:33:37] And he's feeling that. And he's lying down on the ground and he's pouring his heart out to God. And he's saying, not as I will, but as you will.
[00:33:45] And he brings his three closest disciples, his three closest people on planet Earth, Peter, James and John. And he says, guys, my my soul is greatly troubled. I'm sorrowful even to the point of death. Hey, guys, we really need to pray right now. I'm going to go over here and pray you guys do it right here. Three times he goes away and prays and he comes back. Three times he finds them one.
[00:34:06] How many times has he found you asleep? As you said, the devil's coming after you. Has he told you you're at war, as he told you, Satan wants your soul?
[00:34:17] And he comes in, he finds you. How does he find you? Does he find you alert? Ready? Prayed up. Where does he find you? Sleep.
[00:34:26] Just going through another day, there's going to have to be a shift in the way that you think in the reality that you live it. OK. I don't have enough time to pray. And so I'm just gonna try to get through the day, or the only way I'm gonna get through the day is if I pray. Which one do you believe? Which one do you show you believe? By the way, you wake up in the morning, by the way. You stay up at night.
[00:34:52] Do you show that you believe that when you really pray and you give all those requests up to God and you're praying in the spirit and you're having this constant communication with God, that it changes everything about the way that day is experienced, changes how you deal with all of the difficulties that come up, how you interact with the other people, the thoughts that are going through your own head when you're really walking in prayer with God.
[00:35:14] The whole day is a different experience. Your relationship with God determines how your day goes rather than your day determining how you are in your heart.
[00:35:24] A prayer is the difference between a good day and a bad day. It's not your circumstance. It's not what's going on that day on the calendar. It's where your heart is with God.
[00:35:35] Jesus is telling you one of the main commands that Jesus has for you, if you're one of his people, OK?
[00:35:42] One of the main things that he expects and we can't see it, there's nothing you can do that kind of that would show everybody you're there. But it's an attitude of your heart that Jesus commands over and over again. We've seen it in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and we've been reading through the scripture of the day. Jesus wants his people to be ready.
[00:36:01] He wants them to be alert. Turn with me to mark 13 term would mean a mark. Chapter 13. And let's just hear from our Lord Jesus Christ.
[00:36:12] As he's teaching about the future, he's teaching about the signs of the end of the age, and this is an especially relevant message to people living two thousand years later in the year of our Lord.
[00:36:22] 2018 about to go into 2019, and we see all the signs of the end of the age, the wars and rumors of wars, the earthquakes, the persecution, the love of many people growing cold. And Jesus says it's the one who endures. It's the one who perseveres to the end. That one will be saved.
[00:36:45] And he says, watch out. It's gonna happen like a thief in the night. It's gonna happen in the world's not going to be ready. And then he says this to us. And Mark, 13, verse 32 at the end of the chapter, the bottom of page eight hundred and fifty, he says.
[00:36:59] But concerning that day, that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the father.
[00:37:07] Only the father knows the moment that Jesus Christ is coming back that he's going to return. So be on guard.
[00:37:14] Keep awake or keep alert like it says in our passage, for you do not know when the time will come. You don't know if today is going to be the day. So you gotta be ready. Alert, awake. That's the idea. Throughout the whole New Testament. Maybe today is the day the enemy shows up the devouring ly and shows up trying to destroy your faith. Are you alert? Are you ready for the enemy's attack?
[00:37:42] Maybe today is the day that that person that you prayed for in the past, that person you really care about. Maybe it's a loved one. Maybe it's one of your own kids. Maybe it's a coworker that God's put on your heart that you've been praying for. And this is the day they're finally going to look at you and say, hey, can you tell me? I can tell. Christmas is a big deal for you. Can you tell me what it's really all about? The story of Jesus Christ. Are you gonna be ready when that moment comes?
[00:38:06] Are you alert? Are you on guard? Are you already prayed up for that moment? Are you fumbling now?
[00:38:12] There's gonna come a moment where you meet Jesus Christ, where you see him face to face. You don't know the time. You don't know when it's happening. The question is, are you awake? Are you alert? Jesus wants his people to be ready.
