When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 2 | TBN

When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 2

Watch When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 2
January 26, 2019
27:32

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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When You Haven't Got a Prayer Part 2

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  • Pastor Skip Heitzig: In prayer,
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  • I am saying to the creator of the universe,
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  • "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 and peace to
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  • the victims and families of this tragedy?"
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  • There is nothing wrong with that.
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  • Skip: Because when you think and you pray,
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  • you're probably next gonna be moved into action or you should.
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  • But what I wanna 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've prayed.
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  • But you can never do more than pray until you've prayed.
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  • Skip: "I am ready to hear Israel's prayers
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  • for these blessings.
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  • And I am ready to grant them their request."
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  • It's very fascinating.
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  • God says: "This is what I am gonna do,
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  • Ezekiel, so I want you to know and you tell them,
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  • 'I'm now ready to hear them pray about that.'"
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  • So God has voluntarily linked himself to human cooperation.
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  • Augustine put it this way: "Without God we cannot,
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  • but without us God will not."
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  • Very interesting.
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  • I just wonder if God doesn't wanna give you so many things.
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  • Picture somebody with gifts in his arms.
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  • Just waiting for you to ask.
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  • And you go, "Oh, c'mon.
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  • God's just gonna give 'em, right?"
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  • Well, James came right out and he said this: "You have not
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  • because you ask not."
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  • You have not because you ask not.
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  • So prayer is needful.
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  • That's the first layer.
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  • Let's drill down a little bit.
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  • Prayer is needful but intercession is powerful.
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  • Notice verse 19.
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  • Notice something.
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  • They just don't come to Samuel and say,
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  • "Hey, Samuel, pray.
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  • You're a man of prayer. Just pray."
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  • They came to him in verse 19 and said,
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  • "Pray for your servants.
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  • Pray for us, that we may not die."
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  • They're not just asking Samuel to pray.
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  • They have a specific kind of prayer in need,
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  • what we would call intercession, praying for somebody,
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  • praying on behalf of somebody else.
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  • Intercession means to ask on behalf of somebody else.
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  • Now why?
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  • Well, they had just seen how effective Samuel's prayer was in
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  • the natural world, bringing thunder and rain and the storm
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  • so they're thinking, "Hey, spread some of that around.
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  • Pray for us.
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  • We don't wanna die."
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  • Now, when it comes to praying, there's a few
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  • different kinds of prayers.
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  • I know most of you know this already but just follow me here.
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  • Sometimes, oftentimes, prayer is easy to do.
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  • Hold on, you're going, "Easy to do?"
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  • It is easy to do.
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  • Some forms of prayer are easy, others are hard.
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  • Example: adoration, praising God.
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  • Easy or hard? Pretty easy.
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  • Doesn't take a whole lot of effort to realize God's pretty
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  • awesome and to tell him he's awesome,
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  • that doesn't take a lot of effort.
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  • That's not hard.
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  • It's not like, "Oh, man.
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  • I gotta tell God he's cool."
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  • Really, are you a knucklehead?
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  • He is cool. He is awesome.
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  • Praising him is effortless. So easy to do.
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  • Adoration's so easy to do.
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  • Okay, let's get that out of the way.
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  • Second form of prayer: petition, personal petition,
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  • asking things for myself.
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  • Easy or hard?
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  • That's really easy 'cause I always know what I think I need.
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  • I'm always in touch with--
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  • "Yeah, I need that. God, I need that."
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  • So that's pretty easy to pray for myself because
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  • I am aware of my need.
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  • Philippians 4:6: "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by
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  • prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God."
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  • That's easy.
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  • Now, there's another interesting form of prayer.
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  • Not adoration, not personal petition,
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  • but imprecation.
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  • Have you ever heard of imprecatory prayer?
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  • Some of you have.
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  • That's sort of a weird term, a theological term.
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  • There are ten psalms in the book of Psalms we call imprecatory
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  • psalms: eight written by David, two written by Asaph.
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  • That's where David or Asaph prays against somebody,
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  • like their enemies.
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  • They're pretty gnarly prayers, by the way.
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  • It's like, "Oh, God, break their teeth in their mouth.
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  • Oh, God, put 'em in slippery places.
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  • Don't let 'em recover."
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  • I mean, it's just like--it's like what Mafia people
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  • would pray, right?
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  • And some of you are leaning in, going,
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  • "Tell me more about this prayer, I've never--this
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  • could come in handy."
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  • Okay, so somebody wrongs you and let's just say you have the
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  • opportunity to pray an imprecatory psalm.
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  • Easy or hard? That's pretty easy.
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  • They'd say, "Oh, I can pray one of those prayers.
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  • In fact, I've written one out."
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  • Now, just a word about that.
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  • Whenever you pray to the Lord, no matter what it is,
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  • even if it is an imprecatory prayer against your enemies,
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  • you've got to know something.
