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May 31, 2022 12:06 pm
it's time to pray
Jesus Help Me!
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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City Sunday to speak about one of my favorite prayers. It's about the power of prayer.
It's about the prayer that Jesus is always answered all of my days and it's three words. We know that prayer is Jesus help me with glad you've joined us for this week's a call to the nation program with Carter, today Carter takes you to to familiar stories about Abraham and Jonah help explain why he chooses to use a three word prayer prayer from Carter's heart that he uses time and again a prayer so powerful it can make a difference in today's dark world. Let's join Carter now as he begins today's message of Genesis chapter 18 Jesus help me it's the prayer I prayed. I still prayer I prayed last week in my hotel room before going out to speak to hundreds of people in it and I conference, gathering up and I'm never too proud to pray affect trade all the time. Jesus help me I pray when I get up in the morning is on trying to put on my socks on so old now I gotta sometimes lay down my back on the bed and put my knees up like that. My socks on the find myself saying Jesus help me it's it's a good prayer that you can print all your life. It's easy to memorize very easy to memorize and and you can put different different accents on different you can focus on different words can be on Jesus to be on help and I can be on me, and you can save nine different ways this for you.
If you work out you get it nine different ways you can say Jesus help me, but it is the one prayer throughout my life that God is always answered Jesus, help me someone I want to go through some stories of Scripture to maybe explain how that particular prayer can make a difference for you and I today especially we are living in a generation that is dark were living at a time when society seems to be unraveling all around us is season where evil is becoming good and good is becoming a vulvar confusion is starting to abound as the Bible says that the lawlessness and the iniquity and people will get to the point where the love of many in many of God's people, even will start to grow cold and that speaks to me of the love of the work of God. Know what is the work of God work of God is the redemption of the lost is reaching people who are without God are going to spend eternity in hell unless they find out about the cross. The love and the message of God's redemption and they won't hear about it unless you and I go to them.
So we need a sovereign help to stay engaged with the work of God as the people of God.
It is no shame for any one of us to pray that the prayer Jesus help Old Testament Genesis chapter 18 a man called Abraham that his management given incredible promise of God just like you and I have is been taken outside by God is been shown the stars in the heavens and the Lord said to him, if you can count the stars in the heaven. That's the number of descendents are going to have now Abraham would have have no real way of understanding the greatness of the promise that God is making to him as a matter fact is told of you going to become a great nation. We know that would be the nation of Israel.
He told them he told him that through you. The whole world is going to be blessed. He could have no way of knowing that through the, the nation of Israel is going to be born a Messiah and through the Messiah is going to be born eight people in the earth, called the church of Jesus Christ and we are ultimately the fulfillment of what God was promising to Abraham and that through us, the world would be blessed. How by God bringing the knowledge of who he is, to people who live in sit in darkness through a people called his church is bright on there which is you will not. So where the fulfillment in the sense of the promise in great measure that was made to Abraham.
We are the people through whom the world is supposed to be blessed where the people that God sends into the darkness to bring light descends into confusion to bring order. He he sends us in the places where maybe people without the heart of God wouldn't go without the heart of God. It is God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that could it be said for God so still loves the world that he gives is only church that whoever believes through their testimony about Jesus Christ might be saved. Now Abraham has had a bit of a journey down in Genesis 18 he finds himself he has prospered. He's got quite a household now for chapters earlier.
He is saddled up 318 warriors soldiers in the sense in it from his own house is gone and fought against the Kings.
He took his son-in-law and family captive. When Sodom and Gomorrah was defeated in the loss of war.
Finally, he's at a place of rest the season. The Tanton's get a beautiful wife is matter fact she's almost 90 years old and people are still threatening to kill them over so I she's pretty am telling this girls pretty NEC said even fear to 1.4 is a life because there is a beautiful but is season the Tanton's got obviously he's got good seats got the family.
He sees increase in its he's got shelter and he's got the presence of God with him just like maybe you and I we we we all want a place to live.
We all want to be comfortable with one provision he's got all of that we want as as a Isaac should be. We want somebody to love the needs is found that end and suddenly to angels and the pre-incarnate Christ come and visit him. That's the way most interpret this they sit in his tent and the son of God offers him tells him that Sarah his wife is going to have a son.
So now is is delegate all the things around him, but he's got the promise of of the life that he's always long for the future that he's always wanted this this ache in his heart that is always believed that that God is going to provide to him and so he he's got the promise and that the Lord that leaves his tent after communing with him for a season and then he says in Genesis 1817.
