Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer

Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer

Scripture: Luke 11:9-10, Luke 2:25-32, John 16:5-7
Date: 05/16/2015  Lesson: 7
"Fully divine, equal with the Father and the Spirit, Jesus in His humanity left us an example in regard to prayer. If Jesus saw the need for prayer, how much more must we need it?"

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White
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Good morning friends and welcome, again, to Sabbath School Study Hour. A very special welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world watching on the various television networks and also streaming on the internet, thank you for being a part of our study time together. Also, a very warm welcome to the members here of the Granite Bay adventist church. Thank you so much for joining us. We pray that the Lord will bless our time together as we study the word.

Now, as we've done in the past, at the beginning of our Sabbath school study hour, from time to time we like to give you a little update of some exciting mission activity that our members or Amazing Facts have been involved in. And so, this morning, I would like to invite alberto chavez to come forward and he's going to be sharing with us about an exciting mission project - not over in africa or india, but actually something that happened right here within our borders. Alberto, now you weren't over, as I mentioned, overseas in some distant land, but you were doing a mission project right here. Good morning everyone, we were actually in san antonio, Texas at the alamodome. San antonio, Texas - you weren't alone.

I understand there were some others from the church that went along with you. Absolutely. I was pleasantly surprised to see four more people from our church family members and they were John freed, daryl proctor, and two more young adults. That's right. And you were involved in a number of outreach activities for the community there in the san antonio area.

Matter of fact, I think we have a picture up on the screen. This is the san antonio dome and you can see people lining up. I understand that the people were pretty committed to getting inside the building because of what was about to happen for them inside the building - even in weather, I understand. Absolutely. It was an overwhelming response.

The outreach that the churches did there before we arrived was tremendous so we saw, actually, 6,192 people. Okay. They were lining up, as you can see here, the day before treatment. So, needless to say, when we got there, they were ready for us to start working. Alright, so what would the people expect to see inside the dome? We have a picture over here and this is somebody getting work done on their teeth.

Yes, there were various fields and one of them being dental. There were extractions, fillings, cleanings, root canals, crowns - I mean, it was just tremendous outreach for these people. In the medical area there were - eye care, physical therapy, lab work, ob-gyn, and there were also some surgeries that were done there. I understand there were surgeries that took place right there in the alamodome and there were some surgeries that happened at a nearby hospital. Yes, there were.

There were actually 1,700 volunteers. I mean, not only from the u.s., But I hear there were some people coming in even from australia and england. So it was a very, very good turnout. Over here on the next picture, you can see some of the folks getting eye exams and, as mentioned, there were volunteers from all over the country. I understand this effort made a big impact upon the city of san antonio.

I think it was the mayor that actually spoke and showed her appreciation for what the adventist church was doing there. Yes, it was totally God's leading that, towards the end of the - putting things together - they said, 'well, where are we going to have this?' I mean, we're going to have 1,700 volunteers and we want to see this amount of people. There's not any location here other than the alamodome and it was actually facilitated to our ministry to be able to help these people out. Now, how many people did you get to see - not just you personally but, I mean, the whole group get to see over the three days or four days that they were doing this? Yeah, 6,192 and the goal was to reach 6,000 and we surpassed that by 192. And how much did the people have to pay for all of this medical care that they received? Absolutely nothing.

The people there were very, very appreciative. They were just crying. They were being very thankful that someone was able to provide this work for them. I know you had some wonderful opportunities to kind of encourage people and even pray with some of the patients that you saw. Yeah, it was a totally blessing.

I was able to pray with each patient I treated. And one thing stands out: at the end, there was one lady that said just, 'you know, I've been praying to God for help to take care of my dental and medical needs.' And I said, 'well, guess what? Your prayer has been answered because this event took care of your needs.' And so I encouraged her to continue to pray to God. Amen. So many lives were touched, not only taking care of their physical needs, but also encouraging them to direct their attention to God for their spiritual needs as well. Now, our final picture that we have here is a young patient with a big smile on his face and he's holding a stuffed animal.

Now, the reason we're mentioning this is because the members of the Granite Bay church had a part in this. Yes, I want to thank you all for participating in this. Every child that had any treatment done there, they all received a stuffed animal and all the adults, on their way out, would receive some kind of literature, including steps to Christ. It was an overwhelming feeling to be among like-minded people. I mean, the brethren that were there, it was just amazing to see that we all share the same vision - is to serve others just as Jesus did.

