Praying Together Effectively by Jack Miller

Praying Together Effectively by Jack Miller

Praying Together Effectively

[00:00:04] Turn in your Bible to Luke 11, beginning to read with verse one,. [00:00:08][3.6]

[00:00:10] One day, Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples. He said to them, When you pray, say father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. [00:00:35][25.2]

[00:00:37] Then he said to them, Suppose one of you has a friend and he goes to him at midnight and says, Friend, lend me three loaves of bread because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me and I have nothing to set before him. Then the one inside answers. Don’t bother me. The door is already locked and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything. [00:00:57][20.4]

[00:00:58] I tell you though, he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend. Yet because the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find. Knock on the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks, receives. He who seeks, finds and to him who knocks the door will be open. [00:01:21][22.4]

[00:01:22] Which of you fathers if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead, or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion. If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? [00:01:41][19.0]

[00:01:42] And then Matthew eighteen. We have these words most striking in verses 19 and 20, Matthew 18, verses 19 and 20. [00:01:57][15.1]

[00:01:58] Again, I tell you, if two of you on Earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name there am I with them. [00:02:12][14.9]

[00:02:13] And then Acts chapter one in verses 13 and 14. This is after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. The disciples have gathered together in the upper room. [00:02:25][11.5]

[00:02:25] When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus and his brothers. [00:02:49][23.8]

[00:02:51] And then Acts two verse one, apparently still continuing in prayer, we read: when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. [00:03:00][8.8]

[00:03:03] And then turning back with me to Luke, Chapter 11, we come to these words of the disciples addressed to Jesus: Lord, teach us to pray, Lord. Teach us to pray. [00:03:17][14.0]

[00:03:21] Usually we think of this in an individualistic way, Lord teach us … really we translate it, Lord, teach me to pray. But you’ll notice the text does say teach us to pray. And of course, that does mean me and you, but it also means us together. [00:03:36][14.8]

[00:03:37] So we’re going to be talking today about praying together effectively. [00:03:40][3.3]

[00:03:42] And I’d like to begin by just asking what is prayer? [00:03:45][3.2]

[00:03:46] And I think we can say that prayer is talking to God. [00:03:51][4.8]

[00:03:52] We’re going to be seeing what is effective prayer and then how to pray effectively, how to do it together. We need to start off by asking ourselves just what is prayer? [00:04:01][8.3]

[00:04:01] And I think it’s a pretty good definition to say prayer is talking to God and then you might add on the basis of Jesus name. [00:04:09][7.6]

[00:04:10] But that still hasn’t brought us to what effective prayer is. And I believe effective prayer is talking to God about some distinct thing. [00:04:22][11.9]

[00:04:26] Because many times when we try to pray and get through, the reason we don’t get through is we don’t really have anything in particular we’re praying about. [00:04:36][10.6]

[00:04:37] You know, you have a very guilty feeling that somebody here at New Life wants you to get up in the morning and have devotions and you feel you should. But there doesn’t seem to be any strong motivation for it. And it isn’t going to be effective if you do because you don’t have any distinct thing that you want to pray about. It’s all rather vague. [00:04:56][18.6]

[00:04:57] And so it means then that somewhere in effective prayer, it isn’t that you get up in the morning and you get your revolver out and blow out your brains and then you pray, and that effective prayer consists without any mind in action. [00:05:11][14.6]

[00:05:12] No effective prayer must involve the head. Some understanding that you want to get something from God. [00:05:19][6.4]

[00:05:21] All right. It’s talking to God then about some distinct thing, but then it wouldn’t be effective unless what happened? Unless you got an answer. Nobody’s going to keep on praying if he doesn’t get answers. [00:05:33][12.8]

[00:05:36] Well, I know some people who do, I should say, I mean its their whole religion. But most of us are too lazy. I’m not going to keep on praying if I don’t get answers. [00:05:45][9.0]

[00:05:45] So effective praying is talking to God about some particular thing and then getting an answer to that request. It might be deliverance from a temptation or a bad habit, and that can really fuel your desire to pray. You say, well, look, if I got rid of that one or if God got rid of it for me, maybe I’d better try a little more of this. It whets your appetite. [00:06:07][21.9]