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  • Number one, God doesn't have to say yes to
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  • everything you pray for.
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  • In fact, we say, "Well, God didn't answer my prayer."
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  • Yes, he did. He said, "No."
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  • That's an answer. He answered your prayer.
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  • Number two, Jesus in the New Testament said,
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  • "Love your enemies and pray for them."
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  • Not an imprecatory prayer but you pray
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  • for them in a loving way.
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  • So he brought it up to a whole higher level.
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  • So adoration, easy.
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  • That's my vote.
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  • Petition, easy; imprecation, easy.
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  • But here's a fourth form of prayer that's hard,
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  • we're talking about: intercession.
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  • Intercession is hard.
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  • Why is it hard?
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  • Because now I'm not focused on myself,
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  • which is most of the time, or focused on God which is some
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  • of the time and he's awesome.
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  • But now, now, I'm focused on you and what you need,
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  • and I'm not really good at that.
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  • It's not comfortable. It's not easy for me.
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  • In fact, to pray for other people,
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  • the Bible says it's laborious, it's labor.
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  • In Colossians 4 Paul wrote about his buddy Epaphras saying,
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  • "Who is laboring fervently for you in prayer."
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  • It can be laborious, it can be hard.
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  • And though it is hard, it is also helpful because,
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  • as James wrote, "The effective fervent prayer
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  • of a righteous man," what?
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  • "Avails much."
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  • It works. It avails much.
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  • There is a role of an intercessor spoken about in the
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  • Old Testament as somebody who stands in the gap.
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  • Have you ever heard that phrase, "Standing in the gap"?
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  • You wonder where it comes from?
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  • It comes from Ezekiel chapter 22 where God said,
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  • "I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand
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  • in the gap before me on behalf of this land that
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  • I should not destroy it."
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  • God said, "I really wanna do something.
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  • I don't wanna destroy these people.
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  • I'm just looking for somebody who will be an intercessor who
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  • will stand before me in prayer on behalf of them."
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  • So to stand in the gap is somebody who forms a link
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  • between God and people so that God can work.
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  • Example: Abraham stood in the gap for King Gerar.
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  • King Gerar, or king of Gerar, was named Abimelech.
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  • 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."
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  • And so the king of Gerar takes Sarah,
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  • his wife, thinking, 'cause he lied to him,
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  • "It's my sister."
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  • Takes him home as part of his harem.
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  • That night, God appears to Abimelech in a dream and says,
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  • "You're a dead man.
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  • You just took a man's wife.
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  • You restore that man back his wife," listen to this.
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  • God said, "For he is a prophet and he will pray for you."
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  • If I'm King Abimelech I said, "That guy's a prophet?
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  • He just lied to me.
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  • That guy's a creepy husband and he's gonna pray for me?"
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  • But he didn't wanna die so he brought Sarah back to Abraham
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  • and it says: "Abraham prayed for him and the Lord enabled
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  • Abimelech's wife to have children."
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  • So God even honored a creepy husband's prayer
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  • in intercession.
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  • He stood in the gap.
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  • Moses stood in the gap for pharaoh when pharaoh said,
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  • "Ask your God to stop this hailstorm," Exodus chapter 9.
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  • Next chapter, "Ask your God to stop the plague of locusts,"
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  • Exodus chapter 10.
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  • Moses stood in the gap.
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  • Job stood in the gap for his friends.
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  • If you know the book of Job, it's Job suffering and his three
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  • and then fourth friend's badmouthing him through the book
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  • and telling Job why he's suffering and why God
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  • allowed this to happen.
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  • At the end of the book, God says,
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  • "I'm angry with you," to his three friends.
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  • "I'm angry with you because what you have said about me and about
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  • Job isn't right."
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  • And listen to this.
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  • This is Job 42, verse 7: "My servant Job will pray for you
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  • and I will accept his prayer."
  • 00:10:09.090 --> 00:10:12.030
  • That's the role of standing in the gap,
  • 00:10:12.040 --> 00:10:15.100
  • an intercessor.
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  • Did you know that nine times in the New Testament Paul the
  • 00:10:16.260 --> 00:10:19.210
  • apostle asks his audience to pray for him,
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  • to stand in the gap for him?
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  • You know why he asked for prayer?
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  • It's easy.
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  • 'Cause he believed it would work.
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  • If you pray for me, if you intercede for me,
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  • if you stand in the gap, it will work.
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  • John Wesley stood in the gap for his nation.
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  • John Wesley and a few friends had a club at Oxford University.
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  • Get this, it was called the Holy Club.
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  • The Holy Club.
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  • We need some clubs like that today,
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  • especially on campus.
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  • The Holy Club, Oxford University,
  • 00:10:54.170 --> 00:10:56.180
  • were students: John Wesley and a few of his buddies.
