Secret Sauce Part 2
So we’re on this series called the Secret Sauce. It’s all about the secret sauce of Christian life, prayer and fasting. So if you have your worship guide, pull out your sermon notes. They’re located in there. Also, you can get your Bibles out, or get your YouVersion Bible app open. You can get some sermon notes on of there if you’d like. Every time we open the Bible, we’re expecting God to speak to us. He’s speaking life to us. His word is life to those who find it and health to all their flesh. So every time we say, let’s get out our Bibles, we get excited. So if you’ve got them today, let’s open them up to Matthew chapter 6! Come on somebody. Matthew chapter 6 of the Secret Sauce, Prayer and Fasting. If you’re there, start reading in verse 5. Are you ready this morning? I’ll wait for the others to get there, Mt. Carmel Church.
We don’t have time. We’ve got to go. I’ve got a lot to say. I’m on the clock people. I’m just kidding. Matthew chapter 6 verse 5 says: and when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets that they may be seen by men for top, Mt. Carmel Church. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward, but you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your father who’s in the secret place. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things that you need before you ask him.
Jump down to verse 16. It says, moreover when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites with a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have the reward, but when you fast, anoint your head, wash your face so that you do not appear to men to be fasting. But to your father who sees in the secret place and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Let’s pray.
Father, thank you so much for your word today. We just pray, Holy Spirit, you come to bring life to it. Bring revelation, and bring understanding. Lord, I pray you’ll speak with clarity and that we will connect with what you want us to connect with today. Lord, I pray that you will open our eyes to see the things you want us to see today. We give you glory for it. In Jesus’ name, somebody say amen!
If Jesus Tells us how to Do Something it is Important that we do it
Here, we see in Matthew chapter six, Jesus is talking about the secret sauce of prayer and fasting. It says when you pray in verse 6 and when you fast in verse 16 if Jesus is telling us how to do these things, then he’s also telling us there’s an importance that we do these things. If he says, when you pray and then he tells you how to pray and we’ll talk about that. If he says when you fast and then he tells you how to fast. Then that’s telling us that it’s pretty important to Jesus that we do those two things, so if you don’t know about those two things, if you never heard about those two things or you don’t know much about them today, I hope that you’ll understand it a little bit more about it today, Mt. Carmel Church.
Today we’re going to talk about a couple of things, so I’m just going to touch on fasting briefly and then we’re going to talk about prayer mostly. I’m going to give you a couple of basic principles in building prayer over the next few weeks. We’re going to break down the basics of prayer. If you’ve ever been intimidated by prayer, I encourage you to come. If you know someone who has trouble praying, tell him to come. Invite them to church because we’re going to break down all the fundamentals in prayer and to help you walk that out. You can also get some help. We’re having a short term group meeting on Monday nights coming up this month that Sue Dismang is going to be helping and teaching about prayer, so you can be a part of that as well Mt. Carmel Church. But let’s look at fasting first. Last week we introduced the subject of just abstaining from food for a spiritual purpose.
Fasting is Denying Yourself something Temporal to Experience Something Extraordinary
A friend of mine sent this quote to me, “Fasting is denying yourself something temporal and ordinary to experience the one who is eternally extraordinary.” Fasting as something we do and get more on the day five of our prayer and fasting time and whatever you’re doing, whatever extent you’re praying and fasting, that’s between you and God. I’m just encouraging you to keep leaning into him. It’s giving up something ordinary and temporal to pursue something extraordinary, to pursue something spiritual. So it’s not just I’m doing without. I’m adding to it. Again, we talked about that a little bit last week, but on our website, Mt. Carmel Church, I want to give you a tip, a tool that we’ve made available. Jentezen Franklin wrote a 21 day fasting devotional and we put the link of that on our website. You can find it there. But here’s one thing he said on that.
Fasting is not for the strong. Fasting is for the week. Fasting is for the ordinary people who realize that they desperately need God in their life. That’s who fasting is for. I encourage you to begin this journey. If you’ve never fasted before or if you’re a veteran faster or you fast, and many times I’m excited about what God will do on this journey. If you step up and say, here are the keywords. God, I want you and I’m coming after you in prayer and fasting. I’m not leaving sugar behind.