Thank you for sharing that, alberto. We have a very special guest that - actually, several guests - that are with us this morning. Kelly mower, a good friend of the Amazing Facts ministry. She has partnered with us several times in various live, satellite evangelistic events we've done around the country. She is here, along with her son and some of her friends, and they're going to be bringing us a special musical item this morning, instead of our regular singing that we have.

Thank you so much, jackson, kelly. (Trumpet and piano) well, at this time, we're going to be getting to our study of our Sabbath school quarterly and then we'll be doing that here, just following our prayer, but for those of you who might not have a lesson quarterly, you can download today's study at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. We're on lesson #7 and it's entitled Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and prayer. Well, at this time, I'd like to invite you just to bow your heads as we ask God's blessing upon our time. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you that we're able to gather together on this beautiful Sabbath you gave us, to study Your Word.

Lord, it's always a privilege and an encouragement when we get to read and study about Jesus and his life and the ministry and the works that he did. And so, I pray that the Holy Spirit would come and guide our hearts and our minds once again, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our teacher for our lesson this morning is the afcoe director at Amazing Facts, evangelist chuck holtry. Come on up, chuck. We're glad that you're able to teach for us today.

He is not a stranger to teaching our Sabbath school program, but he has taught before so thank you, chuck, we'll turn the time over to you. Thank you, pastor jëan. Happy Sabbath. Happy Sabbath. Good to see you this morning.

1899 Something was invented, you might guess. Flashlight. They had all kinds of lanterns before that - kerosene lanterns, hurricane lanterns - all kinds of things for giving light, but a flashlight that probably didn't look like this was made - first invented 1899. There's something interesting about flashlights. You have your casing and your reflector and your bulb and everything that's necessary to make it work, but you need two things to make it work.

You need something inside. And this one, currently, has nothing inside. I think - it's correct, yeah, it's empty. There's a missing element and I want to talk about that missing element today. We're looking at Jesus, the holy spirit, and prayer and if I was to rename it, I would call it Jesus' connected life.

What's it mean to be connected? Jesus was connected - connected with the Holy Spirit, connected with The Father via prayer. What does it mean for you and I to be connected? I guess we need something. I just happen to have a few d-cell batteries in my pocket. So here they are. We will hopefully be able to see what happens when connection takes place a little bit later.

Luke chapter 1 and verse 35, "and the angel answered and said unto her, 'the holy ghost shall come upon thee,'" - who is this angel speaking to? Mary - "the holy ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee will be called'" - who? - "'The Son of God.'" You will notice there is a confirmation of who this child is. It is The Son of - he is The Son of who? The living God. Let's look at our next one - verse 41 - John chapter 1 and verse 41, it says, "and it came to pass, that, when elisabeth heard the salutation of mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and elisabeth was filled with" - who? - "The holy ghost:" and then she starts and gives this blessing on mary - again, a confirmation that, in mary is The Son of the most high. So the Holy Spirit is now confirming - confirming specifically who is The Son that is about to be born. Let's look at John chapter 2 - excuse me, Luke chapter 2 - let's stay in Luke - Luke chapter 2 and we'll look at verse 25.

We're kind of off to a quick Bible study as we start off here - Luke chapter 2 and verse 25, "and, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and" - what's that next phrase? - "And the holy ghost was upon him." - And it came - "and it was revealed unto him by the holy ghost (or Holy Spirit), that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.'" - So here's this, again, a confirmation that Jesus is from God. So in these early stages - in Luke chapter 1, Luke chapter 2, the Holy Spirit via mary, via elizabeth, via simeon and then later ana, is confirming that Jesus was The Son of God. That's a confirmation. That's the purpose - the focus - of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' life at this stage.

But it doesn't stop here - Luke chapter 3 - Luke chapter 3 and verse 21, "now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and" - who? - "The holy ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 'thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased." Here, again, is a confirmation - confirmation - confirmation. The Holy Spirit is confirming that Jesus Christ is The Son of God. What a beautiful picture. It's the role we see the holy spirit in Jesus' early stages of ministry. Can only Jesus - could only Jesus have the Holy Spirit? Of course not.

