The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Prayer

The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Prayer

Scripture: Romans 8:26-27, John 15:7, 1 John 5:14-15
Date: 03/11/2017  Lesson: 10
"God is deeply interested in us. He longs to be part of all aspects of our life: our worries, our fears, our wishes, our hopes, our desires, our success, our joys, our failures—everything. Prayer does not change God; it changes us, because we are brought into the life-changing presence of God."

Holy Spirit: The Need (PB) by Doug Batchelor

Holy Spirit: The Need (PB) by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. It is by no accident that you have joined us, whether you're live on the internet, out on the airwaves, studying with us during the week - we love to study together, we love to sing together, and someday very soon we are going to be in heaven together and I am looking forward to that day. So, for those of you at home, if you want to sing along with us, we're going to open our hymnal to hymn #520 - he hideth my soul - I'm grateful for that concept today, that I can be held in his hand in the cleft of the rock and that's where I can reside until he comes. We're going to sing the first, the third, and the fourth verses - #520. I know you see a familiar face that you don't usually see with - singing with us - kula is joining us today from sac central.

Every once in a while we steal somebody away. If you have a problem with prayer - if, sometimes, you feel like your prayers are just hitting the ceiling and you want a better prayer life, well, Pastor Doug has an offer for you. He wrote a little book called teach us to pray and, I think - I know I'm speaking for me, personally. Every once in a while I need a little help. So, if you want to read what Pastor Doug has to say about having a better prayer life, I invite you to go to our website and it is book offer #717 - teach us to pray - the phone number is 866-788-3966 or 866-study-more - same thing - study more is easier.

Prayer life - there's nothing like it. It is truly how we communicate with God and he wants to speak to us. Heavenly music is another way he speaks to us through music - through His Word - hymn #452 - we're going to sing, oh - what heavenly music - all three verses. I am so looking forward to that day - to be in heaven - I can hardly wait. Let's pray.

Our Father in Heaven, it is so dark here. And we so look forward to the day when you break through those clouds and we see you face to face and we live with you forever. It is what we long for - it is what we live for. So Lord, until that time comes, please just keep us faithful. Live in our hearts.

Help us to be shining lights for you so that the people around us in our sphere of influence can see you shining through us and that they will be drawn to you because you promised that if we lift you up, you will draw all men to you. So, thank you for the study, Lord, as we study about the Holy Spirit. Please just send a double portion, a triple portion on each one of us, that we can finish your work and go home with you. We long for that day and we pray these things in your precious and holy name, Jesus, amen. Amen.

Our study today will be brought to us by pastor marshall mckenzie and he is the publishing director at Amazing Facts. Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Good morning. You know, I was - just amazing - I was just blessed as I studied this lesson. As we've been going through this lesson as a whole, I've been blessed.

And we've been talking about the Holy Spirit - the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives. And it was impressed upon me even more as I finished this lesson, as we're going to be talking about the Holy Spirit, the word and prayer - how it's really not about us, it's really about God - what God can do, what God longs to do, and what he wants to do every day in our lives. And it was just so forcefully put in this lesson, as we talk about prayer and the Holy Spirit, how much it's not about us, it's really about God. In this week's study in relationship to the Holy Spirit, we're going to look at the word of God and prayer - two subjects that are always of vital importance for any Christian who is wanting to follow Christ with their whole heart - prayer and the Holy Spirit - the Word of God. Before we just jump right in, I want to share an inspiring thought from a little book entitled steps to Christ.

This is found in pages 94 and 95 and it's in relationship to the importance of prayer. Now, the lesson's going to get into the Holy Spirit in prayer and we're going to go there, but the real emphasis in relationship to the Holy Spirit, in this lesson, is the need to pray and to pray for the Holy Spirit. This is the statement found in pages 94 and 95 in this little book entitled steps to Christ. It says, "why should The Sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse where are treasured the boundless resources of omnipotence?" Now, I want to stop there just for a second. Prayer is the what? "Prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks heaven's storehouse where are treasured the boundless resources of omnipotence.

