CLT First year 2007 DTC Prayer 2 & 3 Introduction Attitude toward God in Prayer Show Tommy Tenny DVD Prayer is the means through which we seek God. It requires a heart of humility, submission, obedience and servanthood to prayer. It is one of the Christians highest callings. God esteems prayer with great reverence, and He honours those who approach His Throne of Grace with the right heart attitude. Methods of Prayer Our objective in this section is to give sound and practical methods that will help build up an effective and consistent prayer life. There are universal Biblical Principles: Principles God has set in place. When we follow these principles we will receive the results. Testimony of the new book The Secret There is a universal desire for revival. As we saw last week prayer is the key to revival and a visitation from heaven in glory and splendour. What we need to understand about revival is that God always starts with revival in those who pray for it. Revival is not something that takes place somewhere out there. It is something that God begins and does within each of us. Develop persistence Living in an instant world has taught us to demand instant answers God is never in a hurry. He inhabits eternity where there is no tomorrow or yesterday Take time just to be with God. Scripture says we can present our requests to Him, and that He is already aware of what we need and are going to say even before we speak a word. Psa 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Scripture also tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek Him. This Scripture contains the idea of seeking God and keeping on seeking God. Sometimes we need to press through with our prayers. Last week we spoke about the marching through the night Psalm 16:7, speaks about the “night seasons” This incorporates the meaning of a season or seasons of affliction, trials and adversity. We are told here that the Lord will instruct us even while we are sleeping. He will answer our prayers. As we set the Lord always before our face, that is to give Him the first place in our lives He will hear our prayers, help us and we will not be shaken. A place of ultimate victory is to arrive at a place where we can look back on these night seasons, or look out from these night seasons and rejoice in what God has done in us, and be grateful for what we have been through even though we don’t necessarily ever want to face the same things again. Praying in the Spirit 1 Cor 14:15, 1 Cor 14:18 When we pray in the Spirit we: edify ourselves. Build our faith level Are released from the limitations of our vocab, and flesh (1 Cor 14:2) Pray according to the will of the Father Overcome the flesh – in fact whenever we truly draw near to God and spend time with Him we receive power to overcome bad habits. Testimony of the day I was at the soccer field and how I felt after I had prayed. Prayer of faith Listening to God’s voice Last week we spoke about the definition of prayer. We said prayer is not a monologue but rather communication, which includes listening to God. I want to spend a bit of time tonight speaking about listening to God’s voice. Hearing God’s voice We hear God’s voice so that we can have and build relationship with Him. The principle is that we want to spend time with Him because we want to have relationship with Him. Deut 30: 19 and 20 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." To know God and hear him is to hold onto the source of life. God invites us. He calls us to come away with Him and to spend time alone with Him where we can get to know Him better. Son 2:10 My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, The Lord, who is the Lover of our souls, speaks to us with a passionate and loving heart. He calls us to arise, walk with Him continually and to be conversant. He desires to spend time with us more than we could ever desire to spend time with Him. He offers us life and life in abundance. He calls us to go in His Way, and to walk with Him. Staying with God and getting to know Him fine-tunes our discernment and ability to hear His voice. There are three voices: God, mine and satan. How can we recognise the difference between these: God’s Voice: Recognise that God will answer us according to His Nature, and that He loves each one of us more than we could ever begin to understand or imagine. God’s voice contains all the things He is. To recognise God’s voice we need to know Who He is. We need to know His ways, His Character, and His Nature. Exo 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Exo 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Exo 34:8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. He is patient, kind, loving, caring and etc. God’s voice is always life giving, even when He is correcting or rebuking us. He gently nudges. When He speaks we should be left with a picture of God standing over us or in front of us, angry and pointing His figure at us as He speaks. He stands next to us and gently speaks to us, even though what He may say might not be very comfortable. When He corrects He always leaves us with a sense of hope and comfort, not condemnation and hopelessness. He never contradicts His Word. Scripture tells us to test the spirit We judge what we have heard: By the Word, He may often only tell you the next step without revealing the entire picture or plan to you. He knows how much we can handle. If He showed us everything it might become overwhelming and we might try to run ahead of Him to help Him accomplish what He has shown us. Satan’s voice: Satan’s voice is the opposite to God’s voice. He usually tries to get us to doubt God and His ability and