He says the Lord said shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. Now the Lord then reveals Abraham there's such a wickedness in this society around you it's it's probably not that far from where Abraham pitched his tent, a place called Sodom and Gomorrah. It it had become so vile that the report of its vileness. It actually ascended into heaven, the son of the pre-incarnate Christ to come down with two angels to to see in a sense if it's as bad as the report has been according to the Scriptures that has come up to heaven itself, and he lets Abraham know that he's going to destroy this place called Sodom and Gomorrah is going to be sovereignly judged by fire societies can get so bad that history that they have to be judged and I often wonder. Are we getting very close to this. We have killed 60 million children in the womb in this nation we now call evil good and good evil were redefining everything that God defines is true and right in holy were defining evil now is true and right and good in the sight of men you can't help but wonder how close are we as a society today to the judgment of God. Now Abraham gets into an intercept permitting just like were infirmities.
Abraham comes into what I call a prayer meeting outside of Sodom never preached on it years ago and that's the title I gave to that the message and he sees saying to the Lord himself. He said Abraham came near and said would you also destroy the righteous with the wicked suppose there were 50 righteous within the city. Would you also destroy the place and not spare for the 50 righteous that were in it, far be it from you to do such a thing as this to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the writers should be as the wicked far be it from you shall not the judge of all the earth, the right… This is quite a bold prayer when you really read it in context. He is standing in intercession in a sentence. Thank God you can destroy the city. If 50 righteous are in it because it's it's not like you get it, it can't be said of you that you would destroy the righteous with the wicked, and treat them the same way that the wicked are treated and it can't be said of you in this is not right and Abraham says she should not be God or the judge of all the earth, the right and the Lord responses as if I find 50 righteous within the city than elsewhere the place for their sake and Abraham answered and said indeed. Now I am but dust and ashes of taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord.
Supposed there were five less than 50 righteous to destroy it. All of the city for lack of five is that if I find 45. There I will not destroy it, and you spoke to me again and said suppose there should be 40 found there is that I will not destroy it for the sake of 40 minutes… The Lord be angrysuppose 30 are found there.
So I said if I will not do it if I find 30 there now Abraham presents is indeed now I've taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord, supposed 20 should be found there.
So is that I will not destroy it for the sake of Tronic and he said let not the Lord be angry and I will speak it once more supposed 10 should be found there is that I will not destroy it for the sake of 10 so the Lord went his way.
As soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham and Abraham returned to his place.
I've always been perplexed by this story number one.
Why did he stop at 10 and sometimes we go to permitting and and we just think it while not have gotten it down like I I've kind of chiseled away in the sense that that that this problem and I've gotten it down to what I consider a reasonable level and and so we stopped we we stop 10 short of the victim as a matter fact there were four righteous there.
If he righteous but the Bible does the entire lot righteous and his wife and two daughters were rescued by the Angels out of the city so that means is only sees only six souls short of the victory so that sometimes in our prayers.
We were so close.
When we quit… Jesus went his way and resuming. This is the pre-incarnate Christ appearance and Abraham goes his way, and goes back to his tent and back to his wife and doctors provision back to his family is chiseled down to 10. The interesting thing is the Lord to set them if I find 10 righteous in the city of spirit, I would think if I was Abraham.
I don't know about you but I I would think I would go back and I've got I've got probably 7800 people in my entourage the travels with these very wealthy man.
He has just settled 318 men and fought against some of the kings that it fought against Sodom and Gomorrah.
I think I would think I would go back and sign the 10 volunteers to live in Sodom and Gomorrah for real because the Lord has told me of 10 righteous people are in the city will not destroy. So we need 10 people are going to get up and might be a year, maybe six months. It will give us a season to at least go into the city and warned these people about the coming judgment this coming their way. Why would he just go home.
I've always been perplexed by this. Maybe some theologian here has the answer for me in this, but if if I was Abraham.
I think I would've gone back and say what we've got this thing this is city about to be destroyed. Yes, maybe they deserve it. And yes, maybe judgment will come.
But until that date. We haven't within our power to slow down this judgment of God. Maybe for a short season. If I can find 10 volunteers to go into the city. Make your home there and we will go in there and we will warned them about the coming judgment but he didn't do it.
He just went home so the Angels took four out and everyone else burnt in that city really sad in a sense you know when you think and maybe maybe my think is not right on this, but I honestly think that if if if 10 righteous has moved into the city, then God had already said I won't destroy it for 10 righteous if 10 righteous are found so it seems reasonable that maybe 10 missionaries could've gone there in the Lord maybe three years six months and if judgment was inevitable.
