If My People Pray

Teach Us to Pray  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What if God were to tell you exactly what he was looking for when He answers prayers. Well, I have good news. He did just that in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Pastor Bill will walk us through the 4 keys to unlocking your prayers as well as the 3 responses from God when you pray.

Notes
Transcript
Introduction
Let me tell you a story:
The family had all been called to the hospital in Oklahoma City.
I drove all night to get there before the surgery.
When I arrived at the hospital my Dad was already there with my Aunt, my Uncle, and my Grandfather.
My Grandma was about to have open heart surgery and the doctors were giving her a 50/50 shot of making it.
As when back into surgery I told my dad, “I going to the chapel to pray.
So, I found the little chapel. It was dark and empty as I had suspected.
I got on my knees and began to pray and beg the Lord saying, “Oh, God please do take my Mama. I’m not ready for her to go.”
And the Lord spoke to me in that little chapel. His voice was not audible but it was loud. “What does that prayer have to do with my glory?”
I realized that the prayer I was praying had nothing to do with God at all. It was about my feeling, my hurt, and my loss.
So, I stopped for a moment and thought through my tears and prayed, “Oh God, would you save my Mama as a testimony of your love and grace? Would you give her another chance to share the miracle and wonder of who you are?”
The Lord was teaching me to pray. He was teaching how to spend time in his presence for His honor and glory and not mine.
My grandmother survived the surgery and did in fact give praise and testimony to God.
Today we finish out our series “Teach Us to Pray.”
The disciples desired to have the intimate relationship that the Lord was having with the Father, so they asked, “Lord teach us to pray.”
Having a good prayer life is not about learning to ask for things, but leaning into that intimate relationship with God.
So we started with the Lord’s Prayer (Kingdom Expectation)
The Prayer of Jabez (Kingdom Expansion)
Secret Prayers (Kingdom Habits)
Conditional Prayers (Kingdom Focus)
The Dedication of the Temple of Solomon
Solomon had just finished the temple plans of his father David prayed a prayer of dedication for it.
2 Chronicles 7:1–3 ESV
1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Solomon held a 7 day feast and sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep for the dedication of the assembly.
And on the 8th day the held a solemn assembly, and sent the people home joyful and glad.
Then in the still of the night after all the hoopla and sacrifice:
2 Chronicles 7:12–14 ESV
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God had laid out the conditions for answered prayer:
1 Condition
4 Keys
3 Responses

The 1 Condition: God’s People

What does it mean to be called the people of God? (Gospel Message)

God created a nation for himself through the miracle of Abraham’s son, Issac.

God called out Abraham and Sara who was barren to start a new nation.

By faith Abraham believed God and a son was born from a dead womb.

Romans 4:19–22 ESV
19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
Sara’s womb is a picture of the tomb of all mankind.
Abraham’s faith in God’s promise was counted as righteousness.

Israel is a miracle nation that should have never been.

God created a people for himself through the miracle of His Son, Jesus.

Jesus had a miracle birth through the virgin Mary.

Jesus was crucified for all humanity and laid in a borrowed tomb.

He was resurrected from the tomb to bring new life to all those that place their faith in him.

Romans 4:23–25 ESV
23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Faith is receiving and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 1:12–13 ESV
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
“God draws the sinner to repentance as he responds to the prayers of the saints.”

The 4 Keys to unlock you prayers

Reverent Posture

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Most of us live in a posture of protection from everything: God, ourselves, others, and creation.
We must move to a posture of humility to receive the blessing of the Lord.

Relational Partnership

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Do you believe that God will answer if you call?
Do you pray for God’s glory and benefit or your own?

Relentless Pursuit

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Are you actively pursuing the presence of God?
As God is moving are you moving with Him?

Repentant Passion

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Are you taking on the nature and character of Jesus?
Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work of righteousness in you?
Are you actively cleansing your hands and purifying your hearts before God?
James 4:8 ESV
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

God’s 3-Fold Response

Audience with the Father.

“I will hear from heaven...”
Hebrews 4:15–16 ESV
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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.

Collective Forgiveness from the Father.

“and will forgive their sin...”

Throughout history, God has brought wrath on the wicked.

A collective forgiveness requires a collective humility.

Illustration: Abraham’s plea for Sodom and Gomorrah

Evidence through Healing.

2 Chronicles 7:13–15 ESV
13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.

Things to Ponder:

Have you become a son or daughter of God through faith in Jesus Christ?
Are you ready to receive God’s answer to your prayers?
How would can we pray collectively for God to heal our lands?
What is plaguing our family and our lands?
How can we pray for healing for our community?
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