Good News Wk 48. Good News About Prayer

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Don’t Give Up

This morning I just sense a different anointing.
I just want to encourage you today.
Some of you are fasting.
You need God to move.
You need God to answer.
You are seeking a fresh vision of Jesus.
You are hungry.
You are desperate.
You have been in a wilderness.
But hear me, the wilderness may be dry but there is water in the rock.
The wilderness may feel like God is far away, but the Spirit is in the wilderness with you.
You may be in a wilderness but you aren’t alone there and you aren’t destined to stay there.
Hear me.
Do not give up.
Be encourage today.
You’ve been facing trials, injustice, attack, it feel like no matter what you do trial gets worse and the struggle more intensive.
Do not give up.
Let me tell you a story.
There was a woman who was widowed.
When her husband died everything was in his name.
Her future and her stability was up in the air.
The law said that she should be provided for.
But it required that the judge rule in her favor and issue the order.
She would repeatedly go before the judge and make her case, but the judge was unjust, unrighteous, full of himself, and unconcerned with what the people thought about him, arrogant and privileged and powerful.
She would show up and he would dismiss her.
She would make her case and he would dismiss her.
She would show up at the courtroom but he would dismiss her.
She would tell her story to anyone who would hear.
She would cry out for justice, but her cries for justice would go unanswered.
The judge didn’t fear God.
The judge didn’t care about doing what was right, only about what kept up power and privilege.
He didn’t care about justice.
He didn’t care about people.
He certainly didn’t care about the marginalized widow who needed justice so that she could survive, live, eat, have a home.
But she kept getting louder.
She kept showing up at court.
She kept making her case.
She kept on.
She was persistent.
She kept showing up until the judge gave up.
She finally wore down the judge.
The judge finally gave her justice.
Not because he was just or righteous or even decent, but because he was simply tired of dealing with her.
Here me this morning… Some of you can identify with this woman.
You’ve been seeking justice, for the broken things to be made whole, for the answer that brings peace.
Hear me again… Some of you have been praying but you don’t see the answer yet.
One of the first things we learn about God in scripture is the revelation of GOD’s Character,
Exodus 34:6 CSB
The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth,
This is the nature and character of GOD.
We best understand the nature and character of GOD when we set our eyes on JESUS.
Philippians 2:5–11 CSB
Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
That is the nature and character of our GOD.
Our GOD is not unconcerned or uncaring or unjust.
Our GOD is not concerned with maintaining his power and privilege.
Our GOD is concerned with those who don’t have his power and privilege.
Our GOD is concerned with using his power and privilege to empower the weak and privilege the downtrodden.
That story I told you about the widow? That’s a story Jesus us about the power of persistent prayer.
Luke 18:6–7 CSB
Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them?
If the unjust judge was willing to grant justice because of the persistence of the widow how much more in the GOD OF JUSTICE willing to answer and bring justice to those who seek him, ask him, pray to him.

Pray Always And Not Give Up

The story of the unjust judge is the story Jesus told his disciples because the needed to learn the importance of persistent prayer.
Luke 18:1–7 CSB
Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up. “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them?
Look at that first verse or chapter 18, Luke 18:1
Luke 18:1 CSB
Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.
Pray always and not give up.
Here’s the problem and the point of the parable, we give up because we don’t believe that GOD will act justly.
Again, Jesus is painting a distinction between the unjust judge and our JUST GOD.
GOD is not like the unjust judge.
He doesn’t answer us in spite of himself, He answers us because of who He is.
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Keep praying. He will answer. He will bring justice to His elect - to His people.