[00:06:08] And so effective prayer begins to develop. Or maybe you’re in temptation and you thought, man, I’m going to go down and you couldn’t even think of any noble way to pray. You couldn’t even remember the Lord’s Prayer. And you just cry out, Lord, help me with this temptation. And He did. And you walked away surprised. Oh, dear. You know, this kind of works. I wonder what happened. [00:06:27][19.3]

[00:06:28] And then you may have a tremendous problem dropped in your lap of a health kind of a health kind. Daniel Adams, you see here is a very serious matter. And we all pray and we see an answer. Or we prayed earlier in the year, remember when we had that time, we all prayed for increased income and no one told me if their income diminished. But now that might have happened. I don’t know. But anyway, all kinds of people came forward and said they had more income afterwards. [00:07:02][34.0]

[00:07:04] And, well, that’s effective prayer. It’s something that happened. And we’re told it’s all right to pray that because in the Lord’s Prayer at Lord’s Prayer, it says, pray for your daily bread. And that’s something you need. And so you pray for that. [00:07:17][13.6]

[00:07:18] Well, having said that, it brings us to the question now: How do you pray effectively? What is the way you do it? [00:07:25][7.0]

[00:07:27] And our text has a lot of help for us. And in verse six, it says about prayer, it really begins with these words. “I have nothing.” I have nothing. [00:07:36][9.8]

[00:07:38] You see, if you have a strong sense of your own competence, there’s nothing coming down the road that you can’t deal with, there’s not much reason to pray. [00:07:47][9.1]

Jack Miller: [00:07:49] But when something comes down the road that is too big even for you to deal with, then you say, what do I do now? [00:07:56][7.7]

[00:07:58] I remember when I was about 14, I was a young atheist. I did not believe in God for many years. And my sister, the doctor, says she’s going to die. And what does the young atheist do when his sister is going to die? You know, what a young atheist does? He says, God, I don’t know whether you exist, you probably don’t, but if you do, I’m going to be better if you would make my sister live. Well you know, my sister lived, but I didn’t change. [00:08:32][33.7]

[00:08:33] But the need was there for the first time. And I realized I was not complete in myself. Human adequacy became very inadequate. What can you do? [00:08:43][9.1]

[00:08:45] And so this, I have nothing to set before him. I have nothing. That’s the need side of how to pray. Realizing your needs. [00:08:54][9.1]

[00:08:56] When I was in North Carolina recently with Rose Marie. And I we went down there for a conference and we were trying to enlist people both for missions and also material support for some of our missionaries. But even more than that, we’re trying to help them to learn to pray, that each church might be a missionary power. And while we were there, so much blessing came from them to us. It was really exciting. And one of the young men who’s there is a doctor and he’s a graduate of Jenkintown High School in nineteen seventy four. And so he’s very much interested in becoming a missionary. And so he was telling us how he became a Christian. He told us all about life in Jenkintown. It was interesting how many people we knew together and so on. And it was like Old Home Week. But he said when he got out of medical school, at first it went well. Then he got in the third year and he began to discover his own inadequacies. He had a struggle with some close relationship that went sour and he felt guilty over it and he felt he did the wrong thing to the other person. And he said, how do I get rid of that? I’m adequate. And he was really troubled by that. And then he said, I began as I went into my third year, I began to get more time in the hospital. I began to see more people. And he says, I have a kind of integrity in me and I don’t lie to patients. And when I think they’re dying, I can’t stand there and say, well, just take this pill and you’re going to be all right. And he said, I didn’t know what to tell them. And he said some of them were terribly frightened and I had nothing to say. And he said I had this one patient who was really frightened and she was afraid she was going to have a stroke and maybe die. And he says, I couldn’t tell her that she might not have a stroke and die because I thought she was going to have a stroke and die. So he just felt completely inadequate and his brother in law had been witnessing to him. So he got down on his knees, this proud young doctor, and he cried out, Jesus, show yourself to me, God, show me Jesus. I don’t know anything. [00:10:59][123.5]

[00:11:03] As he walked into that room the next day, and when he walks into the room, he goes over to the bed, he still doesn’t know anything. And the woman is so frightened, she’s a little lady down from the Appalachians. And she asked them the questions again. I’m going to have a stroke. I’m going to die. And he says, look, and he says are you a Christian? [00:11:24][20.7]

