How to pray through it
Synopsis of Sermon 7/9/17
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV) 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Have you every prayed for a thing and watched it go from bad to worse? It looks like the more you pray, the worse it gets. In those moments, you have to learn a prayer strategy. You have to learn how to pray through it. It is in this time that your faith level will be stretched. During this time, you can’t let the devil come in and make you think it is not going to happen.
Jesus gives us a word, regarding prayer. God is at work, and he will respond to your prayer. David said, “I waited patiently on the Lord…” The report from the doctor is not what you want to hear, but God brought you here to tell you to pray through it!
This concept of praying is about understanding that there is a need for a provider.
This process produces 3 images:
1. Asking for something that another may be able to provide.
2. Seeking for what has been lost.
3. A person knocking on a door to gain admission to a building.
When you are praying, you are in pursuit of something. While pursuing something, you have to pursue someone. God might not come when you want him, but he is always on time. What then do we do when things don’t happen when you want them to?
I. Be willing to pray
The willingness to pray must be present in the life of a Child of God. God is able.
1. Prayer must be your first response not your last resort. – Prayer should be something we rely on, not a chore we resort to. Everyone finds religion, but prayer is something else. Jesus wants you to find him both when you are on the top and when you are on the bottom. Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV) says 17 I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me. – God wants to be first on your list. He is a first responder. For him to respond to your situation, you got to call him. He never sleeps or slumbers. God wants to know if you are going to turn it over to him. What you are going through is too big for you to handle.
a. God wants your prayer. He wants constant communication with you. Once you receive God in your life, achievement is a part of the deal. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) says 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
2. You can’t get what you don’t ask for. Understand the power of your spoken word. There is power in the words you speak. If you speak it, then it means you saw it in the spirit first. Luke 11:2 (NKJV) says 2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven,[a] Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.[b] Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. – Like this model prayer demonstrates, you got to give reverence to Him (i.e. …hallowed be Your name…) in your prayers. You have to communicate your adoration with an audible express. Next you ask for it (i.e. Give us this day, our daily bread…).
a. The world around you might be empty, just because you haven’t asked for it to be filled. James 4:2 (NKJV) says 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. – When you approach God, do so with boldness and ask him for what you need. Go to God and tell him what you want.
3. Know that:
a. He hears you.
b. He responds to your faith.
c. He has an unlimited supply. This is why we can’t get upset when he blesses our neighbor. It is not like He is going to run out of blessings.
II. Work the process
I must now work the process. Some of us hate this, because we want things on our own time table.
When you seek God, know that this is not the elevator process. Sometimes, things come by the stairs.
When seeking God:
1. Seek God’s will for your life. Seek comes from the Greek word, Zeteo ( ζητέω), meaning to seek by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into, or demand something from someone for your life. When you ask, you must seek and you will find. Know that God is not going to bless you with something that doesn’t line up with his word. When you pray, ask God, “What is your will for my life”?
2. Things to remember:
a. Know that His will is his word. The menu is in you. – When you get used to going to a place to eat and you know what’s on menu, you don’t have to look at it anymore. You simply ask for what you want. We, likewise, should know what is in God’s will for us and therefore, just have to ask for it.
b. Be willing to submit to His will. – For example: I really want that person, but not my will, let it be Your will that is done. Another example: I really want to get that car, but let it not be my will, let it be your will.
c. His will is settled in heaven. God’s word will not return to him, void.
d. Be persistent regardless of your predicament. We will not move until God’s will is made known to us.
i. Equally important is we have to wait on God to answer, before we try to move. No matter what you say, the reason your life is raggedy now, is because you didn’t wait on God. A lot of people will testify that their marriage is not what they expected, because they didn’t wait on God. Others will testify that the job that they dread going to every day did not turn out to be a blessing, because they didn’t’ wait on God.
e. No matter what pressure the world puts on you, you need to learn to stay on your knees until he speaks. Pray through it! Get your ego out of the way. Whether than waiting on your king or you are waiting on that joker that you think you need, wait on God.
f. Know that His ways is not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. May God’s will be made known unto you.
i. 1 Kings 18:41 (NKJV) says 41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”- Elijah said there is a sign of rain. The servant saw nothing after 6 trips, but each time, he was made to go back. 1 Kings 18:44 (NKJV) says 44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”- Though the servant was made to go back 6 times after not seeing anything, he was made to go back a 7th time. On this 7th time, he saw evidence that the rain was on its way.
III. Wait on the promise
Knock, and the door shall be open.
1. God’s promises is about to come to pass.
a. God will never give you something that will hurt you. 22 Proverbs 10:22 (NKJV) says 22 The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.- The blessing of the Lord will what you need. For example, why would God give you a car note and you can’t afford the car insurance?
b. God gives you things that are godly. We’ve got so many people faking it. Stop living in fabrication. Live in your reality until God opens a door. You’ve got prayer in the atmosphere.
c. When you don’t wait on God, you end up with things that look good, but are not good for you. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) says 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.- God is not trying to satisfy your day, instead he is working towards your future. Keep knocking, God is working!
d. God is rearranging things for your breakthrough. He is making room for you. God is about to shift people out and shift people in. God will open up things to make room for you.
i. Before the doorbell came out, you had to knock. When you knocked on the door, you would hear somebody inside say, “Wait just a minute”. When you heard this, you knew that somebody was on the way. When you knock, know that God is on the way.
2. When God sees that you are ready, he’s ready to do it. God knows what you need, he will not give you things too early. James 1:17 (NKJV) says 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.- Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Sometimes you got to thank God for saying no.
a. In a dream, God told a man, “Every morning, go out and push up against this rock”. Out of obedience, this man went out and pushed against the rock, every morning. Though he pushed against it every day, the rock didn’t move. He finally asked the Lord what he was up to. He had been pushing against this rock for weeks and it hadn’t moved. What was God up to?
God finally responds to the man and says, “I told you to push against the rock, not move it. God says, “I’m the only one that can move this rock and when you are ready, I will move it”. God told the man, “Look at your arms”. The guy looked down at his arms and he noticed that he had muscles. Though the man thought pushing against the rock had been fruitless, he discovered that while he was doing it, he had gained strength that he had never had before. Pushing the rock was part of the process.
Start appreciating the process. Through the process, God is giving you strength and endurance. He getting you ready for what you have been asking for. ~ Bishop Joseph Walker