When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 1 | TBN

When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 1

Watch When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 1
January 19, 2019
27:33

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 1

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  • Skip Heitzig: In prayer, I am saying to the Creator
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  • of the universe, "God, I know I live in a fallen world.
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  • Father, I know that bad things happen to all people.
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  • Would you please give comfort, and encouragement,
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  • and peace to the victims and families of this tragedy?"
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  • There is nothing wrong with that because when you think
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  • and you pray, you're probably next going
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  • to be moved into action, or you should.
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  • What I want to underscore is this, prayer is action.
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  • It's the first action
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  • because we're engaging God in the process.
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  • You can always do more than pray after you prayed,
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  • but you can never do more than pray until you've prayed.
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  • Skip: Would you turn in your Bibles, please to the Book
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  • of 1 Samuel, chapter 12, 1 Samuel chapter 12.
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  • When something is impossible, when there's no hope
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  • of succeeding in something, we often say,
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  • "You haven't got a prayer."
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  • It's like, "Good luck, not gonna happen, never gonna happen.
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  • You haven't got a prayer."
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  • So, winning the Powerball Lottery, since the odds of that
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  • happening are 1 in 175 million, you know, most people just say,
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  • "You haven't got a prayer."
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  • Or expecting to get an A on the exam when you never opened
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  • the book once and you barely attended classes,
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  • "You haven't got a prayer."
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  • Or the guy who doesn't brush his teeth, he's gonna date that
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  • beautiful girl, ask her out, "Dude, you haven't got a prayer.
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  • That little idiom, "You haven't got a prayer,"
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  • is for some people reality.
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  • What I mean by that is, some people haven't got a prayer
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  • 'cause they never have a prayer, they just don't pray.
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  • when Billy Graham, who as you know recently went to heaven at
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  • age 99, when he was asked, "What are the most important steps
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  • in preparing for an evangelistic outreach?"
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  • He answered by saying three things mattered most,
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  • prayer, prayer, prayer.
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  • He was a man of prayer, he believed in prayer.
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  • He had a ministry bathed in it.
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  • I have a magnet that is still hanging on in my kitchen.
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  • It's a refrigerator magnet.
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  • It just shows Billy Graham's profile and that one word
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  • underneath "pray."
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  • And I love just walking by and go, "Oh, yeah."
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  • Seeing that as a helpful reminder.
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  • When Billy Graham was interviewed one time
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  • and it's become a famous one, he was asked the question,
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  • "If you had to do it all over again,
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  • what would you do differently?"
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  • And his answer, "I would study more, I would pray more,
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  • I would travel less.
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  • I would take fewer speaking engagements.
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  • I would spend more time in meditation and in prayer just
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  • telling the Lord how much I love him and adore him."
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  • I believe that the last years of his ministry,
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  • God gave him his heart's desire.
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  • I just had this conversation about it many times
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  • with the people.
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  • They say, "Why do you suppose God kept Billy Graham alive
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  • for so long, 99?
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  • I mean, he was kept up in that home.
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  • He didn't get out, he wasn't able to do
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  • much speaking or writing.
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  • He was just up there."
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  • So, I just think the Lord allowed him to have a reset on
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  • his life because he always said, "I wanted to pray more,"
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  • and he was able to spend the last few years of his life just
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  • in prayer for people and contemplation of God.
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  • Now, you know, some people have just a simple faith a profound,
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  • simple faith, and they just pray about everything.
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  • You know, whatever comes your way, "Let's pray about that."
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  • You know, that's their first response.
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  • It's so beautiful.
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  • I have a friend, I would say, more of an acquaintance.
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  • I've always marveled at his life since I've known him
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  • 'cause he goes into difficult places.
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  • But you'll be in a conversation with this guy, and we'll be
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  • talking about some future possibility
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  • and he'll just say, he'll just sort of pause and
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  • go, "Lord, we just pray about that right now."
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  • And he just starts talking to God
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  • while he has just been talking to me.
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  • And it's almost like, whoa, what just happened?
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  • But he does that a lot.
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  • It's become second nature, so I just get used to that when
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  • I'm around him, that profound, simple, daily trust in the Lord.
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  • I heard about a Christian lady who lived next door to an
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  • atheist and she prayed about everything, and she often would
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  • pray aloud so that her neighbor would hear her pray, not for
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  • that reason but it was just paper, thin walls, or the
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  • windows were open, but he could hear sometimes her pray.
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  • And so, you know, he would think, "That lady's nuts.
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  • Doesn't she know, there is no God, that praying doesn't really
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  • matter or really work?"
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  • And but she just kept praying, no matter what.
