Bold PrayersSeries: UNSEEN. James Dewhurst August 4, 2019
Today we are excited to be kicking off a brand new series for the next 5 weeks called- Unseen! Since the Christian life is a life completely based upon faith, over the next 5 weeks, we are going to be taking a look at our connection to the unseen. If we want to change what is seen, then we have to make sure we are connected to what is unseen!
In this series we are going to talk about developing a Spiritual Boldness that leads to having: Bold Prayers, Bold Words, Bold Worship, Bold Obedience and Bold Living!
Private Spiritual Preparation leads to Public Spiritual Boldness!
1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (ESV)
The great Martin Luther once said – “The less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.”
Someone else said – “Prayer doesn’t get man’s will done in heaven; it gets God’s will done on earth.”
A wise person said – “Prayer-less Pews make powerless pulpits.”
Beth Moore – “We will never live bolder than we pray!”
Mother Theresa – “My secret is simple — I pray!”
More than any other spiritual discipline, prayer is what builds our faith in the unseen!
2 Corinthians 4:18
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (ESV)
The Christian life is about building things that we cannot yet see, out of our faith!
If you and I really want to change what is seen, we have to connect with the unseen!
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (ESV)
What are our prayers building that we cannot yet see?
(Made in my prayer closet!)
Every public move of God always starts first with a private movement of prayer!
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)
14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (ESV)
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)
Bold private prayer leads to big public fruit!
Exactly what the 120 prayed in that upper room, as they waited on the Holy Spirit, is not recorded in scripture, but I know for a fact that they weren’t praying for hundreds, because thousands came to know Jesus that day, and that movement is still alive today!
You are sitting here today because of a prayer meeting that happened 2,000 years ago!
E.M. Bounds – “Prayer outlives the lives of those who utter them.”
Ordinary people become extraordinarily bold when they pray bold prayers to a BIG God!
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)
1 John 5:14-15
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (ESV)
What if God said yes to every prayer you prayed this week?
What would change?
> What we ask God for in prayer reflects what we really believe about God!
> What we don’t ask God for in prayer reflects what we don’t believe about God!
Our prayer lives reveal the way we see three critical areas in life:
> How we see God!
> How we see Ourselves!
> How we see Others!
Question: How many prayers are we praying that are bigger than our little world?
Today, I want to close by sharing 3 ways that all of us need to pray:
1.We need to pray Boldly!
John 16:23-24 (NIV) “Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
The great preacher to Scotland, John Knox once prayed -“Give me Scotland, or I’ll die.”
People who do big things first pray bold prayers!
2.We need to pray Consistently!
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray continually.”
3. We need to pray together!
Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV) “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”