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← Continue Steadfastly in Prayer - Jesse Barrington

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Showing Revision 7 created 12/11/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Over the last ten days,
  2. as I began to pray about
  3. what to preach this morning,
  4. I finished two sermons to preach
  5. this morning.
  6. And last night, I was walking
  7. to my room.
  8. Brother Tim turned to me and said,
  9. "Brother, do you know what
  10. you're going to preach on?"
  11. And I said, well, I finished two sermons,
  12. but they've both flown away from me.
  13. And so last night, I went to the room,
  14. and just began to pray.
  15. And bits of conversations that I've had
  16. with Tim and Mack and Mike
  17. over the last two days
  18. started to come to mind
  19. and bring conviction to my heart.
  20. And I'm convinced that the Lord
  21. has brought me to this conference
  22. to do a work in my heart;
  23. to preach to my own soul
  24. and my own life.
  25. We all desparately and continually
  26. need to be growing
  27. in our doctrine and our theology.
  28. One brother said,
  29. if the "you" of today,
  30. doesn't look at the
    "you" of five years ago
  31. and call that man a heretic,
  32. you're not growing fast enough in truth.
  33. By God's grace, over
    the last fourteen years,
  34. I can see where the Lord
    has grown me much
  35. in understanding of the Gospel
  36. and the Scriptures,
  37. and doctrine and theology.
  38. Scripture is continually sharpening
  39. my understanding
  40. and shaping my theology and my doctrine
  41. and challenging what I was taught
  42. growing up.
  43. And that's a good thing.
  44. But there's also a
    potential danger there -
  45. a danger to be avoided as we grow
  46. in doctrine and theology.
  47. You see, fourteen years ago
  48. I didn't have a lot of understanding.
  49. I didn't have a lot of experience.
  50. And that's dangerous too.
  51. But with a little bit of understanding
  52. and the little experience I had then,
  53. I only had one place that I could lean.
  54. And that was in total and complete
  55. dependence upon the Lord.
  56. Do you know where that dependence
  57. on the Lord was reflected most
  58. in my life?
  59. It was in devotion to prayer.
  60. It was in devotion to prayer.
  61. Steadfast prayer.
  62. Last night, I began to wonder
  63. how much have I really grown
  64. in understanding and doctrine
  65. and theology?
  66. Because if those things really have
  67. their effect in your heart
  68. and they play themselves out in your life
  69. to the degree that they should,
  70. they should be manifested in many ways,
  71. but one way a true understanding
  72. of doctrine and theology
  73. should manifest in
  74. is a deeper devotion to prayer.
  75. A deeper leaning upon the Lord.
  76. As I listened to the brothers preach
  77. those three sermons yesterday -
  78. and praise God for their sermons -
  79. I learned a lot and there's much to apply
  80. in my life.
  81. But last night, I laid in the room
  82. and prayed.
  83. I thought about Mack's sermon:
  84. The Garden of Gesthemane.
  85. And there's so much to learn in that
  86. of what my brother preached.
  87. But what stood out to me last night
  88. in the room was the
    example of Jesus Christ
  89. and His fervency and dependence
  90. upon the Father in prayer.
  91. If you would just read through
  92. the book of Luke
  93. and highlight the prayer life of Christ
  94. in the book of Luke
  95. and look at the dependence
  96. of the Son upon the Father.
  97. As I listened to brother Mike
  98. preach on the sovereignty of God,
  99. that He controls all things,
  100. and if we don't let that go
  101. to the fatalistic mindset,
  102. which we should not,
  103. what impressed my heart last night
  104. was if He is really in control
  105. of all things,
  106. determining the end from the beginning,
  107. how can it not manifest itself in my life
  108. in devotion to prayer
  109. and dependence upon the One
  110. Who holds the universe in His hand?
  111. You say, well, how are you going to tie
  112. Brother Tim's sermon in from Hebrews 11?
  113. With Rahab?
  114. How'd you get to prayer from there?
  115. And I thought, I'm not going to try
  116. to make a way to prayer from there.
  117. It was so clear
  118. that it was a leading to prayer for me.
  119. Because one of the
    reasons that we struggle
  120. in coming to the Lord
  121. and approaching the Lord in prayer
  122. is because we look at ourselves,
  123. our scarlet letters,
  124. our Rahabs upon all of us,
  125. and we say, He doesn't want to listen
  126. to someone like me.
