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Secret Praying Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2020 1:00 am

Secret Praying Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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December 4, 2020 1:00 am

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus showed us how to pray. In this message, we continue our look at the depth and breadth of meaning found in these sacred words. How should each of us approach God with our petitions?

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One with endurance the race is looking to Jesus in the Lord's prayer, Jesus showed us how to pray. Today we continue our look at the meaning latent in these sacred words and on the way we should each approach God with our petition from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Erwin whose teaching process across the finish line. Many are fearful about the bread will need next month. Jesus is telling us to ask read we need today. Yes, you know, Dave. This is very difficult for us because faith does not come easily.

We always want to know ahead of time how God is going to supply and there's nothing wrong with the fact that many of us know how he is going to supply that. Or at least we think we know, but I want to also minister to the person who doesn't know where they are going to get there bread tomorrow. Let them come to God and let them depend and let God revealed to them the next step. You know were living in a time when many people are looking for truth and purpose, and it seems like oftentimes the smallest point of challenge can knock them out of the race of life. The Christian race of life. I have an amazing resource 365 devotionals that focus on evidence for a creator, and the reliability of the Bible. It's entitled a closer look at the evidence written by two scientists, you'll have a devotional for every day of the year.

Now for a gift of any amount.

This resource can be yours. Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's open our Bibles and again speak about those secrets that we have with God is saying is give us today our daily bread satisfies today and then you don't have to do tomorrow you have to do it all over again because today's bread does not last until tomorrow.

Like the Israelites going out together manner and if they were out there and they gathered it for the day. If they left it for an extra day.

It read worms because God says I don't want you to be able to live as single day without seeing my miracles and without dependence upon me disable those of us who have full refrigerators. How do we we pray this prayer will of course we we have the same kind of dependence on God. It may not be for daily bread. Though God knows he could take that daily bread just like that. Just like that could all be gone.

So we certainly thank you for the daily bread, and we pray that indeed we might have daily bread tomorrow but in addition to that we have other requests that we begin to bring into the throne room of God, we begin to pray that we will have strength for today that we will have forgiveness for the date that will be able to have the all of the needs that we have within our souls met for the day because we know that God is a God detail and knows the depths of our hearts and so we come in faith and we come to pray and you know what we discovered during this phase of prayer Jehovah Gyro the Lord will provide member the story there. Genesis where Abraham is willing to sacrifice Isaac and then he sees a ram caught in the thicket and ram dies in the place of Isaac, and he says Jehovah Gyro. That's what he named the Lord will provide and the Hebrew means the Lord will see to it. The Lord will see to it.

You have a need that is pressing upon you that you see no way out of the Lord will see to it you're going through a time of financial need, which may in some instances be of your own making, in which case you need some counsel and some help. Most assuredly, but you commit this to him and you you commit your circumstances to God, and you begin to be obedient to God even in the midst of failure and you begin to say God will see to it you'll see to it. So what we have we have adoration we have supplication we have confession now notice what it says. I think it is about beginning in verse 12.

Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. You'll notice that the outlook version of the Lord's prayer says forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And some of some people have said to well you know this is the word for depths. I mean if you owed a person money.

This is the Greek word that would be you. What Jesus is reminding us off is the fact that when we said we owe God we'll God is using the word for money, but he doesn't mean money, he means that when we rebel, we owe God and we can't pay our debt so the news of the gospel is that God comes along and pays our debt for us.

That's what the cross of Christ is all about, and then notice it says even as we also forgive our debtors. You know Jesus has some very hard words about this business of anger and hostility towards one another.

It says in verse 14 he expands on it for if you forgive men when they sin against you. Your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sent point, we struggle because were single. Does that mean that God's forgiveness is conditional.

In other words, it's dependent wealth.

We know that the gifts and the calling of God are are irrevocable that once God grants forgiveness.

Certainly, the forgiveness is granted and he does so freely.

But Jesus is saying in the strongest possible terms that if you are a person who has been forgiven by God, you will be someone who can forgive and if you are today harboring in your heart, bitterness, if when God opens your heart when you're there in the closet and he begins to go into the individual closets of your heart, and he sees there a garage that is nurse that is taken care of that is carefully guarded that is calculated and it is there.

