Today I wanting to talk about prayer and how prayer is and how there are several kinds of prayer. And prayer is like a connection to God. It's you speaking to God. And I wanted to read to you from James 1:6, so if you got your Bible you can look there. In James one verse six: let him ask in faith without doubting, for the doubter is like surging seas driven and tossed by the wind. No rudder and no firm footing or foundations. So in other words dear friends, and that is the first thing I want to talk about today, is God doesn't answer doubting prayer. And this is an area where where many of us can fall to is doubting prayer. We pray to God like we were not sure even he exits. You know some people are not sure God even exists despite the sun and the wind stars and the moon. And that's what I wanted to talk about today was about effective prayer and how do we pray to the Lord God and I can tell you my experience about prayer. When I called out to God. I was in trouble, I was sincere about it and the Lord heard me and that he brought me to come to Jesus Christ, to come back to Jesus Christ. And when I cried out to Jesus Christ to set me free from my sin, he came and he did set me free and he gave me peace and he revealed his reality to me when I prayed earnestly and when I sought.
You see when you pray that is the way to get through to the Kingdom of God because the kingdom of God is on this earth and as soon as you seek the kingdom in prayer you're going to find it. Because we are not in a place where there is no hope for prayer. Now in in somewhere like hell, I'm sure there's no prayer in there, they cannot be head, but while you have life on earth we have prayer and prayer is what makes us followers of Jesus because if you don't pray then you got no relationship with the Lord. And God doesn't hear people who have doubting prayer but those people who are sincere. And how many times have we had doubting prayer and we just spent our time worrying in our prayers to God and just being full of doubt and then were wondering why we just have never got any peace and our prayer seems to go to a ceiling. Now I want to bring your attention to the prayers of the righteous, the prayers of the saints, because you must know that God doesn't answer the prayers of the wicked; and what I mean by that is those who do not want to turn away from their evil. He only speaks to those and hears those who are the saints and I'll be reading some verses about that in a minute but before I want to do that, I want to tell you some quotes about prayer from some famous Christians in the past.
And here are a few here: 1: If sinners be damned at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. If they perish let them perish with our arms around their knees. Let no one go their unwarned and unsprayed for. Praying, praying for the sinners. 2: Prayer is the acid test of devotion, acid test of devotion. How devoted are we, how much prayer do we do! 3: prayer: the secret fervent believing prayer lies the root of all personal godliness…. No prayer no godliness, the root of all godliness is prayer. 4: our prayer and God's mercy are like two buckets in a well; while one descends the other one ascends…. No prayer, no Gods grace. 5: prayer is an effort of will… Something you have to go and do.
So I thought I would share some of those things about prayer from other other believers, and I want to tell you about how I used to pray. I used to be self-willed. I was a person who was full of my own self will. I used to go and pray to God expecting him to do my self-will when I prayed. No one I got no answers! It was the prayer of the unrighteous. I would pray to God at night and my self-willed prayer was for God to give me what I want. How many of us have prayed the self-willed prayer? How many of us have listened to the preachers, the wicked preachers, who teach us to pray the self-willed prayer and to be focused on the kingdom of earth not on the kingdom of heaven. How many of us have tried to get things out of God by praying self-willed prayer. God doesn't hear those prayers, they go unanswered. There is no hope for the self-willed prayer, nor for that person who prays with doubt. But I want to tell you about ernest prayer. I am talking about prayer from the heart: Now they came to Jericho (this is in Mark chapter 10 I believe) they came to Jericho and as he went out of Jericho with his disciple, a great multitude was going with him and then they came upon blind Bartimaeus who sat by the roadside begging and when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he began to cry out saying “Lord Jesus son of David have mercy on me”. And people told him to be quiet. But he only cried out all the more “Son of David have mercy of me”. And so Jesus stopped and called him and they said to the blind man be of good cheer because he calls you. And throwing aside his garments he rose and came to Christ and so Jesus answered him and said “What may I do for you?” and he said, “rabbi that I may receive my sight”. And Jesus said “Go your faith has made you well”. And immediately received his sight and followed Jesus. Now he called out with earnest prayer to God and the Lord heard him. You see Jesus doesn't turn away those who cry out to him and that's what I found out; I cried out “Lord have mercy on me”, and Jesus Christ stopped and he came to me too because he hears the prayers of the earnest, those people who are earnest about their prayer. And the blind man was earnest. He knew who he was, the son of David Jesus Christ. He didn't know much about him but that was all he knew and he just had hope so he cried out. And that's what prayer is; crying out to the Lord. It's speaking to him. Jesus is passing by right now just can't see him at the moment, Jesus is there.