I’m pursuing something greater. I’m not leaving food or whatever behind. I’m pursuing something greater. I’m coming after you. God, lookout because here I come. That has to be our heart in prayer and fasting. We’re pursuing something, were are not just thinking what do I have to quit? What am I giving up at school? We’re going after him. So hope you get that heart, Mt. Carmel Church.
There are some things fasting provides both in the spiritual and natural benefit. Here are some natural benefits of fasting. I’m no doctor, but here are some things that I’ve done some reading on and I’ve even experienced my life. Fasting cleanses your body. If you are fasting, I encourage you, drink plenty of water. It helps the process, helps get rid of toxins in your body, Mt. Carmel Church. It will sharpen your mental process. It will help you be more alert and more aware. Now, that’s sometimes after some initial grogginess.
If you’ve never fasted before when you first start fasting, a lot of times you’re going to feel rundown and groggy and feel like I need some food right now. That’s usually your body eliminating some things that you’ve been depending on for energy, so just you pray about that and pray. If you’re doing that, push through that and God’s going to bring some alertness and some awareness to you if you’re wanting to do that.
Just again, these are practical tips. If you want to do that, here are some signs of the fast working in your life. You’re experiencing headaches. It’s probably because the fast is working. It’s your body, again, going through some withdrawals, weakness, rundown feelings, but those headaches will often leave. And this, the impurities and the poisons the body has. If you have some health concerns, consult your physician. I’d love to go into basic things, some of the nuts and bolts of fasting, and what fasting has done in my life. How it’s helped me spiritually and physically. There are lots of things practically to it, but I don’t want ever people to feel like they have to do a certain thing. We provide you an opportunity for prayer and fasting. What you do with it is between you and God. Are we okay with that? So I don’t want any guilt and condemnation with us, Mt. Carmel Church.
A Diet Changes the way you look, but Fasting Changes the way you See
I don’t want any competition. And you know, I don’t want you to be trying to beat anybody in fasting. There’s no I’m doing a better fast. That’s not what it’s about. It’s connecting your heart with Jesus. Okay? That’s the heart behind it. So that’s a little bit about fasting. But today I want to talk about, oh, let me give you one of the quotes. I thought it was really good. Lisa said this, “A diet changes the way you look, but fasting changes the way you see. Fasting is not much about denying self as it is about indulging in God.” I like that diet can change the way you look physically, Mt. Carmel Church, but fasting changes the way you see. That’s what we’re after. We’re willing to see it from a different perspective. Jentezen Franklin says this also in that devotional I know of no other spiritual discipline, no other spiritual discipline that sharpens the heart and soul of a believer more than fasting. Fasting is sharpening the ax.
If you’re not careful, you’ll be trying to cut down trees with an ax handle that doesn’t have an edge. Fasting is making the edge sharp so it can do greater work. So I encourage you if you’ve never fasted before, jump in with us at some point, maybe over these next three days. Pick three days, and we’ll do some fasting over that time. Just take it a little bit of time and just step into it. Let God lead you. But I want to talk about prayer today. I’ll give you two basic principles of establishing prayer in our lives. If we don’t have, let me say this way. If we don’t create a prayer life, we will never have a prayer life. I’m one of those that I didn’t use to have a consistent prayer life.
Creating a Prayer Life
- Set and Time and a Place
I’ve prayed like any Christian like you know when once in a while and when I should and over my food and you know. But I want to talk to you about establishing a prayer life. And again, this isn’t for everybody to do it the same way. I’m just to give you some basic principles Mt. Carmel Church. Here’s the first principle. Number one set a time and a place set a time and a place. I’m not talking about, I’m talking about one consistent, you can pray all day, but I’m talking about at least one time a day. Set a time and place. This is talking about when and where you meet with God. It doesn’t have to be at an exact time but set a time. Make an appointment with God and keep it. Set an appointment. Say, “Okay, at this time, every day we’re going to meet and you show up.”
Be faithful. If you want him to show up, you show up. He’s going to keep his appointments, but will we? So set a time and place. It said in Matthew chapter 6, but you, when you pray, go into your room. When you shut your door, pray to your father who was in the secret place. Father sees in secret will reward you openly, Mt. Carmel Church. Establish a time and a place for you. The duration is up to you. It doesn’t have to be for an hour. It doesn’t have to be for whatever but set a time and place for you. Get up maybe in your chair, maybe in the basement, maybe upstairs, maybe in a room. I don’t know where it is. Maybe it’s in a closet and a literal room where you go and shut your door, but set a time where you can get alone with God, just you and him.
