Prayer and Fasting Part 4
We’re on our series called Secret Sauce: Prayer and Fasting. Every year at the beginning of the year, the first 21 days of the year, we commit the year and our hearts to God through prayer and fasting. Today’s day 19, only two days to go. We’re pressing into what God has for you. It’s been an awesome time, a challenging time, but a great time. And I’m excited about what God has in store for us. So if you want to jump into what we’re talking about today or a sermon, you’ve got your worship notes available there in your worship guide, Mt. Carmel Church.
What’d I say? Worship notes. Sermon notes, thank you. Sermon notes are available in your worship guide. You can also go to the YouVersion Bible app to get your sermon notes. Download them there. We always expect God to speak to us every time we open the Bible, we’re pumped about it Mt. Carmel Church.
Run through the Tape
He wants to talk to us more than we want to talk to him. So every time we open the Bible, we get excited about it. So if you’ve got those Bibles today, open them up to Matthew chapter 9! That’s what I’m talking about. I heard you overflow. I heard you back there. Matthew chapter 9, there two things we’re going to talk about today. Are you ready? Two things. Number one, we’re going to talk about fasting to encourage us on these last three days. If you’ve not been a part of, you’ve not joined in with us in our prayer and fasting, you have three days. You can jump in right now. If you start in and then you stop somewhere in the process. I’m going to encourage you today to jump in as a family for these last three days that we press in.
I like to say it this way. I don’t want to limp across the finish line. I want to run through the tape. My body, sometimes once at the end was just, you know, quit. I started doing this and compromising this. I’m like, no, I’m running through the tape. I’m running through first base. I’m not stopping short. I’m going through, so I encourage you to jump in, and do something. These next three days, I believe we’re going to see something happening in our churches.
We pray and fast together, even over these next three days together in unity. Maybe you say, “Okay, I’m going to eat one meal a day for the next three days and I’m going to pray and I’m going to read more.” Whatever it is you want to do, just press in for more God, and as we do that together, I believe God’s going to bring breakthrough in individual lives as well as us corporately, Mt. Carmel Church.
Talking about 2 Things Today:
- Praying Bold and Persistent Prayers
If you found Matthew chapter 9, as you can tell, I’m so I’m excited about it. Look at verse 14. I said, I told you two things. We’re going to talk about. I told you about the first one. The first one’s fasting. Second, we’re going to talk about praying, bold, persistent prayers. I’m going to talk about fasting. When we talk about prayer, we’ll hit a boat. Are you ready? I’m in verse 14 of Matthew chapter 9 if you’re not there, get there. Then the disciples of John came to him saying, why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast as you do, Mt. Carmel Church?
Have you ever felt like that you’re fasting and somebody else isn’t and you want to drag them down? What do you think you’re doing? Naughty. I’m fat. You know you’ve got to watch that. If you want to fast, fast on your own, fast out of your own heart, don’t be angry. Anoint your head, wash your face. Don’t be a grouchy pants just because you’re fasting. If you’re fasting and you’re grouchy, get your heart right. We are three days anyway.
But why? Why do we fast but your disciples don’t? Jeez, aren’t they as spiritual as we are? Here, notice Jesus’ answer. This is so cool. He says, can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with him, but the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and then they will what? They will be fasting. So this is Jesus talking. There’s a principal. He said, “Hey, when I’m gone after that, they’re going to fast here at Mt. Carmel Church.”
You can’t put New Wine in Old Wineskins
So it’s a biblical principle that Jesus is enforcing. Again, he’s saying, fasting is something I want you to do. After I’m out of here, they will fast. So I’ve just to reinforce the principle and why it’s here, but notice what happens next in the context of fasting. Here’s what he says, Mt. Carmel Church. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment for the patch pulls away from the garment and the tear is made worse, nor do they put new wine into old wineskins or else the wineskins would break.
The wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined, but they put new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved. Now he uses two analogies here. After fasting in the context of fasting, I could talk about both of them, but for time’s sake, I’m only going to hit one of them. I’m going to hit the wineskins part. Notice what he says. He said they don’t put new wine into old wineskins. I promise you we did not talk before the message on our song list. I came out at our team before the service and they were singing this new one. I had looked at the song list and I’m like, you guys don’t even know that. This is where we get into how fasting affects us on a spiritual level.