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  • Every Wednesday they would pray and fast and the result of the
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  • Holy Club was God brought revival to that nation.
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  • They stood in the gap.
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  • Evan Roberts and his friends stood in the gap for their
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  • country of Wales.
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  • Night after night, night after night,
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  • they prayed.
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  • God sent a two-year-plus revival called the Welsh revival in
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  • which 150.000 people were radically converted to Christ.
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  • They're intercessors. They stood in the gap.
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  • Now, something else about intercession quickly.
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  • When you engage in it, that's when you realize that
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  • prayer is a battle.
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  • You will be amazed at the disturbances that come your way
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  • when you say, "I'm gonna sit down and I'm gonna pray about
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  • that and pray for these people and intercede."
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  • You will be amazed at the interruptions.
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  • You sit down to pray, the telephone rings.
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  • You sit down to pray, somebody's at the door.
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  • You say, "Who's at the door?"
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  • Sit down to pray for somebody, that's when you get the text
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  • message you've been waiting for all day but
  • 00:12:05.120 --> 00:12:07.060
  • didn't get it 'til now.
  • 00:12:07.070 --> 00:12:09.080
  • That's when all the emails start coming.
  • 00:12:09.090 --> 00:12:11.290
  • You go, "What is going on?
  • 00:12:12.000 --> 00:12:13.090
  • What just happened?"
  • 00:12:13.100 --> 00:12:14.210
  • I'll tell you what just happened.
  • 00:12:14.220 --> 00:12:16.230
  • You just brought a gun to a knife fight.
  • 00:12:16.240 --> 00:12:22.220
  • Do you get the analogy?
  • 00:12:22.230 --> 00:12:24.130
  • You're in a fight. You're working it out yourself.
  • 00:12:24.140 --> 00:12:26.270
  • Suddenly, you bring a gun to the knife fight.
  • 00:12:26.280 --> 00:12:28.100
  • Fight is over.
  • 00:12:28.110 --> 00:12:30.020
  • When you pray, you are calling on the big gun.
  • 00:12:30.030 --> 00:12:35.060
  • You're involving God, you're bringing him.
  • 00:12:35.070 --> 00:12:37.000
  • Instead of, you know, hand-to-hand combat,
  • 00:12:37.010 --> 00:12:39.130
  • I'm gonna fight the devil on this,
  • 00:12:39.140 --> 00:12:40.230
  • you're bringing God into this.
  • 00:12:40.240 --> 00:12:42.160
  • No wonder Satan wants to keep you from prayer.
  • 00:12:42.170 --> 00:12:46.030
  • He doesn't want the big guns.
  • 00:12:46.040 --> 00:12:49.010
  • Samuel Chadwick wrote: "The one concern of the devil is to keep
  • 00:12:49.020 --> 00:12:53.200
  • Christians from praying.
  • 00:12:53.210 --> 00:12:56.140
  • He fears nothing from prayerless studies,
  • 00:12:56.150 --> 00:12:59.150
  • prayerless work, and prayerless religion.
  • 00:12:59.160 --> 00:13:02.150
  • He laughs at our toil, he mocks at our wisdom,
  • 00:13:02.160 --> 00:13:06.160
  • but he trembles when we pray."
  • 00:13:06.170 --> 00:13:12.190
  • As one person put it, "Satan trembles when he sees the
  • 00:13:12.200 --> 00:13:15.180
  • weakest saint upon his knees."
  • 00:13:15.190 --> 00:13:19.240
  • Prayer is needful, intercession is powerful.
  • 00:13:19.250 --> 00:13:22.190
  • Let's take it down another layer, another level.
  • 00:13:22.200 --> 00:13:25.200
  • Let's go deeper.
  • 00:13:25.210 --> 00:13:27.010
  • Obedience is essential. Obedience is essential.
  • 00:13:27.020 --> 00:13:30.290
  • So they come to Samuel and say, "Pray for us.
  • 00:13:31.000 --> 00:13:32.190
  • We don't wanna die."
  • 00:13:32.200 --> 00:13:34.030
  • Verse 20: "Samuel said to the people,
  • 00:13:34.040 --> 00:13:36.110
  • 'Do not fear.
  • 00:13:36.120 --> 00:13:37.270
  • You have done all this wickedness.'"
  • 00:13:37.280 --> 00:13:40.060
  • In other words, it is on you, you're right to confess it.
  • 00:13:40.070 --> 00:13:43.290
  • "Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord,
  • 00:13:44.000 --> 00:13:46.290
  • but serve the Lord with all your heart.
  • 00:13:47.000 --> 00:13:49.290
  • And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty
  • 00:13:50.000 --> 00:13:52.080
  • things," that's idols, "which cannot profit or deliver,
  • 00:13:52.090 --> 00:13:55.060
  • for they are nothing.