[00:11:26] And I looked up at him, you know. I hadn’t heard anything like from him before. And he says he didn’t know where it all came from. But he said, but if you’re a Christian, you must believe that God has a plan over your life. And it must be a good plan. And if it’s a good plan, you don’t need to be afraid. Are you Christian? [00:11:42][15.4]

[00:11:43] She looked at him and she became a Christian at that point, and he says the funny thing was she changed completely right in front of me. And instead of being a person who’s frightened, that her very fears are so great they might kill her, she became a woman of faith. And I’ve never seen fear in her since. And he said I was astonished at the effect of my words on that woman and the fact I saw nothing but faith. And the next time I said, you know, I guess I believe this too don’t I. And she walked out of the room and he says, I became a Christian in there, too. Out of his own words. [00:12:16][32.4]

[00:12:16] And God heard his prayer, the night before, born out of this sense of I don’t have any resources, I’ve got no bread, I don’t know how to do it. And he prayed. And, you know, if you had told him, boy, you really know how to pray effectively, he would have said, I don’t know a thing. Because you see, effectiveness comes when you don’t know a thing. [00:12:34][18.0]

[00:12:36] I remember that when I first became a Christian, it was so wonderful. You remember that time when you first became a Christian. And finally I decided, you know, I really am a chaotic person. I was a student and I would often stay up till three o’clock in the morning and I never hit the sack before 3:00 and my morning classes got visited occasionally by me, not too often. And I had that in my background and I decided, boy, I got to change this. [00:13:06][29.8]

[00:13:06] So I organized, reorganized my life over a period of about six months to a year and begin to show up even at eight o’clock classes. And it was difficult. But then finally I got myself reorganized and I began to get up at six o’clock every morning and pray for an hour. [00:13:20][13.2]

[00:13:20] And was I really adequate? My life was so adequate and I was so satisfied with my six to seven o’clock devotions. I went around exhorting other people to have six to seven devotions, you know. [00:13:30][9.9]

[00:13:30] And then I got married. And we got married and suddenly I discovered Rose Marie wasn’t really red hot about that hour from six to seven. In fact, she said, sometimes your smile at six is a little hard to bear. [00:13:45][14.8]

[00:13:48] So anyway, and then she got pregnant and she had morning sickness every morning from six to seven. So I spent the devotion period bringing tea and toast and trying to provide her a pan if she needed it, whatever. [00:14:05][17.5]

[00:14:06] And so it was in this I became very inadequate. And I thought, I’m losing knowing how to pray. But then it dawned on me somewhere along the line eventually that it isn’t six to seven that teaches you to pray. It’s the morning sins that teaches you to pray. It’s a wife you can’t cope with that teaches you to pray, a husband you can’t cope with that teaches you to pray. [00:14:31][24.5]

[00:14:31] It’s much more basic. It becomes effective when you know you don’t have any clue how to put anything together. And yet you believe maybe out there somewhere, God knows how to put it together. [00:14:43][11.8]

[00:14:44] Are you catching what goes into prayer? And the thing the Lord convicted me. They asked me to speak down there at North Carolina on repentance and missions, repentance and outreach. And I ask myself, Lord, Lord, I don’t want to go down there unrepentant and tell everybody about repentance. That would make me sick at my stomach. And I’m sure God would be nauseated by it too. [00:15:07][23.5]

[00:15:08] And I said, God is there anything about me that you have problems with this morning. Turned out I have quite a few things I discovered, and one of them was looking squarely at how much I lean on human adequacy, my own or somebody else’s, how much I lean on human resources, how much I lean on that which is visible, and then I just asked, God forgive me, I want to lean on you. [00:15:33][24.7]

[00:15:34] And that’s where it is. You don’t lean on yourself or your strength. The whole idea of praying is you’ve got nothing. The man comes at midnight, the knock is there, and he has to say to his friend, I have nothing. And of course, he has nothing. And it’s the insistent realization of that in his heart that keeps him knocking until he gets an answer. [00:15:55][21.5]

[00:15:56] And then the other side of praying is this. And that’s found in verse thirteen. And it says there is a promise and the promise is if you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? [00:16:14][17.7]