My first scripture is talking about new why I think God may have been in part of what we were doing this morning. Give it up for a worship team. So thankful. So notice what happens, he says you don’t put new wine into old wineskins. So what does this look like? Wineskins were containers made of animal skin and they would seal them. So they’d pour this new wine into these animal skins containers and they would seal them. And what would happen? The fermentation process of one, when it ferments, gases are released and pressure builds up in there. And so a new wineskin is soft and flexible and it’s a little bit of elastic with us, Mt. Carmel Church.
So as that wine, those gases and that pressure cause that to expand and the new one will expand with it and make room and increase its capacity to contain what’s growing on the inside of it. The pressure of that new wine causes that thing to push out and its capacity can increase because it’s soft Mt. Carmel Church, flexible and elastic. But now an old wineskin after it’s been expanded one time starts to get stiff and rigid and so now you put new wine into that old wineskin that’s already settled. It’s already stiff and it’s already rigid and you seal that up. When those gases are released and it starts to expand, that old one won’t expand.
It’s already reached. It’s predetermined, and it says, I can’t go any further. And so then, those gases, and that pressure of the new thing building and growing on the inside of it burst the container and it says the container is ruined or useless. Now, why is Jesus using that analogy when talking about fasting? We liked that analogy, but we’ve not always tied it to fasting. Is it possible the fasting keeps us soft and flexible for the new thing that God wants to pour into your heart?
I believe, that what we’re believing for is new wine inside of us. I’m not talking about literal wine. I’m talking about the move of God, the presence of God, the new thing that God wants to do in you. I believe God wants to increase your capacity in 2020 but if we get old and stiff and rigid, then the new thing that God wants to pour into us, the pressure is going to come. When I say I’m praying for an increase in your life, I’m not praying for comfort in your lives, Mt. Carmel Church.
If we want Increased Capacity we have to Welcome the Pressure the Causes It
Yeah, because what comes with the increase is pressure. I’ve got to find somebody who wants to agree with that. We don’t want the pressure. We want to increase the capacity terms and we want the growth and all those kinds of language, but do we want the pressure that causes that increased capacity? I believe this prayer and fasting we are humbling ourselves before God and it keeps us soft and flexible.
Say, “God, I want the new wine. Here I am. I’m a vessel. I’m just a vessel. Pour into me that new wine and Lord, I’m going to be soft and flexible for the new thing you want to do in 2020 wherever you want me to go. Whatever you want me to think. The new way of thinking, the new perspective, the new way I treat my spouse, the new way I handle my finances, the new way I handle my faith, my health, the new way I handle my coworkers, whatever it is, you’re increasing my capacity.”
I want to be soft and flexible, so I’m believing for the increase in The Roads Church in 2020. Inn your life and our life together, but we have to be soft and flexible. Do it and Jesus said a key to being soft and flexible is fasting. We’re not going to be stiff and rigid. Don’t let your age or your length of service limit the new thing that God wants to do in your heart. Your age is a number. You don’t mean anything. I know that’s bad grammar, but it feels better to say it that way. It doesn’t mean a thing. Just because you reach a certain age, you are not an old vessel
because you’ve got a certain number beside your name. You’re not an old vessel. A new vessel is soft and flexible. It doesn’t matter how old it is. I’m believing God for new things. So that’s what fasting is about Mt. Carmel Church. He’s wanting you to stay soft and flexible.
So does anybody want God to do something new in your life in 2020? Yeah, you may believe for an increase in their capacity in 2020 well, guess what? Pressures going to come. I’m going to say it this way. We’ll catch everybody. Overflow we’re catching you. Pressure’s coming to everybody. It’s coming. It’s whether we’re going to be able to expand to contain it or not. Pressure’s going to come. We’re not praying, “God, give me a pressure-free life.” No, no, no, no. God help me to expand to whatever pressure comes that I’ll be able to contain it.
Thank you, Jesus. All right, that’s fasting. Now let’s go into prayer. Do you guys have that? You’re ready to expand and ready to grow. All right, let’s go to Hebrews chapter 4. I’ve been giving you principles on establishing prayer in our lives. I’ve been giving you these basic principles for establishing a prayer life. Because here’s what I believe God wants to do. God wants to take the prayer life of this church to a whole other level, Mt. Carmel Church.