His seriousness about His Word. When he speaks he usually leaves us doubting ourselves, without hope and fearful. The devils voice is usually condemning and damning, and he tries to prevent us from doing God’s will. The devil can only use what God has created? This Truth. What he does is to take Our own voice: Our own voice will either do one of two things. It will either lead us to think we are not good or worthy enough or it will leave us overly self confident. It is usually underpinned with extreme rationalisation, and we might be left thinking if something is too logical or too mystical it cant be God. God’s answers There is at least one of four answers God might give us: Yes No Wait Your way or mine – our good verses God’s best Results: The result of listening to Gods voice is personal growth and confidence of knowing we are God’s children. Ways God Speaks: God uses a variety of ways to speak to us. These include: Still small voice: Audible voice: His Word (Scripture) Nature Angels Dreams and visions Other people Keys to effective prayer: Do it by faith God wants to answer Extend forgiveness – it is a prerequisite for God answering your prayers Practice perseverance Keep it short and simple Start and end your prayers with praise and thanks to God Stay humble Pray with a pure heart Pray in the Name of Jesus Pray according to the will of God Pray God’s Word Strive to maintain unity amongst believers Let love motivate all prayer Put your faith into action Pray God’s hearts desires! Getting to know what is in God’s heart and then praying what is in His heart is the highest calling to prayer and intercession we can receive. When God comes everything He is and He desires comes with Him. This is true worship, and pray must always contain worship. God desires that we should seek Him. Scripture says delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Hindrances: God wont speak to us when we: Doubt and unbelief, Ignorance of righteousness – lack of understanding of our right standing with God and the basis of our righteousness, Ignorance of ambassadorship, Unforgiveness and strife, Ignorance of the importance of fellowship with God, Selfish and soulish motives will ensnare your prayers – James 4:3 Wilfully sin, Are full of pride, Are judgemental Are married and not living considerately with our wife or the wife is judging, despising and looking down on her husband. Ask Him about something that is none of our business or out of our authority structure. John Wesley After being tired of what Church had become John Wesley was supernaturally born again, after which he joined forces with a close friend. Together they determined to pray and fast. God used this simple action to usher in the greatest revival Britain has ever seen. And yet, when we consider this event a little closer, and we look at the Wesley brother’s childhood, we find that their mother who ran a house with at least 15 children dedicated herself to a life of prayer. Bennie Hinn Azuza Street What Prayer accomplishes Intimacy with God through fellowship and relationship Because God is a good God and He only wants what is best for us, He desires a close and intimate relationship with Him. This relationship is nurtured and developed through prayer. It is one of the most intimate experiences we can have with God. It is so important to God that we fellowship with Him and relate to Him through prayer that He constantly seeks out mankind for fellowship. We see this in the account of Adam in the Garden of Eden. God came to seek Adam, and He still comes to seek each one of us today. He does this through the Person of His Holy Spirit. Testimony of how God the Holy Spirit has often come and called me when I have been taking my time to pray, or when I have been late. Imagine the incredible privilege and the extent of God’s love that is being expressed through the fact that even though we are so insignificant against the backdrop of His entire creation, His angels, heaven and all He is, He is still concerned and interested enough to fellowship with us that He would come and look for us and draw us to spend time with Him in prayer. True fellowship begins with openness, honesty and freedom to express us Helps us to get to know God and His ways When we spend time with God speaking to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, we learn to hear His perspective on everything we bring to Him through prayer. The more we do this, the better we get to know Him. The more we get to know God the more we learn just how indescribably beautiful, majestic and awesome He really is, and the more He will reveal about His inner most being. As we grow in knowing God and His ways in this way, there is one thing that we will not be able to prevent from happening. We will find that we Love Him more and more with an intense and uncompromising love that we never realised we could have for Him or anyone for that matter. This is the place where we can start entering into the freedom of the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we receive as a result of the Gospel. It is the place from which we can launch into the River whose streams make glad the hearts of all God’s children. It is life and true Godly freedom, because Jesus has said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me!” Prayer produces power (Biblical examples) The Bible is full of examples of the power of prayer. When we look at some of these examples we can see some of the power that prayer produces in the lives of those who demonstrate an attitude of submission to God and His call for us to draw closer to Him. Abraham, Altars were an invitation to others to seek the God