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Prayers

by Dave Everett on September 05, 2019

"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.' Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:40-42)

When I began to get into the New Testament: the Apostles' doctrine, I began to discover there are specific things Jesus taught the disciples. He told them, "Go to all the nations and teach those things..."

Moreover, as I began to understand the New Testament and what Jesus did for me by covenant I began to grow and mature.

Therefore, now as a pastor, I am trying to create an environment for anyone to get into the Apostles' doctrine for themselves and grow.

The more I grew and matured, my desire to get away from the world increased. I also had no desire to be around religious people. I realize that confuses most people. But friends, a true Christian and a religious person are not the same thing. In fact, religion will cause you to believe terrible things. Nonetheless, as I began to fellowship with those who knew Jesus and believed God, I began to grow and mature.

Once I truly understood having a covenant relationship with God, then consequently Christ in me began to teach me how to develop relationships with others based on covenant.

Therefore, as I began to continue steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, fellowship and the breaking of bread I began to grow and mature.

"And [Peter] solemnly and earnestly witnessed (testified) and admonished (exhorted) with much more continuous speaking and warned (reproved, advised, encouraged) them, saying, Be saved from this crooked (perverse, wicked, unjust) generation. Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls. And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers." (Acts 2:40-42, AMPC)

Beloved friends, when we steadfastly persevere in the Apostles' doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer not only do things begin to happen, things also come against us. Why? We are fish going upstream in a world that is going downstream.

Nonetheless, as we begin to learn how God has ordained the principles of prayer based on God's terms not ours, we will see results.

Now prayer is not begging or conning God to move. Prayer is not our tug-o-war efforts of trying to convince God. Nor do we need to demonstrate a 'demonic fit' like a toddler in the middle of Walmart, crying out to God in a demonstrative rage.

What is more, we must also understand that in a similar fashion that not all sports are just sports, neither is all prayer just prayer. For instance, you cannot play football with baseball rules. Each sport has a different set of rules in order to play the game.

Therefore, in Luke 11 we read how the disciples (Apostles) asked Jesus, "...Lord teach us to pray...." (Lk. 11:1). These disciples who were intimate and committed followers of Jesus, saw the need for prayer. So they, asked Jesus, their Master to teach them to pray.

Scripture teaches us that John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. While Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Therefore, as true disciples of Christ we need to learn how to pray, as God has ordained prayer.

Please know being a disciple of Christ is progressive. In other words, I am still growing in the Apostles' doctrine. I am still understanding the essence of fellowship and covenant in the breaking of bread. And I am still learning how to pray more effectively.

Honestly, at times, I am still learning how to pray vs complaining to God. I am still learning that we do not need to bargain with God. We are not trying to manipulate or con God. Instead, we all need to learn how to pray, what to pray, where to pray, when to pray and why to pray. Understanding these things will contribute to our growth and maturity.

On the flip side, we also understand how discouragement and despair can can grow and dominate our hearts and attitudes when our prayers are not answered.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." (Pr. 13:12)

Beloved friends, we want to see results!


There is a lot to teach on prayer. Just like there are different sports. But for the scope of this study our focus is going to center around prayer as it relates to our spiritual growth and maturity.

Again, there are different kinds of prayers for different situations and needs. Just as there are different kinds of sports. But we are not praying just to pray.

We are praying to see results!


We are not afraid of how it sounds. We are not praying to be seen or heard of men (Mt. 6:5-6). Instead we can be real and honest in our prayers. We are not praying to men but to God. Nonetheless, praying will enable you to bond with God and people.

Now before I continue, I need to make a statement:

What God does in me by grace I cannot mandate by law to other people.

For example: If God wakes me up every morning @ 2am to pray. I cannot mandate that everyone gets up @ 2am to pray. That is wrong.

So then, why do we pray? We pray because it really matters. Prayer makes a difference. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes us. When we pray we will bond with God and people.

Nevertheless, in all honesty, if prayer really makes a difference, why don't we pray?

Let's be honest, most of us don't pray because in our hearts we really don't believe it matters.

In fact, there is a misconstrued 'Christian philosophy' in regards to prayer and the sovereignty of God that believes: "God is sovereign so what will be, will be. If God allows it to happen then it must be His will."

Beloved friends, there are a lot of things that happen, that are not of God, they are not good and they are not His will.

Church, we make a difference!

God is sovereign and in His sovereignty has given us responsibility and authority in prayer. 

But some will argue, "But He allowed it."

So then, when people get abused, are you saying, it is God's will? Are you saying rape is God's will? Murder? No! A million times no! Absolutely not!