  • 00:13:55.070 --> 00:13:57.130
  • For the Lord will not forsake his people,
  • 00:13:57.140 --> 00:13:59.120
  • for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord
  • 00:13:59.130 --> 00:14:04.270
  • to make you his people."
  • 00:14:04.280 --> 00:14:08.010
  • What Samuel is basically telling this crowd is,
  • 00:14:08.020 --> 00:14:11.100
  • "Look, God's not gonna forsake you.
  • 00:14:11.110 --> 00:14:13.160
  • Now, you just make sure that you don't forsake God any longer.
  • 00:14:13.170 --> 00:14:18.050
  • You ask me to pray for you.
  • 00:14:18.060 --> 00:14:21.040
  • You've come to me to pray for you.
  • 00:14:21.050 --> 00:14:22.140
  • But don't expect me just to shoot up a prayer while you live
  • 00:14:22.150 --> 00:14:25.230
  • any way you wanna live.
  • 00:14:25.240 --> 00:14:27.200
  • Prayer's not some 911 call.
  • 00:14:27.210 --> 00:14:30.050
  • You still need to stay close to the Lord,
  • 00:14:30.060 --> 00:14:33.110
  • stay true to the Lord, trust the Lord,
  • 00:14:33.120 --> 00:14:35.020
  • walk with the Lord, be obedient.
  • 00:14:35.030 --> 00:14:36.150
  • Don't turn from him.
  • 00:14:36.160 --> 00:14:37.290
  • There's obedience on your part."
  • 00:14:38.000 --> 00:14:39.130
  • There's a great principle here before we move on to the next:
  • 00:14:39.140 --> 00:14:42.020
  • never use someone else's prayers as a crutch
  • 00:14:42.030 --> 00:14:46.030
  • for your disobedience.
  • 00:14:46.040 --> 00:14:48.130
  • I get all--people come all the time,
  • 00:14:48.140 --> 00:14:50.030
  • "Hey, would you pray for me? I got this or that going on."
  • 00:14:50.040 --> 00:14:52.140
  • Yeah, but that's--there's a lifestyle issue
  • 00:14:52.150 --> 00:14:54.070
  • we're dealing with.
  • 00:14:54.080 --> 00:14:55.250
  • "Well, just pray for me."
  • 00:14:55.260 --> 00:14:58.190
  • Never use somebody else's prayers as a crutch for your
  • 00:14:58.200 --> 00:15:00.200
  • disobedience or never use somebody else's holiness as an
  • 00:15:00.210 --> 00:15:05.080
  • excuse for your unholiness.
  • 00:15:05.090 --> 00:15:08.230
  • Obedience is essential.
  • 00:15:08.240 --> 00:15:10.250
  • Let's take it down to the fourth and the last level.
  • 00:15:10.260 --> 00:15:13.080
  • Okay, so you've been really good in this series and there have
  • 00:15:13.090 --> 00:15:18.090
  • been some hard-hitting sermons.
  • 00:15:18.100 --> 00:15:19.190
  • I just wanna preface this with great love.
  • 00:15:19.200 --> 00:15:22.030
  • This is the last point.
  • 00:15:22.040 --> 00:15:24.160
  • This is where it packs its punch.
  • 00:15:24.170 --> 00:15:26.170
  • This is where it hurts a little bit.
  • 00:15:26.180 --> 00:15:28.250
  • Prayerlessness is sinful. Prayerlessness is sinful.
  • 00:15:28.260 --> 00:15:33.270
  • Look at verse 23: "Moreover," he says to these people,
  • 00:15:33.280 --> 00:15:38.120
  • "as for me," Samuel the prophet, "far be it from me that I should
  • 00:15:38.130 --> 00:15:43.130
  • sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you;
  • 00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:48.130
  • but I will teach you the good and the right way.
  • 00:15:48.140 --> 00:15:52.220
  • Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your
  • 00:15:52.230 --> 00:15:54.120
  • heart; for consider what great things He has done for you."
  • 00:15:54.130 --> 00:15:59.020
  • Question: why does he call this sin,
  • 00:15:59.030 --> 00:16:02.210
  • not praying for you, prayerlessness?
  • 00:16:02.220 --> 00:16:05.130
  • Why does he call that sin?
  • 00:16:05.140 --> 00:16:06.250
  • And why does he say it's against the Lord?
  • 00:16:06.260 --> 00:16:10.080
  • "God forbid or, you know, that I should sin against the Lord in
  • 00:16:10.090 --> 00:16:13.200
  • ceasing to pray for you."
  • 00:16:13.210 --> 00:16:16.110
  • Ah, that's the kernel of truth that I wanna get at.
  • 00:16:16.120 --> 00:16:19.110
  • It's a sin against the Lord, number one,
  • 00:16:19.120 --> 00:16:22.110
  • because prayerlessness insults God.
  • 00:16:22.120 --> 00:16:25.150
  • Would you agree with that?
