Sunday, August 24, 2008

Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer

The Great Commission

Part 4 – Spending Time with the Lord

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

August 17th – Walker Spriggs

August 24th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

August 31st – Grace Steadman

September 7th – Lori Ulman

September 14th – Lynnette Higgins

WHERE WE ARE AT

The Great Commission – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry

Recognizing where we are with the Lord

Serving God HIS way

INTRODUCTION

Over the next few weeks we are going to talk about our relationship with the Lord.

And how we want to do things God’s way, not our own.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

And it’s important that we remember…

2 Timothy 2:5

Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

We need to understand that if we want the rewards of being followers of Christ that the Bible speaks of, then we have to play by the Bibles rules.

So many times people try to lay claim to the benefits, rewards, and blessings of God, without considering their whether or not they are living by God’s standards, or as 2 Timothy states, playing by the rules.

As Paul said, you can not enter a race, do it your way, and expect to receive the victor’s crown.

This week our focus is spending time with the Lord in Prayer

WHAT IS PRAYER?

Why do you think many Christians do not pray and spend quality time with God daily, like Jesus did?

Some are too busy

some have wrong priorities

some are living for self and not for God

for some the cares of the world have crowded in and robbed them of the joy of having intimate fellowship with God

some have a lack of discipline

some lack faith

some are living in disobedience

some don’t know how to pray and have fellowship with God

and some have a wrong understanding of who God is.

Many do not understand that God is love relationship oriented, and that His heart’s desire is to have close and intimate fellowship with His children.

Many do not understand that being a Christian is all about having a growing love relationship with the One who loves them completely and unconditionally, and that it is not about being religious.

Isaiah 56:7

Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

We are supposed to be known by our powerful prayer life.

When people speak of our gathering place, our church, they are to recognize it as a place of prayerful worship.

It should be called a house of prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Do we want God to hear our prayers?

Do we want our sin forgiven?

Does our land need to be healed?

If we humble ourselves, PRAY, seek God and turning away from our sin….we will receive this from God.

1 Corinthians 1:9

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Remember the first will of God is that you are saved.

This ONLY happens through prayer!

And fellowship (relationship) with God can only happen with prayer!

Do you know, if you never prayed, you would never be saved.

How can you have a relationship with someone you never talk to?

How can a relationship grow if you never spend time with that person?

Always remember that the greatest desire in God’s heart is for you to have a growing and intimate love relationship and daily fellowship with Him.

What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “prayer”?

Do you think of asking for things?

Praying for someone else… or something else?

If we want to please God, and do what Christ commands then we need to see what the Word of God says about prayer, because Christ IS the Word made flesh, and to obey Him means to obey the Word.

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

God wants our communication with Him to be HONEST, OPEN and TRANSPARENT.

If you are struggling, anxious, worried, angry, He wants you to share that with Him.

Not because He doesn’t know already, but because He cares and wants to hear from you and talk with you.

TO KNOW GOD

"NOW THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE: THAT THEY MAY KNOW YOU, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND JESUS CHRIST, WHOM YOU HAVE SENT.” - JOHN 17:3

“... THAT YOU MAY KNOW AND BELIEVE ME, AND UNDERSTAND THAT I AM HE." - ISAIAH 43:10

The Biblical words for “know God” mean much more than our English word, which sounds like it means to know about God. God wants you to know Him by seeing and experiencing Him in and around your life.

When you see and experience God’s faithfulness in your life for example, you then know that God is faithful. This is a much better and more intimate and real knowledge of God than just knowing about Him.

COMMUNICATION REQUIRES TWO PEOPLE

A close and intimate relationship needs to be a 2-way relationship.

Intimate communication needs to be 2-way also, or it is not good communication.

Hearing God’s voice is by far the most important part of our prayer and fellowship time with Him.

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you are missing out on getting to know Him more, you will miss His plans for you, and you will miss out on the full & abundant life that He wants you to have, which is only found in Him.

- “I WILL GIVE THEM A HEART TO KNOW ME.” — JEREMIAH 24:7

PRAYER/TIME WITH GOD IS VITAL TO BEING CLOSER TO GOD, “ONE” WITH GOD, AND TO GROWING MORE LIKE JESUS (SPIRITUAL GROWTH)

“Prayer is designed more to adjust you to God, than to adjust God to you & your desires.”

The time a Christian gives to prayer & fellowship with God is not meant for his/her carnal or natural life, but to nourish the life of Jesus in him/her.

If you do not spend quality time with Jesus, you will not grow spiritually.

If you do not spend quality time in prayer, you will not hear from the Lord.

GETTING TO KNOW HIM INTIMATELY

"Teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue in your favor." - Exodus 33:13

The Hebrew word "yada" is used in the Old Testament and is translated in English as the word "Know" or "Knowledge". The Hebrew word yada has a much wider sweep and meaning than the English word know. The Biblical Old Testament word for Knowing God means the following; to know God means:

- to Perceive - to Learn
- to Understand - to Recognize
- to Believe - to Accept His Claims
- to Conform - to Be Willing
- to Perform or Live - to Obey
- to See or Experience

These words that all come out of the Hebrew word "yada" all hold important keys to getting to know God the way that He wants us to know Him. The opposite of knowing God is not ignorance or a lack of knowledge, but is Rebellion.

"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."

- Paul
(Philippians 3:7-10)

No comments: