I Tim 2:1-7
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
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The title my sermon the mystery of prayer it’s a little loud. It’s a good OK. Mystery of prayer I’m going to Reading from first hymn of the Chapter two verses one through seven but let’s begin with prayer. Heavenly father we do thank you and praise you thank you for the privilege and the honor to be able to come to you in prayer thank you the we know your Word declares that you hear our prayers that you are faithful that you’re always there Father you are only a shout away or a cry away or a prayer way you’re always there with us Father we thank you for that and we know that you’re with us today and we know that you are in control of all things no matter how chaotic things may seem in the world or all the things that were going on in the world today be it natural disasters we know or that you are there and we know that you are faithful and we know that we can trust and depend on you and Father we pray for your presence here today by that you be with us that your spirit will be upon us to touch your heart store to give us what you would have us to receive today and may you receive all the glory and all the honor in Jesus’ name amen. OK first hymn of the chapter two verse one through seven. Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications prayers intercessions and given to thanks be made for all men for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence I want to pause for a moment how many here would like to lead a very quiet and peaceable and godly life how many would like to lead that kind of life OK all of us and he just told us how to do that that we would make supplications and prayers and intercessions and giving thanks for all men. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life so if we want to lead a quiet peaceable life if we’re not experiencing acquired. Peaceable life like we’d like to are we pray or we interceding as we ought to for all men for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth for there is one God and one mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a Ransom Ransom for all to be testified in due time for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle I am speaking the truth in Christ and not line a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth you know there might be some that would say why bother praying why should we even bother to pray because God knows all things anyway we know he’s in control he knows all things and he has all power so why should we even bother to pray. While that is true that he knows all things and let’s look at some of the aspects are the character traits of God proverbs fifteen three speaks of God’s omniscience the eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch on the evil and the good songs one forty seven five says great is our Lord and mighty in power his understanding is infinite so he is mighty in power and his understanding is infinite and I thought the other day you know if we could gather the greatest geniuses in the world put a mob together and if we could multiply their knowledge and their understanding by a trillion it would be a speck compared to the knowledge of God to God’s infinite wisdom. We can’t even comprehend his infinite wisdom. And of course God has the ability to be in all places at one time present everywhere everywhere present here today in this church present all over the world at one single time that’s hard for us to comprehend that. But his Word declares it so I believe it to be true in Jeremiah twenty three twenty four it says Can anyone hide himself in secret places so I shall not see him says the Lord do I not fill heaven and earth says the Lord. We cannot hide from God friends we can’t we can go hide in the cave we can hide in the deepest darkest cave but we cannot hide from God He will know where we are he knows where we are at all times so we can’t hide the things we do from God either if you’re doing something you don’t want God to see you better stop don’t want it because he sees it because he’s everywhere all places all time. And these very facts the god is so powerful that he is all knowing that he is everywhere is a very reason that I say that prayer is a great mystery. Prayers a great mystery imagine is to think that the all powerful the all knowing the ever present God would choose to allow us mankind to help him change the world through our prayers. Isn’t that a mystery if you thought of that deeply thought of that what a mystery. God would allow us to help him change the world you might say well of a preacher that’s a little bold to think that God would allow us to help him change the world. Well I want to say this morning if you think that’s a bold statement you’re thinking too small. If you think that our prayers can change the world you’re thinking too small because we just spoke of the power of God. Or powerful God wants to change the world and I don’t understand why or the how of it I say it’s a mystery I’m not going to be able to explain the mystery of why but he’s waiting for our prayers to release his power. His word declare. Or is it he’s waiting for our prayers I don’t understand the mystery of why God chooses. To wait for us to pray all that I mean not always but God chooses to wait for us to pray to set things in motion Priscilla Shirey she is the daughter of. Shire or Priscilla shire or she is the daughter of Tony Evans a great pastor an evangelist Well she had a part in a wonderful film called The War Room Hussein the war room audience going up a lot of people saying that that was a great movie about the power of prayer. And I’m going to just give you a quote here she says this about the mystery of prayer she says there is an undeniable unknowable invisible mystery to the power of prayer that’s why our first reaction to prayer may be to dismiss it downplay it or even devalue its critical importance prayer we think is a good idea in theory if only it would actually make a difference that think that thinking is what gets us in trouble when we underestimate the power of prayer when we think it doesn’t work when we choose to believe that God won’t answer our prayers or that he isn’t listening we wave the white flag invite Satan into our situation. Hear that. And we think our prayers don’t work we’re waving the white flag when we think our prayers don’t matter we miles away that white flag and say I surrender she goes on to say believe me when I say that praying is the last thing that Satan wants you to do he will discourage you from doing it he will dissuade you from it he will disarm you by putting a distaste for prayer in your mouth he wants to see you passionless perilous and powerless and perfectly quiet is laws were quiet Satan is happy. He don’t want to speak