Good Morning!! Thank you each for being here, and thank you each for your generous suppot of this ministry. It lightens our heart to know God is working in both this ministry and your lives! Today's sermon is a secret revealed from God's Holy Word.
"If You Ask For
Anything In My Name, I Will Do It." John 14:14
The secret to
effective prayer is faith in Jesus Christ and absolute trust in the
Word He has spoken. Know in your heart that the prayer you
ask will be answered, ...know this even at the moment you
ask. Believe with all your heart that God has already answered your
petition even before you finish praying.
As Jesus' disciples
stood looking and discussing in astonishment the results of one of
His miracles, the Lord told them:
"Have faith in God.
I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Get up and
throw yourself into the sea', with no hesitation in his heart but
believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for
him.""I tell you therefore: everything you ask and
pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And
when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody,
so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too."
Jesus attached these two directives, prayer
and forgiveness, on purpose. Prayer is related to purity of
heart. Our Lord went to the cross for one purpose, to take away our
sins so that we could stand chaste before God. Jesus has
shown us in the quotation above that the power we receive from the
cross is perpetually renewed by forgiveness. The cross is not
historic. It pours out God's sanctification continuously. And we have
been given power by God to daily bathe our soul in the divine river
of atonement that floods from it. As we forgive others, God
perpetually forgives us. This is a dictate of Christ from the throne
of God. In that act of faith the power of our prayer is intensified.
We know this because Jesus minced no words when He said it:
"This is my
commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. You did
not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out
and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the
Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. What I
command you is to love one another." John 15:12-17. Please don't take this as an excuse to disregard the Ten Commandments which Jesus wrote with His own finger and gave on tablets of stone to Moses. It is not! The fact of the matter is that IF you keep those two commandments Jesus gave you, you WILL be keeping each and every one of the Ten Commandments given on the mountain! That as we have learned is the exact meaning of the verse Matt 22:40 If your prayer is not answered, you need to look at in which respect your love is lacking! Is it your love of God in which you can't even recognize the meaning of the first four commandments or is it the love of man which are defined in the last six? Jesus did NOT come to change what God put into place as He is in fact God and can not change. He came to show you where your error is in worshiping God! To often man makes up his own god and that of course is a blatant violation of the first commandment! As to your prayer life? check out Prov 28:9! God's law is important!!
We cannot truly love
one another if we harbor bitterness in our hearts. This is why we
must release such bonds, and the way we release them is through the
action of forgiveness in prayer. Forgiveness is one of the
deepest parts of love because it is one of the most difficult to
give. But anger is devastating to prayer. "Enough of anger,
leave rage aside, do not worry, nothing but evil can come of it: for
the wicked will be expelled, while those who hope in God shall have
the land for their own." Psalm 37:8-9.It is love
that relates to prayer, not perfection. Paul said that faith makes
its power felt through love. Gal.5:6. Nowhere in scripture
does it state that God answers the prayers only of the perfect. That
is because no one is perfect in God's eyes. The only condition
imposed on us is that we bear fruit in His name. And the fruit He
wants us to bear is that we love one another. John 15:12-17. His
commandments, the four Gospels of God, show us in great detail how
to love one another. The Bible tells us that in God, progress
is what makes perfection. It says that in progress we are blameless:”
Only the man who makes progress, as the blameless do, can be my
servant." Ps.101:2,6. That means that if we live in
the faith of Christ and love one another, we will always be blameless
before God and heirs to all the promises He has made to us. That
inheritance includes control in the use of His Power. All of
God's power comes to us through prayer. Prayer is not just a
device for communication like a telephone to heaven; it is the actual
channel through which the power of God flows. Prayer is like an
immense electrical conduit through which power flows from heaven into
our bodies and souls, and to wherever we direct it to go.