And how many of us have the earnest prayer of the blind man when we cry out to the Lord for help? How many of us have that…Let us read up about this righteous prayer: Then they the righteous cried to the Lord in their troubles and he delivered them from their distress (Psalms 107:28) he made the storms be still and the waves of the sea were hushed (remember about how Jesus Christ stilled the waves) and they were glad and the waters were quiet and he brought them to their desired haven… So you see the righteous availed much, the prayers of the righteous the prayers of the earnest man. And this blind man was righteous because he believed and he cried out to the Lord so he was righteous. He wasn't a self-willed prayer like the Pharisee, “God I'm so wonderful, give me this, give me that, make me successful and give me more money”… he wasn't a self-willed prayer. The pray of the hypocrite doesn't avail anything, the pray of the wicked self-willed man is the prayer of the sinking man which doesn't lead anywhere. But it is the prayer of the honest honest man, the prayer of the righteous, the prayer of the earnest earnest man, earnestness sincerity, these are the prayers that God hears.
And so we read in Psalm 107: when the righteous cry to the Lord he delivers them from their distress. Now is not that wonderful! And how are we righteous? We are righteous when we obey and follow Jesus Christ, we believe, and that's what the blind man did. He believed. He wasn't a righteous man, he was a sinner, but then but then he decided to believe and Jesus Christ came. Let me tell you, when Jesus Christ comes into your life that's when change comes, a new Way comes. It is called the new way. In Acts you can read about this new way the disciples were always talking about. The disciples would baptise people into the new way. What is this new way? There is no new way in your life if you're still following your old life, that is the old way... The new way that's the way, the new way of following Jesus in the heart. No longer practicing your sin and living a life of lies. You're living the new way following Jesus in the power of God. It's when you cry out in prayer which is why I'm talking about prayer today. It is the earnest prayer of the righteous of those who are sincere that availeth much, that's why you get no answers to your prayers it is because you ask in self-will or you're not earnest or your unserious or you're the sinking man, the one on the broad path that doesn't even care about coming to the new way. But what did the blind Bartimaeus do? He threw aside his robes and came to Jesus Christ. And what did he do then? He followed Jesus Christ, he received his sight and he was changed. He was made holy hallelujah, by the power of the Lord.
Now I want to read you from revelation 5:8, where it is written: And when he, Jesus, had taken to the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb and each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense which is the prayers of the Saints… So the prayers of the righteous go up before the throne of God and they are incense to God. The prayers of the saints. It is not prayers of sinners, no, this incense isn't prayers of sinners, it is the prayers of the saints, the people who have called out to God like blind Bartimaeus did, and they have come and followed Jesus on the new way. That is the prayers of the saints. So sinning people turning to God become righteous prayers of the saints. We are not talking about self-willed unrighteous sinning prayers of Pharisees. We are talking about people who are earnest before God for the kingdom of God hallelujah. Now I want to read to you from Proverbs 15:29 where is written: The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayers of the righteous… Notice the word “far from the wicked” the wicked are sinners, people who don't want to repent, people who live on the road of perdition who loves sin.
Now how many of us want to stay on the road of evil, broad paths to destruction following our destructive ways and watching all these abominations on movie screens, swearing and cursing and drinking and lusting every day. You know the Lord is far from you if you do that. He is far away from you. But it says that the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous, so the righteous man is the earnest man. He is blind Bartimaeus. He gets up from the ground and cries out: “son of God have mercy on me” and that is the prayer God hears. He hears the prayers of the earnest, but he is far away from the wicked. So let us examine our hearts today, are our hearts filled with wickedness? Are we still following the broad path of destruction? Praying self-willed prayers being like the Pharisees, living our life in sin. Giving God 5 min at night praying a self-willed repentance prayer that means nothing at all and God doesn't even hear it. No wonder God doesn't answer our prayers if we do not dedicate to Jesus Christ. Now I want to read to you about hindering prayer. When prayers get hindered. We read in 1 Peter 3:7: likewise husband's live with your wives with understanding showing honour to women as the weaker vessel since they are heirs with you of the grace of life so that your prayers may not be hindered… You see when you treat people the wrong way that's when your prayers get hindered. God wont hear you. He doesn't hear the prayers of those who are not right with him nor of those who have not repented. That's what it saying.