People that haven’t prayed are going to start praying. People that quit praying are going to start again. People that prayed for just a little bit just prayed over the food. They’re going to start having prayer time in a closet with God in a secret place. I believe God’s taking your communication level to him to a whole other level this morning, so two basic principles I’ve given you already.
Number one, when and where that we set a time and a place. Hopefully, you’re doing that. You find a place for you and God to get alone in a secret place, just you and him every day. When and where. Number two, I told you what we pray is word-based prayers. What are we going to pray? We’re not praying our desires. We’re praying what he says. We’re praying his word back to him, right? Praying his word, speaking his word, his will is here at Mt. Carmel Church.
Number three we talked about how praying bold prayers is about praying, bold and praying, believing, bold and believing. I’m going to stay with bold today. Believing will be next week. I encourage them and bring somebody for next week. When we talk about praying, believing in the difference that makes, I wanted to do that this week but didn’t have time. We want to get into these things about praying bold. So let’s pray bold, Mt. Carmel Church. Pray, everybody says bold. We’re going to pray boldly.
Bold and Humble are not Opposite in the Kingdom of Heaven
Now, remember this about boldness in the Kingdom of Heaven. Boldness and humility are not opposites. A little bit of false humility in the world where we think boldness and humility are not the same and the Kingdom of Heaven. Boldness and humility are not opposite, so don’t be afraid to be bold. Bold is not pride. People think bold and pride is synonymous and boldness and humility are opposites. It is not true in the Kingdom of Heaven. I can be humble and bold at the same time. So let’s see what that looks like. Have you found Hebrews chapter 4? Look at verse 14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest who is passed through the heavens, Jesus, the son of God. Let us hold fast here at Mt. Carmel Church. Our confession for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but be in all points tempted as we are.
Thank you, Jesus. Yet without sin. Thank you even more because of that. Let us, therefore, because seeing Jesus has passed through the heavens and came down to Earth and was all points tempted as we are yet without saying and resisting, return to heaven, seated at the right hand of the father to daily pray for us. Seeing, therefore, because of that, let us therefore come. What? Come on that’s not very bold. Let us come. That’s what I’m talking about. Again, bold is not a feeling. Bold is down an emotion. We’re not going to feel bold every time we speak boldly, you don’t stop pumping yourself up to feel bold. We have to get it out of our head. We come boldly. The word boldly means again just, boldness or confidence in speech, outspoken as freedom, frankness or candor in speech.
So we come boldly to what? We come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Now, we talked about this verse last week, but there’s a couple of things that I feel like we want to highlight again. We come boldly to the throne of grace. Why can we do that? Because Ephesians 3:12 because of Christ and our faith in him, we can come boldly and confidently into the presence of God.
Is my boldness and confidence coming into the presence of God based on me? No, it’s because of him. Because of Christ. Because of Jesus. We’re not coming boldly because we’re good. We’re coming boldly because he’s good with us here at Mt. Carmel Church. It’s not about us. Get over yourself. Get over me. I’m coming boldly and confident. Not because I feel good about me, but because I believe good about him. Yeah. Get our believer right.
We’re measuring our boldness and confidence based on our value, based on our measurement of our self-worth and we think we’ve been good enough. We can come boldly because I’ve been good at it. It’s not attached to that. It’s because of Christ, Mt. Carmel Church. It’s because of His grace. Just emphasizing that again. So now we’re coming boldly doesn’t mean I’m coming in bossy.
Coming boldly doesn’t mean I come in bossy. Coming in boldly means I come in honest. I’m just coming in honest, telling it like it is, outspoken free speech. That’s what it means. So what are we coming boldly to? We’re coming boldly to the throne of the throne. This represents his place of authority or rule. So this is where God’s ruling from. Get this imagery into your head. When you come to pray to Jesus, maybe you’ve just heard of the great white throne of judgment and you’ve got this image your head.
We Come to a Throne of Grace
I’m coming to pray to this angry guy, overseeing and ready to punish everybody. No, you need to get this into your head that you’re coming to a throne of grace, the throne of grace. What does grace mean? Grace means goodwill. It means favor here at Mt. Carmel Church, kindness, graciousness. So God sets on a throne of grace. He sits on a throne of graciousness.