church is based on this conduit. It is totally formed on prayer. It
is written in scripture: "My house will be called a house of
prayer for all the peoples." Is.56:3-8. When he
dedicated in the city of Jerusalem the very first Hebrew temple ever
built, Solomon called out to God from the altar and begged Him to
listen to the people's petitions if they agreed to confess their
sins and repent by prayer in His name. 2 Chron.6:21-39. If
they would agree to do that, Solomon pleaded with God,” hear their
prayer and their entreaty, uphold their cause, and forgive your
people the sins they have committed against you." 2
Chron.6:36-39. That very night God appeared to Solomon and
answered his plea. "...if my people who bear my name humble
themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked
ways, I myself will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and
restore their land." 2 Chron.7:12-14.
were the conditions formulated in the Bible specifying the mechanism
through which God's power could flow to earth, this template of the
agreement between God and Israel has been followed by Jews and
Christians ever since. Jesus did not change this agreement.
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the
Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them."
Matt.5:17-19. That is why we see confession and
repentance stressed in scripture so heavily in relation to prayer and
the atonement that surrounds it. Psalm 32:1-8; 51, etc.. There are
scores of quotations throughout the Bible in both Testaments telling
us that God rewards according to behavior. Matt.16:27; Jer.17:10.
So then, it is faith that makes all of this work. And that faith is
simple. It does not require perfection, only complete surrender to
Christ and belief in His power. People who do not pray,
people who do not believe in prayer, are convinced that they can do
everything themselves. They surrender nothing. They have no
faith. The Holy Spirit has instructed us to do and be
otherwise. "Do not be like senseless horse or mule that need
bit and bridle to curb their spirit (to let you get near them)...Many
torments await the wicked, but grace enfolds the man of God."
Psalm 32:9-10."If you are willing to obey, you
shall eat the good things of the earth. But if you persist in
rebellion, the sword shall eat you instead."
Those who fall to their knees in humility and
supplication to God, surrendering their power to Him completely and
trusting in the integrity of His promise are rewarded in overwhelming
measure for their faith. "They cry for help and God
hears and rescues them from all their troubles; God is near to the
broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed." Psalm
34:17-18. When faith is accompanied by humility, it is turbocharged,
because a crushed spirit always brings God close."I
live in a high and holy place, but I am also with the contrite and
humbled spirit, to give the humbled spirit new life, to revive
contrite hearts." Is.57:15.
While praying (and
after praying) believe that you your request has been granted before
you see the answer. Scripture is clear that we must live by faith.
"Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for..."
(For a long and Spirit-filled dissertation on this, see the Book of
Hebrews, Chapter 11). Suffering is a part of our training
Heb.12:7, so we must endure in faith even while God is reprimanding
us in His love, and not get discouraged. By faith we must know that
God will -- and has already -- answered our prayers. We do not see
it, but it has happened, and it has happened through
faith. And finally, as you finish praying, thank God for
having already answered your prayer. Praise Him and thank Him in the
name of Jesus and in the name of the Holy Spirit. And then have
patience. Accept like a little child that God has answered
your prayer completely. The prayers of children are extremely
powerful. Their faith is pure. So encourage children who are in
Christ to add your petitions to their own. "People
brought little children to him, for him to lay his hands on them and
say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, 'Let
the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it
is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs'." Matt.
Do not doubt. Filled with faith, Peter began to
walk on water. "But as soon as he felt the force of the wind,
he took fright and began to sink.’ Lord! Save me!' he cried.
Jesus put out his hand and held him. 'Man of little faith,' he said
'why did you doubt?'" Matt.14:29-32.Those who put
their faith in the Gospel have left this world, and Jesus said there
is no one who has left this world to follow Him that "would
not be given repayment many times over in this present time and, in
the world to come, eternal life." Luke 18:28-30.
wants good things for us. Is.1:19. He has surrounded us with the
shield of heaven for our protection. "Should anyone attack
you, that will not be my doing, and whoever attacks you, for your
sake will fall." Isa 54:15. God's Spirit enters us and
guides us along a sure path. It teaches us, keeps us safe and it does
not leave in the face of trouble or disaster.
Worry is an
enemy to faith. So” Do not worry." Matt.6:31.
"Nothing but evil can come from it." Psalm 37:8.