  127. I'm not worthy to come to the throne.
  128. But Brother Tim reminded us last night
  129. that because of the blood of Jesus Christ,
  130. I'm counted worthy.
  131. I can boldly come to the throne,
  132. not on my own righteousness,
  133. but on the righteousness of Another,
  134. and He delights in the
    prayers of the upright.
  135. Brothers and sisters,
  136. what I need -
  137. what we all need,
  138. what New England needs -
  139. is God.
  140. We need churches.
  141. We need faithful pastors and preachers.
  142. We need evangelists.
  143. We need faithful brothers and sisters
  144. living upright and godly lives.
  145. But in all of those,
  146. they're all dependent upon God.
  147. You can have a church
  148. that has right theology,
  149. but it's not lived itself out
  150. demonstrated through a
    dependence upon God
  151. and steadfast prayer.
  152. So I want to begin and just pray
  153. because we so need it.
  154. I so need it.
  155. And ask the Lord to do a work
  156. in my heart first.
  157. And if that's selfish,
  158. I'm going to be ok being selfish.
  159. And I'll pray for you as well.
  160. Father, we come in
    the name of Jesus Christ.
  161. God, we come, not minimizing our sin;
  162. not continuing in it that grace may abound
  163. but acknowledging it
    and confessing it, God.
  164. Believing that You have counted us worthy
  165. in Your Son Jesus.
  166. And in Him, we boldly come.
  167. God, we come because we need.
  168. We have so much need
  169. and we come because we don't realize
  170. how much need we have
  171. and we need to see that.
  172. I need to see that, Lord.
  173. God, would You show me things
  174. that I am leaning on instead of You?
  175. Would You show me things
  176. that we are trusting in
  177. instead of You?
  178. Would You show us Your willingness;
  179. would You show us Your desire
  180. for us to come, Lord?
  181. Draw us, God.
  182. As we draw near to You,
  183. draw near to us, God.
  184. Open up Your Word to us.
  185. And guard me, Father.
  186. But let this Word go into my own
  187. heart and soul this morning, God;
  188. into the hearts and souls
  189. of Your people here, God;
  190. that Your name would be great here.
  191. In the name of Jesus,
  192. Amen.
  193. Please open your Bibles
  194. to the book of Colossians 4.
  195. We'll just be looking at
    one verse this morning.
  196. Colossians 4.2
  197. "Continue steadfastly in prayer,
  198. being watchful in it,
  199. with thanksgiving."
  200. The New American Standard renders it,
  201. "Devote yourselves to prayer,
  202. keeping alert in it,
  203. with an attitude of thanksgiving."
  204. Paul here exhorting the church
  205. at Colossae.
  206. Living lives consistent
  207. with the revelation of who Jesus Christ is
  208. from chapter 1.
  209. He's exhorting them to live consistent
  210. in light of all that he has taught them
  211. in chapter 1.
  212. A Gospel-consistent life.
  213. And he calls them here to
  214. continue steadfastly in prayer,
  215. to devote themselves to prayer.
  216. To be courageously persistent in prayer.
  217. Holding fast to and not letting go of God
  218. in prayer.
  219. Enduring in prayer.
  220. Not fainting away.
  221. Let's first remember
  222. that this is a command.
  223. An imperative through Paul from God
  224. in Scripture.
  225. And what it teaches us right away
  226. is that God does not want us
  227. to give up in prayer.
  228. God does not want us to quit in prayer,
  229. but rather to persevere
  230. and be devoted to Him in prayer.
  231. Brothers and sisters,
  232. God knows our need for Him.
  233. No one knows your need for God
  234. better than God does.
  235. God knows our great need for Him.
  236. And so what does He do?
  237. He commands you to come.
  238. Do you see the grace and love
  239. of a God Who knows our greatest need
  240. and then commands us
  241. in regards to that great need?
  242. And it's not a command
    to just come and pray,
  243. it's a command to come and commune.
  244. To be with Him.
  245. The work of redemption on the cross
  246. was not an end.
  247. It was a means
  248. to bring us to Him
  249. in relation,
  250. to commune with Him
  251. and never to leave.
  252. To be with Him eternally.
  253. And we all know that for the true believer
  254. the commandments of God
  255. are not burdensome.