[00:16:16] Now, God sometimes exaggerates. Isn’t that true? Its true, the Bible overstates stuff, way, overstates stuff, right? Do you believe the Bible does that? Now, I want to know, do you believe the Bible exaggerates? A lot? And that you appropriately have to cut it down to reality? Right. [00:16:44][28.1]

[00:16:47] Because the picture here isn’t the way most of us pray. It doesn’t seem to be what most of us believe. It says that God has a heart for those who are needy, those who have no bread. He’s ready to give the bread of the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis. [00:17:02][15.1]

[00:17:03] Notice the language of the text. He says here that, verse nine: Ask, seek and knock. And then he says, you’re going to receive, you’re going to have, the door will be open. And the verbs there are in the present tense, ongoing action. And therefore it means you keep up doing it. And every day, in effect, you ask for the Holy Spirit and the Father is committed to giving him to you. And the central substance of your life, the bread, you see, the combination. He moves down talking about bread, eggs, fish, the substance of life, necessary for life. And then he just moves in and drops that substance language and uses the true substance language of the Holy Spirit. [00:17:45][42.4]

[00:17:47] And he says, I promise to give you every day the Holy Spirit when you ask for him. When was the last time you asked for the Holy Spirit? [00:17:54][7.4]

[00:17:57] Obviously, you cut this one down. You either ignored it or you thought it was an overstatement. God couldn’t love me that much to give me his very life in his Son on a cross and then from that Son and the ascended Son to pour forth on me at my conversion, my rebirth—at the rebirth and conversion he gives me the Spirit—but then daily to give me more of his strength, more of his wisdom, more of his joy, more of the thanksgiving, more of his power, more of his peace, more of his calmness. [00:18:29][32.5]

[00:18:32] I have nothing, but then I have a full cupboard coming to me whenever I ask and believe and claim the promise, do you see? [00:18:43][10.4]

[00:18:43] And so that’s effective prayer. But now the question comes, how do we pray effectively together? [00:18:48][5.0]

[00:18:50] And here we find what we need to see is that prayer, we often think of it too subjectively, too defensively. What can I pray and have God help me with so I can get out of my next scrape? You know, I got myself in this beautiful, tangled mess. I blew it this morning with my husband, with my children. I was obnoxious on the telephone. It was a great beginning for the day. And I need Lord, get me out of this. Help me get it all straight. [00:19:27][37.0]

[00:19:28] Or something is wrong in your studies or your work. You’re in danger of getting fired. Or you might make a major mistake and then you pray through that and you say, boy, I really got the Holy Spirit’s blessing, and you didn’t really. You only got a crumb and you said I had a whole loaf. [00:19:48][20.0]

[00:19:50] Because the point of the passage is that the abundance of the Father’s gift John 7:37-39 says: if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, he that believes in me, according as the scripture has said from within him shall flow rivers of living water. Enough for yourself and enough to overflow to other people. Abundance. [00:20:17][27.8]

[00:20:19] When Jesus talks to the woman at the well that he says, you know, young lady, if you got to know the truth, you’d sure have a great trickle of water running in you. You’d be able to get out of all your scrapes. You will be able to straighten it out with those husbands. You know, you got a little problem there, five of them. The last fellow your not married to. A little problem. But we will give you a trickle. Jesus doesn’t say that. He says will give you a spring, an artesian well inside of you. [00:20:49][29.6]

[00:20:49] And, you know, when she believed that she even forgot about all her problems and ran back telling people about Jesus. There’s a man out there who told me everything I ever did. [00:20:58][8.8]

[00:21:00] And she came with a Christ consciousness, which is the primary work of the Holy Spirit. To make you aware of the glory of Christ, the wonder of the Father’s love. Those are the things that matter. And to love others in that miraculous way, with the intensity with which you love yourself. To live in the monotony of life, where things are the same, where the same dull things must go on and on, and to live there with a kindliness, a tenderness and a patience that says, that advertises, that the Spirit is working in your life, that you are a supernatural person in very ordinary circumstances. [00:21:43][43.0]

[00:21:45] And that’s what prayer is all about and how does that come? [00:21:49][3.8]

[00:21:50] Well, we have to have recognition that there is additional power conferred upon the church officially when we come to pray together. [00:22:00][10.5]