Your prayers will get hindered if you do not treat people properly and righteously because God doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked. Now I want to talk about prayer of faith which another sort of prayer. Jesus said ask and it will be given to you, seek and you'll find, knock and the door will be opened to you. Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith, says the Lord. Jesus goes on to say: Therefore I tell you whatever you ask believe that you have received it and it is yours for whatever you ask in my name I would do that the father may be glorified. If you ask anything in my name I would do it. Now how many people have faith when they go to God in prayer, or are we like the doubting man being tossed around doubting in our prayers that are unheard by God. Or have we got faith and sincerity and earnestness in our prayers when we go to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we ask the Lord in faith in a self-willed prayer? That is going to go nowhere like the false faith preaches. Or are our prayers, prayers of the righteous and we are not self-willed but we are earnestly asking the Lord for something in faith and in faith we receive because Jesus said that if you ask in faith you will receive. That's what I did; I knew Jesus was there. I asked him to set me free from sin and to lead me and to know me and Jesus Christ came to me because I asked in faith just like blind Bartimaeus did. Jesus said your FAITH has healed you and blind Bartimaeus got up off the ground and went to Jesus and received his sight because he had faith. And Jesus said your faith has healed you and that's why Jesus said: you have to ask in faith. A doubting man is driven and tossed by the wind. He'll never get anywhere he just can't even trust God. So let us have faith praise the Lord and let us when we pray, be focused on the Lord Jesus in holiness not with self-will and not on the broad path of destruction.
Now I want to read to you again from James 1:6 where it says: let him ask in faith without doubting for the doubter is like the surging sea driven and tossed by the wind… So in other words no rudder on your ship you're going to go nowhere. No faith in Jesus Christ. You are not going to get anything out of your prayers. We are learning a lot about prayer today. And I want to talk about intercessory prayer. How many people spend their time praying at all? I was reading back on those quotes earlier where we read some things about these quotes from these other Christians and one of them was: Prayer is the acid test of devotion. We got another one here: prayers: the secret fervent believing prayer lies the root of all personal godliness. And our prayers are like two buckets in a well, one ascends while the other descends. So you see friends, if you got no prayer, you got no relationship with God. You are not going to be getting grace from God and you got no devotion to God and you're not even following the Lord if you got no prayer. Now how many of us spend time praying the fervent prayers of the righteous for sinners? For those who are going to hell who don't pray! How many of us are praying for those who don't pray. What about the people in hell? I can almost hear the shriek of souls in hell wanting to pray. Can you imagine the earnestness of their prayers if they could get one minute in your shoes, while they shriek you would just be mumbling a prayer that means nothing. The EARNEST prayer and the prayer of the righteous availeth much don't forget. I want to talk about this intercessory prayer in James 5:14: is anyone among you sick let him call for the elders let them pray for him and the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick… Prayer of faith, ask and you will be given.
Let us read on: the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed sins he will be forgiven therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. Now have a look at that; if you are in sin you are not going to be healed. If you are living the broad path and you go and gets sick God is not going to hear your prayers if you don't repent. I says here if you confess your sins to one another and pray then you will get healed and it says the prayer of a righteous person has power, great power, as it is working. The prayer of the righteous. The prayer of self-willed sinners on the broad path who claim to be followers of Christ, their prayers have no power at all. We read just earlier that God doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked, he is far from them. It is time to get very devoted to Jesus Christ today isn't it. Now I want to talk about praying in the spirit. This is an area few people really spend time doing, but we are here to pray in the Spirit of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Now if you read in acts chapter 2, I believe, you will read about the Holy Spirit falling down upon the disciples and they started in other tongues. And if we don't spend our time speaking in tongues how are we going to pray? I want to read here: pray at all times in the SPIRIT, Ephesians 6: 18, pray at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication to that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints… So are we spending time praying in the spirit praying in tongues? 1 Thessalonians 5:17: pray without ceasing… Now is it possible to spend your whole time speaking 24 hours a day 7 days a week? No…but this prayer without ceasing is our communication before God. You see some prayers are necessarily words. You know when David was in in the wilderness he was heavy of heart and he was morning before God, that was a prayer.
Job was sitting up on the dunghill and he was morning before God and that was a prayer as well. He had a spiritual connection to God. When we are constantly connected to the Lord with our spirits we're praying without ceasing. Our days are going past connected to the Lord involving with him as we walk which is a spiritual connection. It is what happens when you get filled with the Holy Spirit and you connect to daily and hourly with the Lord and then you're praying without ceasing. No wonder you can't overcome anything in your life today is because you don't have any prayer life. All these lusts and problems that you keep falling to and all these sins. If you only went and prayed while you were in trouble, while temptation comes, if the righteous would only cry out in prayer God would hear them and deliver them. Is not it written in in Psalms that the righteous cry out and God delivers them in their distress! So I get people they say: pray for me pray for me… but I tell you, you should pray for you. You should be praying and developing a personal connection because prayer is the beginning of personal godliness. And personal devotion is measured by prayer. How much do we pray? Do we go away and spend a whole day praying to Jesus Christ? Or do we just give him a little bit of prayer at night and we just leave it at that just five minutes at night! You know how devoted are we in prayer. How devoted are we when Jesus Christ said: ASK and it will be given to you for the father in heaven will give you the Holy Spirit to all those who ask him… Now people say: how can I get the Holy Spirit so I can pray in tongues. Well go and ask!