" Matter of fact, if you try to get in somewhere - you try to access something without the key - you can what? Find yourself in a lot of trouble too, right? Matter of fact, it's interesting, Jesus says, in John chapter 10, verses 1 through 3, "most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." It's important to have the key if we're going to walk through the door, because if we try to force our way in some other way, it can be a challenging situation. We can find ourselves in a lot of trouble. My brother and I were 14 and 15 years old, and my mother worked in the morning and she always told us - listen, we lived in an apartment - first floor - she said, 'wait by the door until I get home, before you go in the house.

' Why is that important? We didn't have the key. But, if we had the key, we could have entered through the door. But my brother and I had a different idea; we thought, 'well, we really don't want to wait by the door very long. We really don't want the key, we need to get in.' So when we got home, we actually figured out a way in the back - there's a sliding door with a screen door there - and we figured out how we could get into the house without the key. So we got into the house and we were doing some fun things and all of a sudden I ran to the front window to notice that my mom was getting out of the car.

And we realized, at that point, it's time to get out of here, but my brother didn't realize that I had closed the screen door, like a good son, when I came into the house. So, when he took off running, he took the screen door right off the hinges and carried it out into the backyard. And there, my mom comes in the front door and she sees us and we're in a lot of trouble. Why? Because we didn't have the key. She wanted us to wait by the door.

The key - prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks heaven's storehouse. Jesus says we need to go through the door. We don't need to climb up some other way. This is why prayer is so vital and so important and we're encouraged to pray consistently - and the Spirit is there to help us in prayer as we go through our lesson this morning. And as we'll find out, the rest of the statement that I began reading goes like this: "without unceasing prayer and diligent watching, we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path.

" My brother and I were careless - we deviated from the right path. "The adversary seeks, continually, to obstruct the way to the mercy seat" - we're encouraged to go to that mercy seat in prayer - "that we may not, by earnest supplication and faith, obtain grace and power to resist temptation. Satan is always wanting to obstruct our way to the mercy seat and, yet, as we study about the Holy Spirit, as we study about prayer, as we study about the Word of God, we begin to realize how vital this is and why satan would want to obstruct our way, because God wants to do so much. True spirituality, as the lesson brings out, is connected to prayer. Spirituality and prayer go together.

Notice, with me, - you have your Bibles - I'd like you to open to 2 Chronicles, chapter 7, verses 14 and 15 - 2 Chronicles - and it's a passage we're very familiar with, at least some are. I've heard it quoted several times - matter of fact, this last week I was speaking to somebody and they quoted this passage to me, 2 Chronicles - excuse me - I'll get there - 2 Chronicles chapter 7 - here we go - verses 14 and 15 - 2 Chronicles chapter 7, verses 14 and 15 - this is in relationship to the temple, as Solomon is dedicating the house of God. In the midst of this, we read this passage: it says, "if my people who are called by my name" - 2 Chronicles 7, verses and 15, "if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and" - what? - "And pray" - then he goes on - "and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to prayer made in this place." God is always attentive when his people pray. When they pray in this manner and in this way, God is very attentive to those prayers.

A holy God, in this verse, is encouraging his people, that are called by his name, to be holy, to humble themselves, to pray, to seek his face, to turn from their wicked ways. For then, he says, he would forgive their sins and he would what? Heal their land. A powerful promise at the end of an amazing admonition. I believe we're all in need of forgiveness and I believe all of us, in our lives, at some point, need healing. And God longs to bring that and so he encourages people to pray and he says, 'I will be attentive to your prayer.

' True prayer and spirituality work together. They're not separate from each other. They're interconnected and always have God at the center. God should always be at the center of our attention, amen? Whether we're going to the store, whether we're just at home, whether we're going to visit some friends, God should be at the center of our attention. And, in prayer, God should also be at the center of our attention.