  256. They're a delight.
  257. They're a delight.
  258. But you know what can make
  259. the command of prayer burdensome?
  260. Pride.
  261. Pride makes the commandment of prayer
  262. burdensome.
  263. Listen, there's discipline in prayer.
  264. You must prioritize your life for prayer.
  265. But prayer becomes burdensome
  266. in a negative way
  267. because of pride.
  268. Because we fail to see our need
  269. and our weakness.
  270. This command from God to continue
  271. in prayer -
  272. Him knowing our greatest need -
  273. is like a man turning to a starving man
  274. and saying this:
  275. "I command you to come eat.
  276. And I will provide a
    buffet for you to feast."
  277. Now I want to ask you,
  278. is that a burdensome command
  279. to a starving person?
  280. Come and eat
  281. at the table
  282. and feast on My Son Jesus Christ.
  283. That's not a burdensome prayer.
  284. That is a gracious and loving command
  285. of our God,
  286. unless we don't realize that we're hungry.
  287. "I'm full. I'm not hungry right now, Lord.
  288. And You want me to come eat?
  289. I'm not hungry.
  290. I don't need to eat right now.
  291. I'll eat later on."
  292. It's burdensome if we don't see
  293. and acknowledge our need.
  294. Brothers and sisters,
  295. everyone in this room
    is dependent upon God
  296. and in great need at this very moment,
  297. whether we realize it,
  298. whether we feel it or not.
  299. Everyone here is completely,
  300. wholly, utterly, totally dependent
  301. upon God.
  302. Fourteen years ago,
  303. without much understanding;
  304. without much experience,
  305. I was totally dependent upon God
  306. and what God convicted me of last night
  307. is fourteen years later,
  308. I am in the same place
  309. of utter and total dependecy
  310. and the need for God,
  311. but I've allowed knowledge and experience
  312. to be something I feel like I can lean on,
  313. and that's foolishness,
  314. and it just reveals,
  315. I really don't have that much knowledge.
  316. A true knowledge of God should make us
  317. even more dependent upon Him
  318. as we grow in the revelation of Who He is,
  319. what He has done,
  320. and who I am in Jesus Christ,
  321. it should draw me to greater prayer
  322. and greater dependence;
  323. not the ability to stand
  324. because I'm a strong man now.
  325. Paul boasted in his weakness.
  326. He was proud of it
  327. because he knew that in his weakness
  328. he was strong.
  329. We need preachers.
  330. We need evangelists.
  331. We need churches.
  332. We need faithful church people.
  333. But we need God.
  334. You know what your
    prayer life truly reveals?
  335. Your pride life.
  336. Our prayer lives, brothers and sisters,
  337. are a direct reflection of one thing:
  338. our pride.
  339. I repented last night of pride.
  340. Pride in understanding;
  341. pride in experience.
  342. Here's how gracious our God is:
  343. When we don't understand
  344. the depth of understanding of our need
  345. and dependence upon Him,
  346. or when we forget it
  347. and begin to place that in other things;
  348. here's how gracious and
    loving this God is:
  349. He teaches you and He reminds you
  350. of your need for Him.
  351. How?
  352. Through trials,
    tribulation, and suffering.
  353. We talked about the sovereignty of God
  354. last night.
  355. The hidden things belonging to Him.
  356. But one thing that we can
    learn from Scripture,
  357. is that God is sovereign over
  358. our trials, tribulations, and suffering.
  359. And they are meant for our good.
  360. They are meant to teach
    us our need for God;
  361. our dependence upon God,
  362. and the willingness of God.
  363. If He is sovereign over my life,
  364. and He is bringing into my life
  365. these things,
  366. it has a purpose:
  367. to draw me back to weakness
  368. and dependence upon Him.
  369. I often feel very overwhelmed.
  370. The Lord has found it fit to save
  371. many people in Dallas.
  372. He has found it fit to draw
  373. many people to our assembly.
  374. And I look at what He's doing
  375. and I come to Him in a place
  376. of [being] overwhelmed,
  377. and I say, Lord, what are You doing?
  378. This is overwhelming, God.
  379. I'm not equipped for this, God.
  380. And last night, it was as though
  381. I had the understanding again:
  382. "Don't you know?
  383. I'm teaching you your weakness now?
  384. I'm showing you how dependent
  385. you must be upon Me."