Even if it’s for 15 minutes, start with that. Start with that set a time and a place. That’s the first part of developing prayer. We have to keep an appointment. Jesus did this. Here’s what he says in Matthew 14:23 or speaking of Jesus, I should say, when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Now, when evening had come, he was alone there. Mark 1:35 now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight. Woo. Somebody just received that conviction right there long while before daylight, he went out and departed to a solitary place and there he prayed. Notice the pattern. This is Jesus. What he did with his relationship with the father. Psalm 63:1 says, oh God, you are my God. Early will I seek you. You don’t have to set your time of prayer with God as in every morning, but I encourage you to do at least something Mt. Carmel Church.
First thing, and we’ll talk about the importance of that, but I believe early in the morning, again, I believe in giving God our first, so when you wake up, I encourage you, give God the first of your day, Mark 6: 46 and when he had sent them away, he departed to the mountain to pray. Notice what Jesus does. He went to get alone. Get alone. When’s the last time you were alone with God? When’s the last time you didn’t have your phone in your hand, or the TV in front of you? Set them aside. Don’t take your phone into your prayer room. That’s why I encourage you don’t have your prayer devotional and everything on your phone. I’ve got a devotional guide that I follow on my phone, but I only click when I’m done with it, but I don’t read from it because if I read from it, guess what?
I can get notifications popping up. I can get distractions. Somebody can text me. Even if I’m praying early in the morning, sometimes I get a text message. I’m like, “Oh, what’s that?” But if I set my phone, I go outside the door. I shut the door and I put my phone on the other side of the door and I shut the door. Then I pray. Then, when I’m done with my devotion time, I go on. I mark completed on my phone, but I don’t read off of it, Mt. Carmel Church. Just the tip. I just don’t want the distraction, you know? I don’t want to see what the score was last night or anything like that. I can see that later. Look at what Luke 5:16 says, so he often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Luke 6:12, now it came to pass in those days that he went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. So Jesus got alone to pray. So I encourage you, get alone to pray. Just develop a time. Set a time and place. Now, what are the benefits of it? You’re like, Chad, “Why? Why do I need to do that?” Let’s look at Matthew chapter 26 this is Jesus in the garden. He’s with the disciples. Why should I set aside time to pray with God every day Mt. Carmel Church? Let me find Matthew 26 sorry, I’m taking a while to get there. Matthew 26:36 then Jesus came with him to a place called Gethsemane and he said to the disciples, sit here while I go, pray over there. Notice, he was setting a time and a place.
He’s getting alone. He’s not even praying with him. You guys stay here. I’m going to go over there. It says he took with him, Peter and two sons. Jump down to verse 40 then he came to the Cypress. This is after he went and prayed and he came back and he told them to watch and pray with him. Verse 40 they came to the disciples. He found them sleeping and said to Peter, what could you not watch with me? One hour, watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. So Jesus comes back from praying. He told the disciples, “Hey, you guys stay here and pray. I’m going to go over here and pray. Now, watch, pray with me.” So he comes back, they’re sleeping.
Anybody ever fell asleep? Pray for me. It happens. Jesus could come and say, “Hey, Chad, wake up.” Let’s say he comes back and they’re sleeping and he says, “Hey, could you not watch with me one hour.” Now there’s a book that was written years ago about praying for an hour and you may think, pray for an hour. There’s no set time, just start by just setting aside time. Nobody’s saying you have to set the clock and I have to pray for one hour. All we have to do is get a place where we say, “God, I’m going to pursue you.” Jesus was saying, could you not watch and pray with me? Now, look at what happens with us, Mt. Carmel Church.
Jesus knows what’s coming when we don’t know what’s coming
Why did they need to do that? Why was Jesus telling them to do that? The word watch just means to be alert, be awake. He says, watch and prays, lest you enter into temptation. That word temptation means to trap or tempt someone to test to produce a failure. So when Jesus said, watch and pray, Mt. Carmel Church, he was not just giving them the rule to follow. He was giving them a strategy to prevent failure. He says, watch and pray, lest you enter temptation or you enter the opportunity to fail. So why do we need to watch and pray? Because Jesus knows what’s coming.