Jesus would say you had better make sure that you have been forgiven by God because if you do not forgive others. You will never sense God's will forgiveness you will never sense his freedom because people who are forgiven, they are people who forgive. Now I know that some of you struggle with that and that's understandable. I don't want you to begin to think that God is in forgiven you. Some of you have experienced deep horrendous injustices. Some of you have experienced abuse and forgiveness is not just an act, it is also a process, but to simply hold what is in our hearts without the process and without the good faith of choosing to forgive Jesus would say look deeply into your heart and see whether not you been forgiven. This is the time now. In that one hour when you begin to confess and and if you're going to confess your faults individually, which should be done, not ours going to go by pretty quick business to be nearly as long as some of you thought it was going to be accurate. A look at your watch and see that it's two hours it's two hours and you know why some of you really don't feel God that close is because you've never taken the time to dig that deep never taken the time to dig that and to simply say father what is there with in me that causes this alienation from others and from you. That's the time that God does his work. So how far become. You begin with adoration you go to supplication go to confession and then you have confrontation confrontation because there's an enemy out there that does not like us at all. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one, and that's a good translation. By the way, the evil one that's that's what the other aspect of the Lord's prayer says and that's the intention or lead us not into temptation in James it says God doesn't lead anybody into temptation, but the word that is used here is much broader than temptation. I think that Jesus is saying don't lead us into those kinds of situations where we are going to fall. God does not lead us into temptation in the sense that he causes us to be an appointed position where he tries to lead us astray. But he does lead us in situations where we are invited to declare our loyalties and where trials come or we can choose in God's favor. Obviously what the impression that is being given here is don't lead us into those kinds of situations in which we will be led to failure. Lead us not into that kind of trial. Not that kind trials are okay, but not that kind of trials, and then he says deliver us from the evil one, and that's where you begin to pray warfare prayers for yourself or your family. For others, were you begin to recognize now that you are up against a a a terribly evil being who is going to want to do everything you possibly can do to make sure that you don't spend that hour a week or an hour whenever that hour might be really earnestly seeking the face of God and then after you've done that. Of course there are all kinds of things that you can pray for you know the pictorial directory that we been hearing about. During these weeks and some of you say that you don't want to be in it, that's perfectly fine because you have that choice but you know if you worry that many of us use that pictorial directory as a means of prayer you go through you look at the names you try to associate the name with the picture and you commit all of these people to God and your family members to God. And then, of course, as I mentioned earlier during this period of time with a hymnal, you begin to sing to God and all the members of your family hope and pray that the closet that you've gone into has a is a very good solid oak door so that you don't bless other people for your singing folks. That's the nature of the game here it it's you and God you are praising him through adoration, through supplication, through confession. Her confrontation with the enemy. You are praising him and your developing a whole network of memories and relationships with the living and the true God and as a result of that, you begin to understand what it means to go and to pray in private were just you and God develop that memory bank may give you some pointers as we conclude number one remember that time spent in the closet is time taken away from other important things.

It's time taken away from other important things the other. Some people say what you know you know all pray. If I feel like it, in which case, of course, they very very seldom pray rose God takes them through a keyhole to help them make them feel like it. That's possible. And then there are others who say what you know, I'm too busy to really that really has to be very, very humorous thing when you stop to think too busy for God to busy for God.

I want you to know that the time that we take to pray is most precious to God when it is time taken from other important things were were saying God I have something important to do, but what I am going to do now is even more important.

I will pray I will pray for me that puts God first, is it not you say will my mind wanders course your mind wanders, so you do two things.

First, in the closet you take a notepad along with it because the devil will remind you of everything that you have to do that week and then so take advantage of it as they as they come to mind. You write them down in the notepad this a good time to be caught up on all things that you have to do because your mind will be flooded with all of them at that moment. So you write them down. The second thing that you do is your mind is wandering in prayer and is not necessarily something that needs to go into the notebook do you do with the wandering mind you give the thing to which your mind has wandered to God and you committed to him and you take advantage of the wandering mind until everything that your mind is wandering about is now safely committed into the hands of your heavenly father. That's the way you do, you know, it's amazing.

People think, well, you know, you're either a Christian who prays or you're not in all your either the godly type or the other type my your friend will have to learn how to do this.

This does not come naturally. This this fights against our schedules. It fights against our nature.

It fights against all kinds of opposition fights against the devil and and so if you think this is going to be easy. It's not easy. It's not easy but is it beneficial does it honor God is a change you sure does. Does so what we need to do is to know the time spent in the closet is time taken away from something else, and it is there that we begin 20 minutes. I know that somebody said you know don't lie so much guilt on people telling them that they should pray before 9 o'clock in the morning so I won't lay guilt on you, except to say that you'd better do it, no guilt, no pressure base. If you don't do it in the morning. Usually you don't do it throughout the day. Now, if you've talked your heavenly father and your father, your heavenly father's estate. You don't have to do it before 9 o'clock in the morning and don't but it is a suggestion. It is a suggestion why because the press duties for the day and what you do during that 20 minutes you give God your day you given your schedule to recite his promises you choose to walk in obedience to say to yourself I receive in simple faith, the fullness of the Spirit for today and you begin the day with God in the day with God and then there are these other times they were talking about that special hour. That's just between you and God. That's that's that's something else that's set aside that's that's a special time and I can be any time and you can talk to pastor Michael Allen here who who is in charge of our prayer wall so that you can you can choose a time that is best for you. It can be late at night.

It can be early in the morning it can be to date can be at any time that is most convenient for you to cite this hour is for God this hours for God suck too much to ask 168 hours just for God course the others are for him to. I know that but this is a special time when when you're getting to know the Almighty, whom you say that you're going to spend eternity with you to spend eternity with in your struggling with in our secondly we will be rewarded by the person whose praise we seek were rewarded by the person whose praise we seek. Let's look at the text again and when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites they love to pray standing in the synagogues in the street corners to be seen by men. They have their reward in full.

