Class 9: Let God Hear From You (Part 5)
Today, we are continuing our study titled, LET GOD HEAR FROM YOU.
Allow me to begin with a word from Mary Warburton Booth, an author of several devotional books. She said: “Depend upon it, if you are bent on prayer, the devil will not leave you alone. He will molest you, tantalize you, block you, and will surely find some hindrances, big or little or both. And we sometimes fail because we are ignorant of his devices…I do not think he minds our praying about things if we leave it at that. What he minds, and opposes steadily, is the prayer that prays on until it is prayed through, assured of the answer.”
Corrie ten Boom said: “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.”
Let’s begin by reviewing what we covered in our last class:
You might recall from our last class that we discussed the final three parts of the Lord’s Prayer. They are: d. Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness (verse 12); e. Ask God to deliver you from temptation, evil, and sin (verse 13a); and f. Praise the Lord (verse 13b). We learned that before we request forgiveness, we must be willing to forgive others. Also, we learned that when we are faced with temptation, we should call on God to deliver us and not yield to it. Finally, we learned that we should end our prayers with thanks and praise to God.
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read the corresponding letter in the book, Letters to Young Black Women. I am not going to read the entire chapter. I am just going to read the portion we will be dealing with today.
When To Pray: Pray as the Lord leads you. The Holy Spirit will prompt you to pray throughout the day. It is also good to pray at appointed times, as King David and the Prophet Daniel did. The Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:17 that we ought to, “Pray without ceasing.”
May I lovingly encourage you to overcome any obstacle that would hinder you from maintaining a strong prayer life? Prayer does not have to be difficult. Just keep it simple, to the point, and remember what the great author and evangelist John R. Rice used to say: “Prayer is simply asking and receiving from God.” Regular, consistent communication with God Almighty will make all the difference in your life.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” —Philippians 4:6
Now, please follow along as we continue our study:
Notice what these verses say about prayer:
I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
Prayer is the only discipline of the Christian faith that we are told to do “without ceasing.” Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, esteemed this matter of prayer very highly. Allow me to remind you that on one occasion Jesus got up a great while before day and prayed. Mark 1:35 states, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” If Jesus Christ had to pray so earnestly, there is no doubt that we, His followers, ought to pray as well. God wants to hear from you every day and throughout the day. That is why He commanded us in His Word to “pray without ceasing.” Though it is necessary to set aside certain times to pray each day (in the morning, afternoon, evening, etc), you should never limit yourself to just these times. Rather, you should be in a constant state of communication with God, meaning the things of God are on your mind throughout the day. W. Ian Thomas said, “‘Pray without ceasing’. Here the word to pray does not mean to beg or to plead as if God were unwilling to give — but simply to expose by faith every situation as it arises, to the all-sufficiency of the One who indwells you by His life.”
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Do not be afraid to ask God to meet your needs and the needs of others. This is what God wants you to do. He does not want you to worry or be concerned about what you need or want. Rather, He wants you to come before Him and make every request known. It is appropriate for you to include both thanksgiving and requests in your prayers. As an antidote to worrying, this verse suggests that we pray and cast every care upon the Father God who loves us and cares for us. Prayer is the act of offering up our desires to God and by doing this, we allow His peace to come into our hearts and lives.
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
When we pray, God wants us not only to pray for ourselves and for our needs but for others and their needs. Praying for others is a blessing in itself. It delivers us from being selfish and focuses our attention on the concerns of others. You can create a prayer list of family, friends, situations that need prayer on a daily basis. The list does not have to be long but you will be amazed at the outcome. Here are some ways in which you can start praying for other people. I believe I got these suggestions from Dr. J. Gordon Henry, a powerful teacher on the subject of prayer:
- Realize the person’s present exalted position in Christ.
- Present the person as a living sacrifice.
- Ask that the person be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Ask that God will guide the person to become regular and systematic in the study of God’s Word.
- Ask that the person become an effective prayer warrior in their own right.
- Ask that God’s blessings be upon him in physical and material things.
- Ask that the person learn to praise the Lord.
- Ask that the person begin to reach out to the unsaved.
In our next class, we will begin a new study “LET GOD TALK TO YOU”.
Joyce Meyer said: “Build your faith on the fact that humble, believing prayer is powerful. Believe that you can pray anywhere, anytime, about anything. Believe that your prayers don’t have to be perfect or eloquent or long. Keep them simple and full of faith.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.