And both of these things, spirituality and prayer, as the lesson brings out, are rooted in the Word of God. They're not independent of, but they're rooted in the Word of God. And this is truly encouraging to me, as we go through the lesson, just like when we were studying spiritual gifts a couple weeks ago, you notice we didn't just dive right into the Spiritual gifts, we needed to talk about who, first. We needed to talk about God and the Godhead before we even get to the gifts. Same thing when we're talking about prayer.

God is the center of true prayer and true spiritual growth. God is the center of this, and Sunday's lesson - matter of fact, as we go into Sunday's lesson, this is the focus of Sunday's lesson: our relationship to God and prayer in our relationship to God. This is how Jesus even taught his disciples. Notice, with me, Matthew chapter 6. Turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 6.

We'll just read verses 9 through 13, okay? Matthew chapter 6, verses 9 through 13. Matthew chapter 6, verses 9 through 13. You know, the disciples wanted to know how to pray. The disciples wanted to know how to communicate with God and so Jesus, being the master teacher - and, by the way, who spent many hours in prayer - he took time between the mountain and the multitude to pray. And even in the last hours of his life, before he goes to the cross, what do we see him doing in Scripture? Praying.

And he was encouraging his disciples to pray. But early on in the ministry Jesus is like, 'listen, let me teach you how to pray.' Because his disciples were like, 'teach us. We want to know how to communicate with God.' And so, this is how Jesus starts out. Here in Matthew chapter 6, verse 9 it says, "in this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in Heaven, hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come.

Your" - what be done? - "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Notice how Jesus begins prayer in teaching his disciples to pray. Who's the focus? God The Father, he's the focus, before we even get into "give us this day our daily bread." And all the things that we want or all the things that we need, God says, 'I want you to first recognize who is responsible for providing these things? And his will should be central to this process of prayer and communication. "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done".

There is an acknowledgement of God here. There's an acknowledgement of his holiness. There is an acknowledgement of a heavenly kingdom. And, in that process, there is an acknowledgement of the will of God. And this is a major development before we even just dive into prayer and some of the aspects of prayer that the lesson talks about in relationship to asking and believing and claiming the promises.

Before we even go there, we need to focus on who, first? God. We need to focus on God first. It gets us away from focusing on ourselves. You know, prayer lifts us up to God, as the lesson brought out, it doesn't bring God down to us. Notice with me, in the lesson - I'm actually going to read this right out of Sunday - this is from, again, the book steps to Christ, but here - this is page - this is in Sunday's lesson, kind of towards the bottom.

It says, "prayer is the opening of the" - what - to God? "The heart to God." Some of you that are married that have, you know, you have those relationships with your spouses, you're opening up your heart to them. That's what prayer is like. We're just opening our heart. There's nothing there that we want to hide. We want God to see what? Everything.

By the way, God can see everything, can't he? Even if we don't say anything, he still - he still sees everything. "Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend." By the way, the Bible says there's no friend that sticketh closer than a brother." And that person is Jesus Christ. So communicating with him is of vital importance for the Christian. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, okay, the focus is not what? Us. The focus is not who we are, but in order to enable us to receive what? Him.

This is a powerful statement. "Prayer does not bring God down to us, but prayer brings us" - what? "Up to God." So we wait, as it was mentioned earlier, we long for that heavenly experience when we can be there face to face with God. But, in prayer, we can also have a heavenly experience. When prayer - through prayer, we're brought up to God, we're not bringing God down to us, but God is - we are coming up to him. So God is the focus.

Jesus is teaching, in the prayer, that our focus should be, again, not with our wants, but with his will. We need to separate our wants to understand his will. Our whole prayer and prayer life will change when he is first in our prayer - when his pleasures are first. And that's challenging. Let's be honest, right? That's challenging.

It's challenging because we're surrounded by a world that has its focus where? On self. Matter of fact, everything that we find in this world, in most cases, is all focused on us - our situations, our needs, our wants, our desires, our pleasures, and on and on and on. And yet, when we talk about prayer - we talk about prayer - true prayer is life changing because God is the one who is first. Matter of fact, we're told, if we make God first, last, best in everything, we would be the happiest people on the earth. Think about that.