As we discussed in our last teaching, The Breaking  of Bread, God's Word is His covenant. God is bound to His Word.

In the beginning, God delegated His authority to man in regards to keeping the Garden. In the Garden, God created two trees. In doing so, there was one specific tree where God specifically instructed man saying, "Do not eat..." (Gen. 2:17).

God specifically told Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit. Yet Adam out of his own free-will defiantly disobeyed God's will and God held Adam accountable for doing so. What is more, when the consequences came (Gen. 3), God took no responsibility for man's, disobedience of His will.

Therefore friends, just because God allows something does not mean it is His will.

Now, in Matthew 6:9-13 we have one of many prayers Jesus modeled for us, teaching us, His disciples how to pray. In doing so, Jesus instructs us not pray with vain repetitions. We cannot religiously manipulate God. 

However, when we pray right, we will see results.

Beloved friends, when we pray we are talking to a Person. Therefore, Jesus says:

"Therefore do not be like them. For your Father
knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
"
(Mt. 6:8)

So then, if God already knows what I need before I ask. Why do I have to ask? Why go through all of this exercise?

Beloved friends, God is not being impersonal, quite the contrary.

God wants to build a relationship with you in the process not just answer your prayers.

God wants to build a relationship. God wants to fellowship (koinonia) with you. He wants to partner (koinonia) with you. Therefore, God wants you to ask. He wants you to knock and He wants you seek Him (Mt. 7:7-8).

God is a Person. Prayer is communion (koinonia) with God. Communication is a key to every relationship.

"'And in this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name.'" (Mt. 6:9)

Jesus was introducing a whole new level of relationship with God. Before Jesus, no one ever called God, "Father." Jesus was introducing a whole new perception of seeing God as our Father. Yes He is our Creator. Yes He is God.

God wants you to see yourself as His beloved child.

Jesus is establishing a relationship with God in prayer versus approaching God from the percetionas someone who is holy, distant and busy. Jesus was teaching His disciples to base their prayers with a relationship with God.

See Him as your Daddy!

Beloved friends, let us continue steadfastly in growing and developing our relationship with our Father. Let us grow and mature in communicating and partnering with our Father on the basis of relationship. Let our relationship with our Daddy be a constant dialogue versus a religious monologue.

"'Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'" (Mt. 6:10)

Do you notice that God's will being done on the earth is not automatic, based on His sovereignty? No, Jesus instructs us, His disciples to pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Again, not everything is of God's will on earth.

We count, we have value to God.

"'...for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'" (Mt. 6:13)

God's is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever! Ours is the authority. We are in partnership (koinonia) with God.

"And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Mt. 16:19)

It is God's Kingdom but He gave us the keys.

Keys lock and unlock. Jesus said that we have the authority to bind and loose things on this earth. Only religious philosophy and traditions can get this mixed up our heads.

"Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." (Mk. 7:13)

"Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." (Lk. 12:32)

Beloved, your Father has given you the keys to His Kingdom out of His good pleasure. You did not ask for it or deserve it. He gave it to you by grace, out the goodness of His heart.

Listen dear ones! Your Father has said, "I'm giving you the keys to My Kingdom!"

Beloved friends, your actions count. Your prayers matter. Your prayers avail much, Your prayers make a difference.

“'Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.'” (Mt. 18:18-20)

Amid Jesus' instructions on resolving our conflicts with others and forgiving one another, Jesus reminds us we have the authority to bind and loose things in this earth. We have the authority to administer this kingdom principle destructively as many people do in strife, envy, gossip, slander and failing to pray for one another. Or we use our authority as God has ordained for us to do so in loosing and binding how the enemy has brought division and discord even in the church.

Please note: Jesus says, "Again I say to you..." This is not the first time Jesus has mentioned this kingdom principle of binding and loosing. Therefore, most assuredly, whatever we bind and loose as the children of God who have been given the keys of His Kingdom. It shall be done.

I believe that!

However, many try to pray and claim: "It didn't work." 

Beloved friends, many times we tend to question God and His Word versus questioning our agreement with His Word. No one wants to take responsibility.

We are partners with God.

We will be rewarded (Heb. 11:6) for doing the right thing. Even if we are attacked and persecuted we still have to do the right thing.

Now the moment I mentioned the fact that we will be rewarded. Many grace believers (which I am one of) will react saying, "A reward makes it sound like it is based on my performance, not grace."

But Paul, the "Apostle of Grace" taught:

"
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building." (1 Cor. 3:6-9)

Paul taught: "everyone will receive his own reward according to his own labor." What is Paul saying?