I have no doubt he would've warned the righteous to get out of the city would've taken a nap before judgment came, but Abraham for whatever reason, went home and it it it it kind of reminds me of of permeating's.
Maybe in our generation where were we go in and we pray in an we think maybe that our prayers are just enough that it requires nothing of us what you think about that sometimes we we pray all godsend deliverance of God be merciful to the city of God that for the sake of 10 righteous, don't judge the city and and we implore and we feel we got the answer and then we just go back to our tent in our wife and our cattle and our our our comfort and we just say well I did my bed I went to a permit if you know the funny thing is like, especially in the Western world and our season wheat. We somehow got the idea that that it doesn't require anything of us. We just go to pray and and prayer in itself is enough. But Jane James in the New Testament, said faith without works is dead faith without an outworking of that that that's a faith that doesn't bring us to a place of saying God send me if necessary. I throw my life in with my prayers.
It's a concept that we have lost in the Western world I'm going to say it straight out.
We've lost that they, the thought of taking up our crosses out of of going to the laws. The thought of being given for the sake of others. The thought of living for the benefit of others has eluded much of our generation.
So even when we do pray were always kind of holding onto the measure of our own protection and security in our own comfort. Another was a man also in the Old Testament. His name was Jonah, who was commissioned by God again to go to a place he didn't want to go commissioned to people who are known for their violence against the people of God than in it, kind and nauseated in the thought of going there. He didn't like these people and he actually wanted them to be judged and he was afraid that if he went and preached, then God might forgive them and then let them live another day so they could captivate more or hurt more of his own people.
There was a history that there was a bitterness that he didn't want to go and so he bought a ticket anyone in the opposite direction is still a servant of God is still a prophet of God is still called of God is this going in the opposite direction is got his finger stuck in his ears and his think I am not interested God, can I just pray for the new device but do I really have to go there really have to talk to these Assyrians these people who have caused such heartache to our people. These these people really deserve your judgment they really deserve to burn why why would I want to go there so can I just pray is not good enough nor really have to give of myself to really have to do something and so on. This see on his journey away from God. This the Scripture tells us is great storm arose and you know folks to tell you something God is able to put us in a storm. You start right now it to be a storm that you know nobody else around you season for deer like this, you're in your seat there just like God and hid it from every side the waves and I feel like I'm drowning in and there's you recognize that what is wrong what's going on in my life and and's everybody on the boat that Jonah was on their all crying out to their version of God courses no answer because the versions were God and finally they wake him up and they say who are you, what is your occupation were what you people word where you come from.
And Jonah says well I'm a Hebrew and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven are made to see in the dry land, and date. The men were exceedingly afraid and said to why have you done this for the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord because he had told them and they said what what shall we do that, the seam of the cone for us.
You know so he is suddenly worse is God. This is turmoil is upon these people because I'm unwilling to do what you've asked me to do. You wanting me to go to a certain place on trying to go somewhere else. And because of it. Everyone around me is in the storm God is asking you to surrender your life to Christ is asking you to read the word of God is asking you to let the Holy Spirit begin to change you from the inside out because the promise of God is that in Christ you will become a new creation all around you is a storm your family are drowning your children are drowning your marriage is drowning your neighbors are drowning in God is now speaking to you and saying it's you that I'm trying to get a hold of and many, many people will be out of theirs that was taken out of their storm the moment did you step over the line and you come into right relationship with me and I'll begin to use your life to calm their storm and to bring them in the sense of the place. The desire to go to the user gets interesting. Jonah said they said, what shall we do to you that the sea may become for us for the sea was growing more tempestuous and he said pick me up and throw me into the sea and then the sea will become common for you, for I know that this great tempest is because of me not find it interesting pick me up and throw me in thinking through for a minute he knew what to do, but he couldn't do it there.
Sometimes we know what to do, but we need somebody to help us to do it to the boat to be that high, but he do I know what to do, but I am incapable of doing it. He says to the men on the ship picked me up and throw me in to the source of the storm when I'm thrown into the storm. It will become for you. In other words, Jesus help me I know what to do, but I can't do it in my own strength I know where I should be, but I can't get there in my own so I know what you're calling me to do, but I don't want to do it and I can do it in my own strength. You have got to pick me up and you've got to take me where I need to go and there is no shame in crying on Jesus, help me, Jesus, help me, Jesus, help me to care about other people. I don't care about others. It's a Jonah situation.