What would the world look like if you were the happiest person on earth? How would people respond? You know, just the other day - I have to be honest with you, I was with a friend of mine and we walked into home depot and we were buying - I was buying some wood because I was doing some things at the house, and this person was so happy - I mean, it was funny because we were standing there and I was checking out and she was talking and talking and talking and she - but she was talking with this smile and - and she wasn't acting - I could tell this was who she was and it made an impact. I thought to myself, 'now that's somebody I would love to work with.' Man, just radiated - and there was a gentleman - it was interesting - there was a gentleman standing off to the side and he was just waiting and you kind of think to yourself, 'maybe that's kind of rude.' But she turns around and says, 'oh, hey tim' - she knew the guy. He had no problem waiting. She knew him; she got to know us and it was no problem. She just radiated.

You know, if we make God first, last, and best in everything, we would be the happiest people on earth and people would see that happiness. It'd be plastered all over your face. It would be in how you walk and how you talk and how you communicate, and it's infectious. Keeping God first in our prayers changes our lives. It changes our focus.

To seek God first should always come first. This is what the lesson in Sunday is talking about. The prayer that is pleasing to God, not the prayer that is pleasing to me - it's the prayer that is pleasing to God. Jesus, matter of fact, in Luke chapter 6, after he teaches his disciples how to pray, if you go down just a little bit further to verse 33, notice with me verse 33, Jesus later - he's talking about all these things that The Father supplies, right? For us - our clothing and our food and our lodging - all of these things that are of necessity. And then in verse 33, though, he says, "but seek first" - the what? - "the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

" So he teaches his disciples, in a few verses earlier, how to pray. And he begins in that prayer with "our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done." And, later, towards the end of the chapter, he ends by saying, 'but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.' That's powerful when you put those two things together. Each of us need to come to the place in our lives, by the grace of God, when, like king David, we shall be led so much by God that, like David said, 'we shall not' - what? - 'We shall not want.

' He says, you know, 'the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not' - what? Want. I should have no lack. I pray for that in my life - and there are challenges, but God's working on the edges to get me to that place, that we should be content with what we have, but not with who we are, because our goal is to be like Jesus. To get to that place, we need to take seriously the words of Jesus. Now there's a passage - I've asked a few people this morning to read some verses - and the first verse is John chapter 15, verses 7 through 9 and we're going to read that in just a minute.

I want you to go there, to your Bibles, to John chapter 15, and I'm going to have this individual read all of these verses, but I want you to notice, just really quick, as we get into this verse - John chapter 15 - and this is important - it brings this all together - why this is so vital - if we want to have this kind of experience, where God is first and 'I shall not want' so, therefore, my prayers are focused on the will of God, not on my will or my desires, okay? This verse helps us to understand that even more so. I'm going to read verse 7 and I want you to think about that, but then I'm going to have our volunteer read to us verses 7 through 9. "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." I'll come back to this verse and that point, in relationship to desire, in just a minute, but if our reader could read for us that whole passage - we're going to read, actually, through verse - if you could read that for us - John 15:7-9. "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this my father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.

As The Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love." Now that's a powerful passage in relationship to Christ's last days on earth as he's encouraging his disciples. What's he encouraging them to do in this passage? He's encouraging them to abide in himself and, in so doing, abide in his what? Abide in his what? Father. Okay, father - abide in his love. And, ultimately, that his - what? - Abides in us. Word.

His Word abides in us. If we're abiding in Christ then His Word abides in us; therefore we, ultimately, abide in the love of The Father. And this is important. We want to see God's will done. We want to not want and we want to focus on God's will.

And Jesus says, to do that, you need to 'abide in me and I in you - and my words need to abide in you and the love of the father, thus will abide in you and we in that love.' Now, notice with me, verse 7. I read this just a little earlier. It says, "if you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you" - what here? - "Desire and it shall be done for you." Sometimes we can look at this passage and we can say, 'well, see, there it is. God wants to do what I desire.' But if you look at the context of these verses, it's not about 'i'. It's not about 'me'.