  • 00:16:25.160 --> 00:16:28.110
  • That prayerlessness, not praying, insults God.
  • 00:16:28.120 --> 00:16:34.270
  • You say, "Why does it insult God?"
  • 00:16:34.280 --> 00:16:36.190
  • Well, think of it.
  • 00:16:36.200 --> 00:16:37.290
  • He's the creator of everything and,
  • 00:16:38.000 --> 00:16:40.120
  • as the creator of everything, yet he invites
  • 00:16:40.130 --> 00:16:44.040
  • you into his presence.
  • 00:16:44.050 --> 00:16:45.180
  • He says, "Come, talk to me.
  • 00:16:45.190 --> 00:16:47.080
  • Come, fellowship with me.
  • 00:16:47.090 --> 00:16:48.240
  • Come, involve me in your life and I will work when you do.
  • 00:16:48.250 --> 00:16:51.220
  • Call on me," Jeremiah 33:3, "and I will answer you.
  • 00:16:51.230 --> 00:16:55.000
  • And I will show you great and mighty things
  • 00:16:55.010 --> 00:16:57.170
  • which you know not."
  • 00:16:57.180 --> 00:16:59.150
  • That's an invitation from God.
  • 00:16:59.160 --> 00:17:01.210
  • So if you were to say, "Well, God,
  • 00:17:01.220 --> 00:17:04.080
  • I don't have time to talk to you," which is most of us would
  • 00:17:04.090 --> 00:17:11.220
  • have that as an excuse.
  • 00:17:11.230 --> 00:17:13.020
  • "I just--it's hard to make the time to pray," okay?
  • 00:17:13.030 --> 00:17:18.010
  • I would counter that by asking you this: do you have time to
  • 00:17:18.020 --> 00:17:22.140
  • binge watch that series on Netflix and Hulu?
  • 00:17:22.150 --> 00:17:27.040
  • Do you have time to get in a workout at the gym?
  • 00:17:27.050 --> 00:17:31.150
  • You have time to play a round of golf?
  • 00:17:31.160 --> 00:17:35.030
  • You have time to go shopping?
  • 00:17:35.040 --> 00:17:37.290
  • Oh, there's always time for shopping.
  • 00:17:38.000 --> 00:17:40.100
  • Do you have time to practice that musical instrument so to
  • 00:17:40.110 --> 00:17:42.200
  • become proficient at it?
  • 00:17:42.210 --> 00:17:45.090
  • The average person lives to what age,
  • 00:17:45.100 --> 00:17:49.230
  • do you think, average?
  • 00:17:49.240 --> 00:17:51.040
  • Average person lives--77 is the average lifespan.
  • 00:17:51.050 --> 00:17:55.260
  • The average person lives 77 years.
  • 00:17:55.270 --> 00:17:58.060
  • That equals 28.000 days or 670.000 hours or
  • 00:17:58.070 --> 00:18:03.150
  • 40 million minutes.
  • 00:18:03.160 --> 00:18:06.220
  • Okay, follow me.
  • 00:18:06.230 --> 00:18:08.020
  • The average person spends 24 minutes a day getting dressed.
  • 00:18:08.030 --> 00:18:13.170
  • Some more.
  • 00:18:13.180 --> 00:18:17.170
  • That equals 13 hours a month or 7 days a year
  • 00:18:17.180 --> 00:18:21.210
  • or 1 year in your lifetime.
  • 00:18:21.220 --> 00:18:25.030
  • The average person spends 40 minutes a day on the phone.
  • 00:18:25.040 --> 00:18:30.250
  • Some more.
  • 00:18:30.260 --> 00:18:33.020
  • That's 20 hours a month, that's 10 days a year,
  • 00:18:33.030 --> 00:18:34.250
  • that's 2 years in your lifetime.
  • 00:18:34.260 --> 00:18:36.110
  • The average person spends one hour a day in the bathroom.
  • 00:18:36.120 --> 00:18:42.100
  • That's 30 hours a month, that's 15 days a year,
  • 00:18:42.110 --> 00:18:47.010
  • that's 3 years in the bathroom in your lifetime.
  • 00:18:47.020 --> 00:18:56.250
  • The average person spends 3 hours a day watching television.
  • 00:18:56.260 --> 00:19:01.270
  • Some way more.
  • 00:19:01.280 --> 00:19:05.160
  • That's 90 hours a month, that's 45 days a year,
  • 00:19:05.170 --> 00:19:10.140
  • that's 9 years in a lifetime.
  • 00:19:10.150 --> 00:19:12.200
  • I'm not gonna even get at looking at
  • 00:19:12.210 --> 00:19:14.020
  • your mobile phone.
  • 00:19:14.030 --> 00:19:15.240
  • That's a whole different issue, a whole different skew.
  • 00:19:15.250 --> 00:19:19.150
  • But get this.