[00:38:28] And the way we stay ready is we stay in prayer with all perseverance.
[00:38:34] We can't be sleeping on the job when the day is at hand.
[00:38:39] And he gives this story right here, verse 34. It's like a man going on a journey. And when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, we've all got our role to play.
[00:38:51] And he commands the doorkeeper to stay away. So the the master says, hey, I'm leaving. I don't know when I'm coming back, but, hey, you watch the door, you be ready. I might come back at any time of the night.
[00:39:03] You keep awake, you be ready. Verse 35. Therefore, stay awake for you do not know when the master of the house will come. It might be in the evening or at midnight or when the rooster crows are in the morning. Now, you know what that sounds like to me? That the evening midnight. Rooster crowing Morning. That sounds like a good night's sleep. That's what that sounds like right there.
[00:39:24] But he says no, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.
[00:39:28] And what I say to you, I say to all stay away. You're going to have to make this a resolve in your heart. You're going to have a purpose in your own soul that I am going to make prayer, a commitment in my life.
[00:39:46] And I don't care what it takes. I'm going to pray with all perseverance. I'm going to stick with. And we're about to enter that resolution time of year. I mean, we got nine shopping days till Christmas, everybody. That's your public service announcement of the morning right there. No, it's just practical wisdom. Nine shopping days till Christmas.
[00:40:05] And then suddenly, all of a sudden, it 2018 will be over and 2019 will be here. And everybody's gonna take a good look in the mirror after all that Christmas cooking. And then we're gonna be hearing about diets and we're gonna be hearing about exercise plans. And January is gonna be a busy time at the gym. And then February comes, right?
[00:40:24] That's how it works.
[00:40:26] Let me tell you, more important than any other resolve, any other commitment that you could make, if you make this one commitment that you will be a person of prayer. It will change all of your other commitments. It will even change your physical health. It will change so much about you. If you pray with perseverance, if you really say if there's one thing I'm gonna be known for, if there's one thing I'm going to do with my life, I am going to be a person who prays at all times in the spirit, all of my supplications, with all perseverance.
[00:40:56] If Jesus comes back while I'm alive, he's gonna find me ready.
[00:41:00] It's what you're supposed to say. You got to feel it. It's got to be personal for you. But you are gonna be a you're never gonna get there unless you make that commitment in your heart. You don't want to know one person who did this. His name is Daniel.
[00:41:13] We're actually going to start in January of twenty nineteen. We're gonna go through the book of Daniel. Does everybody know that that's what we're doing next. Together, we're going through the book of Daniel. And this guy, he was a young man when the Babylonians came in and they invaded Jerusalem and they desecrating the temple. And they took him, kidnaped him, brought him as a prisoner of war back to Babylon. And they put him in brainwashing school, where they gave him a new language, told him to worship new gods, gave him a new name. They tried to give him a whole new life there in Babylon. And he made one commitment. He resolved he purposed in his art. He would not corrupt himself. He would not be taken over in his mind.
[00:41:53] And you know how this guy became known? He became known as a man of. In fact, this guy, Daniel, just some young man who had faith in God, he became the second most important person in the Babylonian kingdom. Next to King Nebeker Nasr.
[00:42:11] He became King Nebeker as closest adviser. In fact, when the MEADS and the Persians, these are real life nations in the history of planet Earth, the Babylonians. And then you got the means and the Persians.
[00:42:22] And when they come in and wipe out the Babylonians, guess what? Daniel becomes one of the most important people in their government as well.
[00:42:30] I mean, this guy for 70 years, he was the influencer of kings, and he had so many enemies.
[00:42:36] The enemy came against him. They were people persecuting him. They wanted to take Daniel down. And they searched his life and they were like, how can we destroy this guy? And they said, the only way we can get to this guy is if we go after his prayer, because morning, noon and night, he goes to this same room with this window facing towards Jerusalem.