  386. Can I encourage all of us in our trials,
  387. tribulations and sufferings
  388. come into our lives,
  389. that our first prayer
  390. wouldn't be for deliverance from them.
  391. That our first prayer would be
  392. that we would learn our need for Him;
  393. our weakness outside of Him,
  394. and that we would learn in this
  395. to be more devoted to Him in prayer.
  396. As the brother said the other day,
  397. many times we're praying for God
  398. to conform us to the
    image of Jesus Christ.
  399. And He does that work.
  400. Then, we pray for deliverance
    from His conformity.
  401. Pray that we would remember and know
  402. His power is made perfect in weakness.
  403. Pray that at the revelation
    of our weakness
  404. and our need for Him
  405. that we don't try to pretend we're strong.
  406. But because of the Gospel,
  407. we acknowledge our weakness.
  408. Not that we can continue in any sin,
  409. but acknowledge our weakness
  410. and come to Him in prayer.
  411. God doesn't need strong people.
  412. God's not going to bring strong people
  413. into New England.
  414. God is going to bring people
  415. who recognize their weakness
  416. upon a very strong, mighty, and holy God
  417. and who are devoted to Him in prayer.
  418. And through those people,
  419. He will work.
  420. Because He gets the glory.
  421. So I asked myself last night
  422. and I'll ask you:
  423. Do you want revival in your own heart?
  424. Do you want revival in the church
  425. that you're in right now?
  426. Do you want revival in this whole
  427. New England area?
  428. Are you given to prayer?
  429. Are we given to prayer then?
  430. Are we continuing in it?
  431. Are we being steadfast in it?
  432. Are we devoted to it?
  433. Because there's an inconsistency to say,
  434. God, we want You to come,
  435. but not being revealed in our consistency
  436. in prayer.
  437. We were talking the other day.
  438. We need to plant.
  439. And we need to strategize.
  440. Those are good things.
  441. You can read through Scripture.
  442. Paul says, I made plans to come to you.
  443. He plans things out.
  444. That's good.
  445. Planning and strategy is good.
  446. But I can tell you this,
  447. planning without prayer
    amounts to nothing.
  448. It is just the plans of men then.
  449. So does God really want us
  450. to continue in prayer?
  451. It seems some of us have been praying,
  452. but we're beginning to lose heart
  453. because we're not seeing God move yet.
  454. So I began to ask,
  455. does God really want us
    to continue in prayer?
  456. Does He really want us to
    be devoted to prayer?
  457. And when you begin to lose heart in prayer
  458. what do you do?
  459. Oh, God forbid that we would stop praying.
  460. When you are praying and praying
  461. and being devoted to it
  462. and you begin to lose heart in prayer,
  463. I hope you turn to the Scriptures
  464. and preach to your own soul.
  465. I hope you look at
    commands in Colossians 4:2
  466. where God through Paul
  467. commands you to continue steadfastly
  468. in prayer.
  469. But I want to give you two other texts
  470. to preach to your soul
  471. when you begin to lose heart.
  472. So turn if you will to Luke 11.
  473. Luke 11.
  474. As you're turning there, I'll remind you
  475. at the beginning of Luke 11
  476. is when the disciples are with Jesus
  477. and they are seeing Him pray.
  478. And they turn to Him and they say,
  479. Lord, teach us to pray.
  480. Teach us how to pray, Lord.
  481. And you know at the
    beginning of chapter 11
  482. He leads them through
    the Lord's prayer there.
  483. But we're going to pick up in verse 5
  484. at the second thing the Lord teaches them
  485. about prayer.
  486. Look at v. 5 with me.
  487. "And He said to them,
  488. which of you who has a friend
  489. will go to him at midnight and say to him,
  490. 'friend, lend me three loaves
  491. for a friend of mine has arrived
  492. on a long journey,
  493. and I have nothing to set before him.'
  494. And he will answer from within..."
  495. This friend didn't even open the door.
  496. Lend me three loaves.
  497. Wouldn't even open the door.
  498. Talking through the door right now.
  499. "... and he answers from within,
  500. 'Do not bother me.
  501. The door is now shut and my children
  502. are with me in bed.