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  • She'd pray and she'd pray aloud for her needs.
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  • But one day, the old gal ran out of groceries,
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  • and she was in a desperate need.
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  • And so, she prayed about it and she prayed out loud about it.
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  • She said, "Lord, you know, I need groceries.
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  • It's a difficult time of the month.
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  • But Lord, I trust that you're gonna provide."
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  • Well, he heard her over pray this, and he thought,
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  • "Ah-ha, I'll fix her."
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  • So, he went out and bought a whole bunch of groceries and put
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  • all these groceries in bags on her doorstep, then knocked on
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  • the door and hid behind the bushes.
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  • She opened the door, looked down, saw the groceries, and she
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  • said, "Praise the Lord, God has provided groceries for me."
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  • And she started getting all excited
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  • and doing her happy dance.
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  • Well, this neighbor jumps up out of the bushes and says,
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  • you know, "Ah-ha," he goes, "You crazy, old woman,
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  • God didn't buy you those groceries, I did."
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  • You know, he thought he had her.
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  • Well, then she gets even more excited, starts going down
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  • the street in front of all the neighbors praising the Lord
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  • and thanking the Lord.
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  • And that atheist neighbor caught up with her and said,
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  • "Why are you doing that?"
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  • She said, "Well, I knew the Lord would provide groceries,
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  • I didn't know he was going to make the devil pay for them."
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  • [congregation laughing]
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  • Skip: So, you just got to appreciate that simple,
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  • profound faith that people have in trusting God for anything.
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  • Others, however, I would include most of us,
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  • I think honestly struggle with this area of prayer.
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  • I don't know about you, but whenever there's a sermon
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  • on prayer, it's like, "Oh, here it comes."
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  • You know, you just automatically start getting ready because you
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  • just have this instinctive knowledge that, "Yeah, this is
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  • an area of my life that I really need to work on."
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  • It's perhaps our greatest challenge.
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  • Well, with that is an introduction.
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  • I want to take you 1 Samuel, chapter 12 and verse 19.
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  • It says, "All of the people," that as people,
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  • "all of Israel said to Samuel," he's the prophet at that time
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  • in this case.
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  • "All the people said to Samuel, 'Pray for your servants
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  • to the Lord your God, that we may not die;
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  • for we have added to all our sins the evil of speaking--of
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  • asking a king for ourselves.'
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  • Then Samuel said to the people, 'Do not fear.
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  • You have done all this wickedness;
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  • yet do not turn aside from following the Lord,
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  • but serve the Lord with all your heart.
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  • And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things
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  • which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.
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  • For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name's
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  • sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people.
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  • Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin
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  • against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach
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  • you the good and the right way."
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  • I would like to look at this passage with you like peeling an
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  • onion, we'll just take one layer at a time and with each layer
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  • we'll go a little deeper, a little more profound.
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  • We'll sort of start general and superficial
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  • and work our way to the deeper part.
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  • I'm gonna give you four facts about prayer.
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  • Now, I do want to say this up front, I do not want to guilt
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  • you into praying.
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  • I don't want you to feel really bad,
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  • "Okay, I'm gonna do it now."
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  • I feel bad enough, I'm gonna do it.
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  • I don't want to guilt you into anything.
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  • I do, however, want to lovingly goad you into prayer.
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  • In fact, I'd love to guide you into seeing
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  • how much we need to do it.
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  • But let's begin with the simplest layer,
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  • the simplest level, and that is that prayer is needful.
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  • Prayer is needful.
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  • You'll notice in verse 19, "All the people said to Samuel pray."
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  • Now, Samuel was known as a man of prayer.
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  • Ever since he was a little kid and he was dropped off at the
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  • tabernacle, and it's recorded in chapter 3 of this book,
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  • he prays, "Speak Lord, your servant hears."
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  • You just got a picture a little kid, just a little older than
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  • being a toddler with his little robe on, hands in the air going,
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  • "Speak Lord, your servant hears."
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  • He was a man of prayer.
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  • Well, centuries later, the Prophet Jeremiah recorded
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  • that Samuel was known to God as a great prayer warrior.
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  • God through Jeremiah in chapter 15 of that book said,
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  • God speaking now, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me,
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  • my mind would not be favorable."
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  • So, God picks out two examples of prayer warriors,
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  • one being Moses, the second being Samuel,
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  • great men of prayer.
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  • Also in Psalm 99, Samuel is celebrated when the psalmist
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  • said, "And Samuel was among those who call upon God's name."
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  • Now the people knew this about Sam.
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  • We can call him Sam, right? We know him by now.
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  • They knew this about Sammy.