He sets on the throne of kindness. He sits on the throne of favor. Now, this does not speak of him blindly or turning a blind eye to sin. It doesn’t speak to a just overlooking anything that we’ve done. It doesn’t speak to how we can live however we want and it doesn’t matter. The throne of grace does not speak to our side at all. It speaks to what we will find when we come to him. Do you get that clarity? The throne of grace isn’t a rubber stamp of you live in how you walk. It’s the throne of grace as a picture, an image of the disposition of how what we will find when we come to him. It’s how he treats you.
It’s how he’s going to talk to you. I sit on the throne of grace. So when you come to him and you bring you’re jacked up a life full of sin, he doesn’t care because he sits on the throne of grace. It’s not going to move him. It’s not that I come to him when I’m good and when I’m bad, I hide. Now he says, comes to me. I sit on the throne of grace, Mt. Carmel Church.
Now let me go to this next part so it doesn’t speak of our side, but we’ve got to come to this throne. We have to look at your neighbor and say, come to the throne.
Hey, has anybody ever had somebody knocking at your door and it was open? Or it was unlocked and you holler at them, “Come on in, doors open!” Has anyone ever just kept knocking? How silly is that? “Hey, come on in. It’s open already.” It’d kind of weird. You ever heard people talking about prayer? They’re like, I’m just pounding the Gates of Heaven. Praying that God will hear me. Well, guess what? The Gates open. Come on in! Come boldly to the throne. It doesn’t say stand feebly at the outer Gates begging and pleading. He says, “Hey, come on into the throne of grace. Come on in.” All right, so now let’s look to the next part.
What are we going to get when we get there? What are we going to get when we come boldly? To the throne. Let’s circle come boldly the throne of grace that we may obtain. What will I’m taking mercy, Mercy’s leniency, and compassion with us here at Mt. Carmel Church? I talked about this. Remember, obtaining is receiving something where the initiative is on the giver’s side, but the object to the transfer is on the receiver’s side. This is so important about coming to throw in a grace. I’m just hitting this point again because I think this is a hurdle we need to get through obtaining something. It’s where the giver decides what is supplied, but the receiver determines whether a transfer is made.
I don’t decide what God’s made available to me. That’s why we don’t boss God around and tell him what to give us. Take the pressure, take away the condemnation. I don’t determine what’s offered or what is supplied, but I do have a say so in whether it’s transferred to me or not. That’s how we’re doing it. That’s what prayer’s about. So now, we come to, and we obtain mercy. What’s the next part? This is the phrase I want to hit on today, Mt. Carmel Church. Obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Find grace to help in time of need. Find grace to help. What are we finding? Grace, not just grace as well, but it says grace to help. What does that mean? The word grace? It’s the same word. Goodwill, freely dispersed by God, kindness, favor, and graciousness. So we’re going to find grace to help was the word that helped me.
When we come to the Throne of Grace, we find Grace to Help
The word helped me means contributing to a need or contributing to the supply of something. The fulfillment of a need or it’s a supply of what is lacking. You could say it this way. The fulfillment of a need or supply of what is lacking. So put those two together. When we come to the throne of grace, we will find grace to help. What is that grace to help together? That means out of God’s Goodwill, graciousness, kindness, and favor.
He willingly and abundantly wants to supply whatever need and whatever’s lacking in your life. What are we going to find? We’re going to find that God has the grace to help. He has a kindness to help. He has a heart to help to supply what’s needed. That’s where we’re going to find that God has when we come to the throne, we don’t find a reluctance to help.
We find grace to help. Am I connecting yet on what this board is saying to you? You should be more excited. He has the grace to help you. He has the joy to help you. I’m telling you and the reason I’m emphasizing this is because God told me, Mt. Carmel Church, that we’re going to have to break down religious mindsets about prayer, that people are fixed, that God’s angry and he’s reluctant and he’s holding up. God said, “You have to get my picture across to my children that I have the grace to help.”