  503. I cannot get up and give you anything.'"
  504. V. 8, "Jesus says, 'but I tell you,
  505. though he will not get up
  506. and give anything
    because he is his friend,
  507. yet because of his impudence
  508. he will rise and give him
    whatever he needs."
  509. Because of his shamelessness...
  510. Because of his nerve...
  511. this other friend who was knocking
  512. had the nerve to knock at midnight
  513. and keep knocking.
  514. And the friend didn't get up
  515. and answer the door
  516. because they had a good relationship;
  517. because their friendship was so strong;
  518. because he had so much affection
  519. for this other person,
  520. but because of the boldness
  521. and the nerve that this person would have
  522. to sit there and continue to knock.
  523. This so-called friend will finally say,
  524. fine, here's what you need.
  525. Take it.
  526. And then Jesus applies it here in v. 9.
  527. "I tell you,
  528. ask and it will be given to you.
  529. Seek and you will find.
  530. Knock and it will be opened to you.
  531. For everyone who asks receives,
  532. and the one who seeks finds,
  533. and to the one who knocks,
  534. it will be opened.
  535. What father among you
  536. if his son asks for a fish
  537. will instead of a fish
  538. give him a serpent?
  539. Or if he asks for an egg
  540. will give him a scorpion?
  541. If you then, who are evil,
  542. know how to give good gifts
  543. to your children,
  544. how much more will the heavenly Father
  545. give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."
  546. If a bad friend, because of the nerve
  547. of the other friend,
  548. and their continual knocking -
  549. the boldness of that person -
  550. will finally give in
  551. and give them what they need,
  552. how much more
  553. will the loving heavenly Father
  554. Who demonstrated His love
  555. through the crucifixion of His Son,
  556. Who's commanding us to remain in prayer -
  557. how much more will He give
  558. to those who ask.
  559. It's not an issue of ability.
  560. It's not an issue of His willingness.
  561. It is an issue of
    continual, steadfast prayer.
  562. Turn to the right 7 chapters to Luke 18.
  563. Is God really willing?
  564. Does God really desire for us
  565. to continue in prayer?
  566. Does God really want us to seek Him?
  567. Are you losing heart
  568. leading to quitting in prayer?
  569. Then we need to preach texts
  570. like Luke 18:1-8 to our soul.
  571. "And He told them a parable to the effect
  572. that they ought always to pray
  573. and not lose heart."
  574. You see, Jesus knows that we will pray
  575. and we will not hear when or what we want
  576. and we will begin to lose heart,
  577. so He says I'm going to address that
  578. because I know that's going to happen,
  579. and I want you to pray
  580. and not lose heart.
  581. I want you to pray
  582. and not stop.
  583. I want you to continue in prayer.
  584. So I'm going to remind you of this.
  585. And He says to them in v. 2,
  586. "In a certain city, there was a judge
  587. who neither feared God nor respected man.
  588. And there was a widow in that city
  589. who kept coming to him,
  590. and saying, 'give me justice
  591. against my adversary.'
  592. For awhile he refused.
  593. But afterwards he said to himself,
  594. 'though I neither fear God,
  595. nor respect man,
  596. yet because this widow keeps bothering me,
  597. I will give her justice
  598. so that she will not beat me down
  599. with her continual coming.'
  600. And the Lord said,
  601. 'Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
  602. and will not God give justice
  603. to His elect who cry to Him day and night?
  604. Will He delay long over them?
  605. I tell you, He will give justice to them
  606. speedily.
  607. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
  608. will He find faith on the earth?'"
  609. Do you see the comparison He makes?
  610. A judge who does not fear God;
  611. who does not respect man,
  612. yet why?
  613. Because this woman will continually come
  614. and continually ask
  615. and will not leave him alone,
  616. and she keeps bothering him,
  617. this evil man will reluctantly,
  618. finally just say, "here,
  619. take what you've been asking for.
  620. Just leave me alone."
  621. Then how much more
  622. this God Who chose you
  623. and set you apart
  624. at the cost of His own Son
  625. and adopted you,
  626. and commands you to come
  627. and petition and don't give up.
  628. If the evil judge will give in to this,
  629. how much more will the sovereign King
  630. Who loves you and has adopted you
  631. give you what you ask?
  632. Does He want us to come?
  633. That's exactly what He wants us to do.
  634. And He wants us to continue.
  635. The last line of that is very important
  636. because He says,
  637. "Will He find faith on the earth?"