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  • They knew that Samuel was mighty in prayer
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  • because he demonstrates it here.
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  • Would you go back a few verses to verse 16 and notice,
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  • "Now therefore stand and see this great thing,"
  • 00:11:28.230 --> 00:11:31.270
  • Samuel, the prophet says.
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  • "See this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes.
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  • Is today not the wheat harvest?
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  • I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and rain, that
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  • you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great,
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  • which you have done in the sight of the Lord,
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  • in asking a king for yourselves.
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  • So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder
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  • and rain that day;
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  • and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
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  • And all the people said to Samuel, Pray."
  • 00:12:04.000 --> 00:12:08.080
  • Now, here's the setting, Samuel is giving a speech
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  • at the coronation of Israel's first king, which was king who?
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  • King Saul.
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  • But Samuel was not a happy camper because the people
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  • of Israel had asked for a king, and the reason they asked
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  • for a king is that we may be like all the other nations.
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  • We want to be like everybody else around us.
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  • They have a king, we don't have a king.
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  • This broke Samuel's heart, why?
  • 00:12:38.270 --> 00:12:40.090
  • Because God had directly ruled over them in a theocracy.
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  • They didn't want a theocracy, they wanted a monarchy because
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  • other nations have kings and queens, and we want a king.
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  • That broke his heart.
  • 00:12:51.100 --> 00:12:53.110
  • But he warned them four chapters back in chapter 8 he says,
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  • "You know, I just want you to know what you're gonna get
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  • if you get a king."
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  • He said, "He's gonna draft your sons for his army, he's gonna
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  • take away your land, some of it, by eminent domain.
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  • He's going to place a 10% taxation on everything you own
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  • and everything you get.
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  • He's gonna use your children for his own labor in his palaces,
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  • and you will live to regret, regret this request."
  • 00:13:24.240 --> 00:13:29.140
  • And they said, "We don't care, we want a king."
  • 00:13:29.150 --> 00:13:35.060
  • So, he's all bummed out, goes to God in prayer.
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  • God says, "Hey, give them what they want.
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  • They're not rejecting you, they're rejecting me."
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  • So, there's a great principle there and that is that God wants
  • 00:13:43.130 --> 00:13:47.100
  • to raise you up to the highest possible level,
  • 00:13:47.110 --> 00:13:50.180
  • whatever level you allow him to raise you to,
  • 00:13:50.190 --> 00:13:53.000
  • and he will do the very best for you at that level.
  • 00:13:53.010 --> 00:13:56.070
  • However, if we insist on our own way, which we often do,
  • 00:13:56.080 --> 00:14:01.270
  • "I want to do it my way."
  • 00:14:01.280 --> 00:14:05.040
  • When we do that, we often settle for second best,
  • 00:14:05.050 --> 00:14:10.010
  • or third best, or fourth best.
  • 00:14:10.020 --> 00:14:13.170
  • And here's God trying to raise us up to the highest possible
  • 00:14:13.180 --> 00:14:16.040
  • level and he will do that and do it the very best for you
  • 00:14:16.050 --> 00:14:19.020
  • at that level, but God so often wants more.
  • 00:14:19.030 --> 00:14:23.120
  • Well, now they come to him, and they want prayer because
  • 00:14:23.130 --> 00:14:27.150
  • suddenly they realize they need prayer.
  • 00:14:27.160 --> 00:14:30.200
  • So, they come to him in verse 19 and they say, "Pray."
  • 00:14:30.210 --> 00:14:33.190
  • Have you noticed that sometimes people never pray except when
  • 00:14:33.200 --> 00:14:37.040
  • they're in trouble, that many people view God like an aspirin?
  • 00:14:37.050 --> 00:14:42.270
  • You don't need aspirin until you, what?
  • 00:14:42.280 --> 00:14:45.130
  • Hurt.
  • 00:14:45.140 --> 00:14:46.230
  • "I don't need God until I hurt. Now, I hurt, 'God.'"
  • 00:14:46.240 --> 00:14:50.280
  • That's when they pray.
  • 00:14:50.290 --> 00:14:52.080
  • They treat God like an emergency room.
  • 00:14:52.090 --> 00:14:53.180
  • You just don't call the ER and talk to people.
  • 00:14:53.190 --> 00:14:56.020
  • You call the ER if you need to get in because you have a
  • 00:14:56.030 --> 00:14:58.060
  • crisis, you have an emergency.
  • 00:14:58.070 --> 00:15:01.220
  • According to the best research
  • 00:15:01.230 --> 00:15:03.230
  • 78% or 79%, let's say 79% of Americans pray once a week,
  • 00:15:03.240 --> 00:15:09.190
  • 55% say they pray every day.