Can we also have the Holy Spirit? Yes. How? How can we have that connection? Because being connected with the Holy Spirit is huge. You and I realize that is the crux of our spiritual life. How can that happen? Luke chapter 11 - Luke chapter - as you're turning there, our lesson focused one day on the Holy Spirit and four days on prayer so we are not doing - unfortunately, I'm not going to be doing justice to this whole study this morning because we're going to be spending a lot more time looking in prayer in the near future. But I want to note this as we - as we finish this section.

Luke chapter 11 and verse 13, "if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give" - who? - "The Holy Spirit to them that" - what? - "Ask him?" It's nothing complicated. No great journey that you must go on. No incredible task that you must fulfill. You want the Holy Spirit in your life? Ask The Father for him. Beautiful picture.

It's so much hope that you and I could have that. You know what I like about the Bible is that it gives a very clear picture - a very simple picture of how you and I could have a connected life. There's something I'd like to - that I would like to add to this and that is humility. And I'm going to tie this in at the end of our lesson, but I'm going to tell you ahead of time and prove it later, if that's okay. Humility is necessity for receiving the Holy Spirit.

Humility is a necessity for receiving the Holy Spirit. Now I'm going to give you an illustration to explain that and then we'll look at a verse later on, as we get towards the end of our lesson. We got rain last night. How many are glad we got rain last night? I was excited. I'm from the east coast and we see rain we typically are not excited.

It just means more floods. But when I saw rain on the upstairs window of our house last night I said, 'yes, let it rain!' It did. What happens when it rains? Where does the rain go? It goes into the ground, right? Could I safely say that rain goes to the lowest place? If there's too much rain and then they have runoff and then it fills up the rivers and it keeps going down til it hits sea level. Rain will go to the lowest place. It is the same way with the Holy Spirit.

You know, the Bible uses water and rain to describe the holy spirit. The Holy Spirit (rain) also goes to the lowest place. Those who are lowest before God - those who are most humble - are the ones most likely to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What a - what a good picture - what's - something for us to see. I'd like to turn to our next day, Monday's lesson, and we look at the prayer life of Jesus.

And I looked at the prayer life of Jesus, but first question - one of the questions that came to mind is 'why did Jesus have to pray?' Why? Why would Jesus have to pray? Because he chose to be our example? The same reason we have to? Yeah? For strength? But, I mean, Jesus was God. Did he - he was man too, that's right. I'm going to step outside of Luke. Is that okay? Just briefly - John chapter 5 - John chapter 5 - he gives us a little bit of an inkling why Jesus had to pray. And I think all your answers are nailing it right on, I'm just going to back that up with a text here.

John chapter 5 and looking at verse 30 - and then we'll look at one more quick place in John 8. So John chapter 5, verse 30. Jesus is speaking. He says some startling words: he said, "I can of mine own self do" - what? - "Nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me." That's one. John chapter 8 - John chapter 8 and verse 28 says this: John :28, "then said Jesus unto them, when ye have lifted up the son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my father hath taught me, I speak these things.

'" Jesus lived a life, while he was here on this planet, the same way you and I live a life - in complete dependence upon God. That necessitates communication. You must be in communication. You must be connected because he was living as you and I live - as a man. He took upon himself humanity so that he could give us an example and we could see the power of God in one's life.

We looked at the role of the Holy Spirit in connecting. Now we're going to be asking a few questions: when to connect, what is involved with connecting, and how to connect. Those are the three areas - when to connect, what is involved with connecting, and how to connect. So we're going to be looking at when to connect first. It happens to be our next day, Monday.

When did Jesus pray? You could probably say 'all the time,' right? But there's some specific times that are listed in the book of Luke that helps make it more clear for us. Let's look at Luke chapter 3 - again, Luke chapter 3. We had already read this but we'll review it for the sake of this one verse. Luke chapter 3 and verse 21, "now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened." - So at his baptism, what was Jesus doing? He was praying. Jesus is about to enter into one of the most important times of his life - he's entering his public ministry and he takes this time to pray - to connect with his father.

In fact, you know what happened? What happens right after the baptism? The temptation, isn't that right? So Jesus is out, he's tempted. What was he doing in the wilderness for 40 days before the temptation reached its fruition? That's right. He was connecting with God. Am I right? He was communicating with God. He was praying.