It's about Christ and The Father and abiding in him. You know, it's interesting - I want you to turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11. In this passage in John, as we're turning to Hebrews chapter 11, in this passage in John the desire, now, is our desires are now one with his desires. So when we desire, what we desire is the will of God. Why? Because the Word of God is abiding in us and we, in turn, are abiding in Christ.

Notice, with me, Hebrews chapter , and the lesson goes to this chapter - when we get into Monday's lesson and we start talking about faith, okay? But Hebrews chapter 11, notice with me verses 13 through 16, but pay attention to verse 16, in particular. It says, "these all died in" - what? Faith. "Faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.

But now they" - what? - It says - I'm reading the new king James - "now they desire a better...country." All of a sudden, you see these people, who have died in faith, who have claimed the promises, who have asked God, who have believed - and we're going to get into this on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It says they now desire a better country. They're desirous of what? Their desires have changed - dramatically changed - and it goes back to the Word of God - the promises of God - what they embrace - what they confess. It makes all the difference and their desires change. So when you read John chapter 15 and he says, "you shall ask what you desire.

" When we're abiding in him and His Word is abiding in us - just like these men and women in faith in Hebrews chapter 11 - our desires are changed - their desires have changed and we ask according to his will. The foundation of our prayer life must be a biblical one, the lesson brings this out, if we want to see God continue to change us in the process, and prepare us for heaven. Now, if you turn in your lessons - Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you really can't - I mean, we separated them in the lesson, but they really all go together. And, in Hebrews chapter 11, where I just read to you 13 through 16, all of these things are linked together, okay? Kind of like links in a chain. And so, what we're going to do is kind of look at Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday all together - kind of lump them together.

Monday's lesson - the foundation of biblical prayer - talks about 'ask God'. We'll get into that. And then we're talking about believing and faith. And then, over on Wednesday we're talking about claiming God's promises. All of this is actually put together, where we just read Hebrews chapter 11.

So, without kind of going through them individudally, I'm just going to bring them all together for you this morning. But I want you to think of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's lessons in relationship to a chain that has links, and these things are together. And the first one is asking - notice with me Matthew chapter - actually, I'll just read it for the sake of time - it says, "ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Now, this asking is not independent of faith. This asking is asking in faith, okay? We're going forward and we're asking because we believe - because we believe that God's promises are real and true and we can claim them and hang on to them.

And so, we ask. We ask, we seek, we knock. God is constantly, throughout Scripture, encouraging his children to ask, but he just wants us to ask according to his what? Will. Ask according to his will. Not what we think his will is, or what somebody has told us his will is, but what his will really is, as it's revealed in His Word.

Ask in faith, according to the promises. This is where asking, believing, and claiming the promises of God all come together as one united package. In Romans chapter 10, verse 17, it says, 'faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Now, there's a beautiful illustration of this given to us in the life of David, and I'm just going to take a minute to go there. Go to 2 Samuel chapter 7 - just for a second - go to 2 Samuel chapter 7 and look, with me, at how this is illustrated in the life of David - 2 Samuel chapter 7 - 2 Samuel chapter 7.

God has the prophet nathan come to David and he's going to tell David something very specific, in that a house will be built for God. And he talks about how his son will build this house. Notice, with me, 2 Samuel chapter 7, verse 11. Verse 11 says, "since that time that I commanded Judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that he will" - what? - "Make you a house.

" And then we go to verse 16 and it says, "and your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." - Verse 17 says, "according to all these words and according to all this vision, so nathan spoke to David." So God spoke His Word to David through his prophet nathan. Now notice, David is going to turn around and he's going to begin to pray. And, in the process of this prayer, all he's doing is praying according to the word that just came to him from nathan the prophet. This is praying in faith.

This is praying, claiming the promises. This is asking in faith. This is asking according to the promises. Notice, with me, verses 25 through 29. It says, "now, o Lord," - this is David, who is now praying a prayer which is according to the word that came to nathan by God - "now, o Lord God, the word which you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as" - what? - "You have said.