Paul was acutely aware that it was God working through him. This is a vital lesson that every true minister of the Gospel must learn. It is true that we can do nothing without Christ (Jn. 15:5), but we also realize the Lord will not do anything without us (Eph. 3:20; Rom. 8:17).

We are laborers together with God.

In context, Paul was declaring his agreement with Apollos. They were united in their doctrine and conduct. So if Paul and Apollos were not divided, why should the people who received their teaching be?

God has delegated man to preach the Gospel. We see this illustrated for us in Acts 10 when the Lord sent an angel to Peter, instructing him to go preach the Gospel to Cornelius and his household.

Beloved friends, evil will not stop. In fact, Paul taught it will get worse and worse (2 Tim. 5:13). Darkness knows no boundaries.

Therefore, we must use these keys wisely. If we don't preach the Gospel it won't get preached. We need to pray. We need to bind some things. We need to loose some things. We need to do the right thing.

"Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away." (Acts 13:1-3)

As Paul and the church ministered to the Lord, the Lord spoke through His prophets instructing them to send Paul and Barnabas to do the work He has called them to do. Please note, God won't do the work He has called us to do by His Word. But God will do His part when we do our part in partnership.

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42)

Prayer is effected by continuing steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, fellowship and the breaking of bread. Prayer is effected by the other three. When I start clinging to and praying according to the Aposltes' doctrine I see change. When I pray and find fellowship (agreement in prayer) I see change.  When I begin to understand and continually reminded that God relates to me on the basis of covenant. That God is true to His Word that He cannot break. I begin to have faith beyond my feelings and five senses and my prayer is profoundly effected.

When we are in faith according to the Word of God, stuff begins to happen. 

All prayer involves faith in God's Word.

We need to believe what God says over pastors and ministers. We need to believe what God says over family. And we need to believe what God says over the government and the media.

Now, I am not putting anyone down. I am exalting and magnifying God!

Jesus is Lord! If we are going to grow and mature we must have confidence in the Word of God. Therefore, when I pray I expect heaven and hell to move.

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith." (Rom. 3:27)

There is a law of faith.

We need to cooperate with the law of faith. We need to do it right if we are going to see faith manifested. The Word of God is the Source of our faith (Rom. 10:17). Faith is always rooted in the Word of God. The Word is our evidence and substance.

Faith is the by-product of the Word of God.

Therefore, faith is not begging God. Faith is not praying God can do it. No faith is a law. A law works the same way every single time. God cannot break His Word. When I trust His Word, the law of faith fruitfully activates what I am losing and binding in prayer. Therefore, we are not hoping it will work, we are commanding it to work.

We want results!

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1)

NOW FAITH IS!

Faith is not yesterday. Faith is not tomorrow. Faith is now! Faith is not faith if it is not now. Hope is for tomorrow and we need hope. But most people are surrounded by hope versus faith.

Faith is now! Faith has substance to it. Faith has evidence to it.

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (Heb. 11:3)

By faith we understand God created everything out of nothing. The worlds were created by the Word of God.

God Himself had faith in His Own Word.

The substance of God's faith was His Own Word. Faith has evidence. Faith is the substance of what I am hoping for, the evidence of what I cannot see. Anything you could ever hope for, there is substance for it in His Word.

In Jesus, God has made available: Promised you anything you have need of. This is the substance of my faith. The Word of God is the evidence of the things I cannot naturally see yet. Therefore, I can have total confidence in the Word of God versus faith in the words of men.

Based on our previous teaching on The Breaking of Bread: It is impossible for God to lie. God cannot break His Word. His Word is His covenant.

Therefore, faith is not me imagining things. Faith is not me pretending. My faith has evidence. My faith rooted in the Word of God. I cannot have faith beyond what God has said.

"But 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 diligently seek Him." (Heb. 11:6)

It is impossible to please God without faith.

How do we come to God? In prayer.

Therefore, when we come to God in prayer we must believe that He is and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Every time I pray I believe God IS.

I am not talking to an imaginary friend and calling it prayer. I am not talking to myself and calling it prayer. I am talking to God Who IS! I have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. I have a relationship with my Father, my Daddy! I am talking to God Who IS!

I BELIEVE HE IS!

I also believe He is a Rewarder, to answer my prayer. I believe my Daddy is eager to answer my prayer. I do not believe He is holding out on me. I believe He already knows what I need before I even ask.

But He told me in His Word to ask. So I am asking!

He told me in His Word to seek. So I am seeking!

He told me in His Word to knock. So I am knocking!