I want to help him, my kindness and my abundance, I want to give to them. I want to help them. That’s what we’re going to find. We’re going to find grace to help. Now, where are we going to find the grace to help? We’re going to find it at the throne of grace, Mt. Carmel Church. We’re going to find the grace to help in prayer. Where are we going to find the grace to help? We’re going to find it in prayer. Why do we need to pray? Because what are we going to find? We’re going to find the supply of everything that we’re lacking.
Where are we going to find the grace to help? He says he’s talking about, we’re going to find it at the throne of grace, but notice he says, we have to find grace to help us. So we’re going to find the grace to help. Where are we going to find the throne of grace? Prayer. We’ve got to pray because that’s where God’s going to fulfill our need and supply. What is lacking, but we’ve got to find it ready. Say find. Finding something means it’s already there. Find grace to help.
We’re going to find grace to help. We’ll find it. It’s already there. The grace to help is already available to us too, but we have to come to find it. In prayer, when you found something is not when it got there. How many of you ever said you’ve been looking for something and you looked everywhere and you couldn’t find it Mt. Carmel Church? You maybe ask for help from somebody. They come to look at the same place. Spouses just look straight ahead. Right. And you may say to them, you may say it’s not there. I already looked. And then they go and find it right where you were looking.
When we find the Grace to Help is not when it showed up
The other day I’m in my closet and I’m looking for this coat and I’m going through and I don’t see it. I don’t see it. And so I remember hollering out of the closet, “Hey, have you see my coat? Thankfully I don’t think she heard me. So I’m like, man, I don’t know. Somebody has taken it out of here at Mt. Carmel Church. So I’m going through, and I finally start going through little by little, and it was on a hanger that had slid down and back behind. It was there the whole time, but I didn’t see it. So when I found my coat is not when my coat appeared. When we find the grace to help is not when it showed up.
When I find what God’s wanting to put into my life is not when it was made available. It’s just when I found it, that’s when I found it. He says, “Find the grace to help.” In other words, we have to go looking for it and sometimes we don’t always look so well. We don’t always look so well. Prayer is a treasure hunt. Notice what he says.
Find the grace to help in time of need because if we find the grace to help at the throne of grace or in prayer, if we find what we need, what’s lacking in prayer? What happens if we don’t come in prayer? Will we find it here, Mt. Carmel Church? We will find grace to help where? In prayer. So if I don’t go to prayer, will I find something?
We will find grace to help in time of need. What does that mean? This is so good at the time of nice everybody saying the time of death and time of need. We think that this verse reads this way. We think that that verse means this, that the grace to help will show up when we need it. Maybe you don’t. But that was just the first thing that came to my mind.
Did we think that this scripture is saying to find grace to help in time of need means that the grace that I need will show up when I need it? That’s not what it means. It’s what I thought it meant. So if you’re farther along then praise God that I’d had the patience that I’m coming to your level, Mt. Carmel Church. But I didn’t know. I thought I’d just been, and I just always thought that.
I don’t mean that sarcastically. I just always thought it meant that grace was going to show up when I need it. But as I studied it, I found out he was saying something else. And here’s what I found. Notice that finds grace to help comes before the time of need in the sentence. Find grace to help then comes the time of need. Stay with me. It took me hours to get this. So, I’m not expecting you to get this in this second, but I’m telling you that find grace to help in time of need, which comes first, the time of need or finding the grace to help? Find the grace to help.
It comes first. So now we put these together. Don’t take it out of the context of prayer. Remember we’re talking about prayer specifically in the contextual application of the scripture. We’re coming to the throne of grace boldly and when we come boldly to the throne of grace with us here at Mt. Carmel Church, we find grace to help in times of need. When do I find the grace to help in prayer before the time of need? Prayer is preparation. Prayer is not supposed to be about just the needs that I know about.
When we come to God in Prayer he Supplies Grace before we know of the Need
God’s wanting you to find grace to help for a time of need that’s going to come later. Here’s what we do. We get it backward. We wait for the time of need and then we want to go find the grace to help. God says that’s reactionary Christianity. He believes in preparatory Christianity. He believes in preparing you for the things of him ahead. So he’d say, listen, the scripture says this, “Your father knows what you need before you even ask.” So here’s what he’s saying. When you come to me in prayer and you come to find the grace to help, I’m going to give you what’s lacking and supply what you need before the time of need shows up with us here at, Mt. Carmel Church.