  • 00:19:19.160 --> 00:19:20.250
  • The average Christian spends less than ten minutes a day.
  • 00:19:20.260 --> 00:19:27.140
  • Now hold on to that.
  • 00:19:27.150 --> 00:19:28.270
  • Less than ten minutes a day.
  • 00:19:28.280 --> 00:19:30.100
  • But let's just be generous, say ten minutes a day.
  • 00:19:30.110 --> 00:19:32.000
  • Ten minutes a day.
  • 00:19:32.010 --> 00:19:34.030
  • If it were the case, ten minutes a day,
  • 00:19:34.040 --> 00:19:35.280
  • that'd be six hours a month, that'd be three days a year or a
  • 00:19:35.290 --> 00:19:41.110
  • total of seven months in a lifetime.
  • 00:19:41.120 --> 00:19:46.240
  • According to Barna Research, they've researched this for
  • 00:19:46.250 --> 00:19:49.200
  • decades, right?
  • 00:19:49.210 --> 00:19:51.000
  • If you know anything--
  • 00:19:51.010 --> 00:19:52.100
  • The Barna Group research Christians' behavior.
  • 00:19:52.110 --> 00:19:53.250
  • They do in-depth research.
  • 00:19:53.260 --> 00:19:55.230
  • According to Barna Research, the average Christian prays
  • 00:19:55.240 --> 00:20:00.220
  • one minute a day.
  • 00:20:00.230 --> 00:20:02.260
  • One minute a day.
  • 00:20:04.190 --> 00:20:08.030
  • Prayerlessness insults God.
  • 00:20:08.040 --> 00:20:11.160
  • There's a second reason he calls it a sin.
  • 00:20:11.170 --> 00:20:14.140
  • Prayerlessness impoverishes us.
  • 00:20:14.150 --> 00:20:19.040
  • I lose out on an opportunity to partner with God in a work
  • 00:20:19.050 --> 00:20:23.030
  • he wants to do.
  • 00:20:23.040 --> 00:20:25.030
  • How awesome to say, "Look what happened.
  • 00:20:25.040 --> 00:20:27.090
  • I prayed about that."
  • 00:20:27.100 --> 00:20:31.120
  • It impoverishes us.
  • 00:20:31.130 --> 00:20:32.220
  • Jesus said, you know this: "Ask and
  • 00:20:32.230 --> 00:20:36.080
  • you shall receive.
  • 00:20:36.090 --> 00:20:39.070
  • Seek and you shall," tell me, "find.
  • 00:20:39.080 --> 00:20:42.080
  • Knock and the door shall be opened unto you."
  • 00:20:42.090 --> 00:20:45.140
  • That's what Jesus told us.
  • 00:20:45.150 --> 00:20:48.230
  • That's a command: "Ask and you will receive.
  • 00:20:48.240 --> 00:20:50.170
  • Seek and you will find.
  • 00:20:50.180 --> 00:20:51.280
  • Knock and the door will be opened unto you."
  • 00:20:51.290 --> 00:20:55.000
  • So doesn't it make sense if you never ask,
  • 00:20:55.010 --> 00:20:57.080
  • you'll never, what?
  • 00:20:57.090 --> 00:20:59.210
  • You'll never receive. "I don't know.
  • 00:20:59.220 --> 00:21:02.220
  • I don't--I can't--I don't receive anything."
  • 00:21:02.230 --> 00:21:05.090
  • Did you ask?
  • 00:21:05.100 --> 00:21:08.000
  • You have not because you ask not.
  • 00:21:08.010 --> 00:21:09.180
  • So prayerlessness insults God.
  • 00:21:09.190 --> 00:21:12.000
  • Prayerlessness impoverishes us.
  • 00:21:12.010 --> 00:21:13.140
  • And finally, prayerlessness injures others.
  • 00:21:13.150 --> 00:21:19.160
  • It injures others.
  • 00:21:19.170 --> 00:21:20.260
  • "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing
  • 00:21:20.270 --> 00:21:24.180
  • to pray for you."
  • 00:21:24.190 --> 00:21:26.290
  • What do you mean, "It robs others?"
  • 00:21:27.000 --> 00:21:29.070
  • Well, it robs people of the blessings God wants to give them
  • 00:21:29.080 --> 00:21:31.190
  • and that is the epitome of selfishness.
  • 00:21:31.200 --> 00:21:34.040
  • Now, I've noticed something.
  • 00:21:34.050 --> 00:21:36.210
  • I bet you have too.
  • 00:21:36.220 --> 00:21:38.010
  • It's becoming vogue lately, just very recently,
  • 00:21:38.020 --> 00:21:40.280
  • whenever there's a crisis, whenever there's a desperate
  • 00:21:40.290 --> 00:21:43.240
  • situation, a tragedy occurs, and people say,
  • 00:21:43.250 --> 00:21:46.150
  • "Our thoughts and prayers are with you," we tweet that out,
  • 00:21:46.160 --> 00:21:50.120
  • we say that.