[00:22:01] We see all of these marvelous answers to prayer. And we’re told in Matthew 18, it’s this very simple. If we want to go beyond where we are, it can’t be simply individualistic. If you just pray by yourself at some point, it’s going to start to dry up. It will, because that’s not God’s normal. [00:22:22][20.8]

[00:22:23] Truly effective prayer finds its life in praying with other Christians. [00:22:29][5.7]

[00:22:30] Notice this promise in Matthew, 18, verse 19. Again, I tell you, if two of you on Earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name there Am I with them. [00:22:44][13.9]

[00:22:45] Now have you ever gone to a prayer meeting where the attendance was really down and everybody was demoralized. And some dear saint prayed something like this? God, this isn’t much tonight. And we’re all kind of discouraged. But we remember that promise where you said that we’re two or three are gathered together in your name, there you would be in our midst. And it goes on and on. And the spirits in this group and everybody is down. I mean, you almost crawl out of the place when that prayers finished. And you feel like you’re whistling as you walk by the graveyard. That everything is dead and you’re scared and nothing is going to matter. And so you just kind of pray this as a kind of a pious gesture. That, you know, isn’t it too bad we’re all discouraged tonight and attendance is so bad. [00:23:29][44.2]

[00:23:31] And that prayer promise has been so ruined by the Christian church in our time. And I don’t want you to pray it that way. That’s wicked. That’s not the purpose of that. This is a disciplinary context about a wandering sheep and about going after that wandering sheep and the authority of the church and bringing that one back to God. And if that person refuses to repent, then the excommunication really is a thing before God. [00:23:57][25.9]

[00:23:58] And this prayer context here, then, is one of great authority. It’s of the authority of the highest sort. And so the promise when you come into the new covenant is that we will be praying because the Spirit is going to bring us together to pray. That is his ministry. He’s going to take our inadequacies individually and as a body. And he’s going to bring us together. And when we come together, he has promised that he will be there and he will be working. [00:24:24][26.4]

[00:24:25] And you see here the close identity of Jesus and the Spirit. I’m going to be there. The Spirit is going to be there. Same thing. Because Jesus, in his triumph, earned the Spirit for us. [00:24:35][10.3]

[00:24:36] And so the promise is that when we agree, when we have one mind on anything, the Father bends his ear, reaches forth his hand and moves. And the greatest hindrance to this is not claiming. [00:24:57][20.5]

[00:24:59] You see, now we begin to see that effective prayer moves into the dimension of authority. That God has made every one of us a priest and a king and a prophet in this world. We bear authority. And if we do not exercise it collectively, we insult the God of the promises. [00:25:17][18.0]

[00:25:20] And not to come together and pray with other Christians is to hinder, to stifle, and to risk the whole ministry of the Spirit in the church and in your own life. [00:25:34][14.2]

[00:25:36] And when you come to the norm in the New Testament in the Book of Acts, when you turn there to Chapter one versus 13 and 14, those apostles who could not pray before together, who fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, we find here in verse 13 of Acts one, they go upstairs and the group is listed and then the women are there and we we discover the word is used in the Greek. [00:26:03][27.4]

[00:26:04] You know, people object around here sometimes to say in the Greek, but I don’t know any other way to say it. The Greek says they had one mind, one accord. [00:26:12][8.1]

[00:26:15] And it means that they were all of one mind. And because they were of one mind, they got what they asked for. And what did they get? A little small thing. What happened afterwards? They kept on praying constantly in prayer. What happened? A little thing called Pentecost. How would you Like that for an answer to prayer? [00:26:34][19.3]

[00:26:40] And when we read, was Pentecost enough, well, when they had finished Pentecost, they had these terrible struggles and great victories and we read in Acts 4, verse twenty three, the same word is used. And when they get before God and they say, they announced to God, they are there with one accord, they are there in agreement and they’re asking for a new filling of the Holy Spirit. [00:27:01][20.6]

[00:27:03] And in our tradition, some people have been so afraid of being branded Pentecostal that they felt the safest thing to do was to avoid any contact with the Holy Spirit. [00:27:11][7.6]

[00:27:13] Now, that’s terrible. Nobody has cornered the Holy Spirit, including ourselves or anyone else. [00:27:19][6.1]