in the Gospel he don’t want to speak in a cell. Message didn’t want to spray into God He wants us to keep our mouths shut so my friends let’s don’t keep them shut let’s send our prayers to God to share the Gospel that’s preached the word is just get it out there I better go on and because prayer is the divinely ordained mechanism that leads you into the power and victory of Christ Satan knows you will remain defeated an unknown without it without prayer despite what we may or may not understand about prayer God has deliberately chosen this particular vehicle as the one that drives his activity in his people’s lives it is it is the means by which he allows us to partner with him in the fulfilling of his will he has created prayer as a primary way of putting us into personal contact with him and with his eternal realities any hour of the day or night prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth it is to kryptonite to the enemy and to all his plough ploys against us and quote what a powerful statement. But how true that is what prayer is PER is not about accomplishing our will people is about accomplishing God’s will or nerves in the Keys to be in his will when we pray James five thirteen in a through eight hundred says this is anyone among you suffering let him pray is anyone cheerful let him sing songs is anyone among you sick let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray let them pray over him a morning him with Will in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed sin he will be forgiven confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be here. Feel the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain in the land for three years. And then he prayed again and heavens gave rain and the earth produced its fruit my friends the lodge was not some glorified saying as he walked on this earth it says that he was a man with a nature just like ours he was a man he was not God man as Jesus Christ he was a man just like us and he prayed but what is the key he prayed earnestly he prayed earnestly and it did not rain for three years for three years do we believe that our prayers can have that effect are we praying with that kind of faith and boldness and trust. Is said to confess our trespasses to one another and pray for one another I want to touch on not I didn’t really make notes about that but you know whenever we confess our trespasses to one another you’re not going to share your trust past your sins are things that you regret doing with somebody you don’t trust but you know what when we confess our trespasses we’re going to share them with a. Brother or sister that we can trust and we’re not sharing it with the idea that we’re going to go out and gossip the want to somebody else oh guess what I heard Pastor Rod did you’re going to believe this no we’re going to confess our trespasses to one another that we’ll pray for one another. If we’re brothers share something with you from the heart it’s so that you will pray for that brother sister of fervent prayer an earnest prayer not the joke go out and gossip oh guess what so it’s of did but that you pray for them that’s what we’re to do Paul’s request for believers to pray for kings and all who are in a thaw. Was a remarkable request at this period in history when he wrote this considering at the time one of the most infamous rulers was in charge of a room near Nero Claudius Caesar he was best known for his debaucheries his political murders his persecution of Christians and they say he had such a passion for music some say that the rumor went that he was playing a fiddle while room burned but they proved that the be a lot because they didn’t have fiddles in but he did love music and they do believe that he was either singing or playing music listening to music while room burned and then it was all said and done who did name it on he blamed it on the Christians he was an evil wicked ruler he murdered his own mother. He would have Christians burned at the stake just so they could see with the light that the flames put all. That’s how evil and wicked This man was so for Paul to request them to pray for those all who were in authority was a great Ask it was a great thing to ask well that here’s a question for us those Paul’s xor Taishan applied to believe us today does it yes it does we are to pray for all who are in authority Of course it does. So how do you feel about praying for some of the evil wicked rollers in the world today how do you feel about praying for the president of North Korea. How do you feel about praying for basher our SOB who has deprived citizens of Syria their basic right to leave a peaceful life who has used chemical warfare on his own people who has murdered anybody who would go up against him. Who has caused millions to flee their or their country because of the oppression How do you feel about praying for Assad How do you feel bad you think. And people back to some years back would have thought about praying for Adolf Hitler while I googled the ten most wicked rowers in the world and the ruler of Sudan is horrible horribly wicked cruel to his people his own people Sudan how many other nations around the world how do you feel about praying for these people how do we pray for these people how do we pray for the likes of Assad. It’s a tough thing to ask him the tough thing to do but first we got to remember first and most important is. That there’s evil spirits behind these people so we must remember that our battle was not against the natural world but in the spiritual realm he’s in six twelve years we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age against a spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places so we must bind the Will forces that is driving these wicked rulers that we pray in the Spirit pray in the Holy Spirit and pray that the Spirit would open their eyes we need to pray for their souls seriously that’s I know that some say I would want to call hell fire down out of heaven to destroy them but pray for their souls is what we’re supposed to do pray that their hearts would be turn the despair would move so heavy upon them that they could not deny it and then that their suicide in their nations will be open to the Gospel that’s how we should pray for them. Not that far will come down and destroy them but their soul will be won because God said it is His desire that all men would be saved so brothers and sisters that should be our desire that all men would be said to be saved not that they would be destroyed. Even if they are wicked we need to pray that the Spirit would move and work in their lives. I think the main hindrance to keeping Christians from Per. Rain big prayers like that like salvation of the wicked leaders and the spread of the gospel into all these nations and salvation for drug dealers and. Pimps