[00:42:58] He's been doing it for 70 years. He's been praying with all perseverance, looking to Jerusalem, waiting for God to take his people home.
[00:43:08] The only way we can take this guy down is if we make prayer illegal. And that's what they did. They make prayer illegal and they trip the king, Derrius.
[00:43:18] They trick a trick King Derrius, and they put a trap for Daniel. And of course, when he hears that prayer is illegal, what does he do? He goes home and he prays. Same spot, same procedure, same thing with all perseverance.
[00:43:30] So they throw him in a den of lions.
[00:43:35] And in answer to his prayer, the Lord closes the mouth of the lions. And if you pray, the Lord will close the mouth of the lion. Who wants to devour you? You will experience victory in the spiritual war when you pray with all perseverance, are you sticking with it really?
[00:43:55] Are you giving it everything you got? That's the question. That's the commitment.
[00:43:59] There's no other way to become a prayer warrior than you're going gonna have to fight every day to pray. It's going to have to be a commitment in your life and you're gonna have to be awake, alert. And then it says, well, who should we be praying for? Go back to Ephesians six 18. It says, Who should we be praying for here? And it says the last phrase here, making supplication, bringing up the needs, it says, for all the Saints.
[00:44:27] So that's our fourth dash. They're all saints.
[00:44:33] We have a lot of first world problems. You know what that means? Problems that don't really matter. That's what it means. But they are a big deal to us because we are so focused on our selves and we want our life to be a certain way. Our comfort, our convenience, our feelings. It matters so much to us and we can get so inside our own head.
[00:44:57] And the whole point of prayer is to get out of your own head and your own thoughts and to set your thoughts on God and to pray for his name to be hallowed, for his kingdom to come, for his will to be done, and then to pray not for yourself, but for others. See, this is what prayer brings you into. The only way you'll be able to stick with praying is if you have an others oriented mindset.
[00:45:21] If you just pray about yourself, you won't stick with it because you're just sorry to say it. But you are not interesting enough to keep praying for at all times. That's just the facts. You're not the center of the universe. Life isn't all about you. That's not the way we're supposed to be thinking. We're supposed to be seeing Jesus as the center.
[00:45:39] And then all of these other people who are all the people that Jesus has saved.
[00:45:43] What's going on in their life? What about my friend who's going through this real trial? What about my friend over here who is under the attack of the enemy? What about my brother, a sister who just shared the sin that they're struggling with. And I need to go to war for them. I need to intercede on their behalf. I need to lift up the needs, not just my own needs, not just me in my own family's needs. No, I'm lifting up the needs of the saints. I'm praying for God's people. And I'm really taken their burdens and making them my own and I'm interceding, I'm praying on behalf of my brother or sister, my friend in Christ, I'll be praying on behalf of my fellowship group and the people as we gather together. I'm praying on behalf of this church as God does a work here in us as we hear the sermons on pray and people will actually go home and live it out and put it into practice on praying for the Saints. Does that describe you?
[00:46:37] Do you pray for other people? Like who? Who are you going to heaven for? Who do you have their back in prayer?
[00:46:47] Like, no matter what they go through, you will go through it with them and you will pray for them every step of the way.
[00:46:53] Do you have those people? Dearly beloved people in your life that you pray for. Supposed to be for the Saints.
[00:47:03] And and even if somebody never shares a prayer request with you, you will never run out of things to pray for. You know what God's will is for their life. You know that, first of all, it's God's will that they would be a saint. That they would be saved from their sin. That they would be set apart. That's what it means to be a saint. Set apart for the purpose of God. That's that's universal.
[00:47:23] God desires all people to be safe. We can pray for anybody. First step that they would be a saint.
[00:47:28] And then when they are saying we can pray that they would grow in their relationship with God.