That is what Jesus said he said: the father knows how to give good gifts to his little children how much more that you, evil as you are giving good gift to your children, how much more is the father going to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! ASK, and that's what prayer is. It us speaking and asking and talking to God. Now I want to talk to you about about troubled prayer. In Psalms the anguish of David in his trial's and tribulations and when Saul was chasing him and when he sinned against God, you can read many of the David's prayers there to the Lord. It is when you get get honest with God, is when God hears you and your earnest, because David was earnest and telling God all about the terrible situation he was in and saying how bad it was and talking about his troubles and trials, you can read all those in Psalms. He was asking the Lord to hear him in his low state, and you see many of us are in this low state, but we want to go and talk to a human or a counsellor God forbid. But we don't want to go and talk to God the ultimate counsellor, the mighty Counsellor Jesus Christ. Yet David spent his time groaning before God and uttering all these rings inside that he had, all these troubles, and God listens to the prayers of of those who are earnest and God came to David's aid. You see I want to read to you about what it says here in Romans 8:26: likewise the Spirit helps our infirmities for we do not know what we should pray for but the spirit itself makes intercessions for us with groanings which we cannot utter….
And that's why I talk about praying in the SPIRIT. All these groanings that we cannot utter and all these things, if you start praying in tongues and spend your time doing that like Paul said, he said: I wish all of you could do it. He said I pray more than any of you in the spirit in tongues and I wish all of you could do that…. And that's what we got to do, we got to spend our time in prayer, the acid test of devotion. No wonder you got so many problems in your life it is because you just don't pray with earnest prayer. That is self-willed prayer, or you're just praying the prayer of the sinner and the wicked which God doesn't hear. You see God doesn't hear the prayers of those who are not earnest. He only hears the prayer of Bartimaeus the beggar who got up in repentance and cried out to the Lord: Son of David have mercy on me…And Jesus heard because he was earnest and he wouldn't stop he kept asking he didn't stop. They said: “Be quietly!” but he cried out all the more. You see Satan will come to you and he will tell you to be quite but you will cry out all the more: “Jesus Christ son of God have mercy on me”. And the Lord hears the prayers of those who are earnest hallelujah. He had a parable about that, about the unjust judge the widow and he said the widow was pestering the judge trying to get justice and finally the judge thought: This woman is pestering me so much and I don't care about her but I would just give her what she asks because she's pestering me… And Jesus said: “This unjust judge gave her what she asked how much more is your heavenly father going to give you if you ask him?”(in earnestness) And that's what we got to do, we got to spent time asking if you don't have an answer to your pray keep asking in earnestness.
I am not talking about self-willed selfish prayer which God doesn't hear, I am talking about honest prayer from the heart. You really want something and you just keep asking and asking and pouring yourself out before God in prayer and praying as the Lord wants you. And that is what we got to do dear friends; pray in the Spirit, pray for the kingdom of God, intercessory prayer, intercede for the Saints, those who are sick spent time interceding for them. How many of us pray for the sinners who are going to hell? Nobody prays for them. They don't pray for themselves so are we praying for them? Are your prayers part of the incense before God where I read back at the start in Revelation 5:8 where it says that the golden bowls full of incense are the prayers of the saints. Are your prayers in there? Are you a saint? Or are you still on the broad path to destruction just living in sin for God doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked. It says in Proverbs 15:29 that the Lord is far from the wicked. That's why we got to turn away from sin and turn to the Lord and become righteous for he hears the prayers of the righteousness and that is the secret to prayer. It is that if you really earnest about it and you are like Bartimus the blind beggar and in your sin you hear about Jesus Christ so you get up and you cry out to him to have mercy and then Jesus Christ comes and he says your faith has healed you, go…and you were made a new person inside because you reached out to Jesus Christ in faith. Jesus is right there waiting for people to cry out to him; Jesus Christ have Mercy on me! And those are the prayers Jesus hears and they're the prayers he answers.