  • 00:15:09.200 --> 00:15:12.150
  • But listen to the article.
  • 00:15:12.160 --> 00:15:14.000
  • It said after their research, some of these prayers are born
  • 00:15:14.010 --> 00:15:16.170
  • in extremists, that is, in desperate situations.
  • 00:15:16.180 --> 00:15:20.240
  • There are, says this article, there are few atheists in cancer
  • 00:15:20.250 --> 00:15:24.190
  • wards or unemployment lines.
  • 00:15:24.200 --> 00:15:29.010
  • "The Huffington Post," I read an article this week,
  • 00:15:29.020 --> 00:15:32.090
  • noted 90% of Americans have prayed for healing.
  • 00:15:32.100 --> 00:15:37.250
  • Now, I get this.
  • 00:15:37.260 --> 00:15:39.050
  • I understand this, that when life puts you in a corner,
  • 00:15:39.060 --> 00:15:42.040
  • you instinctively look up to God.
  • 00:15:42.050 --> 00:15:44.150
  • Even if you don't do it regularly,
  • 00:15:44.160 --> 00:15:46.120
  • that's the time you talk to him.
  • 00:15:46.130 --> 00:15:47.250
  • I understand that.
  • 00:15:47.260 --> 00:15:49.210
  • When we can't fix the situation, we look, hopefully,
  • 00:15:49.220 --> 00:15:52.150
  • to someone who can, but most people pray as a last resort,
  • 00:15:52.160 --> 00:16:01.270
  • not as a first response.
  • 00:16:01.280 --> 00:16:03.080
  • I'm here to tell you when you make prayer your first response,
  • 00:16:03.090 --> 00:16:06.130
  • it will never have to become your last resort.
  • 00:16:06.140 --> 00:16:10.050
  • You start with that.
  • 00:16:10.060 --> 00:16:12.200
  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, "Prayer pulls the rope down
  • 00:16:12.210 --> 00:16:15.240
  • below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God.
  • 00:16:15.250 --> 00:16:21.050
  • Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly;
  • 00:16:21.060 --> 00:16:27.250
  • others give only an occasional jerk at the rope.
  • 00:16:27.260 --> 00:16:31.220
  • But he who communicates with heaven is the man
  • 00:16:31.230 --> 00:16:34.180
  • who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continually
  • 00:16:34.190 --> 00:16:40.110
  • with all his might."
  • 00:16:40.120 --> 00:16:42.140
  • Can you imagine a rope and a bell, and somebody pulls it and
  • 00:16:42.150 --> 00:16:46.030
  • then keeps pulling it, and keeps pulling it and you're thinking,
  • 00:16:46.040 --> 00:16:48.200
  • "Gosh, that's bugging me."
  • 00:16:48.210 --> 00:16:51.140
  • Be that guy, be that guy.
  • 00:16:51.150 --> 00:16:54.060
  • "Hey God, hey God, hey God, bing ding ding ding ding.
  • 00:16:54.070 --> 00:16:58.140
  • Some people will say regarding prayer that, "Well, why pray?
  • 00:16:58.150 --> 00:17:02.090
  • I mean, if God is sovereign," right?
  • 00:17:02.100 --> 00:17:04.270
  • Do you believe God is sovereign?
  • 00:17:04.280 --> 00:17:06.110
  • "So God is sovereign, God rules the universe,
  • 00:17:06.120 --> 00:17:08.230
  • God can do whatever he wants to do?
  • 00:17:08.240 --> 00:17:11.080
  • What difference would your prayer make if God is sovereign
  • 00:17:11.090 --> 00:17:14.220
  • and can do whatever he wants to do?
  • 00:17:14.230 --> 00:17:16.140
  • He will accomplish his purpose no matter what, so why pray?"
  • 00:17:16.150 --> 00:17:23.040
  • So, listen very carefully, in his sovereignty,
  • 00:17:23.050 --> 00:17:27.120
  • God has voluntarily linked himself to human cooperation.
  • 00:17:27.130 --> 00:17:33.050
  • Did you get that?
  • 00:17:33.060 --> 00:17:34.210
  • In God's sovereignty has made the sovereign choice
  • 00:17:34.220 --> 00:17:38.020
  • to voluntarily link himself with human cooperation,
  • 00:17:38.030 --> 00:17:41.150
  • that is, God is bound to the prayers of his children.
  • 00:17:41.160 --> 00:17:46.060
  • He merges his work with our prayers.
  • 00:17:46.070 --> 00:17:50.210
  • Often he will do that, now, he can do whatever he wants
  • 00:17:50.220 --> 00:17:53.010
  • regardless, but often he will do that.