" In other words, he's saying, 'do your will.' - And - 'this is your will. I just want you to establish your will.' That's how our prayer life should be. 'Lord, in my life today, establish your will. This is what you have said and I'm clinging to what you have said and I'm praying in relationship to what you have said.' This is what David's doing. This is praying in faith.

He says, what "you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as you have said. So let your name be magnified forever, saying, 'the Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.' And let the house of your servant David be established before you. For you, o Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house.' Therefore your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to you." What's his prayer according to? His will. His will. The word that came through the prophet nathan, which is God's word.

He goes on - verse 28 - "and now, o Lord God, you are God, and Your Words aree true, and you have promised this goodness to your servant." He's claiming the promises. This is Wednesday's lesson - "...promised this goodness to your servant. Now therefore, let it please you" - this goes back to Monday - "to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue before you forever; for you, o Lord God, have spoken it, and with your blessing let the houses of your servant be" - what? - "Blessed forever." That's powerful. God said 'this is what's going to take place. This is what my desire is.

' And so David goes to a corner and he begins to pray and he prays exactly what he was told would take place. That's praying by faith. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And so, as we pray by the Word of God, God's will to be accomplished, it will be accomplished. His prayer was altogether of faith because it was altogether of the Word of God.

The Word of God was the cause of it. The Word of God was the basis of it. And the Word of God was all the hope of David that the prayer would ever be answered. In just a minute I'm going to have a volunteer read again. But I want you to know why faith is important in relationship to prayer.

Go with me to James chapter 1 - James chapter 1, verses 6 through 8 - chapter 1, verses 6 through 8 - why is praying according to the word - praying in faith - so important when it comes to our prayer life? James chapter 1, verses 6 through 8 - James chapter 1, verses 6 through 8 - "but let him ask in faith," - let him ask in what? Faith. Faith. "With no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." - Have you ever been at sea when there's waves and there's wind and you're in that boat and you're being tossed? My family had the opportunity, one time, of going on a cruise. And we had some storms and some wind and, you know, those ships are so big you don't really feel much, but when you're on a little boat, you feel it even more - just being tossed back and forth. And James is saying, 'listen, a person that really doesn't pray in faith is like that person that's out to sea on a boat and he's just being tossed back and forth.

You remember, in the new testament, Jesus is on a boat with his disciples, right? And suddenly there's - this storm arises and this boat is being tossed back and forth. And, at the end of this scenario, what does Jesus say to his disciples? 'Oh ye of little faith.' When you see them go through this experience it says, "but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in" - what? - "All his ways." It's important to pray not doubting. It's important to claim the promises and know that the promises are real. David clung to those promises when he prayed that prayer, as we just read in 2 Samuel, and God answered according to his will and great things happened.

the Lord was blessed. David was blessed. And, for a time, the children of Israel were blessed because God answered that prayer. Have you ever spoken or have listened to a double-minded man? In this biblical context, two minds are not better than one. You know, we know the phrase 'two minds are always better than one'? In this context, two minds are not always better than one.

You know, the prophet said - Isaiah said that there would come a time when people would evil good and good evil and we go back and forth - double minded. 'For without faith it is impossible to please God. Now, I want you to notice - I've asked someone to read Romans chapter 8, verses 26 and 27. Romans 8:26 and 27, "likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Now he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the spirit is, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Now, this is a powerful verse. It's our memory verse - and you probably might wonder why we're dealing with it at the end. But this is a powerful verse because when you look at praying in faith and you realize what praying in faith is, sometimes we may feel inadequate. 'I just don't know the promises that well.' 'I just don't know what I should say or how to say it or how it should come out of my mouth.' 'I know I need to pray in faith, the Bible teaches me how to pray in faith, but I just am not there.' Sometimes we feel like that. Or we feel, 'maybe, you know, my prayer, it's not even leaving the room.

' And we feel like it's not going anywhere. And I love this passage because it talks about our weakness and how the Spirit also helps our what? Our weakness. 'For we do not know how to pray as we should.' God already knows, in many cases, that we do not know how to pray as we should, but who's there to help us? The Holy Spirit's right there. While you're praying, the holy spirit is praying on your behalf and for you. And who, by the way, knows how to pray better than the Spirit who knows the mind of God and God knowing the mind of the spirit? Who's better prepared to pray, if we look at this? the Spirit of God.

Matter of fact, Jesus - you know, Peter had a situation and what did Jesus say to Peter when he said, 'I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.' You know, God is always doing everything he possibly can to help us - even when it comes to prayer. Now, by the way, that doesn't mean, 'okay, prayer is not that important. I can say whatever I want to say.' But I want to go back to this verse because it not only encourages us, but at the same time, this verse actually challenges us. He says, 'the Spirit also helps our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we should.' In other words, we should be learning how to what? Pray. Pray.

We should be learning, every day, what it means to pray in faith. Prayer is something we need to learn and continually learn how to do better, and the Spirit is there to help us in our weakness when it comes to prayer, but we should always be growing and learning how to pray as we should. We should be coming more and more in line with the will of God. Our minds should become more and more in line with the Word of God as we pray. So we pray according to his will, not our will.

But God says, 'hey, I'm walking right next to you. I'm even going to help you in this.' You know, when Jesus comes, there's going to be no excuses. God is doing everything he possibly can. He's even interceding where we fall short of interceding. And that's actually the context here, also, of this passage.

It's interesting that it says 'the Spirit, himself, intercedes.' You know what's interesting about that word 'interceding'? Intercede is on the behalf of someone with specific emphasis upon the fact that what is being done is for the sake of someone else. So, in other words, if you're praying for someone else, you're interceding. But you don't know how to pray in faith as you ought. So what does the Spirit do? the Spirit comes down - or he's there with us - and he is interceding on behalf of the person we're praying for. This is not about us.

This is about us praying for others and the Spirit helping us to pray for others so that others may come to know him and love him and serve Christ with their whole heart. But the Spirit is there to help us. He's there to help us understand the word, which is the will of God, but he's also there to pray when our prayers fall short - on behalf of others that we're praying for. This is what I said in the beginning. This lesson is not so much about us.

It's not about learning how to pray better for myself, this lesson is about learning how to pray for others better, then yourself. And in that process you are blessed and you will grow and you will become all that God wants you to be. It's all about others, it's not about us. And the Spirit is right there to help us pray - and to pray in faith. God is so good.

Notice, with me, in closing, Ephesians chapter 3, verses 14 through 19 - notice with me in closing - Ephesians chapter 3, verses 14 through 19 - speaking about praying for others, Paul writes in Ephesians - Ephesians chapter 3, verses 14 through 19, "for this reason" - I love that - "for this reason" - he says - "I bow my knees to The Father of our Lord Jesus chcrist, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might through his spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you , being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints" - verse 18 - "what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." He says, 'by this reason I bow my knees'. Is he bowing his knees for himself in this passage? When you look at his prayer, his prayer is about the church. His prayer is about others. His prayer is about he building up of the church and the message going out and that people might experience the love of Christ like never before. "For this reason I bow my knees to The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you" - notice, I'm praying - Paul's saying - 'I'm praying' for what? For you.

And the Spirit helps us in that process - to pray. And, by the grace of God, may we pray in faith according to the Word of God - and we'll see God do great and mighty things in these last days of earth's history that we've yet to see. I want you to remember our free offer by Pastor Doug Batchelor - teach us to pray - a powerful little book - teach us to pray - it's #717 - you can get it by just calling 1-866-study-more and we'll send this right to you. Teach us to pray by Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you.

Friends, we're out here in the pacific ocean not too far from the island of fiji, and we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep. The Bible says God made the heaven and the earth and the sea. And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along - snorkle on the surface, but if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you've got to go deeper. (Lively music) because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to be able to breathe below the surface.

Because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment. (Sound of breathing aparatus) in the same way, the Bible says a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're going to live a Christian life in this world below. Wow, what a wonderful world.

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