Why? Because he was about to start out on his life ministry. So, when to pray - for Jesus? When he was starting out on his life ministry. And, of course, we know, again, he's doing it all the time, but this is a specific time. Luke chapter 6 - Luke chapter 6 - gives us another time of when to pray. Luke chapter 6 and verse 12 - and this is one of those verses that - I don't know if any of you have ever tried praying all night before - this is a verse that sticks out in a person's mind when you - when you look at that time.

"And it came to pass in those days," - Luke 6, verse 12 - "that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued" - how long? - "All night in prayer to God." Why the long prayer? Doesn't Jesus know our hearts? Can he hear us? You answer, 'of course, chuck.' So why the long prayer? You know, as my wife and I were discussing that this week and, in our family, we make decisions as a family. My wife gets a 90% vote; I get a 10% vote - not quite, but - she would say the opposite - but we get together and we discuss things and as we're discussing and communicating and connecting with each other, if it's a big topic we take more time to talk about it. Does that make sense? If my wife says, 'hey, what would you like for breakfast?' Simple. It may take 30 seconds. But if it's, 'so where are we going to move to?' That takes more time.

And when you have something that's big that's taking place, there is that time - a longer time - of communication. You see the same thing with Jesus and his father. They're taking more time. They're talking it - they're working it through. I just - I would love to listen to Jesus pray, wouldn't you? You know, I was a colporteur leader for quite a few years and we went to the state of albuquerque we were in alamagordo - the state of albuquerque - the state of new Mexico - thank you.

And we were in alamagordo there in New Mexico and I had a friend of mine, a very gifted leader. He had been involved in literature evangelism for well over a decade and he said, 'chuck, I'd like to go with you today as you're leading and just see how things are going.' I said, 'that's thrilling. I would love to just watch you lead. I want to learn something.' You know what I found out that he did? He spent almost all of his time praying - a lot of time praying - and i, finally, after watching him pray for several hours that day, while I'm sitting there looking at the map and, dare I say, a little bit of twiddling my thumbs, what is he doing?' I asked him, 'what are you praying for?' And I expected to hear things like, 'oh, I'm praying that there's a lot of people who want books. I'm praying that the people at the doors are open and" - that's what I used to pray for.

It's not bad to pray for that, but I was expecting that to be the predominant - here's what he said: 'chuck, I'm praying for the personal lives of my students. I know that this one is struggling right now in their relationship with their parents, so I'm praying that they and their parents are able to connect together. I know this one, right now, is having difficulty with their finances. They're trying to go to school so I'm praying for their schooling situation - that they be able to make it through. As I listened, I knew that because he knew these people and their needs, he was uplifting them before God.

He wasn't praying just for that day, he was praying for them. Now I'd like to imagine Jesus doing that right before he brings on his twelve disciples. Can you imagine? Spending a whole night in prayer? 'God, you know what Peter's going to do. You know what's connected with him. I've got to live with him for the next three years.

' I don't know if it would have sounded just like that, but how - how can I draw him closer to the Kingdom? How can we work together? What about James and John? How are we going to work with thomas? What's going to take place with Judas? Yes, Judas. How's this going to happen?' Can you imagine the prayer between God and his father that night? You notice how I said that? Can you imagine? That would have been something else. So we see Jesus praying before he - if I can say - inaugurates his church. He sets up the twelve disciples. Look at another place where we see when Jesus is connecting and that is - I'm going to skip through a few of them for the sake of time.

I'd like to look at #5 in your lesson - that's found in Luke chapter 22 - probably one of the most incredible prayers that we hear The Son of God making - Luke chapter 22 and verse 39, "and he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of olives; and his disciples followed him." And it says in verse 40, "and when he was at the place, he said unto them, pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, 'father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.'" What a prayer. 'I don't want to do this. My innermost being is fighting against it, but I want to do what you want me to do. Please, help me.

' You know, there are times in my life - and you might say the same thing about your life - that there are things that we don't want to do, yet we sense that God's asking. And the thought of that pain and the hurt that's connected with us makes us, kind of, recoil away and say, 'no God, I'm not ready for that right now.' And the picture we're seeing here is Jesus says, 'you can do it. I did it. I didn't want to, but I loved my father more than anything else and his will was most important to me.' When to pray? When you don't feel like it. When to pray? When life's difficult and you're faced with something you don't want to do.

When to pray? When you're beginning a ministry for God. These are good times to pray. And the final prayer of Jesus that we see recorded in Luke - Luke chapter 23 and verse 46 - Luke chapter 23 and verse 46 - Jesus has been hanging on the cross. It's been six hours - a long time. Verse 46, "and when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, 'father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:' and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

" - Father, unto thy hands I commit my spirit. At the end of our road - whatever our road may be on - at the end of our life, that is it. To say, 'I've lived it. I've given everything I can. Father, take me.

' That final prayer. When to pray? I would say all the time. But these are some specific times that we see Jesus lifting up his heart in prayer. Now how does one have a prayer life that is not forced? Let's face it, maybe some of you don't feel this way, but maybe some of you can connect with what I'm about to say. I used to pray because I knew I should.

I'm supposed to pray. I've got to pray. I'm a Seventh-day Adventist Christian - I better be praying. And yes, I'm a Bible teacher. I have no choice but to pray, so I'm praying.

Okay God, good morning. Okay.' And our life prayer - our prayer life is a little bit forced and, dare I say, a little bit dry. How do you deal with that? Does it have to be like that? Should our prayer life be a forced experience? And, of course, the answer is no. I'm asking a rhetorical question. But how could it not be? I was just reading a book recently and a story of a lady in it, and she's struggling with, you know, 'I see that I need to have a prayer walk.

I need to be connected with God. That makes sense to me, but I just don't have it in me.' And all of a sudden she started getting a picture that was beautiful. When you have faith that your God is your Savior and he loves you to the uttermost, prayer becomes easier. I'm not giving some kind of panacea - pill - take it and everything will be resolved, but when you are realizing truly, by faith, 'God loves me,' it's a whole lot easier to talk to him. You know, recently, I had to go speak to someone at the conference office.

I was a little nervous. I had never met him before and I'm working on a recommendation for something and they said, 'chuck, we want to see you before we give you a recommendation,' which makes a whole lot of sense. I said, 'okay.' So we sat down and for 45 minutes this gentleman talked with me. He talked with me. I felt like I was the only person in his office.

You ever been around a person like that? Like everything was put aside, he came down, he sat down, and he started communicating and said, 'so chuck, tell me a little bit about yourself.' And I started sensing, 'yes, he's wanting to know more about me.' But there's also a willingness to pay attention. I thought, 'wow, I'm willing to talk in a setting like this. I talked for 45 minutes to someone I never knew until Thursday. What about you? Does your Heavenly Father care about you more than some conference administrator? Absolutely. Do you really believe it? And you say, 'well, chuck, I asked for - I'm not sure.

' Well, ask, 'Lord, help my unbelief.' I mean, that's all I can do sometimes, amen? Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Help me to realize, by faith, that you love me and that will change my prayer life.' You know, there's few people I like talking more to than my parents. I know, I wouldn't have said that a few decades ago, but I can honestly say that now. I love talking to them. They're like some of my favorite people to talk to.

And we could talk for hours without trying. I know that they love me completely and I have no problem sharing what I'm thinking. My dad'll tell me, 'I disagree with you.' He does that every now and then. It doesn't change our love relationship at all. And that's the kind of relationship, when I trust that God loves me, the kind of communication I believe will be going on between him and i.

I wrote this down - I'm going to read it because I can't remember it without reading it. "A great prayer life doesn't come by works any more than salvation does. It comes by faith. Only when we have a deep trust in the love of Christ, can prayer be what it's supposed to be." So, a prayer of faith - do we have any examples of prayers of faith? Probably one of the greatest prayers ever given us and that's found in the - we call it the Lord's prayer. Let's look in Luke chapter 11.

We're going to go through it step by step and look at the faith that is connected with it. Luke chapter 11 and we'll start with verse 1. We looked at the Holy Spirit's role in Jesus' life. We looked at when to connect and now we're looking at what's involved with connecting - faith is a key - and we're going to be looking at some other things are connected. Look at verse 1, please: "and it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, 'Lord, teach us to pray,' as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them, 'when ye pray, say, 'our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.''" Beautiful, concise, said so many times - I don't know when you memorized it, but I remember memorizing it as a little child. I could say it by memory and not know anything that I just said. 'Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.' Right? You could probably say it with me, all of you. What - what's there? You know, if you really want to pray this prayer, it only can be prayed by faith.

