On Bended Knees- Prayer

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

Illustration: There was a woman who lived in a remote valley. With great trouble and a lot of expense she had electricity installed in her home. After some months, the lineman noticed that her electric meter was hardly running. So he called the woman and asked her, “I just checked your meter and it is fine but you don’t seem to use the electric power at all. Is there a problem?” “Oh no” she said. “We’re quite satisfied. We turn on the electric lights every night to see how to light our lamps and then we switch them off again.”

Now this woman believed in electricity, so she took the trouble to install power in her home. However she did not understand the benefits of electricity so she used it sparingly. Many of us believe in prayer, we know the power of prayer, but we hardly pray.

Today we are going to study about prayer and the result of prayer.

Isaiah 62:6-7 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Isaiah 60-62 is a prophetic poetry which proclaims that the glory of God will come back to Jerusalem. We must understand that this time a majority of people of Israel are in exile in Babylon, but there was a small group of people who had come back by now to Jerusalem. When they saw the city it was totally lying in ruins. Yet God promised them that Jerusalem will be restored, that it would become a glory and a praise of the earth.

How can Jerusalem be restored? Isaiah 62:6-7 AMP I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, 7And give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth.

Israel literally was in ruins now. There were no walls, no gates, no proper houses, and no watchmen. Literally it was impossible for Jerusalem to have watchmen. Moreover they were under the Babylonians. It was beyond human imagination all would come back to Jerusalem, rebuild their city and walls, and protect their city by placing watchmen. God here is speaking about spiritual watchmen; people who pray day and night. God says if you pray then God can restore back Jerusalem. Prayer can restore things.

The present condition of the world is not too different. Jesus Christ has offered salvation but only a few are in it. When we look outside the church, the world is lying in spiritual ruins – No peace, increasing suicides, corruption, divorce, etc. God is looking at this condition and telling today that Bangalore will be restored; India will see a change and the glory of the Lord will be revealed in our land. But in order for this to happen we must put watchmen, pray until we see a change. It is only God who can change our condition and God moves only by prayer.

God wanted to restore Jerusalem, but for that to happen the people had to pray. Do you see something here? There is a connection between God’s heart and our prayer. There is a connection between your future and your prayer. Only when you pray can God do the things he wants to do in your life. Only when you pray the glory of the Lord will be revealed in your life. Be a watchman in your knees.

How is your prayer life? How much time do you pray in a day?
Now you maybe telling me pastor I do not know to pray. I cannot pray like that sister or brother. Looking at some who prays we think that we are not good at praying. Prayer is communication; it is like a child talking to the father.

Illustration: Every child talks uniquely to the father. Sam calls me pappa. Glory calls her father daddy. Suppose imagine one day Glory is talking to her daddy and they are talking about his health, his diabetes and diet. Imagine Sam is watching all this and thinking to himself, “I do not talk to my pappa like this. I think I must call him daddy.” The next day he sees me and addresses me, “Daddy, How is you diabetes? Are you eating more chappatis? Please take less sugar. It will drive me crazy. I would love Sam to tell me, “Pappa I love you. Buy me a football, buy me some chocolates.” I would love to hear that. Then as Sam grows up I know he will mature in his talk and he will start to talk big things. This is exactly how we pray.

Do not try to imitate others, talk to God as you talk to your father. Some people make up a holy dialogue in prayer. They kind of put up a false godly voice when they pray, “Oh Though Almighty God…. God of the universe, you are great and I am a worm.” Prayer is a conversation. Just talk to God as you talk to your father.

HOW TO PRAY?

Matthew 6:6-8 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So praying is just not giving your request to God. He knows your need even before you ask.

WHEN TO PRAY?

Jesus prayed in the morning. Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Jesus prayed in the evening. Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.

Jesus prayed all night. Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

What is the one thing that you always do? Breathe. We breathe all the time. We breathe without our knowledge. We must also pray always.
Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Paul said: 1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day we pray most earnestly. Pray always

Why do we have to pray always? Is God deaf? Is it hard to get His attention?
In Daniel chapter 9 we find Daniel praying and God answering him through an angel. Daniel 9:23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. God hears us the very moment we begin to pray. Every time you and I pray not only does God gladly hear our prayers, an angel is immediately sent from God to answer our prayers. If God answers our prayers immediately why should we pray again?

In the very next chapter Daniel was burdened again by the Lord in a dream and he was praying and fasting for 21 days. Remember Daniel now is praying for one need for 21 days. On the 21st day of his prayer an angel of the Lord appeared to Daniel and said: Daniel 10:12-13 12 “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

In this particular verse God is opening the curtain and showing us what really happens behind the scene when we pray. When Daniel prayed the demonic forces rose up, an angelic warfare broke out.

Do you know what this means?
When we pray God listens and answers us.
When we pray God sends his reply through an angel. God sends an angel every time you pray to him. Hebrews 1:14Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
When we pray the powers of darkness also rise up and block our answer from God.
But when we continue in prayer you have the power to win over the powers of darkness of this world because God sends in more angels to fight for you. That is why Jesus told his disciples to always pray and not give up.

Now Listen, Daniel’s answer was dispatched on day one of his prayer but it did not arrive until day twenty-one. What might have happened if Daniel had given up in his prayer? He would never have got the reply.

So don’t grow weary, continue to pray. Every time we pray we release more and more power from the throne of God. Are you praying for someone in your family? Are you praying over a difficult situation? Are you praying about your future? Every prayer you pray puts more pressure on your circumstances and eventually you will see the deliverance. Don’t give up on prayer.

HOW CAN I PRAY ALWAYS?