[00:27:20] He’s sovereign and he has given us certain ways of working and certain ways of proceeding. And if we follow those, we’ll see revival. [00:27:27][7.3]

[00:27:29] I believe this is probably the single most important sermon I have ever preached. And it may be for your life, the single most important one, too, because the conclusion follows, will you be committed to corporate prayer? Will you join with other believers in praying together? [00:28:07][38.0]

[00:28:10] Believers began doing that, and eighteen fifty eight there was a prayer meeting in Ontario, another one in Massachusetts and a third in New York City. Six men gathered in New York City in agreement, Concord, that we will pray for revival in America. [00:28:31][21.0]

[00:28:34] Within one year. I cited this once before and I said, I hope I haven’t exaggerated. I said ten thousand people a week were being converted. I was wrong. I went back and checked. And my mind was blown. It was fifty thousand a week. [00:28:49][14.9]

[00:28:52] And all people were doing was praying and giving people the gospel. There’s no Billy Graham around, no Billy Sunday, no Dwight L. Moody. Just praying Christians. Praying for revival, praying for the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin, to awaken the conscience of the nation. [00:29:11][19.3]

[00:29:12] Look, our struggle with abortion. It is a terrible one. And we have this whole burden of one of our members was arrested for his part in a sit in demonstration during the week. [00:29:24][11.9]

[00:29:25] But you see, we’re not going to win that struggle unless we have a revival, because what’s the problem is not simply with abortion. It’s a lot of people getting in the wrong bed. If everybody stayed in the right bed there wouldn’t be a problem. If you didn’t have sexual intercourse until you got married, there wouldn’t be a problem. We need a rebirth of some basic concepts in America, namely virginity is a good thing until you’re married. [00:29:52][27.4]

[00:29:54] And where are we going to get that? Are we going to go out there with swords and kill all the people who don’t agree with us? [00:30:00][6.5]

[00:30:01] No, we need a persuasion from heaven. We need to be humbled ourselves and purified ourselves. And therefore, if that’s what we get, then we will have revival. [00:30:10][9.6]

[00:30:12] You see all these Korean churches springing up around here. I say to myself, good night these Koreans are taking over America. Everywhere I look, there’s a Korean sign. Where are they all coming from? Well, the answer is they’re coming out of a prayer meeting. [00:30:24][11.9]

[00:30:25] In Korea there was a revival. They started around 1906 and 1907. They got together and they repented of their sins and they had some early morning prayer meetings, five o’clock up in the mountains. And what do you know? The Korean church exploded. They’re sending out missionaries to Indonesia. They’re sending them out to Taiwan. [00:30:43][17.8]

[00:30:45] What’s going on here? They’re praying. Are you going to stay behind? Are you going to stay behind, are you going to really go along with the Lord? [00:30:56][11.5]

[00:30:57] Well, we have a week of prayer coming up. We’ve been asking God to bring us out a hundred a night. I don’t know how many God’s going to bring out. That’s his prayer meeting, not mine. [00:31:08][10.3]

[00:31:15] David Bryant is going to come here in the spring and talk about the release of the Holy Spirit through prayer. Where will you be in this? [00:31:24][9.2]

[00:31:25] I believe this year, this week of prayer is going to decide whether New Life Church will live or die. It will even decide whether it should live or die. We have no guarantee that we should continue unless we are living up to the light we have. [00:31:45][19.9]

[00:31:47] And if you have the light, and I can give you a lot more text from the Bible about corporate prayer and its power. I can’t do that. We don’t have time. [00:31:53][6.5]

[00:31:54] But we have a desperate need. We need everything. And we need to sue God for the Spirit to change our lives and to change our nation. [00:32:02][7.4]

[00:32:03] And I just tell you, the Lord’s convicted me. I, I feel utterly unworthy to talk about this subject of prayer. And I just think that we ought to just have some prayer. And if you’ve never prayed before, like Perry, our doctor friend, will you pray now and say, Jesus show me yourself, I need you. I’m calling on your name to save me. But let’s just have some time to pray. [00:32:37][33.6]

[00:32:55] Teach us to pray for us to pray, forgive us for a lack of desire to come together. [00:33:04][8.4]

