Pray To God Who Listens – Psalm 4

When you pray, have you ever felt that your words were not getting any further than the top of your head? Or the ceiling of the room you are in? That they maybe drifting off into space and not connecting with their destination? Then Psalm 4 is a great encouragement as we are told we pray to God who listens.

Certainly the first thing that comes through in this psalm is the confidence David has in his relationship with God.  David at this moment does not doubt that God is listening and will answer his prayer.

Do you pray to God with the expectation of being answered, trusting in the fact that God has done so before and will continue to do so in the present and on into the future. Part of praying to God who listens is that we do so confident that he will not change and suddenly stop answering when He has done so, so many times before.

God answers not because of what we have done, or will do, but because He is righteous and faithful.

Psalm 4:1 “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”

During the middle of the Psalm David points to the great assurances of God’s presence and love for His children while also commenting on an unbelieving and disobedient world around him. We can learn many things from this, not least of all that we need to seek God daily, share the great hope that is only found in Him and pray for those who do not know Him, or refuse to acknowledge Him. Too often we do not rely upon God as we should and David reminds us where our Hope and Joy truly come from.

This all leads us to the conclusion of the Psalm that confidentially proclaims that our protection and rest comes from the Lord who listens to and answers our prayers.

Psalm 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Allow this great truth sink in and meditate upon it in silence as you not only pray to God who listens, but listen as He will speak to your heart and situation.



Facing Crises In Life With Prayer – 2 Kings 20:1-11

In this Old Testament passage King Hezekiah of Judah experienced a major health crisis.  Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he would not recover from his illness.  Isaiah had been sent by God to communicate this devastating news to the king, a relatively young man of thirty-nine years of age.

This news shook King Hezekiah.  He had been a devout, righteous King and served God faithfully on the throne for fourteen years before experiencing this crisis.

What did King Hezekiah do?  He prayed!  He prayed,

“Remember, O Lord how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes” (vs.3)

God answered his prayer and gave him fifteen more years of life. Isaiah told the king,

“This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says:  I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.  I will add fifteen years to your life.” (vs.5-6)

We learn some important lessons about praying in crises from King Hezekiah. First, King Hezekiah had developed the habit of praying so when he heard the disturbing news about his impending death, his first reaction was to pray.  Second, King Hezekiah prayed fervently, with great passion!  Third, remember that our heartfelt prayers can affect God’s actions.  The fact is, God can change his mind! Finally, God can use people to communicate the answer to our prayers.

 Be open to hearing from God through the voice of one of his servants.  Let us take these lessons of prayer to heart in dealing with our own crises in life!


Mexico Mission Video 2016

Here is this year’s Mexico mission video
 

Mexico Mission 2016 from Richard Evans on Vimeo

.


Prayer Video

Here is the video we showed in church on June 19 as part of our prayer sermon series
 

 


Deeply Directed Prayer – Jonah 2

Jonah’s prayer in chapter 2 is often overlooked as we concentrate on the narrative of this prophet of The Lord. We remember Jonah running away from his mission. His near death experience, being swallowed by a “Big Fish” and the eventual rescue of the people of Nineveh by the message God had Jonah proclaim.
But as we continue in our prayer series the prayer of Jonah as recorded in chapter 2 offers some great insights for our prayer lives today and what they should include.
 
1) Rehearsal of God’s Character
Having been rescued from drowning, Jonah realized his need to praise God for who He is and what He has done. How God had remained faithful to the unfaithful prophet, pursuing him and giving him yet another chance. Showing mercy and grace despite Jonah’s disobedience.
 
How have you seen this in your own life? Take a moment to record God’s action towards you at that time.
2) Taking a time of Reflection.
Jonah had no choice but to spend time reflecting on his life and what had happened as he lived through an imposed retreat, supernaturally protected in the belly of a big fish. Prayer can serve this purpose without the need to be in the depth of the sea, but often it is in the amidst the depth of our “drowning’
Take a moment today to pray for the rescue you need, but also the rescue of others around you.
 
3) Restoration to the commission God has given you.
 
Just as Jonah is vomited onto dry land in just the place God wanted and needed him to be to continue the commission he had been given, time spent in prayer can and will redirect our lives to the plan and purpose of God.
What has God called you to do that you need to be redirected to? Seek Him in prayer today and be realigned to His will for your life.


How To Pray For Other’s Spiritual Growth – Ephesians 1:15-23

Do you ever get tired of praying for a particular need or request?  Perhaps you’ve been praying that your spouse would attend church with you and you have been praying for years!  Or, you’ve prayed for Uncle Bob or your best friend to become a Christian.  Your faithful prayers have been answered only with silence from God.

The Apostle Paul persevered in his prayers for the Ephesian church.   He wrote to them,

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better”. (vs.16-17)

God wants us to keep praying!  

Keep praying

for those needs that God puts on your heart!

When you pray for other people’s spiritual growth, pray that they would gain a full and complete knowledge of Christ.  Paul writes at the end of vs.17

“that you may know him better”.  

The word for “know” in the original text is not the usual Greek word for “know”.  The word Paul uses in vs.17 means “exact or full knowledge”.  It’s knowledge on steroids!

Pray also for knowledge of hope and riches in Christ.  Many people today feel discouraged and hopeless.  The Lord calls us to be different!  Our lives should be characterized by hope for we have a blessed hope in Jesus Christ and the inheritance waiting for us in heaven.  As you pray for other’s spiritual growth pray that they would come to experience a real hope in Christ!

Finally, in praying for other’s spiritual growth, pray that they would experience the incomparably great power from Christ.  See vs.19.  This power from Christ can help us love our enemies, stand up for our faith in hostile environments and be a beacon of light in a dark world.

As you pray for other people’s spiritual growth,

keep praying

!  Keep praying for knowledge of Christ, hope and riches in Christ and the incomparably great power from Christ.