Patient Persistent Prayer

Hear this church, Jesus is teaching us of the importance of patient persistent prayer.
Sometime we pray and we don’t see the answer immediately and we give up, get disheartened, maybe even bitter towards GOD.
Do not get bitter towards GOD.
Remind yourself of His nature and character reveled to Moses in Exodus and to us in Jesus.
Do not give up!
Some of you are fasting and maybe you think that fasting is a shortcut to the answer.
Fasting is not a shortcut to the answer, fasting is a discipline towards trusting during the waiting.
James 5:7–19 CSB
Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door! Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome that the Lord brought about—the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “yes” mean “yes,” and your “no” mean “no,” so that you won’t fall under judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit. My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back,
Be Patient.
Strengthen Your Hearts.
Don’t Complain That The Answer Hasn’t Come Yet
Be Encouraged By The Prophets Patience
Be Encouraged By The Faithfulness Of God To Job
Suffering? Pray.
Cheerful? Worship.
Sick? Invite The Elders To Pray And Anoint You With Oil
There Is Healing In Prayer
There Is Forgiveness In Confession
Pray For One Another
James 5:16 CSB
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
James 5:16 Amplified Bible Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) is able to accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
James 5:16 New Living Translation Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
I think the New Living Translation gets the meaning of the passage right.
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and is effective.
Say, well what does righteous mean, simply, foundationally, it means faithful.
And so James lets us know that it doesn’t mean some superhuman, it just means faithful.
He bring in Elijah to underscore this type of prayer.
He says “Elijah was just a man like we are.”
You may say, hold up, Elijah was a prophet who called fire down from heaven on multiple occasions, who was taken to heaven on a whirlwind, who defeated the prophets of Jezebel, who worked miracles, who called a famine on the land, who raised a widow’s son, caused oil and flour to not run out for a widow. Elijah wasn’t just a man.
Hold on, Elijah also felt alone, depressed, suicidal.
He doubted God’s faithfulness.
He saw the highest highs and felt the lowest lows.
Elijah was just a man.
But he was faithful.
He trusted God.
He believed God.
He was persistent.
He was patient.
He was persistent, earnest, fervent in his prayers.
And God heard him.
God answered him.
Patient Persistent Prayer.

A Testimony Of Faithfulness

Heather Shares

Is Faith Found In You

God doesn’t move based on how good we are.
God moves based on how good God is.
God moves when we believe.
Now, hear me, some folks will use that to convince you that you just need to believe more as if there’s a scale of belief and we haven’t hit the right number on the scale for God to answer.
Thta kind of teaching leads to a works based fear and guilt.
If only I had believed more God would have answered.
Stop that kind of thinking.
Instead be faithful, be persistent, be patient, and be believing.
The nature and character of God tells me that He will answer.
You say well I’m praying for my kids to be saved and I don’t see it yet… trust in the goodness of God to draw them. He will draw them. (John16:8, Joshua 24:15)
You say well I’m praying for my marriage and it’s still unsatisfying… trust in the promise of God that the Spirit is fighting for you marriage and the Spirit will give grace and love. (Malachi 2:15)
You say well I’m praying for a miraculous healing and it’s not happening… trust in the finished work of Christ to heal and in the grace and mercy of GOD to be sufficient for you while you await your healing, either in this life your the age to come. (Is 53, 2 Cor 12:9)
You say well I’m praying for a financial miracle and I’m not seeing it… as you are faithful trust in God to supply all your needs in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
You say well I’m praying for wisdom and guidance and I’m not sure about the direction… let me remind you to not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the word of GOD so that you can discern GOD’s has a good and acceptable and perfect will for your life. (Rom 12:2)
You say well I’ve been praying and praying and praying and I still don’t see that answer… Let me remind you that the LORD is not slow in keeping His promise and some count slowness, but He is faithful. (2 Peter 3:9)
Don’t give up.
Jesus end this parable with this question Luke 18:8
Luke 18:8 CSB
I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Will He find faith on the earth?
Is faith found in you?
Do you believe?
If yes, be faithful.
Keep praying.
Keep trusting.
Trusting not in the answer, but trusting in the GOD whose nature and character are trustworthy.
He is a God of justice.
He will act justly.
He will do what is right.
When He returns justice will be swift.
Be patient.
Be persistent.
Be prayerful.
Pursue OUR GOD.
Our God is not a wicked judge but our GOD is righteous , just, compassionate, holy, slow to anger, and ABOUNDING IN LOVE.
Let pursue GOD.
Let pray.
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