And blind Bartimus became seeing Bartimus and he went and followed Jesus Christ, it is written that he went and followed the Lord. You see God hears the prayers of the faithful, the prayers of the saints, the prayers of those who are serious, the prayers of the earnest, the earnest man, the righteous availeth much in prayer, praying constantly interceding for others. If you're sick repent and pray in faith and the Lord will raise you up and if you've sinned he shall forgive you. That is what it says in James 5:14, praying in the spirit, Ephesians 6:18: pray at all times in the spirit with the prayers of supplication for others…. You know how long do we spend time praying for other people. How long do we spend time in prayer asking other people to be forgiven when they aren't praying for themselves. I heard about this atheist and his mother prayed for him every day for many many years. She would get down on her knees and she would pray for her son. This atheist son he told her “Look mom I can never believe in God and to me that's how it is and nobody can convince me that God exists”… And you know what? A longtime later right when he was old, he came to the Lord and was because of the prayers of his mother. You see the prayer of the righteous availed much and finally he came to the Lord and the Lord Jesus actually came to him and he saw some very amazing spiritual things and the Lord Jesus Christ had mercy on this atheist.
And it is prayer that moves mountains. Prayer warriors, people who spend time praying for people, that's what changes the world. And if Christians stop praying that's when Satan gets ahead both in your life and in the world. The only reason a lot of things are held back right now and you don't see too much destruction is because of the prayers of the righteous but if the righteous hardly pray and there is not even any righteous left anymore, then the world surely has become a haunt of demons and every fowl thing and will be destroyed completely if the righteous have dwindled down to almost none at all and they don't pray. Noah was a righteous man but he was the only one left, the only one praying to God, and that's when God destroyed the world. Dear friends it is time that we start praying. It is time to do the will of God and get into a spiritual connection with him. It is time to start praying in tongues, praying in the spirit, letting the Holy Spirit of God guide us in prayer. If you can't speak in tongues then go and ask in faith. Have faith! People just don't pray in faith that's why they don't receive. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given”. Matthew 21:22 “Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith”. Notice “if”. If you have faith. How can you receive if you don't have faith dear friends? You go and ask for the Holy Spirit, you can ask other people to pray for you to get the Holy Spirit, but if you don't have faith how are you going to receive? Is not it written that the just will live by faith? And God hears the prayers of the righteous. Now remember Jesus said that he will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask the father. He says “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”.
That's why I'm here today to tell you to go and pray in faith. No more self-willed prayer. No more praying for your own way. No more praying on the broad path of destruction where you just follow your own self-willed life. No more of that. Now how many of us have prayed to the Lord in temptation? How many of us have prayed for the Lord not to lead us into temptation? Jesus said how to pray in the Bible he said: lead us not into temptation… Now when we get tempted or in your dreams something evil comes, are you able to pray? I had these things come in my dream these evil things and in my dream I prayed against them. If you exercise your praying you are going to start to do these things. When I was in temptation or when an evil thought comes in, Jesus showed me he said: “You pray to me and you focus on me when these things come then you will be able to overcome”. I read back from that quote from a Christian preacher where it says here that the secret to personal godliness and the root of all godliness is fervent believing prayer, prayer in faith. Now people they come and say well how do I pray?
You go and get on your knees and you cry out to the Lord Son of God, son of David, like blind Bartimaeus did. He went and cried out to Jesus and Jesus stopped and came to him. Now Jesus never changed, he is still right there. He is still even nearer than he was then because now he's in spiritual form. And so people say “How do I pray?” Well Bartimaeus just cried out. Why don't you go and cry out? Why don't you get on your knees today and say “Jesus Christ son of David have Mercy on me!” Have faith because it is when you have faith that you shall have your prayers answered praise God! Hallelujah! So we want to be praying into the will of God and I want to read to you to finish off from Philippians 4:6 where we read: Do not be anxious about anything but in everything pray and supplementations with Thanksgiving. Let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ… That's a wonderful verse to finish with. We can see from this verse that we just have to be praying and focusing on the Lord and then that wonderful peace is going to be guarding our hearts in Jesus Christ. So do you have this peace beyond understanding today? Or have you just got no prayer life and you just don't have this peace.
I read it again: Do not be anxious about anything (because we have the Lord God in heaven) but in everything by prayer and supplication (that's praying for others) with the Thanksgiving (so thanking God in everything you do) let your requests be known to God… So when you ask God about things you also ask him with thanksgiving, with faith, praying for others, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds. So dear friends that is the only way to find that peace, to find God, is through prayer, through the prayers of the righteous; people who decide to repent and turn to the Lord and he will hear. Because he doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked. He doesn't hear self-willed prayer. He only hears those who pray to the Lord, hallelujah, with righteousness in their hearts like blind Bartimaeus, with FAITH, crying out: “Son of God have mercy on me”… And those are the prayers of the Lord hears….....