This is why we get excited about prayer because I’m coming to get stuff I don’t even know I need yet. There are some things that you’re going to find in prayer that you don’t even need yet. The time of need hasn’t come yet, but when the time of need comes, what? You’ve already found the grace to help. Does that help you matter? This blessed me. I got excited. Think about that, but I need to pray more because there’s stuff I don’t even know it’s coming yet that you know what’s coming and you’re going to start supplying me with this stuff.
I’m like, why do I need that? Why God? Why are you telling me that? What does that make any difference? What’s going on in my life? I’m not facing that. He says, “Jesus, you don’t even know. He didn’t even know we got it. He doesn’t know what’s happening tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning, you don’t know the phone call is coming. You don’t know what’s happening. He doesn’t know. But we know.” So we’re putting in him in our love and praise.
I’m finding something in prayer. I’m uncovering something in prayer that I’m going to need for later. Who finds grace to help in times of need and time of need? So we’ll see, the time of need is not about a single event. Can I say it this way Mt. Carmel Church? Find grace to help. Slow down. I’m wanting to get all this out in a short amount of time. Find grace to help in a time of need. Sometimes we think it’s like, he’ll give me what I need when I need. It is about a thing, instead of understanding what we’re supposed to find that grace to help. We think shortsightedly when we think that what God wants to give you is about an event instead of about development. God doesn’t want to put things in you for our thing. He wants to put things in you for anything.
He wants to supply what is lacking, and fulfill every need in your life so that whatever you’re facing, boom, I’m prepared. I’m ready. Because in our mind we’ll say, “Man, I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t know that was coming” We may not, but our spirit is, if we’ll spend time in prayer, God can put things in our spirit. He can put a peace on you that you don’t even know why. You’re just like, “Man, I just have peace today.”
I don’t, and what is the value of peace? I’m not stressed about anything. They’ve got this peace. All of a sudden, bam, you get this news, you’re laid off. Whoa, Whoa. Why am I not wigging out? What am I not going crazy? Why am I not punching a wall, Mt. Carmel Church? Why am I not? Because he supplied what was needed before the time of need came. That’s what God wants to do in prayer. He wants to supply you something. He knows what’s going to happen that night after supper between you and your spouse. So in prayer that morning, he’s making your vessel soft and flexible.
He knows what’s going to happen at your job. He knows what we need of before we ask. So if we’ll come to him, we’ll find the grace to help. We’ll find the goodness, and kindness to have supply in what is lacking and fulfill every need way before the time of need comes. Does anybody want to pray now? We have needs coming. We have needs coming so we have to be ready. So now what does this look like? What does finding the grace to help look like? Let’s go to Luke chapter 11 we’re going to land the plane right here. Luke chapter 11. Jesus, I’m thankful for you. First service people. You let me practice
We practice on my timing and what I can get to and what I can’t. That way second service and online and Mount Carmel just keeps going up and up. Some of you don’t believe that. You’re like, I don’t believe it gets any better at all. Luke chapter 11. You’re good people. Yes, you are. Luke chapter 11 have you found it? Stay focused on people. Now, this is what praying bold prayers to look like here at Mt. Carmel Church.
Remember you find grace. So prayer’s about finding something. Prayer is not about begging God just to give you something. Prayers about finding something that’s already there. Get revelation, get revelation. We think God is Santa Claus. We come to him with our list and say, we want this, this, this, this, this and this. And then if we don’t get this, this, this, and this, we think he’s failed.
The Disciples saw the Fruit of Jesus’ Prayers and wanted to know how
We don’t think we have any responsibility to find what’s available. Oh, Jesus. Luke, let me just read this now. It came to pass as he was praying. Verse one, as he’s praying in a certain place, Jesus was praying. When he sees that one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to what? So is there a right way to pray or a wrong way to pray? Jesus taught them how. They saw the value in prayer. They heard him pray, Mt. Carmel Church.
They saw his lifestyle. They looked, they heard how Jesus prayed, and they saw the fruit of his life. And what did they say? Teach us to pray. I know the money is in the prayer. That’s where my bread’s going to be. But teach me to pray. Lord, I’m over here going, just God bless my food. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve seen the fruit of your life.