  638. What does that teach us?
  639. The issue of continuing in prayer
  640. is a lack of faith in God.
  641. He's not going to answer...
  642. I prayed for two years.
  643. He hasn't answered yet.
  644. You say, well, it says
    He'll come speedily.
  645. Well, the secret things
    belong to the Lord.
  646. Speedily is different for you
  647. than it is for Him.
  648. Part of faith is trusting in His timing.
  649. If you're going to say,
  650. I'll pray and remain steadfast
  651. as long as You work on my timetable,
  652. you've just put yourself
    in a position of sovereignty.
  653. Brothers and sisters,
  654. we need to preach these verses to our soul
  655. when we find our hearts
  656. beginning to become weary.
  657. Quickly now, just the last two parts
  658. of Colossians 4.
  659. Not only are we to
    remain steadfast in prayer
  660. and be devoted to it,
  661. but he says we are to keep alert
  662. and be watchful in our prayer.
  663. It literally has the
    idea of staying awake.
  664. And Brother Mack just led us through
  665. the Garden of Gethsemane yesterday.
  666. And when our model Jesus Christ
  667. is petitioning the Father and continuing
  668. steadfastly in devotion to prayer
  669. which was His style of life,
  670. the disciples were on the side asleep.
  671. Not alert.
  672. Not keeping watch.
  673. Jesus actually says to them,
  674. "Keep watch that you might
    not fall into temptation."
  675. And they fall asleep.
  676. And Jesus said I know
  677. that the spirit is willing,
    but the flesh is weak.
  678. And so in this command from Paul,
  679. we are called not only
    to continue steadfastly
  680. in prayer, but to keep alert
  681. and be watchful in it.
  682. So what does that mean?
  683. As you begin to try to apply:
  684. continue steadfastly in prayer,
  685. there's a temptation at some point
  686. to say, "Well, I'll just sit here
  687. and do this command
  688. and then God will answer it."
  689. And we can begin to do that
  690. without an awareness of mind
  691. of even what we are praying.
  692. And we need to have our minds
  693. alert and focused and be praying
  694. for specific things.
  695. Our minds need to be
    engaged in this prayer.
  696. It is not just filling up
    this quota of prayer.
  697. That if I hit this certain number,
  698. then I'll manipulate God
    to move in some way.
  699. It is a continuing in prayer,
  700. but it is a watchful prayer.
  701. It is an awareness prayer of the mind.
  702. It is specific prayers to be prayed.
  703. God's not impressed with
    how long you can pray.
  704. It is the awareness of
    how much we need Him
  705. that we pray with our minds.
  706. That's where our doctrine
    and theology comes in -
  707. Teaching us His sovereignty,
  708. our weakness and our great need.
  709. Then He says at the end here,
  710. with thanksgiving -
  711. or with an attitude of thanksgiving.
  712. Continuing steadfastly in prayer,
  713. being devoted to prayer,
  714. being watchful in it,
  715. keeping alert in it,
  716. but with an attitude of thanksgiving.
  717. And I loved it so much
  718. that when Brother Tim prayed,
  719. he said nearly that very thing.
  720. We are here asking God to come,
  721. asking God to move
  722. in our hearts,
  723. in our churches,
  724. in this area -
  725. but we still have so
    much to give thanks for
  726. that He has redeemed a wretch like me.
  727. There is so much He has done
  728. that as we are continuing steadfastly
  729. in prayer and petitioning the Father,
  730. continuing in it,
  731. not letting Him go,
  732. we also need to keep in mind
  733. all that He has done
  734. and be giving Him thanks.
  735. Hearts of thanksgiving.
  736. I was reminded last night of John 15:5.
  737. The vine and the branches.
  738. And v. 5 says this,
  739. "Without Me you can do nothing."
  740. And what convicted me last night was this:
  741. I thought with knowledge and experience
  742. I could actually do something without Him.
  743. And as much as you grow
  744. in knowledge and experience
  745. and maturity in Christ,
  746. that verse will never change.
  747. Without Him you can do nothing.
  748. So as I sat last night,
  749. I said how much do I really believe
  750. that verse?
  751. "Without Him I can do nothing."
  752. And here's the answer:
  753. I believe it to the degree
  754. that I continue steadfastly in prayer.