[00:47:33] We know the revealed will of God that they would walk in his ways, that they would follow the power of his spirit, that they would obey his commands, that they would stand firm in the trials as so many things that we can pray for one another because we know that's what scripture expects of our lives. That's how Paul was every church. He writes, too, it seems he's like, I'm always praying for you guys. I'm always making mention of you and my prayers. And I'm praying that your knowledge will grow. I'm praying that your love will be strong. I'm praying that God will open your eyes so you can see all that you have in Christ. Like he's always lifting up the saints because he doesn't want them to fall away from the faith or be taken over by the enemy. No, he's always praying that their faith will be firm and their love will be real and they'll be growing stronger in their walk with the Lord, who is on your prayer list all the time. You're praying for them. You are a prayer warrior on their behalf.
[00:48:31] And I'm not just talking about your natural family.
[00:48:33] Know God's fan, the Church of Jesus Christ. Who are the saints that you lived up before the Lord? If you're not praying for other people. That's how prayer works. Jesus doesn't teach us to pray.
[00:48:48] Me, myself and I. He teaches us to pray in the plural. We. US. And ah, it's our daily bread. It's our sins that need to be forgiven. We need to not be led into temptation, but delivered from the evil one. Don't let your prayers become selfish and personal. You will lose the power of your prayers. You will be praying your own desires. Pray for other people and watch how God will work. He'll take you out of your own frustrated mindset and he'll bring you into the glories of heaven and he'll bring you into the needs of others. It's such a great way to live, to be others oriented.
[00:49:28] It's better to give than receive. That's what Jesus says.
[00:49:32] You go study a study, any major war that happens in a country, a world war. And look at how the people in that country, when they're at war with an enemy and they're afraid that enemy might come in and invade and wipe them out and take them over.
[00:49:47] Look at how the people of that country suddenly get over themselves and they stop with all these petty problems and disagreements and they come together and they unite together for the purpose of survival, that we could win the war over the enemy and be victorious and live. That's what happens in wartime. And you and I are in a war. Souls are on the line.
[00:50:11] There is a domain of darkness where the devil and his demons are deceiving the whole world and blinding them so they can't see Jesus. And there is a kingdom of light, a kingdom of glory where Jesus reigns and everybody, you know, is in one kingdom or the other. And the way that they go from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light is the power of God to save them. And God saves people when his people pray.
[00:50:40] And you can make a difference in the spiritual world. That's what it.
[00:50:44] Souls are on the line. And you could do something about first. Timothy two says that God desires that we'd be praying for all people because he desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. And then those who are saved, we would pray that they would stand firm against the enemy, that their faith would not fail, that they would strengthen their brothers.
[00:51:05] This is how we should be praying.
[00:51:07] And now you can see why we would need to be praying at all times if we're trying to really pray for all the Saints, if we're really trying to bring all the needs that become aware to us of other people and we're trying to bring them up to the Lord. That would require a lot of prayer.
[00:51:22] We us and our kind of prayers. Well, it's not just about me, but it's about all of us going to the Lord and then Paul. He gives a prayer requests here in versus 19 to 20. Look at it, he says, and, hey, can you pray for something for me? And I want you to really think about what Paul says here.
[00:51:39] He says, Pray that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Then look at this line right here for which I am an ambassador in chains that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak the case. When he says he's an ambassador in chains, that means he is writing this letter of Friesians. From where?
[00:52:03] Prison, jail. OK.
[00:52:06] Now, if I was in jail, you were injured. You're sitting there in prison.
[00:52:11] Hey, guys, I wrote you this amazing letter. And in fact, if we just read this letter and he didn't tell us he was in prison, there's no way you would know he was in prison by the tone of this letter. I mean, you would think he's in heaven. He's talking about every blessing that we've got. Something about the praise of the glory of God's grace, how God took us, who were in sin and made us alive and Jesus he made us all one in the church. How God's power is able to do more than all we can ask or imagine.
[00:52:37] And we can put off our old selves of sin and we can put on these new lives and be filled with the spirit. And it will change all our relationships. We can put the armor of God on. We can win a war.
[00:52:46] Doesn't sound like a person in prison to me. And he says, hey, I got one prayer request from you guys at the end of the letter. Now, I would think if I was in prison, my prayer request would be I'd like to get out of prison. I don't know, maybe that maybe that's just me, right? I would think, man, the prison food is not in and out. Can you guys pray that I would get out of here?