Teach me to pray this. What’s happened? This way we have to pray. This was to teach us to pray as John taught his disciples. So he said to them, when you pray, say our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we also forgive everyone indebted to us and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Verse 5, which of you, so this is in the context of prayer. We’re still teaching on prayer. So this next parable is still about prayer and he said to them, which of you shall have it Mt. Carmel Church?
So take a friend and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him and he will answer him from within saying, do not trouble me. The door is now shut and my children are with me in bed. I cannot rise and give to you. I say to you though, he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend. What kind of friend is that? Yet? Because of his will Mt. Carmel Church he won’t give it to him because he’s his friend.
I’m not talking about an enemy. I’m talking not talking about the rude neighbor that you don’t like. I’m talking about your pal. This is your homie. This is your friend. This is your BFF. If he will rise and give up because it’s his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will rise and give him as many as he needs. Hold on. So this is what bold prayer looks like. This is what finding looks like. Praying boldly is praying persistently, Mt. Carmel Church.
What does the word persistent mean? Persistent means pressing solicitation. Urgent requests with troublesome frequency, shameless immodesty or audacity. I don’t have much time for this. How much different would our world look like without electricity or without recorded sound or video? How different would our world look like? Sometimes it takes a while for these things to like. All right, go ahead and hit the lights.
How different would our world look like if it wasn’t for electricity? It would look like this. This is what our world would look like. You would all have to have a candle. No electricity, no light bulbs, no stage lights, nothing. All right, turn the lights back on. But because one man was persistent, Thomas Edison, he pressed through to find the answer he was looking for. Do you know this about Thomas Edison, his team logged 10,000 failed prototypes before creating the first viable light bulb. There were ten thousand failed attempts. Here’s a quote that Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Mt. Carmel Church we are in need of some prayer. We need to know that some of the prayers, a little bit of perspiration. I’m not talking about trying to convince him to do. I’m talking about trying to find persistence in prayer.
Sometimes it’s just trying to find what God’s already supplied for us in our society. We have this lotto mentality that we just want things to come to us. We don’t want to work for them. We don’t want to persist. Thomas Edison said, “Hey, genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration, 10,000 failed attempts, right?” No, no, no. That’s not what Tommy said. Here’s what Tommy said about those 10,000 he said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve not even failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work when I’ve eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
Persistence is Key in Prayer
I didn’t fail 10,000 times. I just found out that way won’t work, but if I keep going, I’m going to find it. What do we find? We find the grace to help in prayer, so how do we pray? We pray persistently. We pray until we find it. What if you haven’t got an answer in prayer? Keep looking and keep searching. What do you do if you know you’ve lost something in your house but you say this, “I know it’s here somewhere?”
You keep searching until you find it. Why are we giving up in prayer? Just because we haven’t found the answer yet, just because we haven’t seen a breakthrough yet, just because we’ve experienced disappointment or discouragement. We keep praying until we find the answer because we know when we find it is not when it got there. After all, it’s already available to us. There are things that I haven’t found the answer to.
There are questions that I have, the questions I have about my life, questions I have about why isn’t this happening? Or why that happened. I have all kinds of questions, so what do I do? I have two options. I can quit praying and say, “Evidently God doesn’t want me to know.” Or I can keep searching for it till I find it. I’m choosing to pray persistently. I’m choosing to press in because notice this is talking about prayer, still. Look in verse 9, so I say to you asking, it will be given to you. Seek and you will persist in prayer. You’ll find knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks, finds and to him and knocks, it will be open to you.
Let me say this to you in the amplified version. Verse 10 says this, for everyone who keeps on asking, persistently receives and he keeps on seeking persistently finds it to him who keeps on knocking persistently, the door will be open. Here’s what prayer is, I’ll sum it up with this. We have to come to the throne of grace because we know that he has the grace to give. He’s got a grace to help and we’re going to find grace to help for my time of need, Mt. Carmel Church.
Thanks so much for watching with us. We love our online Mt. Carmel Illinois Church and Norris City Illinois Church family and we invite you to connect with us. We have a few different ways you can do that. Our website is theroads.church. We are on social media as well.
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Sermon Notes: https://theroads.church/sermon-notes