  755. That's how much I believe it.
  756. To the degree that I'm continuing
  757. steadfastly in prayer,
  758. I believe that verse.
  759. And when I stop or I grow weary,
  760. I stop believing that.
  761. Brothers and sisters,
  762. I can't tell you when God's going to come
  763. and pour out His Spirit in your heart
  764. or over New England.
  765. Those are the secret things
  766. that Brother Mike was speaking about.
  767. I can't tell you when
    He is going to do that,
  768. but I can tell you this,
  769. it will not be apart from steadfast
  770. devotion to prayer.
  771. It will not be apart
  772. from steadfast devotion to prayer.
  773. And I'll encourage you in this:
  774. When the Lord does answer that prayer,
  775. don't stop praying.
  776. When the Lord brings a man into your city,
  777. proclaims the Gospel,
  778. people start getting saved,
  779. a church is established by God,
  780. there is healthy life and fellowship
  781. with Jesus Christ at the center;
  782. you're beginning to see lives transformed;
  783. do not stop praying.
  784. It is then that we need to pray even more.
  785. Let me finish with Isaiah 62.6-7.
  786. "On your walls, O Jerusalem,
  787. I have set watchmen.
  788. All the day and all the night,
  789. they shall never be silent.
  790. You who put the Lord in remembrance,
  791. take no rest,
  792. and give Him no rest
  793. until He establishes Jerusalem
  794. and makes it a praise in the earth."
  795. Brothers and sisters,
  796. give the Lord no rest.
  797. He commands you to give Him no rest
  798. until His name is praised in the lands.
  799. So I pray that that was encouraging
  800. yet convicting.
  801. But I truly believe it was
    for my own soul.
  802. And by God's grace, I left 15 minutes.
  803. So here's what I'd like
    to do if it's alright.
  804. I'd like to just pray.
  805. I think the greatest thing you can do
  806. when you hear a sermon
  807. that convicts or encourages
  808. is as fast as you can,
  809. begin to implement that in your life.
  810. And so, if I can just pray,
  811. and you guys can pray with me
  812. and just in the next five minutes or so,
  813. praying about these things to the Lord.
  814. For your own heart
  815. and for this land.
  816. So if you'll bow with me.
  817. Father, in the name of Jesus,
  818. Lord, I confess even this morning,
  819. even a difference from last night.
  820. Last night, I seemed so aware
  821. of my weakness, God.
  822. So aware of my need for You, Lord Jesus.
  823. And even today I sense
  824. that that is beginning to wane, Lord.
  825. Lord, I know that I am just as needy
  826. last night as I am today, Lord,
  827. but I struggle to see it so often, God.
  828. God, we need You to see these things.
  829. We are asking now
  830. in each of the hearts of people
  831. represented here,
  832. and churches represented here, God,
  833. that You would help us to see, Lord,
  834. these things.
  835. See our great need, Lord;
  836. see Your willingness, God;
  837. see that You've made the way for us
  838. to be able to come through Jesus Christ.
  839. That we come, God, not on our own merit;
  840. not on our own righteousness.
  841. On the righteousness of Christ, we come.
  842. God, as we approach Your Word
  843. and we grow in doctrine and theology, God,
  844. let it lead to a greater revelation
  845. of weakness and dependence.
  846. Let it lead to a greater revelation
  847. of You and Your willingness, God.
  848. God, when we grow faint of heart,
  849. let us remember these petitions
  850. You've put before us;
  851. You're calling us and commanding us, God,
  852. to be persistent;
  853. to have the nerve to come
  854. to the King of the Universe.
  855. And to stay there, God.
  856. To remain there.
  857. To be devoted there.
  858. God, thank You,
  859. for Your loving chastening hand
  860. when we forget these things,
  861. to draw us back;
  862. to teach us.
  863. We want Your glory, God.
  864. We need You, Father.
  865. And so as I ask with
    my brothers and sisters
  866. that You come, Lord.
  867. I pray that it wouldn't
    be just here and now
  868. in this moment,
  869. but that You would keep us in a weak place
  870. where we are constantly
  871. and continually reaching for You
  872. in utter dependence
  873. manifested in devotion to prayer.
  874. Thank You for Your patience, Lord.
  875. Thank You for Your
    grace and kindness to us.
  876. Help us.
  877. In the name of Jesus our Savior,
  878. Amen.