  • 00:17:53.020 --> 00:17:55.070
  • And there are so many Scriptures about that.
  • 00:17:55.080 --> 00:17:57.220
  • I'll just give you two.
  • 00:17:57.230 --> 00:17:59.180
  • One, Revelation chapter 5, end of days.
  • 00:17:59.190 --> 00:18:02.150
  • Jesus takes the scroll out of the right hand of God
  • 00:18:02.160 --> 00:18:04.280
  • the Father, it's the title deed to the earth.
  • 00:18:04.290 --> 00:18:07.090
  • He is performing what God had always said he would do.
  • 00:18:07.100 --> 00:18:10.260
  • That's God's eternal purpose, that never changes.
  • 00:18:10.270 --> 00:18:13.150
  • He's doing what God the Father wanted him to do.
  • 00:18:13.160 --> 00:18:16.260
  • Listen to how it's written.
  • 00:18:16.270 --> 00:18:18.200
  • "As he took the scroll, the four living creatures
  • 00:18:18.210 --> 00:18:21.170
  • and the twenty-four elders fell down before the lamb.
  • 00:18:21.180 --> 00:18:24.050
  • Each one had a harp and they had golden bowls
  • 00:18:24.060 --> 00:18:27.100
  • filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints."
  • 00:18:27.110 --> 00:18:33.240
  • Here is the lamb doing what the father always said he would do
  • 00:18:33.250 --> 00:18:37.030
  • in cooperation with the prayers of the saints.
  • 00:18:37.040 --> 00:18:42.140
  • Here's another one, it stood out to me
  • 00:18:42.150 --> 00:18:44.160
  • because I was in my devotions reading this yesterday.
  • 00:18:44.170 --> 00:18:47.040
  • It's in Ezekiel chapter 36 where God tells Ezekiel, "Go prophesy
  • 00:18:47.050 --> 00:18:52.210
  • to the mountains of Israel and say the people are gonna come
  • 00:18:52.220 --> 00:18:55.240
  • back and be very populated unto you.
  • 00:18:55.250 --> 00:18:57.240
  • All the people will come back to this land
  • 00:18:57.250 --> 00:18:59.190
  • and be very fruitful in this land.
  • 00:18:59.200 --> 00:19:01.270
  • This is what I, the sovereign God, will do."
  • 00:19:01.280 --> 00:19:04.030
  • And over and over again he goes, "I will do this, I will do that,
  • 00:19:04.040 --> 00:19:06.290
  • I will do this, I will do that."
  • 00:19:07.000 --> 00:19:10.160
  • So you think, done deal, God is sovereign.
  • 00:19:10.170 --> 00:19:12.010
  • He's gonna do it.
  • 00:19:12.020 --> 00:19:13.110
  • But listen to what he says after that.
  • 00:19:13.120 --> 00:19:15.050
  • He says, "I am ready to hear Israel's prayers for these
  • 00:19:15.060 --> 00:19:20.140
  • blessings, and I am ready to grant them their requests."
  • 00:19:20.150 --> 00:19:25.240
  • It's very fascinating.
  • 00:19:25.250 --> 00:19:27.130
  • God says, "This is what I'm gonna do is, Ezekiel,
  • 00:19:27.140 --> 00:19:30.140
  • so I want you to know and you tell them I'm now ready
  • 00:19:30.150 --> 00:19:33.010
  • to hear them pray about that."
  • 00:19:33.020 --> 00:19:36.240
  • So, God has voluntarily linked himself to human cooperation.
  • 00:19:36.250 --> 00:19:42.200
  • Augustine put it this way, "Without God we cannot,
  • 00:19:42.210 --> 00:19:45.240
  • but without us, God will not."
  • 00:19:45.250 --> 00:19:49.160
  • Very interesting.
  • 00:19:49.170 --> 00:19:51.060
  • I just wonder if God doesn't want to give you so many
  • 00:19:51.070 --> 00:19:53.180
  • things--picture somebody with gifts in his arms
  • 00:19:53.190 --> 00:19:56.150
  • just waiting for you to ask.
  • 00:19:56.160 --> 00:19:59.060
  • And you go, "Oh, come on." God's Just gonna give 'em right?
  • 00:19:59.070 --> 00:20:02.290
  • Well, James came right out and he said this,
  • 00:20:03.000 --> 00:20:06.060
  • "You have not because you ask not."
  • 00:20:06.070 --> 00:20:11.100
  • You have not because you ask not.
  • 00:20:11.110 --> 00:20:13.100
  • So, prayer is needful. That's the first layer.