In recent weeks. As you know most of the time I kneel during the pastoral prayer and I've struggled a lot with whether or not I should do that because because the worst thing that could happen is that I have the motive of making people think that I'm spiritual because I do that that's not why I do it but you see it's it's such a sensitive area because because Jesus is morning here about the hypoxic receipt of trying to impress people when really what you want to do is you want to impress God you want to say God. This is where we belong on our knees because you are so holy and you are so mighty that there are times when being on your knees is exactly the right thing to do but motives of the heart are so subtle and all of the mixed motives that we as humans fight with. So Jesus said if you're doing it for others and they they think your spiritual you received your stroke, spine, the reward is in full. But when you pray, go into your room, and now notice what he says your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you kill reward you seek the praise of men got it seek the praise of God alone. You got back to you got that to and and one of the wonderful things is for us to know that we been in the closet and we prayed for situations and we see God working in the situation and nobody knows, but that we in God help me, and God know because because we been in his presence, and we know we know right well what God is doing and it's a secret between us secret between us and we begin to develop a life in which we really genuinely enjoy God you just enjoy him. David Brainerd was surely one of the greatest prayer warriors. I didn't realize the David Brainerd you know diet at the show before the age of 30. There are some people who do more in their youth than some of us to live longer than that is amazing he is to pray for the Indians.

It is said that he would go into the forest there in Massachusetts and he would kneel in prayer until the snow melted beneath him. That's how much time he spent in prayer and thousands of Indians thousands of American Indians were led to faith in Christ because Brainerd just prayed and prayed and prayed and ministered to the Indians and then prayed some more. He died. By the way, in the home of Jonathan Edwards and Jonathan Edwards wrote a biography about about David Brainerd and that because of that biography, you know, here's William Carey, for example, why did he go to the mission field is because he read that biography you have a lot of other people inspired and changed. Now of course Brainerd being there in the forest in secret, a praying I he didn't attend know that someday his life would have sold many affect us in that murdering the chain and others would all trace the conversion of their other hard attitude and their their learning prayer to him. He didn't know all that, all that he was doing was seeking God and I want you to hear the words of what to Jonathan Edwards says about him in his biographies as I praise God that was in his providence that he should die in my house that I might hear his prayer that I might witness his consecration and that I might be inspired by his example the great danger in preaching a message like this is that some people will think it's for super saints, it's for the people. It's for the pastoral staff it's for the elders it's for the leaders and occasionally always have those real spiritual types noise find those who are so inclined well-known on the were talking about something that is for everybody for everybody and what the bottom line of all of this is, is that private prayer, private prayer results in public blessing public blessing. The father who sees in secret rewards you and he does so in this life, and he rewards you in the life to come, because you have finally learned you and I finally learned the value of having these precious precious intimate seek with Almighty God.

Some of you are a little further back in your spiritual quest.

What you need to do is to first of all receive God's forgiveness and be reconciled to God.

Worst thing you could do is to get into a closet and begin to read some prescribed prayers are begin to go through some kind of a wrong thing where you where you have this all memorized it. So I'm going to spend the start that that's not it. Jesus is saying that this is the whole point.

This is an individual in fellowship in loving fellowship with Almighty God. That's what it's about. And if you've never believed on Christ and been reconciled to God personally, then that's the starting point, receive his forgiveness and his reconciliation and then your private prayer life results in public, blessing, and then you know you will be able to do if you sign up for the purple. Finally, you're going to be able to sing the sweet hour of prayer with integrity on that be great to build a singer without lying.

What is pray father forgive us or give us forgiveness you have given us an invitation that is open 24 hours a day seven days a week because you are always available. You are always present in you.

We live and move and have our being and father in the rush of business in the topsy-turvy experiences of life we rationalize, we brush you will forgive his father, we ask that the congregation of Moody Church will be mightily move to spend time in prayer that you might help us to help us to learn how to do it, and lead us Lord to you.

Give us such a hunger and thirst that we will not be able to stay away from you. In Jesus name we ask what my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I certainly don't want to give the impression that unless you spend an hour in prayer you have prayed simple fact is, sometimes we can spend that amount of time in prayer, but my point is this. We need to be challenged to spend more time in prayer so that we spend more time in direct fellowship with God. And that's the point that I've been trying to emphasize in this message.

You know I believe that these messages will be a tremendous blessing to you if you can listen to them again and again and share them with your friends for a gift of any amount the entire series can be yours. It's titled sharing secrets with God. The older I get, the more secrets I want to share with God. Thanks in advance for helping us and if you're interested in getting this series of messages.

Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614.

Most of us really going to need. There are times in a Christian's life when eating should be the last thing on the agenda next time I'm running to win will set aside that once we planned on and remind ourselves about Christ's teaching on the benefits of fasting is found in the book of Matthew, thanks for listening today for Dr. Erwin Blitzer this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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