Instead fill your mind with the peace of complete trust in His power
God is not impressed with one person more than
another. Eph.6:9. Everyone has been given God's power equally. It
is the inheritance of everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ. It is
the power of the Holy Spirit.
God's word created the heaven
and the earth. With a single command from His mouth everything that
is came into existence. Psalm 33:6. And by that same word, and that
same mouth, God has promised to give us anything we ask for in
prayer. More than that, He has given us His guarantee in
writing. This is an absolute promise. It is not equivocal.
God's word cannot ever fail. It is all-powerful and can do
anything. And we have been given great control over its power through
our faith in Jesus Christ. And it is compounded when
multiplied. Jesus said: "I tell you solemnly once again, if
two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted
to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my
name, I shall be there with them." Matt.18:19-20. This
is why group prayer is so powerful.
There are some cases
where our petitions run counter to God's interests. Paul discovered
this when he tried to cast out a "thorn in his flesh", an
"angel of Satan" Paul said, that beat him so that he would
not become too proud. 2 Cor.12:7-10. Try as he did, three
separate times, to remove this thorn through prayer and faith, it
stayed with him. God said to Paul, "My grace is enough for
you; my power is at its best in weakness". 2 Cor.12:9. God
needed Paul to stay humble so that he would remain very powerful
because He had been given such an important role to play on
We should also remember that not all evil spirits are
the same. Jesus told His disciples that some of Satan's processes are
more potent than others. Confronted with a demon they could not cast
out, the Apostles were chided by Christ for their lack of faith. Yet
He also revealed that the demon they were working against on that
occasion required special treatment. It needed to be augmented, He
said, by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29.
The biggest problem,
however, Jesus stressed over and over again, is not the power of the
demon confronting us; it is our lack of faith. "The
Apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith'. Jesus replied, 'Were
your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry
tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea', and it would obey you."
Luke 17:5-6. Since almost no one has trusted themselves
to such an ultimate faith, God has given us measures which augment
our access to His power. Jesus said, "...persistence
will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will
find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks
always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who
knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you
would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?" Luke
11:8-12. "If you then, who are evil, know how to give
your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" Luke
God is our Father. He will only give us what is good.
If our own children were to come and ask us to let them play ball on
a freeway, or give to the three-year old a razor blade, we could not
grant them their literal requests for safety's sake. But we could
give them something better. God has the same problem with us.
That is why we need to trust Him so implicitly. Because just like
little children, we often do not know what the razor blades and
freeways are in our own lives, or what their danger is to our souls.
That is because we live in exile in a place the Bible calls
Babylon. What we see by its godless and highly publicized light are
images of the things most glamorous to those who dwell here -- the
wormwood they eat and the poisoned water they drink. Jer. 23:15.
God will not give us a scorpion even if we ask for it
thinking it is a boiled egg. Luke 11:12. He does not give out
wormwood or poison. God came to rescue us from Babylon. There
is a great catastrophe coming to this place because of sin and God
has sent His Christ to rescue everyone willing to listen to Him and
follow Him to the place of safety God has prepared.
God answers our prayers as a bonus to salvation, not as a substitute for
it. That is why we must have faith and let Him award our petitions in
His own way. If time goes by and you still cannot see that
your prayers have been granted, ask God why. Persist in this if you
do not agree with, or understand His answer. If you persist, He will
explain in terms that you will totally understand. And when
He does, you will know that God did, indeed, hear you, and that He
did for you much more than what you asked of Him.
Increasing the Power of Prayer
1. Keep God's Commandments.
2. Pray to God in the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
3. Surrender your problem entirely to God.
4. Your release should be total and complete.
5.Be humble. This is why many kneel.
6. Forgive all your enemies by name.
7. Have faith. Do not doubt.
8. Know that your prayer has already been answered.
9. Have patience. God is granting a perfect fulfillment.
10. Do not impose limitations which restrict God's answer.
11. Thank God in advance and praise Him.
12. Pray in a group of at least 2 or 3.
13. Petition church prayer groups to include your prayers.
14. Encourage small children to alsopray.
15. Persist. Do not give up.
May God be with you each day and lets joyfully look forward to going home!