Now some of you maybe asking me, “Pastor Daniel prayed for 21 days and I cannot pray like Daniel but the Bible asks me to pray always, how to pray?” Praying always does not mean that we sit 24 hours a day in a place and keep praying. How many times did Daniel pray in a day? Daniel prayed 3 times a day. So it is not the amount of time you spend in prayer, it is your heart that needs to be connected to God always. On the contrary this does not excuse us from prayer. A Christian must develop a discipline of sitting and praying at least one hour a day.

Some of you may feel Oh! pastor it is tough. If it is so tough then sit with a group and pray, or you can space it as two half hours or 20 minutes into 3 times a day. Yes prayer is tough, but we need to develop this habit. Praying is not easy, the devil hates when you pray, so he will come all out to stop you from praying. So you need to put your body, soul, and spirit and develop your prayer life and he will flee from you. Once you develop this habit of sitting and praying then your heart should be connected to God 24×7. That is praying continually. Listen to God. He will talk to you but you need to have sensitive mind, eyes, and ears to listen to him. Daniel prayed 3 times but his heart was always sensitive to God and when God answered he understood it.

REASONS WHY PRAYERS ARE NOT ANSWERED?

1. Praying against the will of God.
We must understand that God has an answer for every prayer, but God has his own time. When you pray you must be willing to submit the response to God’s will. Sometimes God says no, sometimes yes, sometimes wait. If you pray against God’s will you will never be answered. God’s response is the best for us. If God is silent He wants us to wait. If God says no, then quit it. God has something better for us. If God says yes, he will open a way for us. We need not try to make anything happen.

2. Pride.
God detests the proud.
Daniel 10:12 Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard.
Proverbs 16:5 God detests the proud.

3. People do not pray.
Obviously if you do not pray God will not answer any of our needs.
Prayerlessness is sin. 1 Samuel 12:23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.
James 4:2 You do not have because you do not ask God.

4. Hidden sin in your life.
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Psalm 17:1 Hear, O Lord my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE PRAY?

1. Prayer makes us righteous.
Isaiah 62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
When the church and its people begin to pray the Bible says God will not hold back his peace. God will not rest until he makes us righteous. Once we are made righteous, there will be salvation of souls. If you can start praying City Harvest is going to be overpopulated with souls.

2. Prayer makes God defend us.
Isaiah 62:2 The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
When we pray God vindicates us. Vindication – to defend, to clear of accusation.
When we start praying God will defend you. In front of your enemies God will clear your name. The nations are going to see that, your family is going to see that, your enemies are going to see that because God is going to defend your cause.

All kings will see your glory. It means people will see the glory of God in you.

In the OT the glory of the Lord was in the cloud. Where is the glory of the Lord in the NT? 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

So the glory of God is in the face of God. How do we see the face of God? In prayer and worship.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Amp 18And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord ….Secondly, the glory of God is in the Word of God. In other words, when we pray, when we worship, and when we read the word of God the life of Christ will come to us and the glory of the Lord will be on us.

3. Prayer makes us pure for God.
Isaiah 62:5 As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
When we pray and when the glory of God comes on us God makes us pure and we become the bride of Christ. We are supposed to be a pure bride or virgin for God. That means we are supposed to be totally devoted to God. There should not be any hint of sin, no going after the flesh and that happens only when we pray.

Illustration: I heard the story of a girl whose marriage was settled with a family friend of theirs. The friend eventually moved abroad for better job prospects and promised to marry her once he was back. They used to talk in phone quite often. In the meantime a neighboring boy got interested in this girl and started talking to her on a daily basis. Now this girl started to talk to both the boys. She is pure? Are her intentions pure? No. If she was pure she would have been faithful to the first guy till he returns.

Many times we worship God but our hearts are not pure. We are not faithful to God and our priorities are divided. Prayer makes us faithful to God alone. So when we pray we become pure for God. When the church prays the church becomes a pure bride.

4. God lifts up a prayerful person.
Isaiah 62:6-7 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
When a person prays God lifts up that person. When a church prays God lifts up that church. We will become a matter of praise and testimony among the people of the earth.

What is the result of true prayer? Prayer makes us righteous, God defends us when we pray, God purifies us when we pray, and God lifts us up when we pray.

Therefore what to do when you are faced with a crisis? Do not go seeking solutions to people; do answer people who are against you. You bend down your knees and God will lift you up. You cannot change people, you cannot change your family members, you cannot make somebody come to church; you cannot change anyone. You can pray for your any trouble and God will change things when you pray.

So why be frustrated over things? When you prayer it really makes my life easy, God works for you, God will do what you cannot do. Just Pray.

Conclusion: God is eagerly waiting as to when we will sit down and seek him. He wants all of us to pray to him. But many of us do not have time for God. Proverbs 1:24-28 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.

God says maybe you do not have a big problem now, just a bit of problems here and there and you can manage on your own. You do not have time to pray, no time to come for meetings, not even time to come for Sunday worship? We are ignoring God. We do not have time for God. Listen, for such people God gets their attention through problems. Oh when problems come we pray, come to church, go to cell meetings, we read the Bible we do everything spiritual. God says I will not answer you then, you will look for me but you will not find me.

Seek God all the time. Do not run to him only when you have a problem. Choose to pray when all is fine, he will hear you even when everything falls away. Be enthusiastic about God. Seek Him while he is found. Now is the time to pray.Psalm 32:6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. If you are clean with God when great trials come they will not get into your spirit. If you pray you no problem will affect you.

God is looking for your prayer. God is in need of watchmen who will watch for him?