I don't care about the Assyrians.
I don't even like them and I don't want to go there but God if you want me to go there pick me up. Help me and throw me in. And God knows how to get you is get a fish prepared for everyone here. He knows how to get to exactly where you need to go. You get to the don't worry about how you're going to get there. Once he throws you and you going to find your way there.
It's you it's me that's people like us. Yeah, I remember when I first was called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ that I didn't like people, and then I feel called to preach the gospel but I don't really like people because if you know my story, people were a source of pain in my life I didn't like being around crowds of people I didn't like being vulnerable before people, I tried I didn't want any can intimate relationships with anybody on the worst candidate ever be called into the ministry I was I was a Jonah and so the only thing I could praise Jesus, help me throw me into them into the sea throw me into their troubles throw me into where the people live because I can't go there by myself and there is no shame to pray that prayer is no shame to say Jesus help me I know what to do, but I I as Paul says in Romans that the condition of like the human heart.
I know what to do and I delight after it in the inner man, but I find another law warring against me and the members of my flesh bringing me into the captivity of the law of sin. I know that I should be kind, I know that I should do more than just go back to my tent when I pray I know that people are perishing in and I should be willing to go there and give of myself for their sakes, if that's what it takes to save them.
Did God help me not to just pursue my own comfort. That's the dilemma of this generation.
One more time.
God is going to have to service with the storm one more time every Jonah. And Jonah have to rise up one more time as they Lord throw me into the midst of this tempest don't let any interest for the people and go back home and just enjoy my meal and enjoy my tent and enjoy my treasure and enjoy my success and enjoy my own relationship when these people are going to burn in their sin.
God help me God help me. I'm praying that right now I'm praying that every day.
Jesus help me, help me not to drawback. Help me to keep going forward cognitive preach the gospel, help me to give my life for your purposes as a living sacrifice to speak the things that need to be spoken. Give me the heart that I need to speak you don't God take me out of weakness and bring me into the strength that can only come from your Holy Spirit. This is the cry of my heart it's the prayer of always very Jesus help me, Jesus, help me into those that are listening online tonight it's you getting up off of your couch. It's you getting up and saying I'm going with God I'm in all the way I'm going to take more decided I'm going to Texas. The 51,000 not letting somebody else do what I'm called to do by the grace of God.
God Almighty is going to throw me in the place where I need to be for the sake of others around me and he will give you the strength to give you the help you give you the harder it will all be given to you. I was doing an interview with Susie Larson, the Nazis got a radio station somewhere in the Midwest and and it was a it was a radio program and she said to me, I read your book. It's time to praying and you've had so many miracles all over the world and you've seen civil wars come to an end and all the stuff and she said tell me what's the greatest miracle you've ever seen in your lifetime without any hesitation I said the greatest miracle I've ever seen is that I love people and she started to cry. She said that she actually cried an interview.
She said that is the last thing I ever expected you would say I said no that's the first in the greatest miracle of all because without that one. None of the other ones ever would've happened. I never would've gone. I would have gone into a war zone in Nigeria would've gone into no man's land in the middle of the hell on earth. In Jamaica I would've gone into burn the unit in a season of war. I wouldn't of gone into Hindu Muslim prisons. I wouldn't let myself be locked into Sullivan maximum-security prison with 60 lifers always places everything out I wouldn't have done it if I didn't love people and you see because God enabled ladies. Then he threw me like Jonah into the middle of somebody else's struggle. That's the point. That's everything.
I think that God is given me to to save that we would have the courage just to say Jesus help me I know what's right. I know what I should do. I know what you're calling me to do and I know what you're asking of me would give me the courage don't let me intercede to the point where it gets down to 10 people and just go home and the place burned so the intercession was for nothing because the cities burnt and everyone is in hell today there was in the cities: we get it down the 10 just go home and see what I did my part when I was so close to at least at least a mercy moment at least, the mercy moment for those people whether or not they would repent. At least they would have a chance to hear in this day when it's getting so dark when men's and women's minds are becoming so vile when it's all just seems like in the Syria everybody seems against the testimony of Christ and the people of God, help me Lord not to live just to preserve myself. Give me the heart of the son of God came to this earth and died for me.
If he died for me than I think it's only right that I should live for others. I don't think it's exemplary I think it's just honorable and I think it's true that I should the message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Times Square church.
For more information log onto TSC.NYC TSC.NYC plan to be with us next week for a call to the nation with Carter,