  • 00:21:50.130 --> 00:21:51.280
  • It's now become vogue to say, "We don't want your thoughts
  • 00:21:51.290 --> 00:21:54.160
  • and prayers."
  • 00:21:54.170 --> 00:21:56.030
  • Have you heard that? "That's not enough."
  • 00:21:56.040 --> 00:21:58.140
  • You know, what they're saying is,
  • 00:21:58.150 --> 00:21:59.240
  • "Don't just tell us you're gonna pray for us and think about us.
  • 00:21:59.250 --> 00:22:01.290
  • Do something about this."
  • 00:22:02.000 --> 00:22:03.110
  • That's what they mean and I understand that.
  • 00:22:03.120 --> 00:22:06.040
  • But they say, "Thoughts and prayers are not enough."
  • 00:22:06.050 --> 00:22:08.090
  • Well, I guess it depends on who is doing the thoughts and
  • 00:22:08.100 --> 00:22:11.020
  • prayers and to whom the thoughts and prayers are being directed.
  • 00:22:11.030 --> 00:22:15.260
  • Because in prayer I am saying to the creator of the universe,
  • 00:22:15.270 --> 00:22:21.170
  • "God, I know I live in a fallen world.
  • 00:22:21.180 --> 00:22:23.200
  • Father, I know that bad things happen to all people.
  • 00:22:23.210 --> 00:22:26.110
  • Would you please give comfort and encouragement and peace to
  • 00:22:26.120 --> 00:22:30.290
  • the victims and families of this tragedy?"
  • 00:22:31.000 --> 00:22:34.010
  • There is nothing wrong with that.
  • 00:22:34.020 --> 00:22:36.230
  • In fact, there's everything right with that.
  • 00:22:36.240 --> 00:22:40.000
  • That doesn't mean you stop and you do not act.
  • 00:22:40.010 --> 00:22:43.290
  • It's not like, "Yup, done my job.
  • 00:22:44.000 --> 00:22:45.120
  • I've thought about 'em and I prayed about 'em."
  • 00:22:45.130 --> 00:22:47.150
  • Because when you think and you pray,
  • 00:22:47.160 --> 00:22:48.250
  • you're probably next gonna be moved into action or you should.
  • 00:22:48.260 --> 00:22:52.020
  • But what I wanna underscore is this: prayer is action.
  • 00:22:52.030 --> 00:22:57.020
  • It's the first action.
  • 00:22:57.030 --> 00:22:59.150
  • Because we're engaging God in the process.
  • 00:22:59.160 --> 00:23:02.080
  • You can always do more than pray after you've prayed.
  • 00:23:02.090 --> 00:23:04.130
  • But you can never do more than pray until you've prayed.
  • 00:23:04.140 --> 00:23:08.260
  • Peter Marshall, if you know anything about Peter Marshall,
  • 00:23:13.150 --> 00:23:17.020
  • I would commend his--the biography that his
  • 00:23:17.030 --> 00:23:19.240
  • wife wrote about him.
  • 00:23:19.250 --> 00:23:21.250
  • Peter Marshall was the chaplain at one time to the United States
  • 00:23:21.260 --> 00:23:25.020
  • Senate, and Peter Marshall began a Senate session with this
  • 00:23:25.030 --> 00:23:31.190
  • prayer: "O Lord, forgive us for thinking that prayer is a waste
  • 00:23:31.200 --> 00:23:37.030
  • of time and help us to see that without prayer our work
  • 00:23:37.040 --> 00:23:41.060
  • is a waste of time."
  • 00:23:41.070 --> 00:23:44.270
  • I like that.
  • 00:23:44.280 --> 00:23:46.180
  • So let me bring this to a close and say this: if there is a God
  • 00:23:46.190 --> 00:23:53.130
  • and if that God invites us to come into his presence,
  • 00:23:53.140 --> 00:23:59.000
  • talk and fellowship with him, and promises to involve himself
  • 00:23:59.010 --> 00:24:04.080
  • in our daily activities, and promises to act on our behalf,
  • 00:24:04.090 --> 00:24:09.140
  • and if he has made that way possible by sending his Son to
  • 00:24:09.150 --> 00:24:15.170
  • bleed on a cross so that we could have fellowship with him
  • 00:24:15.180 --> 00:24:19.000
  • and pray to him and he would act,
  • 00:24:19.010 --> 00:24:23.160
  • then what are we thinking not doing that?
  • 00:24:23.170 --> 00:24:28.020
  • What on earth could we be possibly thinking
  • 00:24:28.030 --> 00:24:31.000
  • not doing that?
  • 00:24:31.010 --> 00:24:33.070
  • And could that be the reason that we lack real power?