  • 00:20:13.110 --> 00:20:15.220
  • Let's drill down a little bit.
  • 00:20:15.230 --> 00:20:17.200
  • Prayer is needful, but intercession is powerful.
  • 00:20:17.210 --> 00:20:22.060
  • Notice verse 19, notice something.
  • 00:20:22.070 --> 00:20:24.280
  • They just don't come to Samuel and say, "Hey Samuel, pray.
  • 00:20:24.290 --> 00:20:28.170
  • You're a man of prayer, just pray."
  • 00:20:28.180 --> 00:20:31.270
  • They came to him in verse 19 and said, "Pray for your servants,"
  • 00:20:31.280 --> 00:20:37.160
  • pray for us, "that we may not die."
  • 00:20:37.170 --> 00:20:42.080
  • They're not just asking Samuel to pray, they have a specific
  • 00:20:42.090 --> 00:20:46.000
  • kind of prayer in need, what we would call intercession, praying
  • 00:20:46.010 --> 00:20:51.240
  • for somebody, praying on behalf of somebody else.
  • 00:20:51.250 --> 00:20:55.120
  • Intercession means to ask on behalf of somebody else.
  • 00:20:55.130 --> 00:20:59.060
  • Now, why?
  • 00:20:59.070 --> 00:21:00.180
  • Well, they had just seen how effective Samuel's prayer
  • 00:21:00.190 --> 00:21:02.010
  • was in the natural world bringing thunder,
  • 00:21:02.020 --> 00:21:04.130
  • and rain, and the storm, so they're thinking
  • 00:21:04.140 --> 00:21:07.250
  • "Hey, spread some of that around, pray for us.
  • 00:21:07.260 --> 00:21:11.150
  • We don't want to die."
  • 00:21:11.160 --> 00:21:14.040
  • Now, when it comes to praying, there's a few different
  • 00:21:14.050 --> 00:21:17.090
  • kinds of prayers.
  • 00:21:17.100 --> 00:21:18.190
  • I know most of you know this already,
  • 00:21:18.200 --> 00:21:19.290
  • but just follow me here.
  • 00:21:20.000 --> 00:21:22.050
  • Sometimes, oftentimes prayer is easy to do.
  • 00:21:22.060 --> 00:21:27.100
  • Hold on you're going, "Easy to do?"
  • 00:21:27.110 --> 00:21:29.110
  • It is easy to do.
  • 00:21:29.120 --> 00:21:30.210
  • Some forms of prayer are easy, others are hard.
  • 00:21:30.220 --> 00:21:33.200
  • Example, adoration, praising God, easy or hard?
  • 00:21:33.210 --> 00:21:39.050
  • Pretty easy.
  • 00:21:39.060 --> 00:21:40.190
  • Doesn't take a whole lot of effort to realize God's pretty
  • 00:21:40.200 --> 00:21:43.080
  • awesome and to tell him he's awesome.
  • 00:21:43.090 --> 00:21:46.140
  • That doesn't take a lot of effort.
  • 00:21:46.150 --> 00:21:48.200
  • That's not hard.
  • 00:21:48.210 --> 00:21:50.000
  • It's not like, "Oh man, I gotta tell God he's cool."
  • 00:21:50.010 --> 00:21:53.240
  • Really, are you a knucklehead? He is cool.
  • 00:21:53.250 --> 00:21:57.240
  • He is awesome.
  • 00:21:57.250 --> 00:21:59.040
  • Praising him is effortless, so easy to do.
  • 00:21:59.050 --> 00:22:00.260
  • Adoration, so easy to do.
  • 00:22:00.270 --> 00:22:02.250
  • Okay, let's get that out of the way.
  • 00:22:02.260 --> 00:22:04.200
  • Second form of prayer, petition, personal petition, asking things
  • 00:22:04.210 --> 00:22:08.060
  • for myself, easy or hard?
  • 00:22:08.070 --> 00:22:10.200
  • That's really easy 'cause I always know
  • 00:22:10.210 --> 00:22:13.040
  • what I think I need.
  • 00:22:13.050 --> 00:22:14.250
  • I'm always in touch with, "Yeah, I need that.
  • 00:22:14.260 --> 00:22:16.250
  • God, I need that."
  • 00:22:16.260 --> 00:22:19.150
  • So, that's pretty easy to pray for myself
  • 00:22:19.160 --> 00:22:21.140
  • because I am aware of my need.
  • 00:22:21.150 --> 00:22:23.090
  • Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
  • 00:22:23.100 --> 00:22:26.140
  • by prayer and supplication, let your requests
  • 00:22:26.150 --> 00:22:30.020
  • be made known to God."