Jesus knows what’s coming when we don’t know what’s coming. He knows that they’re getting ready to show up with torches here in just a moment, and they’re going to take him to go crucify him. So he told him, “Hey, pray so that you won’t enter temptation.” What was going to happen? They’re going to come.
They’re going to take Jesus, and the disciples were going to disperse and abandon Jesus, and Jesus knew that was coming. So he said, you need to watch and pray because the tempter is coming. He’s coming, and if you’re not ready, you’re going to enter into that temptation. So why do we need to pray? Because he’s preparing us for what’s ahead. Why do I get up and pray that day? Because the temper’s coming that day, it does not mean that the temptation won’t come. Notice what he says, watch and pray, lest you enter, Mt. Carmel Church.
It’s a different deal. Temptation’s going to come in our life, but when we’re prayed up and ready, we won’t enter into it. We’ll see it. We’ll go, “Ah, I’m not going there.” I’ve been praying this morning and God prepared me for that temptation. He prepared me for that thought. He prepared me for that coworker, Mt. Carmel Church. He prepared me for that person to go off in front of my face. He prepared me for that. Just disappointing news that I just got today. He prepared me for that phone call. Oh, it’s a tough one to take the Lord. I’m not going to enter into that temptation because I’ve been prepared by prayer. Watch and pray. Why? Because God knows what’s coming when we don’t. He knows what’s going to come. How many times have we thought everything was going great in our day and all of a sudden, bam!
One thing can happen. There had been news from a family member, or news from a job. All of a sudden they say, “Hey, sorry, we’re going to have to let you go.” That’s a pretty tough day. But if we pray, it does not mean those things won’t come, but God will prepare us for it so that we’ll be able to endure. So set a time and a place here at, Mt. Carmel Church. Prayer prepares us because notice what it says. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Our flesh is not going to be prepared for that. We’re not going to be able to handle that. But our spirit is willing. Your spirit, my spirit, it’s set on go all the time. It’s zealous. It’s ready. Woo. Let’s go. Let’s serve God. Come on. My Spirit’s ready. When my flesh is like, “Uh, uh.” Whatever sound to make for something weak. But no, we’re weak. You’re like, I want to do the right thing, but, but I’m tempted to do the wrong thing. I want to do what God tells me to do, but I’m tempted to do this. My flesh is weak but my spirit is strong.
When we Pray we Build up our Spiritual Strength
So when we pray we build up our spiritual strength. Be prepared for the day that is ahead. That’s why you start your day because I want to get up and I’ll say, “God before I take any social media in, before I take any news in before I want to take anything, I just want to get to my prayer time with you and I want to hear what you have to say before I hear what everybody else has to say.” Here’s the problem. We hear everybody else and then we try to go back and hear God and the influence of everybody else’s voices has already tainted our hearts.
Get a fresh perspective. The first voice speaking into your life every morning should be, God. It should be his word. Just say, “Okay Lord, before I get anything else, I’m going to see who Snapchatted me overnight.” No, you can check that later. See what God has to Snapchat you this morning. See what he has to tweet you this morning. See what he’s sending you on a DM, Mt. Carmel Church. See what he has to put into your heart before you get what other people are saying. Don’t take your heart with the counterfeit news. All right, now let’s look at the second one. The first one set a time and a place. That’s the what or the where and the when. Let’s look at the second one. Pray word-based prayers. Let’s deal with what. So what do we pray? What do we pray? When do we pray? Where do we pray?
Pray Word Based Prayers
Set a time and place. I encourage you to start that. Start that. So tomorrow morning, set a time to, Hey, I’m going to get up 5 or 15 minutes earlier. Get up 15 minutes earlier. Set a time and a place you’re like, well, can I pray at night? You can. If it works better for you. I’m just saying, set a time and place. So it’s your schedule between you and God. But number two, base our prayers on God’s word, not our desires. One of the biggest discouragement we have in prayer is unanswered prayers, Mt. Carmel Church. Or it’s believing that we’re praying and it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to make any difference. How many have ever felt that way that I prayed and had not going to matter? So why do I pray? Have you ever heard the term Hail Mary? Somebody throwing a Hail Mary? Well, this term gained widespread after nineteens.