He told me in His Word: Everyone who asks receives! Everyone who seeks finds! Everyone who knocks the door will be opened!

How are we going to explain all of that away? I'm not.

I'M GOING TO BELIEVE GOD!

I am going to believe that when I ask I receive!

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

When I knock, I don't care what it looks like. The door is going to open!

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

When I seek I don't care how I feel or how long it takes. I am going to find!

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

It it my faith that pleases God. It is my attitude in prayer that pleases God. It is my confidence in God and His Word that pleases Him. God is pleased when I believe according to His Word and can't see it.

IT PLEASES HIM!

"I believe you Daddy! Even though I can't see it"

"I believe you Father! Based on Your Word, Your covenant and Your character. You cannot lie! Your Word is True. Your Word is forever settled in heaven and earth. You exalted Your Word above Your name. I just believe I have it! I believe it is mine."

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

When it manifests I don't need faith anymore because I see it now.

Before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples, "I'm going to die but on the third day I will rise from the dead." He died and no one believed.

In fact, after He rose from the dead, the other disciples told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas responded saying,

"...Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'” (Jn. 20:25)

Then eight days later (Jn. 20:26) Jesus revealed Himself to Thomas. Jesus Who had heard Thomas' unbelief, eight days prior, "...said to Thomas, 'Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.'” (Jn. 20:27)

Thomas response was,
“My Lord and my God!” (Jn. 20:28)

Then
Jesus said to him, ...'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” (Jn. 20:29)

Please understand, every religion has believed in something they have not seen.  Even the lost believe in what they have not seen.

How many believe there is a heaven? Have you seen it? What is your evidence? What is your evidence? Prove it to me?

How many saw Jesus die on the cross? How many saw Him take His last breath? How many saw Him lying in the tomb? How many saw Him rise from the dead? How many saw Him ascend into heaven?

Do you believe it? What is your evidence? What is your substance?

How many saw Jesus sprinkle His very Own Blood on the Mercy Seat in heaven for the remission of all of our sins?

Do you believe it? What is your evidence? What is your substance?

You were created to believe things you can't see.

Do you believe in an atom? Have you seen one?

Do you believe in radio signals? Have you seen them?

People believe in global warming. They don't have any natural evidence. Yet the still believe. People believe stuff all of the time and they don't have any natural evidence they have seen.

You have to believe the Word of God.

No matter how you feel. No matter what you see. No matter what your brain is telling you. You need to put your confidence in the Word of God.

"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." (1 Jn. 5:13)

The things that are written to us is the Word of God, that we might believe it and know we have eternal life.

So then, ow do I know I am saved
? I don't always feel saved.

THE WORD OF GOD!

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

The Word of God says that if we believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with our mouth that He is Lord, "We shall be saved.

"What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

 Therefore, we are saved! We know that we are saved. Not based on our feelings. Not based on how we act. We know that we are saved by the authority of God's Word. His covenant that He cannot break.

"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears usAnd if we know that He hears us, WHATEVER WE ASK, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 Jn. 5:14-15)

Beloved friends, this is our confidence! Our confidence is knowing that when we ask ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HIS WORD, HIS PROMISES, WE KNOW WE HAVE THE THINGS WE ASK OF HIM!

If I know that He hears me I know I have whatever I ask of Him!

I KNOW HE HEARS ME

When do I know I have it?

WHEN I ASK

Not when I see it manifested. In other words, I am not going to get it.

I HAVE IT!

How do I know I have it? By faith. "What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mk. 11:24)

When do I believe I receive?

I believe I receive and I have it.

When I pray not when I see it. I believe FIRST. I receive FIRST. "What is my evidence? What is my substance?"

THE WORD OF GOD!

I have it by faith in God's Word. It may take a minute. It may take an hour. It may take a week, a month or a year. It is coming. I have it.

Because faith is NOW!

I used to pray and would not believe I had it until I saw it. And I never saw it. Now I pray believing I received it when I pray and I began to see it. It made all of the difference. It changed everything.

Every time you pray. You are standing on the shore of " I receive it and I shall have..." No one can explain that gulf or gap. It may take a minute. It may take an hour. It may take a week, a month or a year. It is coming. I have it.

I believe and I receive according to the Word of God and the character of God. God has exalted His Word above His name (Ps. 138:2).

Therefore, if I know what the Word of God says and I haven't messed it up by taking it out of context, it's a Promised of God. Once I mix faith with it. Its mine!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." (Phi. 4:6)

Beloved friends, if we believe God has heard us and we believe we already have it. What should our response be?

THANK YOU!

Amen. Selah.

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