  • 00:22:30.030 --> 00:22:31.120
  • That's easy.
  • 00:22:31.130 --> 00:22:33.160
  • Now, there's another interesting form of prayer, not adoration,
  • 00:22:33.170 --> 00:22:36.190
  • not personal petition, but imprecation.
  • 00:22:36.200 --> 00:22:41.080
  • Have you ever heard of imprecatory prayer?
  • 00:22:41.090 --> 00:22:43.160
  • Some of you have.
  • 00:22:43.170 --> 00:22:44.260
  • That's sort of a weird term, a theological term.
  • 00:22:44.270 --> 00:22:47.200
  • There are ten psalms in the Book of Psalms we call in imprecatory
  • 00:22:47.210 --> 00:22:51.250
  • psalms, eight written by David, two written by Asaph.
  • 00:22:51.260 --> 00:22:56.000
  • That's where David or Asaph praise
  • 00:22:56.010 --> 00:22:58.040
  • against somebody like their enemies.
  • 00:22:58.050 --> 00:23:01.230
  • They're pretty gnarly prayers, by the way.
  • 00:23:01.240 --> 00:23:04.030
  • It's like, "Oh God, break their teeth in their mouth.
  • 00:23:04.040 --> 00:23:07.060
  • Oh God, put them in slippery places.
  • 00:23:07.070 --> 00:23:08.260
  • Don't let them recover."
  • 00:23:08.270 --> 00:23:10.060
  • I mean, it's just like, it's like what mafia people
  • 00:23:10.070 --> 00:23:11.260
  • would pray, right?
  • 00:23:11.270 --> 00:23:14.290
  • Some of you are leaning in going,
  • 00:23:15.000 --> 00:23:16.090
  • "Tell me more about this prayer.
  • 00:23:16.100 --> 00:23:18.160
  • This could come in handy."
  • 00:23:18.170 --> 00:23:21.180
  • Okay, so somebody wrongs you and let's just say you
  • 00:23:21.190 --> 00:23:26.000
  • have the opportunity to pray an imprecatory psalm,
  • 00:23:26.010 --> 00:23:28.160
  • easy or hard?
  • 00:23:28.170 --> 00:23:30.090
  • That's pretty easy.
  • 00:23:30.100 --> 00:23:32.100
  • That's all, oh, I can pray one of those prayers.
  • 00:23:32.110 --> 00:23:35.120
  • In fact, I've written one out.
  • 00:23:35.130 --> 00:23:39.040
  • Now, just a word about that, whenever you pray to the Lord,
  • 00:23:39.050 --> 00:23:43.250
  • no matter what it is even if it is an imprecatory prayer
  • 00:23:43.260 --> 00:23:46.250
  • against your enemies, you gotta know something.
  • 00:23:46.260 --> 00:23:48.160
  • Number one, God doesn't have to say yes
  • 00:23:48.170 --> 00:23:50.000
  • to everything you pray for.
  • 00:23:50.010 --> 00:23:51.180
  • In fact, we say, "Well, God didn't answer my prayer."
  • 00:23:51.190 --> 00:23:53.100
  • Yes, he did. He said, "No," that's an answer.
  • 00:23:53.110 --> 00:23:57.070
  • He answered your prayer.
  • 00:23:57.080 --> 00:24:00.200
  • Number two, Jesus in the New Testament said,
  • 00:24:00.210 --> 00:24:02.200
  • "Love your enemies, and pray for them,"
  • 00:24:02.210 --> 00:24:04.150
  • not an imprecatory prayer,
  • 00:24:04.160 --> 00:24:05.250
  • but you pray for them in a loving way.
  • 00:24:05.260 --> 00:24:08.120
  • So, he brought it up to a whole higher level.
  • 00:24:08.130 --> 00:24:11.240
  • So, adoration, easy. That's my vote.
  • 00:24:11.250 --> 00:24:16.160
  • Petition, easy. Imprecation, easy.
  • 00:24:16.170 --> 00:24:19.160
  • But here's a fourth form of prayer that's hard.
  • 00:24:19.170 --> 00:24:22.100
  • We're talking about intercession.
  • 00:24:22.110 --> 00:24:24.270
  • Intercession is hard.
  • 00:24:24.280 --> 00:24:26.190
  • Why is it hard?
  • 00:24:26.200 --> 00:24:27.290
  • Because now I'm not focused on myself, which is most
  • 00:24:28.000 --> 00:24:30.090
  • of the time, or focused on God, which some of the time
  • 00:24:30.100 --> 00:24:33.230
  • and he's awesome, but now, now I'm focused on you
  • 00:24:33.240 --> 00:24:37.220
  • and what you need, and I'm not really good at that.