[00:53:07] Right. I mean, guys, they're not taking good care of me in here, I'd get sick in here.
[00:53:13] I'm losing heart in here. I'm having a really hard time. Can you pray that God will open a door so that I can get out of this place? That's not what he says. He says, hey, we pray that I will open my mouth and speak the gospel. That's his one request. The prayer request from prison is pray. I keep preaching the gospel, which, by the way, preaching the gospel to the Gentiles is how he ended up in prison. And name. Maybe now he's feeling this temptation to back down. Maybe he's feeling beat down by the persecution coming against maybe the enemy is near and causing him to doubt. And he says, guys, if there's one thing that I need you to pray for me, it's that I'll keep opening my mouth to speak the gospel, which is the mystery of Christ.
[00:54:00] That has to be made known as I ought to speak, that I would speak boldly, freely, openly. I need to keep telling people the gospel, because that's the difference. That's how people go from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light. It's the power of the gospel to save their souls. It's the good news of Jesus that brings them into great joy and reconciles them with God. So if there's one thing, the most important thing that I gotta keep doing, I got to keep preaching that gospel doesn't even mention his circumstance.
[00:54:32] And you and I were not even in prison, but we are so prisoners of the moment and so many times when we share prayer requests, it is based on our circumstances.
[00:54:43] So many times and Christians gathered together, everything that we end up praying for is physical situations and health issues and family struggles. And those are great supplications to bring before the Lord.
[00:54:55] But they are not the souls, the eternal souls of human beings.
[00:55:02] And then hearing the gasp. Are you praying for what's urgent or are you praying for what's most important? What's most important is salvation. That's what Christmas is all about. That's the message of Jesus Christ. His name means that he came to save us from our sins. So here's a man who is in prison and his one request. Said he would keep reaching that guy's point number two. Let's get it down like this. Praise specifically for gospel preachers. Pray for those that you know who are preaching the gospel, if you know anybody.
[00:55:40] And you think they're really preaching the gospel and I'm not just saying they're standing for the truth or what's right. No, I'm talking about somebody who is telling people about Jesus, how he died for their sins and rose again. The good news that can save their soul. If you know somebody who's preaching the gospel, you should pray for them that they'll keep doing it, because I guarantee you the world's going to try to come against them and get them to shut up. Satan wants them to stop speaking. If you know somebody who's preaching the gospel, pray that they will open their mouth and speak freely.
[00:56:09] Who led you to the guys who shared the gospel with you? Are they still alive? Are they still here on planet Earth? Well, then pray that their speak. Preaching the gospel. Even now, today, if they open their mouth and shared it with you. Pray that they will keep opening their mouth. Keep speaking it boldly as they ought to speak. We have missionaries that we support in other parts of the world, people who are living in countries that don't have any kind of Christian heritage where where there's not a lot of Christian churches, where the Bible doesn't have a history. There's no history of like a great awakening and times of revival and the Jesus movement. They don't have anything like that. No. Some of these countries where we're supporting missionaries, where they're trying to preach the gospel. These are Arabic countries. These are Muslim countries. And for them to preach the gospel to somebody who's a Muslim, that would be illegal in that country. And you know what? They're doing it anyways.
[00:57:03] We need to pray for them. But they'll keep opening their mouth.
[00:57:07] We've got a guy that we're praying for to plant a church in Tokyo, the most populated city on planet Earth, where there is not a lot of people who know the good news of Jesus. We need to pray that the gospel will be made known that the name of Jesus will fill that city up.
[00:57:23] Now, if you know somebody who's preaching the gospel, you need to pray for them every day that they'll keep doing that because that's more important than anything else going on on this planet.
[00:57:31] Whatever the news is, whatever the headline of the day is, whatever the big issue is to human beings, the good news of Jesus going out is more important than the news of the day.
[00:57:41] It's why we're here.