I did some research on the word, the phrase Hail Mary. In a 1975 NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys quarterback Roger Starbuck threw this winning touchdown pass to his receiver, Drew Pearson. After the game they asked him “So what’d you think about that last pass?” And he said, “I closed my eyes and said, a Hail Mary.” From that point on, that phrase began to be attached to just long passes or long shots with very little chance to go. And it’s just a Hail Mary. But the problem is we’ve attached that also to prayer that we think prayers are just a Hail Mary. I don’t know, I’ll just pray and see what happens. If nothing else, I’ll pray. Prayer is the best thing we can do, but we get discouraged because we don’t see results.
And here’s what I want to help you with this. So instead of if God wants to answer, the prayers are praying, we need to focus on praying the prayers he wants to answer. All right, so turn your Bible to 1 John chapter 5. So what do we pray? If you’re like Chad, I don’t know what to pray. Let me give you some guidance. This has helped me immensely in my life and I pray that it will help you. Again, we’re just laying the foundation. A little bit of teaching on prayer verse 14. What do we pray? Well guys, we set a time and a place, number one. Number two, we’re going to base our prayers on God’s word, not on our desires. So when and where we pray and what we pray, that’s what we’re establishing today. What do we pray? Look at 1 John, chapter 5 verse 14. Whoa, nobody’s there. First John chapter 5 verse 14. Anybody there? Say amen. Okay, just a second. Now here’s what it says, Mt. Carmel Church.
Praying his Word Gives us Confidence that our Prayers are Heard
Verse 14, now this is the confidence that we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he is. You’re getting there. Let’s try it again. If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and we, if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we’ve asked of him, so notice what it says now, this is the confidence. Everybody say confidence. If we want to get confidence in prayer, here’s the formula. Here’s what the word confidence means. It’s not what you think. When we think confidence, I know we think one thing, but here’s what the word means in scripture, Mt. Carmel Church. It means they stayed of boldness and confidence in speech free or all outspokenness, freedom of speech, frankness or candor. Confidence is not referring to a feeling. Confidence is referring to a state of being or a state of speaking.
This is the confidence that we have in him, not the feeling like I feel confident that this is going to work out the way I want to. No, that’s always talking about this is the confidence we have in him. In other words, this is the way you talk in prayer when you’re in him. That’s what the Bible is teaching us, Mt. Carmel Church, it’s teaching us a way to pray and a way to talk, not a way to feel. If we get connected to a way to feel, we will be discouraged all the time. Don’t get connected to a way to feel in prayer because we’ll pray like I feel sometimes I’m praying, I’m like, I don’t even know if it’s getting out of this closet. I don’t even know if anybody’s paying attention. I don’t feel anything. It doesn’t matter if we feel this is the confidence that we have in him.
So this is talking about the way we speak, notice what it says. This is the confidence that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. So we can speak freely and confidently knowing he hears us because we’re asking according to his word. So how can we be free and confident in prayer and know we’re praying the right thing? When we ask according to his will. So we’re wanting to ask according to his will if I’m going to be confident in prayer, I have to know I’m praying the right thing and what is according to his will, according to his will is according to his word. The word according to just means in relationship with, Mt. Carmel Church.
So this is the confidence that we have when we are in him. Notice about this, the confidence that we have in him knows the confidence is not in us, the confidence that we have in him. As I meditated on that and thought about it, I kept saying that over and over, the confidence that we have in him. First I thought, you know what, God, my confidence is in you and it’s not in me, so I have confidence in you. He says that’s good, but that’s not what I’m talking about, Mt. Carmel Church.
I’m like, okay, now this is the confidence that we have in him. I’m, confident in you. I’m going to speak bullies. Like, no, that’s not what I’m talking about. Like you kind of tell me what you’re talking about here. And he brought this scripture in my mind. In John chapter 15 verse 7 it says, if you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it will be done for you. So when his words abide in us and we ask according to his will, that’s what it is with us here at Mt. Carmel Church.
Now, this is the confidence that we have in him. So when we are in him, there’s a confidence in how we pray. When I am abiding in his words and his words abiding in me, I’m praying differently. I’m confident in him. I’m not confident in Chad, but when I’m in him and his words are a body, there’s confidence in how I pray, Mt. Carmel Church.