It's impossible any other way. It starts out with those two words, what? 'Our father.' That first phrase is an acknowledgement of my relationship with God. And, by faith, that first phrase is an acceptance of him as my parent. Soon as I've done that, the rest of the prayer becomes easier. Does that make sense? So I start out with acknowledging - 'I acknowledge that you are my father and I'm accepting that relationship.

' Now, I know that there is - every time that I discuss fathers and parenting, I put this in because I realize there are some people who had really bad parents and I am just so - so sorry. It's terrible that those kind of things have happened, but I want to assure you that your Heavenly Father is nothing like your earthly ones. There's something different. There's something more pure - no, completely pure - completely holy and completely loving. Our father.

The next phrase is "which art in heaven" - "our father which art in heaven" - he is my father, but he is also in heaven. He is my father, but where is he at? He's in heaven. He is holy. In fact, that's the next phrase, "hallowed be thy name" or 'holy is your name' - so "our father" - I'm acknowledging a relationship. The next phrase is, "which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

" Acknowledgment of his fatherhood and acknowledgement of his holiness. And, can I say, 'acceptance of his holiness' when I pray by faith? When you spend time with God, you're walking on holy ground yet, at the same time, he is your father. There's that respect, but there's also that realization that he loves you 100%. It's the picture we're seeing here. "Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

" That next phrase is a beautiful one, "thy kingdom come" - what kingdom? Whose kingdom? So are we praying for the second coming? - "Thy kingdom come" - are we praying for the second coming? Possibly, but I think there's something more that's being said here, "thy kingdom" - what is the Kingdom of God? the Spiritual one? Absolutely. Just as there's a real one, there's a spiritual kingdom that Jesus inaugurated when he came here. Romans chapter 14, verse 17, "thy kingdom come" - I am praying because I want his kingdom to come - I acknowledge that he has a kingdom and I want to accept that kingdom in his life. This is a powerful prayer. Romans chapter 14 and verse 17 - Romans 14 and verse 17, "for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but" - what? - "Righteousness, and peace, and joy in" - whom? - "The Holy Spirit.

" So God's kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy. So when I pray, "thy kingdom come" - I'm longing for righteousness and peace, and joy. I'm acknowledging that's what his kingdom is and, by faith, I'm accepting that kingdom into my life. I want to be a member of that spiritual kingdom. I want his righteousness.

I want his peace. I want his joy. That's the picture being laid out. So, quick recap: I acknowledge my relationship with him. I acknowledge his holiness and I acknowledge his kingdom.

Now, the next phrase of the prayer is "thy kingdom come" - what's that next phrase? - 'Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.' Wow, now I'm acknowledging his will. I'm accepting his will, whatever that may be in my life. What's involved in a marriage? Please, don't give me a long list. Right now I don't know if I conjured up a huge - maybe a book. My wife and I were reading something about Christian marriage last night.

We're thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I think so, yeah, it was a good time. What is it - what's involved in a marriage relationship - in a connection? I would assume a couple of things that we've already discussed. Would you say trust needs to be there? An acknowledgement of your relationship needs to be there, right? There better be love. Thank you, ma'am.

There needs to be a sacred union. There also needs to be something else, which we're about to get to, and that is forgiveness. These are all elements - part of a marriage relationship - and I believe these are also elements of a good, successful prayer life. Acknowledgement of your relationship with God; acknowledgement of who he is and who you are; a willingness to accept his will in your life. I'd like to - if we could turn to the next page, if you are following in your lesson, it is Luke 11, verse 3, "give us day by day our daily bread.

" - Or our bread - "give us day by day our daily bread." I remember the first time I read this, I would say it as a child and, yeah, it's okay, but when I first read it as a study - I had to study this for a class - one of the classes I was taking in college. What is this phrase, 'give us this day our daily bread' - or 'give us day by day our daily bread' - what am I really praying for? Well, if I was in another country where I didn't have my bread guaranteed me, it would be a little bit easier to pray this, does that make sense? I mean, I think here in the United States, this phrase is almost like, ho hum - 'yeah, give us this day our daily bread. I've got enough stored up in my house for the next two months, but give us this day our daily bread. I don't know if you're like that, but we have lots of food at our house. I'm married to an italian so we've got tons of food.

