Faith, Still Small Voice, Asking, Praying together, Intercession
Hebrews 11: 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
· Faith is always the starting place in any interaction with God. Faith is an all encompassing word that means surrender. I trust God with everything, the good and the bad. No hiding.
· Faith is not an issue of quantity but quality
Matthew 17:14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
· There is a nuance in our life of faith that is connected to prayer. Small faith is still a greater power than what is in the world.
· But that power is not at our discretion.
Still Small Voice, Quietness
1 Kings 19:11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
· God can speak loudly to us at times, but His general disposition is a quiet voice that we have to intentionally create the environment to listen to. Go into a quiet place and shut the door.
Isaiah 30:15 God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— (quietness and rest)
Have not because you ask not
James 4:4 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
· Consistent with Faith. It’s not about our control. Motives are always in question when direction in our life is coming from us and not God. We ask for what seems to work for us not what is wholly surrendered to Christ. Lifelong battle. We are in this together with God. He forgives and leads.
Matthew 18:19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
· Jesus says an incredibly bold statement about the prayer of agreement. This again is not about flippant prayer but about the needs of those around us and God’s will being accomplished.
Matthew 18:18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” (msg)
· It is about unity of purpose and mind.
2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
2 Corinthians 1:11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Acts 1:14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
WEEK OF PRAYER JANUARY 12-18. WED, THURS, SAT 7 P.M.
Fasting Wednesday’s January 15th, 22nd, 29th