and whatever you want to whatever. Is I believe that so many feel that their prayers don’t matter. I believe that’s one of the greatest sentences people feel that their prayers don’t matter. They feel that their prayers don’t go much higher than the ceiling of the room. Why is that well because we don’t see instant results that’s one reason we are an impatient people we want results and we want them now but friends what we learned about God that he’s everywhere in all places at all times our prayers don’t need to go higher than the ceiling because he’s there. Right it doesn’t need to go up where we can pry right here and God’s going to hear it right here in this room it doesn’t need to go I mean it can go there but it doesn’t have to because he’s here Amen. Colossians four two three four says. It’s Paul’s request for prayer for the spreading of the gospel he says continue earnestly in prayer be vigilant in it with Thanksgiving Meanwhile praying also for us that God would open to us a door for the word to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in chains that I may make it make it manifest as I ought to speak so it says Be vigilant prayer pray for the gospel message to be spread I found a great example of the power of prayer what prayer can do. In May of one nine hundred thirty four A Charlotte North Carolina farmer lent a pastor to some thirty local businessmen who wanted to devote a day of prayer for Charlotte because of the pression had spread spiritual apathy in the city so this. Farmer loaned his land out that these guys could have a day of prayer they had planned despite the indifference of the Mr Ministerial Association to hold an evangelistic campaign later that year during that day of prayer on the land their leader Vernon Patterson prayed out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth the businessman next erected in the city a large tabernacle of Raul pine and steel frame and for eleven weeks from September thirty fourth from that time a real known Fahri Southern evangelist named Mordecai Fowler ham and his song leader water Ramsey shattered the complacency of church going Charlotte. Well to God hear their prayers Yes Yes Gary knows the answer the former that man his pastor for the pray prayer meeting with Franklin Graham his son Billy became a Christian during the meetings. The rest is history. You think prayer doesn’t matter prayer matters look at the millions of people that mean touched by friends prayer is a mystery. But we’re told that an earnest prayer is powerful we are told to gobble here the prayers of the righteous we are told that our prayers will move God’s hands there is power for air that we do not understand yet we are to be obedient to perseverant. Even if we don’t understand the why we must do it and trust. Who here believes that God’s Word is absolutely true. Everybody. Proverbs fifteen twenty nine says the Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. You just raised your hand so if you believe that God’s Word is true you’re going to believe that that he hears the prayer of the righteous. He may not always answer him in the way that we think or in a timely manner that we think but he hears the prayer of the righteous again James five sixteen said confessor sense to one another pray for one another that you may be healed the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Great Power max of Cato wrote this in his book great house of God You and I live in a loud world to get someone’s attention is no easy task he must be willing to set aside set everything aside to listen to turn down the radio turn away from the Monitor be at the computer monitor the phone we have in front of so many times turned a corner of the page and set down the book when someone is willing to silence everything else so he can hear us clearly it is a privilege a rare privilege indeed your prayers are honored in heaven as precious jewels purified unempowered the words raw rise in a delightful fragrance to our Lord your words do not stop until they reached a very throne of God. Your prayers on earth activates God’s power in heaven and God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven your prayers move God to change the world you may not understand the mystery of prayer you don’t need to but this much is clear action in heaven begins when someone prays on earth. Max is right we don’t need to understand the why. The why of why our prayers at things in motion we only need to trust and believe and leave the rest up to God leave the why up to God. It’s a mystery of prayer we don’t need to know the answer we just need to trust God. One last illustration I got lots of illustrations this morning. There. As a club owner that build a Ranchi not a spot I don’t need to identify what it raunchy nightspot is I hope you know what that is right next door to the St Luke warm Baptist Church of God in Christ. The good folks of the St Luke warm Baptist Church of Christ in God of God in Christ decided to start a prayer vigil a maze unli the night clubs but business dwindled so much that they had to close the doors Well this wasn’t altogether good news you see the end of the mike Kolob brought a lawsuit against the sate lukewarm Baptist Church of God in Christ saying that their prayers had caused the business to the window and he had to close the door while the attorney that the church hired said they argued that there is no way the prayers could cause any effect on the poor performance of the club. The judge agreed he ruled in favor of the St Luke warm church saying while the microbiota owner strongly believed in prayer the believers in the church didn’t strongly believe in the prayer. My friends let’s don’t be the St Luke warm church let’s believe in our prayers. It’s a great mystery but God hears it the prayer of faith the purpose of prayer is that God and man can communicate that we can communicate to God He understands he hears our prayers. The major purpose is to communicate but I want to close with the Lord’s Prayer let’s praise Jesus taught his pipers to pray but stand as we pray we would. Our father. Gordon heaven Hollywood be thy name thy kingdom come thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead is not into temptation. But the liver us from evil for the mind is the kingdom the power and the glory forever amen as I said the beginning I’m not going to be able to explain the mystery but we just have to trust that God hears the God answers and leave the mystery up to him but God indeed has chosen to set things in motion when we pray so let’s not be negligent in praying let’s pray to God send up those prayers let’s flood the heavens with our prayers or flood the room with our prayers but let’s send our prayers to God let’s make our requests known and to God and He will answer them in his will and in his time a man.