We always have pasta and cans of gravy or tomato sauce, however you like to call it. We have this - there's vegetables and fruits and all kinds of things in our house. We have everything we need so praying 'give us this day our daily bread' it's almost like, 'okay.' This prayer - by the way, it's not wrong to have extra food in your house, that's not where I'm - trying to say - but this prayer is a prayer that's a daily prayer. It's acknowledgement that my provisions today have to come from you. Who is you? God.

There will come a day, I believe, when this will be our prayer. It can be our prayer now, I believe, and sometimes now that prayer is by faith. But I believe there will come a day when this will have to be our prayer. "Give us this day our daily bread" and trust him. Would you think our faith would be stronger if every single day we had to pray for what we received? How many of you read the story of george mueller? Are familiar with the background with him? Was he praying this prayer? Give us this day our daily bread - we need to feed how many mouths? We don't have anything - "give us this day our daily bread.

" Our next phrase - Luke chapter 11 and verse 4, "and forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us." - Forgive us our sins for we also forgive. Forgive us. There needs to be an acknowledgment of forgiveness - acknowledgment that God is going to forgive - acknowledgment that God is going to provide. And I'm going to just recap where we're at at this point, if that's okay. In this prayer, here's the acknowledgment: 'I acknowledge my relationship with God; I acknowledgment - I have acknowledgement of his holiness; I acknowledge his kingdom; I acknowledge his will; I acknowledge his provision and now I'm acknowledging his what? Forgiveness - six things I think we've covered so far.

I said in a church - I was a young man, aged 16 or 17, and I heard this lady saying something that was shocking. She said, 'I can't forgive. It's just impossible for me to forgive and God knows that.' And I remember sitting there and saying, 'but wait, how does that work with this passage? 'Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.' - I guess I'm quoting Matthew, actually, right now, but how does it work? That forgiveness and acknowledgment of forgiveness? Do you mean that it has to go both ways? Or my forgiveness of people is connected with God's forgiveness of me? Is there some connection? Absolutely. How? Because when you look at the first one and you acknowledge him as your father, and you acknowledge his holiness and you acknowledge his kingdom, righteousness, peace, and joy, and you acknowledge his will, and you acknowledge his provision, surely you will be able to forgive. Because I believe that part of God's provision is not just our physical food, God can give you forgiveness.

God can give you forgiveness when you feel like you don't have it. You know, it's not something I can conjure up. I'm actually not a person who has a lot of people I've got a bad list with right now. I just - I don't know, I was raised by parents who forgive pretty easily. But I know some friends who struggle with it and I say, 'well, what do you do?' I know what I need to do in areas that I struggle with.

You know what that is? 'God, you've got to help me because I can't do it myself.' And that is also a scenario that I think is essential here, 'God, I can't forgive.' Yes, I mean, 'you can forgive. You can give me your kingdom: righteousness, peace, and joy, so surely you can give me forgiveness.' Can God give you forgiveness? Can God give you forgiveness? He gives it to you and he gives it to you. That's good about God, isn't it? He gives you forgiveness and he gives you the ability to forgive. I'd like to look at our last phrase here in the Lord's prayer, "and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Now this final acknowledgment is acknowledgment of his ability to deliver me. He can do it.

He has the power to change my life. He has the power to forgive me. He has the power to deliver me. What an incredible God I have. Accepting his deliverance is also part of it.

That's when I pray by faith. I accept his deliverance in my life. There it is, the Lord's prayer - seven steps of acknowledgment - seven steps of acceptance. Can God do a miracle in my life? Yes, just like he can give me forgiveness, God can give me victory. I asked for it, 'God, I need help.

I know who I am and I know who you are and I know we're not the same. Please help me.' And I have seen God do a miracle in my life - I've seen God do a miracle in friends' lives - people who have struggled with things for decades, all of a sudden they meet Jesus and they fall in love and life changes. God can do that. We have looked at what's involved in connecting at, dare I say, faith and a prayer of faith? Acknowledgment of what God is and what he gives and acceptance of those things. And now we're going to close our final section here with how to connect.

I've looked at when to connect, what's involved with connecting, how do I connect - how do I connect with God? There's two passages that were actually given in your lesson, but I'm going to sum it up with the first line that's listed here in the Lord's prayer: "our father which art in heaven." - Two points: our father, you are my God. You are my father. I can be persistent in prayer with you. Second point: 'which art in heaven' - you're holy, you are righteous, and so therefore, I am going to have to be humble before you. Two things: I will persist because you're my father; I will be humble because you are God.