  • 00:24:37.230 --> 00:24:41.140
  • It's not comfortable. It's not easy for me.
  • 00:24:41.150 --> 00:24:43.130
  • In fact, to pray for other people,
  • 00:24:43.140 --> 00:24:45.250
  • the Bible says it's laborious.
  • 00:24:45.260 --> 00:24:49.060
  • It's labor.
  • 00:24:49.070 --> 00:24:50.280
  • In Colossians 4, Paul wrote about his buddy Epaphras saying,
  • 00:24:50.290 --> 00:24:54.180
  • "Who is laboring fervently for you in prayer."
  • 00:24:54.190 --> 00:25:00.280
  • It can be laborious, it can be hard.
  • 00:25:00.290 --> 00:25:03.230
  • And though it is hard, it is also helpful
  • 00:25:03.240 --> 00:25:08.110
  • because as James wrote, "The effective, fervent prayer
  • 00:25:08.120 --> 00:25:13.030
  • of a righteous man," what?
  • 00:25:13.040 --> 00:25:15.290
  • Avails much.
  • 00:25:16.000 --> 00:25:18.040
  • It works, it avails much.
  • 00:25:18.050 --> 00:25:24.150
  • There's a role of an intercessor spoken about in the Old
  • 00:25:24.160 --> 00:25:28.250
  • Testament as somebody who stands in the gap.
  • 00:25:28.260 --> 00:25:31.090
  • Have you ever heard that phrase, standing in the gap?
  • 00:25:31.100 --> 00:25:33.140
  • You wonder where it comes from?
  • 00:25:33.150 --> 00:25:35.020
  • It comes from Ezekiel chapter 22 where God said, "I sought for a
  • 00:25:35.030 --> 00:25:39.240
  • man among them, who would make a wall and stand in the gap
  • 00:25:39.250 --> 00:25:45.210
  • before me on behalf of this land,
  • 00:25:45.220 --> 00:25:48.050
  • that I should not destroy it."
  • 00:25:48.060 --> 00:25:50.250
  • God said, "I really want to do something.
  • 00:25:50.260 --> 00:25:52.120
  • I don't want to destroy these people.
  • 00:25:52.130 --> 00:25:53.240
  • I'm just looking for somebody who will be an intercessor,
  • 00:25:53.250 --> 00:25:57.080
  • who will stand before me in prayer on behalf of them."
  • 00:25:57.090 --> 00:26:01.260
  • So, to stand in the gap is somebody who forms a link
  • 00:26:01.270 --> 00:26:05.010
  • between God and people so that God can work.
  • 00:26:05.020 --> 00:26:08.020
  • Example, Abraham stood in the gap for King Gerar.
  • 00:26:08.030 --> 00:26:13.010
  • King Gerar or King of Gerar was named Abimelech.
  • 00:26:13.020 --> 00:26:17.180
  • Remember the story when Abraham goes down to Gerar and he lies
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  • about his wife saying, "Well, that's really my sister."
  • 00:26:20.020 --> 00:26:22.280
  • And so, the king of Gerar takes Sarah his wife, thinking,
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  • because he lied to them, "It's my sister.
  • 00:26:25.280 --> 00:26:27.270
  • Takes her home as part of his harem.
  • 00:26:27.280 --> 00:26:30.170
  • That night, God appears to Abimelech in a dream
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  • and says, "You're a dead man."
  • 00:26:33.040 --> 00:26:35.080
  • 00:26:35.090 --> 00:26:45.000
  • announcer: Get a fresh start in your faith this new year
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  • with "The Daily God" book.
  • 00:26:47.070 --> 00:26:48.200
  • Through the Bible and 365 days by Skip Heitzig.
  • 00:26:48.210 --> 00:26:52.020
  • This devotional features doable daily Scripture readings
  • 00:26:52.030 --> 00:26:55.030
  • and unique insights from Skip on key passages
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  • from throughout the Bible.
  • 00:26:57.240 --> 00:26:59.040
  • No matter what issue you're facing or what questions you
  • 00:26:59.050 --> 00:27:01.230
  • have, God wants you to know who he is through
  • 00:27:01.240 --> 00:27:04.160
  • what he said in Scripture.
  • 00:27:04.170 --> 00:27:06.040
  • Get "The Daily God" book when you give a gift today to help
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  • expand the Bible teaching outreach of Skip Heitzig.
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  • Call today or give online.
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  • Happy New Year from "Connect With Skip Heitzig."
  • 00:27:13.180 --> 00:27:16.030
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