[00:57:43] It's why you're alive right now. So that repentance and forgiveness of sins. In Jesus name should be proclaimed to all nations that people of every tribe, of every tongue would all know the name Jesus. And they would worship him. That's why we're here.
[00:57:58] Because there's people who don't know what we know. And we're here to open our mouth. That's what Pulford said, hey, I'm an ambassador in chains.
[00:58:07] But I still want to be an ambassador. And it kind of begs the question, when you see that level of faith, a guy in prison who's not even praying that he would get out of prison, he's actually praying that he'll keep doing what got him into prison. When you see that level of faith, it really makes you wonder, am I an ambassador? I mean, what does it even mean to be an ambassador, turn with me in a Second Corinthians, Chapter five. Let's end with this. What does that mean?
[00:58:32] It's really interesting to me that he doesn't say he's an apostle in chains. He doesn't say he's a church planner in chains, a missionary in chains. A pastor in chains. He says he's an ambassador in chains.
[00:58:46] Now, here's the problem that I have, and maybe you have this same problem is that I have a hard time seeing the apostle Paul as a real person. I just see him as Paul, the super apostle. Anybody else understand what I'm saying? I think once once through a bunch of big rocks that this guy tried to kill them, left him outside the city for dead. He got out of the rubble of the rocks, brushed himself off, went back into the city and kept preaching the gospel. I'm like, who does stuff like that? Paul does. I think, wow, this guy, he's like on another level. I could never be like that. You know how Paul thought of himself? You know the true story behind the apostle Paul. He says in First Corinthians, chapter two, verse three, that when he went into Corinth to preach the gospel, he could. He came with much weakness and fear and trembling. That's how he describes himself. And when I came into that city and I didn't know people and I came in to start that church and preach the gospel, you want to know how I was? I was afraid. That's what he says. And Second Corinthians, chapter 11, verse six, he says, Even if I am unskilled as a speaker, you know what that means. He says, I'm not very good at public speaking. That's what he says. I know you guys have listened to people who are better speakers, that are orators, that are rhetoricians of the day with their logical arguments and their profound wisdom. I know I'm not one of those guys. That's how Paul thought about himself. That's who he really was. Let's take another guy, famous guy. People all over the world know him, Moses, the prophet, the writer of the first five books of the Bible, the writer of the law. God spoke to this man from a burning bush and said, you're gonna go to Pharaoh and you're gonna say to him, Let my people go. And what did Moses say?
[01:00:26] He said, well, I'm not eloquent. That was his response right away. I think you've got the wrong guy. I'm not a speaker. That's not me. I'm not one of those guys.
[01:00:35] In fact, I'm slow of mouth and tongue. This is what Moses says to God when he's speaking to him from the burning bush. He says, I'm not very good at putting sentences together. It's hard to even move my mouth.
[01:00:47] Sometimes. And God rebukes says, who is it that made man's mouth? I'm telling you to be my mouthpiece.
[01:00:54] You're gonna go and you know what Moses says. The man of God, the man who speaks to God face to face like a friend. You know what? You know what Moses says. He says, Oh, my Lord, please send someone else. That's what he says.
[01:01:08] Exodus 413. You look it up. See what you've got to see. It's being weak. Afraid. Hard. Hard to speak. That's how it begins for everybody. That's a starting place for every single investor that's been heaven sent here to planet Earth in the name of Jesus Christ. Now, all of us are ambassadors. Look at what it says in Corinthians five, 18. Says all this is from God. This is page nine hundred and sixty six. Look at this.
[01:01:37] This is all this is from God who through Christ. Here's the good news of great joy at Christmas.
[01:01:42] That through Christ reconciled us to himself. And he gave us us the Ministry of Reconciliation that is in Christ. God was reconciling the world to himself, making himself right in relationship. Saving people from their sins and and making them at peace with the father. Not counting. It says here their trespass is against them. And interesting to us, the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. Says we are ambassadors. God is making his appeal through us.
[01:02:21] Now, maybe your Sandwell. I don't know if that's a we that refers to me. I don't know if I'm one of the US here, we'll look at the very next verse.