That is how to pray. That is it. Let's look at what the Bible says to summarize these - Luke chapter 11, verses 5 through 8, "and he said unto them, 'which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, 'friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?' And he from within shall answer and say, 'trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.' I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.'" In other words, 'I'm not going to stop.' Can you think of people who just did not stop asking God? 'I'm going to persist.' How about Elijah? Remember when Elijah was praying - praying for rain? Did not stop. Someone else. Daniel - that's right - Daniel was insistent, 'God, I need an answer.

' And he continue pushing. Who else? Hannah, that's right. 'Please God, I want a child.' Specifically, I think, was the prayer. She was praying so much that they thought she was drunk. Persistent.

What else? Remember the canaanite woman? That was a beautiful - Jesus gave us an example of prayer, I believe, right there. A canaanite woman was saying, 'please, come heal my daughter.' And he said, 'hmmm.' 'No, no, I mean it. Please come heal my daughter.' 'It's not meat that we should give that which belongs to the children to the dogs.' She goes, 'well, even the dogs get the crumbs.' Incredible faith, amen? That's the kind of faith - you know why she was able to pray that way? Because she saw - beautiful - you read this in the book desire of ages - she saw, in the eyes of Jesus, love. She saw compassion in his eyes and when he was saying 'no,' she knew that it was just an illustration of some kind. She - it didn't make sense to her because she saw his eyes and she knew, 'he will give me - I can see it in his eyes.

' Your God will do the same thing for you. Sometimes we feel like the answer is 'no.' And sometimes we see a 'no.' Look at him through God's eyes and see what he's looking like at you. It's amazing to imagine what God's look like is for you. There's another story that's given, it's Luke chapter 18 - Luke chapter 18 and verse 9 - we've learned persistence - we persist because he's our father. Luke 18, verse 9, "and he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a pharisee, and the other a publican.

The pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." In shallow friendships, which I believe our world's filled with them - is that okay if I say that? - In shallow friendships, externals are everything, right? Can you think about your shallow friendships? Maybe you don't want to, sorry. But what you look like, how you're dressed, the words that you say - that's what matters in a shallow friendship. But I want to assure you that your friendship with God is not shallow.

He already knows what you look like all the time. He knows what you sound like all the time. He heard you yell at your children or spouse or whatever it may be. He knows that. So let's get past that and let's talk.

It's good to have a God like that, amen? But we need to realize that and come before him and say, 'hey, I know who I am. You know who I am. Please, please, do something in my life. Work a miracle in my life.' Yes, I'm still holding this flashlight - I'm trying to figure out where I connect it in with the next part - I need to connect - so - right? I have found that there are some people who have their relationship like the pharisee. This is me, right? I look good.

I'm built for the job. I've got everything that's necessary, but there's nothing there - nothing coming out - and I believe that that is often true. See, God's not looking at externals. Don't get me wrong, God can use great externals, amen? People have talent and gifts, God wants to use them. He can't - he's thrilled to use them.

But I tell you, all externals in the world not connected with humility are useless in the work of God. You need to have both. Well, you need to have humility. God can do whatever he needs to. Those who he calls, he qualifies, amen? So I'd like to now, through prayer, I'm connected with power.

Which power? The power of the Holy Spirit, amen? And when that happens, something changes. That change takes place - not that I look any different. Not that I have - it's always harder when there's batteries in it. Have you noticed that? I was sitting in the front pew trying to do this a while ago - there we go - and you put your new batteries in and - sorry - I just shine the light there a little bit. Beautiful.

There's now light. There's something powerful. It doesn't look different, but there's a difference because of what God has done. Connection. Jesus needed a connected life and we see his connected life.

We see his example how to pray, which brings a connected life. I want to have a connected life. And I know that a connected life comes through me realizing he loves me so much it's worth praying to him and talking because he wants to hear and he wants to talk to me and allowing him to fill me with his spirit so that I'm a new person. Do you want that kind of life? I do. Let's pray.

Our Father in Heaven, we're thankful that you love us. We pray that you will guide us. Teach us how to pray. Help us to trust you, to honor you, to respect you and, father, to notice what you will do with us as we humble our lives before you. We ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.

Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word. Go deeper. Visit Biblehistory.com. For life-changing Christian resources visit afbookstore.com.

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