It is not a feeling, but what you say. We’re praying his word. So look at what happens when we pray his word. What takes place? We don’t base our prayers on our desires. He says, and if we know that we, he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we’ve asked of him. God wants us to pray the word back to him. Religious people don’t pray too many times. It’s because they pray what they want and they hope he will give it. That’s their model of prayer. They go to God and it’s the, “Lord, I just pray that you will help me get this job I put in my application for. I just pray that you work things out for me.” We’re praying our desires and hoping he does what we want. Oh, you’re too religious for me. I’m sorry. Nobody’s like that.
How do we base our prayer? God says if you want prayers answered, then pray the prayers I want to answer. Don’t pray what you want. Pray what I’ve already promised you. Pray what I’ve already said. Bring my word back to me. So this is what happens. It says, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and if we know he hears us, Mt. Carmel Church, whatever we ask, we will have the petitions we’ve asked of him. So now literally look at what this looks like in a practical standpoint, go to Jeremiah chapter 1.
Jeremiah, chapter 1, are you there? Do you know what song that is? All right, just checking. It says here in verse. Um, there’s a lot of good verses here in Jeremiah 1. Let’s start at verse 9. Yeah, 9 says, then the Lord put forth his hand touched. I just said this. I just said the next word. Then the Lord put forth his hand. What’s this part and touched my what? Wait a minute. This is confidence. What did this have to do with confidence? It had to deal with the frankness of speech. If we’re looking for confidence in our feelings, in prayer, we’re always going to be lacking Mt. Carmel Church. Let me encourage you in your prayer life. It’s not attached to how you feel. There are days you’re going to feel like you’re praying the paint off the wall. You’re going to feel like every demon in hell is scattering the way you’re praying.
You’re going to feel like, bring on the devil. Put him in front of me and I’ll take him out right now. Sometimes you’re going to feel like that. Sometimes you’re going to wonder if you’re even saved. You’re going to have thoughts that make me feel, I don’t even know why I’m praying. It’s a waste of my time. You’ve got to endure both things because neither one is the fullness of truth. Both of them are attached to a feeling. So the feeling that I’m not even getting past the ceiling, it’s not true, but feeling that I’m praying the paint off the walls. That’s not true either. It’s from your heart. You’re just praying and connecting to God. So notice what he says. They’ve said, I’m touching your mouth. And the Lord said to me, behold, who put whose words in your mouth? Let’s try it again, Mt. Carmel Church.
Behold, whose words have I put it in your mouth? Jesus said I’ve put my words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out and pull down to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant. Now, how? How are we going to do that? How are we rooting out and pulling down? How are we destroying and throwing down? How are we building and planting? Is this literal? This is in prayer. When God puts his words in your mouth, this is what you can do to your life. His words coming out of your mouth will root out things that need to be rooted out. His words coming out of your mouth will pull down things that need to be pulled out. It will destroy things that need to be destroyed, thrown down, things that need to be destroyed, Mt. Carmel Church.
It will build things in your life that need to be built. You want to build some things of God in your life? Start putting his words in your mouth. It’s like playing seed. It’ll build them up. It says it’ll plant them in there. Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said I see a branch of an almond tree. The Lord said to me, you have seen well for I’m ready to perform. Whose word? Lord said to me, you’ve seen warfare. I’m ready to perform. Whose words?? My word, whose words got ready to perform. He’s ready to perform my word, Mt. Carmel Church.
Example of a Word Based Prayer for Wisdom
He’s right before me. He is ready to perform it. So here, let me give you some practical application to this prayer. Number one set a time and place. So set a time and a place. Number two, pray word-based prayers. You’re like, Chad, what should I be praying? You should be praying the word of God. You’ve got something you’re needing. I’m going to use two generic things and then you can get more specific in your life. If you need wisdom. If you need the wisdom to make a decision. Let me tell you how I would encourage you to pray for that. Hey, I need some direction because we all need wisdom. So I picked something kind of generic just to give you a tip and then you can apply it in specifics. But here’s what I would say to do.
I would get James chapter 1 verses 5-8 if you need wisdom, I would pull this scripture out. I would open my Bible to James chapter 1. I’m like, “Okay, God, I know I don’t know what to do. I need wisdom.” So I’ll go to James chapter 1. It’s in here somewhere.
