This morning we will continue our study on prayers. When we finish with this series, I am in hopes that everyone that listens to these sermons or those who may read these notes will increase the time they spend in prayer, how they pray, what they pray for and how they prepare their hearts before they pray. Amen?
Last week we looked at some things that hinder our prayer life. Can anyone remind us of those things that we looked at?
Sin: Proverbs 15:29 GW The LORD is far from wicked people, but He hears the prayers of righteous people.
John 9:31 GW We know that God doesn't listen to sinners. Instead, He listens to people who are devout and who do what He wants.
Unforgivness: Mark 11:25-26 KJV And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (26) But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Faith: Mark 11:22-24 ESV And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. (23) Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. (24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We ended with selfishness hindering our prayers. This, my friends should be each one of our heart cries. To want to spend our time praying for the kingdom of Christ and for people other than ourselves. We should especially want to labor for souls. I want to pray for the lost more than anything else. I know that God's heart is for the lost.
2 Peter 3:9 KJV The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I know that Jesus commanded us to make disciples and I know that His passion then is for me to pray for the advancement of His gospel more than anything else.
Matthew 28:19-20 KJV Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
I don't want to labor for my own selfish needs in prayer above praying for the lost to hear the gospel and believe. I want to pray in faith and believe God for souls to come into His kingdom for the purpose of His glory.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
I am excited to continue this series on praying. I am also excited for each one of you who hears or reads this word, because I believe there is going to be a change in you and your prayer life. Praise the Lord!! I believe there are going to be those who have been praying without anything happening to start having their prayers answered. Halleluiah. I am believing that there are going to be those who have been praying for lost family members who will see those prayers come to pass. Glory to God!!! These things will all happen when we learn how to pray and how to avoid having things hinder God from hearing our prayers.
This week, let’s start with pride. There are many verses discussing pride in the Bible. Pride is the most serious, and the most subtle, sin. It often is not even recognized as existing. Pride is the root of all sin. It causes us to turn away from God instead of turning to Him. All disobedience has pride as its root. All rebellion has pride behind it. All mistreatment of other people is caused by pride: someone putting themselves and their feelings above the other person and their feelings.
Proverbs 8:13 KJV The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Mark 7:20-23 KJV And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. (21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Psalms 10:4 KJV The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
James 4:6-8 GW But God shows us even more kindness. Scripture says, "God opposes arrogant people, but he is kind to humble people." (7) So place yourselves under God's authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. (8) Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters.
I want you to stay in the book of James, as I want to point out a particular verse. I was going to use this verse last week, but when you study the whole verse, it doesn’t really fit. The verse I am referring to is James 4:3. I hear so many people, including pastors, going around saying, “You have not, because you ask not” Now, let us take a look at what that scripture really says.
James 4:3 KJV Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 4:3 ISV You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason-for your own pleasure.
James 4:3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.
Friends, what I want you to understand through this verse is, don’t always trust the words that people say. In the past few months, I have found many scriptures that people from all walks of life have taken out of context. We need to be careful.
Turning away from the Bible: Here is a verse that many have probably never heard. Proverbs 28:9 KJV He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. These are not my words, but from the Bible. Let’s look at another translation.
Proverbs 28:9 GNB If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear.
Proverbs 28:9 MKJV He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is a hateful thing.
Here is a verse that again, I think many miss. Proverbs 21:13 KJV Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
I used to be cheap. I very seldom would give a dime to organizations or for fund raisers. I worked on dairy farms and it was very long hours for not a lot of pay. I felt I worked for it, it was mine and why should I share with others.
I was being stingy toward the poor. If there was a donation bucket outside a store, I would drop change in it, not because I was a cheerful giver, but there was someone guarding the table and I felt convicted to give. Am I talking to someone right now? Please turn to Luke 6:38. This is the measuring tool we should use in giving to others. It is the measure God uses in giving to us.
Luke 6:38 KJV Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
The Amplified reads 38 Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour [a]into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.
In this parable Jesus is saying that giving to others is like sowing a crop. If a person sows nothing, they will reap nothing (nothing grows). If they sow much, they will reap a bountiful harvest.
As we read, stinginess on our part towards the poor makes our prayers unheard by God. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard. We, a lot of times want God to help us when we are in need, but God sees our work that we do down here and if we are not helping our brothers that are in need, do you really think that God should help us when we are in need? But if we refuse to have compassion towards brothers or sisters who may need our help, God will do the same to you. If you want God to bless your life, you have to help or bless others first.
Do you want to be mighty in your prayer life? Only a generous person will be mighty in prayer. The stingy person is a powerless person of prayer.
Not bragging, but trying to get a point across. Leanna and I started to get the tithing and giving message shortly after we were saved. When you start tithing faithfully and with a cheerful heart, then when you start giving generously you will see prayers coming to pass and look forward to giving some more.
I bet you never thought there were so many things that can hinder your prayers, did you? We are not quite done yet. There's a few more we need to take a look at. How many of you want true victory in your prayer life?
Here are two important things to remember when we pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 MKJV (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Let's finish up by reading what Jesus said in Matthew 6:5-8 KJV 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. (6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (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. (8) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
And we finish today with this scripture.
1 Peter 3:7 KJV Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 ASV Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered.
Next week, we will conclude this series on prayer. Maybe!! I hope and pray that this series has been a blessing to all who have listened and all who may be reading this now. I pray that as you learn things that can hinder prayer and we learn to change those things, that there is a major change in your prayer life.
Prayer and communion.