How to revive the suffering: Encouragement from the present – Part 6
How to revive the suffering
Encouragement from the present – Part 6
Helps to pray with conviction
Summary of our study of the last three weeks:
We can pray with complete conviction of faith because of what God has done for us in Christ (soteriological hindrance) and because He has all power to fulfill every promise (theological hindrance).
His love for you in Christ and His sovereign control is the foundation of your confidence in prayer
Now, I want to take one more sermon to crystallize the Biblical teaching that underlies everything we’ve been saying about prayer. We’ll come over this topic one more time by following this outline: The Principle, The Definition, the Application
God’s promises are conditional on your faith
• We draw the principle from the covenantal promises
- Ezek. 36:25-27
- Cleanse you with water = justification
- A new heart = New birth/circumcision of the heart
- Put my Spirit in you = grace
- Rom. 5:1-2
- Faith was the condition upon which you received the promises of the new covenant
- Gal. 3:22 (v14) confirms the conditionality of God’s promises
- Luke 11:13
- Rom. 5:1-2
- Ezek. 36:25-27
So, God’s promises are conditional on your acting faith on them
This is why James can say: Jas. 4:2b
2 …You do not have because you do not ask.
This is why John can say: 1 Jn. 5:14-15
14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
This is why Jesus said: Mk. 11:24
24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
This is why the Holy Spirit says: Heb. 11:6
6 And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
So, what exactly is this thing called faith upon which God’s promises are conditioned?
• Heb. 11:1-2 Faith is the conviction that God is faithful to fulfil His promises
• Heb. 11:6 faith is the conviction that God rewards those who seek Him
• James 1:5-8 Faith is the conviction of God’s uncritical generosity
What’s common to these texts is the unwavering conviction of God’s character
He is faithful, truthful, all-powerful, compassionate, generous, reliable and willing to give what He has promised
Faith is not blindly hoping for something. Faith, as the world defines it is a leap in the dark. You don’t know if you’ll land well, but you must “just believe.” It’s also not a lever to wedge God out of His reluctance. As if to say we must “just believe harder,” and then He’ll give us what we’re asking for.
Faith is not blind, nor is she manipulative!
Faith has her eyes open, and she’s looking at God and at His Word. The prayer of faith aligns us with the will of God. This is the essence of prayer. Faith looks at God and His Word and aligns herself with Him.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
“Yet, not my will, but Yours be done.”
Faith is the assurance that God knows best, and He will do what He said
The answer to prayer is conditional on this conviction
But James says something significant about faith that applies to prayer: James 2:14-17, 26
• Faith is consummated in an act. If it doesn’t produce the act it is dead.
What kind of act does faith produce?
- Heb. 11:7-12:3
- Ps. 130
- Patient, Persevering Prayer
So, just as faith is consummated in the act of obedience, it is also consummated in the act of persevering, patient prayer.
Praying through times of temptation: 1 Cor. 10:13; Ps. 130
Temptations to unbelief, discontentment, bitterness, jealousy, greed, impatience, selfishness
Praise and adore God for the attribute highlighted in these verses
Confess your transgressions
Thank God for what He promises in this verse: Won’t allow you to be burdened beyond your ability and will provide the way of escape so that you may bear up under it
Ask Him to provide what He promises in the verse
Praying for the church: See church prayer guide – Ps. 100:4-5; Phil. 4:6; 1 Jn. 2:1-2
Praise and adore God for the attributes highlighted in the verses
Confess our transgressions
Thank God for the things He promises in these verses
Ask Him for the things these verses promise
For personal study at home – Ps. 27, 62, 69 as examples of persevering prayer