All right, here it is. Verse 5 and you’ve already got it on the screen, so don’t mock me. If you had your Bibles, you’d be turning too. Just kidding. Just kidding. Verse 5 says, if any of you lacks wisdom, woo. That’s me. If how many of you? Any? Does that include you? Yeah. If any of you lacks wisdom. What do you do? If you need wisdom, what do you do? Do you stay up all night and you worry about it? God, what am I going to do? Oh, do I ask everybody? I ask everybody, “What do you think I should do? What do you think?” What does it say? Ask who? How do we ask God? It’s called prayer. It’s prayer. You just ask God. If anyone needs wisdom Mt. Carmel Church. You need the wisdom to help you through a test at school. Ask off. I’m not talking about you didn’t study. I’m not talking about him giving you answers.
You didn’t study. I’m just talking about you need wisdom on a job decision. Let him ask of God who gives to how many liberally? What really and without reproach. That means he doesn’t withhold it. He doesn’t hold it back and it will be given to him. I’m just reading out the Bible. Does anybody need wisdom in your life Mt. Carmel Church? You have something going on your life right now. You need some wisdom. Pull James 1:5 out. Let’s see, I need wisdom. Let me ask God who gives to all liberally and look at verse 6 but let him ask, or he or she let him ask in faith with no doubting for those who doubt or like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind for level.
Not that man or woman suppose that he or she receive anything from the Lord. He or she is a double-minded person. Unstable in all their ways. Notice what happens. So how do we pray? Here’s the practical, I’m just trying to give you some practical tips on how to do it. So I’ve told James 1:5-6. Say, “Okay. It says, if I need wisdom, I’m going to ask if God.” So I go to prayer. I don’t just say, God, give me wisdom. I read this scripture to him and I say, “Father, you said, I’m just telling you what you said. I’m not making up my desire. You said, if anyone needs wisdom, ask of you. So here I come. I’m asking you for wisdom on this decision. Now, I’m not going to be wavering. I’m not going to be doubtful. I’m asking in faith, believing that you give to all liberally. So I believe you’re going to give it to me. I believe you’ve given me wisdom, Lord. So I receive it right now by faith in the name of Jesus.”
I still don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m praying, receiving. I’m believing God. I’m trusting him. I’m thanking you, Lord. This is your word. Now when I don’t know what to do five minutes later, guess what? I bring that scripture back up. I said, Mt. Carmel Church, ‘Lord, I just thank you that I received wisdom. I received it. I believe I receive when I pray.” Mark chapter 11, I receive it now so I’m praying for that. Another one, maybe you’re needing direction, your life problems. Chapter three, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your understanding, but in all your ways. Acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.
These are practical ways of building your prayer life. We’re going to go into this next week when we’re talking about praying boldly, but we cannot pray boldly unless we get these first two steps. So number one sets a time in place. Number two, pray word-based prayers. Pray the Word, pray the word. Maybe you’ve never been taught how to pray. I used to pray this, “You know what, God, whatever your will is Mt. Carmel Church, that’s what I want.” God began to speak to me and say, “Hey, find out what my will is and pray that back to me. Pray that to me.” Why does it matter? Why does it matter? Jeremiah told us that he’s watching over his word to perform it. He’s not watching over Chad’s desires.
We’ll talk about that. But notice when it says, when his word abides in me and I in him, it says, whatever you ask, he will do it for you. So I want to speak to you about setting practical steps coming up for this prayer and fasting. Start tomorrow. I want prayer to be a new value in your life. I want to help you with your prayer life, Mt. Carmel Church. I don’t want you to get intimidated by an hour. I want you to start with 15 minutes. So would you please bow your heads and I want you to set your heart and just commit to say, “God, I’m going to give you the first part of my day tomorrow, or I’m going to set aside a time and a place, whether it’s the first part later in the day, whatever, that you can set it aside.”
So right now, just ask God to speak to you about this message. What are you going to take home? What’s your take-home? Maybe it’s about fasting. Maybe you’re going to step into fasting this week and start over these three days. You’re going to spend some time fasting. Maybe this week you’re going to stretch out further than you’ve ever gone and trust God because remember, we’re pursuing more of him. We’re not just giving things up. That’s not the focal point. People ask me all the time, what am I fasting? I want you to ask me what I’m believing for. What I’m fasting is not a big deal. What I’m believing for is the big deal. What I’m trusting God for is the big deal. Who cares if I can give up some stuff for a few days? I’m believing for miraculous things in 2020 so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to set myself apart to hear his voice, 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