[01:02:28] Verse 21 for our sake. He made him to be sin. Who knew? No sin. So that in him, in Jesus, we might become the righteousness of God.
[01:02:37] Are you part of the we of verse 21 where Jesus died for your sin and gave you his righteousness that we might be declared righteous, that were made right with God because of Jesus? Well, if you're made right with God because of Jesus, you then live here on planet Earth as an ambassador of Jesus Christ and heaven has sent you.
[01:03:00] With a message of good news, that's for all, Pete. And I hope that you're praying for gospel preachers, and I hope that as you pray for people who preach the gospel, you become one of those people. Who share the gospel when you have the opportunity? The little dash there, let's be an ambassador, let's be who were called to be Paul didn't think he was in prison because he was the super apostle. Well, he thought he was there because he had a message that the world didn't want to hear, but he was going to tell it to him anyways. And he asked for boldness to speak freely. And not be afraid of what people would think. That guy would give him the ability that the Holy Spirit would speak through him, that God would make his appeal through him, even though he wasn't very good at it. But maybe God could use him to save a soul, to bring them out of the darkness and into the light, out of the realm of Satan and into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
[01:03:55] There really is a war going on and there really is something that you can go home and do about it today. You can pray. And when the opportunity arises, you can share the gossip. Every one of us can do.
[01:04:08] In fact, we have opportunities this very week, if you flip your hand out over, you'll see there's ways that you could apply this sermon tomorrow night, seven o'clock. We'll be here having a prayer meeting. If you didn't know, we have a prayer meeting every Monday night at seven o'clock. We're going to pray for our missionaries, gospel preachers all over the world. If you want to come join us, we'll talk more about how to pray. Saturday morning, we're going to go out into the neighborhood.
[01:04:30] We're going to share the good news if you want to go out with us. Come be an ambassador of Jesus Christ.
[01:04:37] We're just a baby church here in Huntington Beach. We are just getting started. We're four years old. We're like going through preschool right now. Everybody, that's where our church is at. And I hope our church is used by God to lift hi.
[01:04:48] The name of Jesus. And I hope that you and I won't limit the work of God by doing a half a job when it comes to prayer and evangelism.
[01:04:56] Is there prayer that's off limits in your life? Is there people you're not going to share the gospel with in your life? Why would you limit the work that God is clearly saying? He wants to do this? How Paul thought. Here in a field in six, 18 to 20, let me pray for us. Father, we come before you. And guys, we want to confess the times that we've been doing half a job when it comes to prayer. Now, we want to confess that a lot of times we think we're too busy to pray. We have a completely wrong in our thinking. Father, that we get focused on ourselves and we don't really pray for other people. That we set out with good intentions and we give up so easily.
[01:05:39] And we confess these things to you and God, we ask that you would teach us to pray as a Feagin six 18 says we should. God, I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ. You've called together to be Compass Bible Church. Huntington Beach.
[01:05:52] God, I pray that you would make us prayer warriors and that we would engage with the enemy.
[01:05:58] By bringing up prayers to you at all times in the spirit, all the needs that we have for all the people who need to be saved and those that you have saved here among us.
[01:06:08] God, that we would pray with perseverance early in the morning until late in the night, that we would gather together for no other purpose than Dupr� in Jesus stay.
[01:06:17] And God, will you hear us in heaven? As you promised to do. We hear us in heaven an answer us here on earth. Father, let us see you working. Let us see your power to say let us see you building up the church as you promised to do. Let the name of your son Jesus the exalted here in our day. So, Father, we lift up Jesus in the name of Jesus Christ, we lift up this prayer that you will make us people who pray God, we pray for those who are out there preaching the gospel on a Sunday morning all over the world. For those missionaries who are out there opening their mouths and speaking freely in the name of Jesus, God, give them the strength to keep being ambassadors for Christ. God make us people who are defined by prayer and evangelism, let us be your church. Let us put our armor on and stand firm in this evil day. God use us for your glory. We pray a man. Let's stand and let's worship the Lord together.
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