  • 00:24:33.080 --> 00:24:39.160
  • Could the reason for our lack of power be just that right there?
  • 00:24:39.170 --> 00:24:44.240
  • I'll close with this story.
  • 00:24:44.250 --> 00:24:46.110
  • Herbert Jackson was a missionary.
  • 00:24:46.120 --> 00:24:49.160
  • He went to the mission field and part of the package of him being
  • 00:24:49.170 --> 00:24:52.090
  • a missionary in this mission field was a mission car.
  • 00:24:52.100 --> 00:24:54.230
  • It was beat up.
  • 00:24:54.240 --> 00:24:56.030
  • It didn't start like this, with a key.
  • 00:24:56.040 --> 00:24:57.280
  • He had to push start this car.
  • 00:24:57.290 --> 00:24:59.280
  • So Herbert Jackson figured out how he was gonna do it.
  • 00:24:59.290 --> 00:25:03.070
  • He lived and worked near a school and worked
  • 00:25:03.080 --> 00:25:06.030
  • at the school sometimes.
  • 00:25:06.040 --> 00:25:07.130
  • They all knew him.
  • 00:25:07.140 --> 00:25:08.230
  • So what he would do is he would get some of the kids out of
  • 00:25:08.240 --> 00:25:11.010
  • class to push the car, to push-start the car
  • 00:25:11.020 --> 00:25:13.100
  • in second gear.
  • 00:25:13.110 --> 00:25:14.220
  • I don't know if you've ever done that.
  • 00:25:14.230 --> 00:25:16.020
  • I lived that way for a while.
  • 00:25:16.030 --> 00:25:17.120
  • And they'd push-start the car.
  • 00:25:17.130 --> 00:25:19.000
  • So he would then drive around, make his rounds,
  • 00:25:19.010 --> 00:25:20.170
  • and whenever he'd make his rounds and drive out in the
  • 00:25:20.180 --> 00:25:22.100
  • bush, he did one of two things:
  • 00:25:22.110 --> 00:25:23.220
  • a, he left the car running so he wouldn't have to try to start
  • 00:25:23.230 --> 00:25:26.160
  • it, or b, he would find a hill and park it on a hill so it
  • 00:25:26.170 --> 00:25:29.230
  • would be facing downward so he could just let it go and start
  • 00:25:29.240 --> 00:25:32.240
  • it in second gear and get it going.
  • 00:25:32.250 --> 00:25:34.050
  • He did that for two years.
  • 00:25:34.060 --> 00:25:38.020
  • Eventually, he got sick, had to come back to the United States.
  • 00:25:38.030 --> 00:25:40.270
  • A new missionary came to replace him.
  • 00:25:40.280 --> 00:25:43.010
  • Herbert Jackson said, "Hey, with this deal you get a car but it
  • 00:25:43.020 --> 00:25:45.270
  • doesn't work but I figured out this cool system how--"
  • 00:25:45.280 --> 00:25:48.210
  • He told him all about it. The guy wasn't impressed.
  • 00:25:48.220 --> 00:25:52.080
  • He said, "Do you mind if I pop the hood?"
  • 00:25:52.090 --> 00:25:54.220
  • So the new missionary popped the hood,
  • 00:25:54.230 --> 00:25:57.090
  • noticed a cable was disconnected,
  • 00:25:57.100 --> 00:26:01.060
  • connected it, and got in the car,
  • 00:26:01.070 --> 00:26:02.160
  • turned it on, it started.
  • 00:26:02.170 --> 00:26:04.030
  • Now, just think about that.
  • 00:26:04.040 --> 00:26:05.130
  • For two years, Herbert Jackson lived that way.
  • 00:26:05.140 --> 00:26:11.220
  • Now, listen to how this goes.
  • 00:26:11.230 --> 00:26:13.230
  • The power was available to him.
  • 00:26:13.240 --> 00:26:19.190
  • The only problem was a loose connection.
  • 00:26:19.200 --> 00:26:22.260
  • Get my drift?
  • 00:26:22.270 --> 00:26:24.190
  • The power is available to us.
  • 00:26:24.200 --> 00:26:26.060
  • The only problem is a loose connection.
  • 00:26:26.070 --> 00:26:29.080
  • Get connected. Stay connected.
  • 00:26:29.090 --> 00:26:33.120
  • And live in his power.
  • 00:26:33.130 --> 00:26:34.270
  • 00:26:35.250 --> 00:26:43.290
  • male announcer: Get a fresh start in your faith this new
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  • year with "The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days,"
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  • by Skip Heitzig.
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  • This devotional features doable daily Scripture readings and
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  • unique insights from Skip on key passages from
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  • throughout the Bible.
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  • No matter what issue you're facing or what questions you
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  • have, God wants you to know who he is through
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  • what he has said in Scripture.
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  • 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."
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