[00:33:12] Thank you our Father that you have called upon your people to do things together. This is in your Word in varioius places. Now give us a heart that is united in seeking your blessing that we might have a share in it and that we would do your will with all our hearts. We pray in Jesus name, our Lord and Savior, Amen. [00:33:33][20.9]

[00:33:46] Lord, the reason we have not is because we ask not. Help us to ask. [00:33:50][3.3]

[00:33:58] Lord we ask that you would fill our hearts with a zeal for prayer. That we will be glad to pray before you knowing that it is prayer according to your promise. [00:34:07][8.9]

[00:34:07] Oh, Lord, here we are, no longer orphans, but your sons and daughters, with the gift of being able to talk with you and see you do things in our lives and the lives of others. And yet Lord we refuse most of the time to even come to you in prayer. Yet Lord we rejoice when we see prayers answered and we see its power. Give us as a congregation to know this power of prayer. to know that things can be changed immediately, to know Lord that we can effect the other side of the world, or even the hearts of a person right next to us to prayer. Lord just bless us with an ability not to listen to our flesh, or to Satan, but to know that the Spirit in our lives works in prayer. Give us a heart to pray more. [00:35:00][52.9]

[00:35:08] Father too I pray that you would give us a vision for praying together as a large group that even those of us that may not pray out loud would be encouraged in their faith with those that do pray. Lord we see a real sense of your Spirit encouraging us all, these people who are committed to pray together. [00:35:26][17.9]

[00:35:30] We thank you, Heavenly Father, that we can come and specifically pray for particular items as your children with you our Father. We particularly pray Father that those all over our nation who will be watching the debates tonight before the presidential elections. We pray, Father, that you would grant to those who watch wisdom that they would know who to vote for in the election. We pray, Father, that that individual candidates would demonstrate where they are and what they stand for, so that the people would be able to judge wisely. We ask this specifically, Father in Jesus name, Amen. [00:36:20][50.4]

[00:36:25] Father in heaven, we now bring before you our prayerlessness. We have not prayed, and then sometimes when we have prayed, we have been vague and wandering. And other times, Lord, we have prayed without faith. And we ask you to forgive us that. We also ask you to forgive us our laziness and sloth. Lord, I have been guilty of just a slothful mind, a slothful body, and I just ask you to change that in me and each one here. And we especially ask you to forgive us for not taking our needs to the Father. That we have often Father rather preferred to worry and fear. We let ourselves be consumed by anxiety and we didn’t claim the bread of the Spirit. And right now in Jesus name, we’re asking you, Father, to send your Spirit upon this gathering. We are agreed on this great point. We want the Holy Spirit to come upon lives. We ask you, Lord, that you would come with mighty convicting power to some who are sitting here who yet are complacent in their sins, and they have hidden agendas even from themselves, and secretly are sold out to their own pleasures, their own comforts, their own honor, their own glory. And we ask your Lord to come. And maybe that’s true of all of us. You know, our hearts. And so come and convict us and then free us and then show us Christ and give us a fresh knowledge of your love. [00:38:08][103.0]

[00:38:09] Lord, I’m praying together, representing this body in the name of Jesus for a knowledge of the wonder of Christ’s love to come upon us, to realize the great sacrifice he made and that that love is unchanging, that it’s unconditional, and that the Spirit is inside of us and living. And he will not be defeated. And though we do not know how to pray, he will teach us. And so we pray that you would give us such a confidence in prayer, such a confidence in the Spirit, such a confidence in Christ, that we would live different lives. Father, we ask it of you. We are so helpless. We are so frustrated left in ourselves. We have nothing. And Lord, we long to see thousands of people streaming to Christ. We long to see this place so jammed at eight thirty that you can’t even get in because God has been speaking. That we have to make more doors and have to have a larger place to meet. God, we can’t do that. And therefore we’re claiming it on the basis of your promise. And then we plead with you for a blessing on our homes. O we are asking you, Lord, to bless us with love in our families. Put in each of us a heart of tenderness and love. O God put sacred holy love in us. And then we pray for our nation. We agree together to ask that there would be a putting away of abortion, divorce, adultery, and there would be a recapturing of your teaching that a person should be a virgin until married. We ask it in Jesus name. Amen. [00:39:44][0.0]of [00:39:44][95.0]

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