of Heaven and earth. After God cursed Pharaoh, He told Pharaoh that after he had restored Sarah to Abraham, Abraham would pray for him and God would heal him and his household. Moses Scripture says to Moses God showed His ways, to the children of Israel His works. What made the difference Moses sought God. He sought relationship with God, more than he sought the gifting, and provision. Joshua Joshua learned the true value of prayer after the defeat of Jericho. Ai was the next city to be taken, but Joshua failed to enquire of the Lord, and paid the price. David The example of David’s prayer life can be seen in the accounts that tell us that before David would engage in any battle with the enemy he first Enquired of the Lord. David was obedient to the Lord, irrespective of what the cost would be. Saul on the other hand was far more interested in the prestige of being a king and what the people thought about him. Saul’s suicide didn’t start with one major act of disobedience that resulted in God’s judgement. Rather it was the result of an attitude that he nurtured and would not give up for many many years. The Psalms also provide us with an awesome insight into the prayer life of David. David would pour his heart out to the Lord. Sometimes this was in the form of praise, worship, and adoration. At other times it was more focused on seeking God for His answer to some of the most difficult situations he faced. They key here is that irrespective of the circumstances, David would always take everything to the Lord, ask the Lord what he should do and then he would be obedient to the Word of the Lord. This is an awesome revelation. Think about it a bit more in the week that is ahead, and let the Lord minister to you concerning this. Elijah, The miracle of the sacrifice. Even Elijah misunderstood the miracle of prayer. Jesus Christ Set us an example. Prayer produces brokenness By broken we mean a life surrendered to God. This is true, and relates to what we said earlier about loving God and having intimate fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. But there is a greater brokenness that results from an intimate prayer life with God, and that Andrew Murray recognised. It was so significant to Andrew Murray that he dedicated an entire chapter in one of his books to this topic, and likened it to a second rebirth experience. It has to do with the fact that as we draw closer to God and as we spend more time with Him, He shares more of His heart with us and we begin to see ourselves through His perfect nature and character. In the process of time God may even incorporate circumstances to reinforce our recognition of just how wretched we are apart from Christ Jesus and just how much we depend on Him for everything we have and are. God can even use this to bring us to a place of complete brokenness, and emptiness. Yet, herein are the keys of the Kingdom of God for true forgiveness and humility. The reason for this is when we truly recognise just how desperately we need the Grace and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ His Son it becomes increasingly difficult not to forgive others. In the light of our own shortcomings and shortfalls we recognise that we are no better than anyone else and we honestly and sincerely have nothing of greater significance or importance than anyone else. We are set free to live in the forgiveness and humility Christ calls us to! Thank God for His indescribable gift through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen! Prayer creates sensitivity As we draw near to God regularly, He draws near to us and we get to know Him and His voice more clearly. This causes us to become extremely sensitive to His leading and His voice in every situation in life. Through the Holy Spirit we become more sensitive to God’s Word, and His presence, to the point where we can be in the most obscure places and still hear the Word of the Lord and sense His comforting, encouraging and abiding Presence that reminds us that we are not alone. He is with us wherever we go, and with Him we can do all things. Elements of Prayer There are different forms of prayer. All forms of prayer include the following elements: Mat 6:5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. Mat 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Mat 6:7 "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Mat 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Mat 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread, Mat 6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Mat 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mat 6:16 "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 1Ti 2:1 I exhort3870 therefore,3767 that, first4412 of all,3956 supplications,1162 prayers,4335 intercessions,1783 and giving of thanks,2169 be made4160 for5228 all3956 men;444 Praise/Worship Requests, Prayers, (Contains the element of worship and adoration) Intercessions, (praying for others or on behalf of others – standing in the gap) and Giving of thanks. Times for prayer On a personal level these can be divided into one of 3 main times: General prayer This is where we constantly keep communicating with God. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing with all kinds of requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving. Specific prayer This prayer is when we are suddenly faced with something that we need to seek the Lord about. It would usually include an element of intercession, request and possibly even thanks giving. Forms of Prayer Dedicated personal devotion This is a specific time we allocate daily to seeking God’s face. This is the first form of prayer. It is often referred to as the daily “quiet time”. During this time, we commit to removing ourselves from all our daily cares, commitments and business to dedicate time to God and Him alone. This is one of the highest and most intimate times we can spend with God. There can be many things that could distract us, so we need to be prepared: Take a pen and paper Find a quiet place where you are less likely to be disturbed, Go to the bathroom ahead of the time Work, life and industry demands Your book says that we should start every day with prayer. I agree, but I also know that it is not always the best time to schedule a quiet time with the Lord. It is better to rather start the day, focusing on the Lord through prayer, Bible reading, and even worship if you have the time, then when you are in the car alone you can continue speaking to the Lord and listening to hear if He is saying anything to you, and then schedule a time in your diary to spend with the Lord. If this is not practical you may need to choose a time during the day that best suites you. The important thing to remember is that prayer is not a grind, it is not a religious tradition, and it is not something we do because we have to. Prayer is a precious and wonderful gift from God, and we cant live without it. In reality we need to spend time with God more than He could ever need to spend time with us. During these times we don’t have to follow any specific pattern. Quite often I have started to share something with God during these times and He has spoken and led me to pray something completely different. The key is to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and sensitive to His Word and Voice. When He puts a Scripture in your heart, look it up and read it in context. Your family devotions Families who pray together stay together. Our strongest defence is a strong family devotional life. Family devotions can be divided into two main times: The devotional time This should include: Singing, Worship, (This could include sharing in communion) Bible reading, Prayer The family devotional time is the place where we make God our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit the centre of our home and family life. The prayer time We share the things that concern and burden each member of the family. Children need to learn that we cast our cares on the Lord because He cares for us, and as we do the Lord’s answers to our prayers will be a testimony to them. The prayer in the Church service Prayer in the Cells Prayer retreats All night prayers Jos 10:1 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, Jos 10:2 he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors. Jos 10:3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, Jos 10:4 "Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel." Jos 10:5 Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. Jos 10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, "Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us." Jos 10:7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. Jos 10:8 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you." Jos 10:9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. Jos 10:10 And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth- horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. Forgiveness and healing Mat 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and physical disease and sickness are all related to Unforgiveness. These attitudes poison the system and cause mental, emotional and physical anguish and stress. Praying and even fasting without forgiveness is futile. ROOT OF BITTERNESS Draw and briefly introduce the table Fasting and Prayer Fasting is the voluntary and deliberate abstinence from food for the purpose of concentrated prayer. Our motive should never be to impress others but to be separated to our Father. Mat 6:16 "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. God is not impressed with our fasting. Our fasting that is inappropriately or insincerely motivated does not move him. Isa 58:1 "Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Isa 58:2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. Isa 58:3 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Isa 58:4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Isa 58:5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? Isa 58:6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Isa 58:7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isa 58:8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Isa 58:9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, Isa 58:10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isa 58:11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isa 58:12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. Isa 58:13 "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; Isa 58:14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Fasting always leads to victory via praise and thanksgiving. It should not be seen as a punishment nor as an act of penance. Fasting is an opportunity to draw near to the Father. Fasting is a means by which our prayers may be more perfectly focused. Fasting, as a sincere act of humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God, causes God to respond Practical results Fasting looses bands of wickedness Undoes heavy burdens Lets the oppressed go free Breaks every yoke Conclusion Learning to Walk with God When we develop close fellowship with the Lord through Prayer we: Sharpen our spiritual senses Overcome attacks of the devil Ministry Pray for those who have Unforgiveness or recognise the root of bitterness in their own lives.