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HOW TO STAY FAITHFUL IN OUR PRAYERS


Jared:

All right. Right. So, okay, this one says, How do we manage praying with expectations? And they cite John 15:7, which is the, "... Abide in me as I abide in you...", you know, if you ask anything in my name, blah, blah, blah. And so how do we manage that kind of prayer? But also keeping doubt from creeping in when the Lord doesn't always grant those specific prayers that we ask.


Pastor David:

Yeah. So this is a pretty common, I don't know how I'd say it, but probably a tripping point. And, and I think it's a legitimate tripping point because oftentimes we find incongruity with scriptures like John 15:7 where it says, you know, if you ask anything in my name, I'll do it. And then yet you go to 1John as an example and it says, in chapter five, if we ask anything according to his will, we know that he hears us. Right. And that we have the petitions we've asked of him. So, okay. Is asking in his name, asking in his will is one, is one directing the Lord, and the other one is walking in congruity with His will? And in other words, can I change God's mind? Can God be influenced to do it my way? Sure. Well, I'm gonna suggest that His will in his name are the same thing. Okay. God's will is not independent of his name. His name is his character, nature, personality, and authority. He can't be anything other than what he is. Yeah. He won't be disingenuous to who and what he is. Therefore, to pray in his will is to pray in his name. To pray in his name means, I'm conforming my will to his will. I'm asking in his character, I'm asking in his nature, I'm asking in his personnel, I'm asking in the attributes of who he is. Now, to do that, I have to fulfill those first few verses of Job 15, which are abide in me my words abide you, so on and so forth. Abide in me is abiding the vine, and as a branch has no power in itself unless it's attached to the vine, so on and so forth. So the whole point is, that to be confident in our prayers is to know that self has been extracted from it. That is the challenge. That is the challenge of prayer. And I think it also goes to another issue of prayer, and I said this a few weeks ago in the service that we look at prayer as kind of our order from the menu of the scriptures. Okay. I'll take a little bit of deliverance with sprinkle in some you know, some joy, and gimme a side of peace - and we'll be good. But that is not - I'm gonna suggest that that's not prayer at all. I think prayer is our conversational engagement in relationship with God. Right? So if I'm in relationship with somebody, I'm gonna talk to 'em.


Jared:

Right.


Pastor David:

It's not gonna be, "hey, would you, can you, will you...?" - It's, let's talk. Then out of that conversation, "hey, can you, will you, would you "flows out of that but I wouldn't impede upon you to do something that I'm out of relationship with you in. And the deeper the request, the more intimate definitely the relationship. So I think that this is the congruity piece. This is where we get congruity. I don't know that I'm answering the question exactly as it was kind of stated, but the issue of managing expectations, and still remaining in faith.So this is where faith is developed. Faith is developed in, not in, "Hey, I believe God's word for healing, or I believe God's word for salvation, or I believe God's word for provision..." It is faith in the relationship I have with God. Yeah, for sure. And knowing it is in concert with the word of God. Right, because God - God is his word and his word is him. SoI can then be very confident because I'm relationally connected with him, and self has been extracted from it. Now, you know, we all have a little bit of self, right? But the less self is intermixed with faith, with our requests, the more probable it is that we are praying correctly, and that we will see what we have petitioned him for. So that's really the key. I think the other component to prayer, so I see it as a conversational component of develop, of developing an ongoing relationship. The other piece of prayer is that prayer is the conforming of our will e to the will of God, so that I'm not praying my will, but I'm praying his. So you think about Jesus in Yosemite, he's praying and he says, you know, Father, if it's your will let this, you know, let this cup pass from me. Well, he already knew what God's will was. It wasn't that he didn't know, but his, his self, his flesh was struggling with the weight of what was coming. For sure. And so he says, if it's your will, well, once again, he knew what God's will was, and then his next statement is the key to this, he emptied himself of self. And he said, nevertheless, not my will. So he's acknowledging that last request was me was my will, not my will, but your will be done, and his will would've wanted to avoid a very difficult, future moments, as is the nature of all of us. Our attitude towards things is - we would like to avoid pain we'd like to avoid difficulty, we'd like to avoid hardship, because we see it very differently than God does. Now I'm not saying everything that's difficult and hard, it should be embraced, I'm just saying we just see it differently. So our faith has to be based first in him. Secondly, in our, in the strength of the intimacy of our relationship. And thirdly, in the full Council of God's word, not just a verse here, a verse there, but the whole Council of God's word. Yeah. So if I can do that, it will help me manage the expectation, and help me manage those prayers or those moments of petition where God's answer is either clearly no, or not now. And sometimes delay is not denial. Butthere are times when he's gonna say a hard no. And sometimes he doesn't say the hard no, or he is saying it, and we're just not hearing it, but he is through the obvious answer of what did or didn't happen. It's a communication that God here is sovereign. He's made a decision that supersedes what I think is in his best interest.


Jared:

Right. Yeah.


Pastor David:

And I have to, I have to believe in the grandness and sovereignty of God enough to trust that even when it doesn't make sense to me cognitively.


Jared:

Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly what I was about to say, is just like trusting, like really, like, you know, putting your money where your mouth is in terms of God being -


Pastor David:

Sovereign, being God sovereign.


Jared:

Yeah, being God. Yeah. Knowing more than you. Right, like seeing things better than you see them.


Pastor David:

Yeah. And, once again, I can't, you know, I still can't make everything make sense for sure. You know, "why this loved one, why that child.." - you know, I mean, some of those are way over my pay grade. I just, it doesn't make any sense to me. It doesn't, and I can't see how God is glorified to it. I can't see it. But I can only see in a small nanosecond of the whole expanse of time and from the perspective of God that we just don't see, because we almost always relate to it with the component of self involved. And that's the component that usually smudges the issues of expectation. So it's, it's becoming selfless. So, one of the great scriptures in the Bible is Galatians two 20 where Paul's saying, I'm crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live, yet it's not me but Christ that lives in me, and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Man, that if you just meditated on that verse, it kind of sums up everything I just said.


Jared:

Yeah.


Pastor David:

It kind of brings it into summary. Okay. I'm crucified. Okay, I'm dead - myself is dead with Christ, but I'm still alive. But, the life I'm living - is not me, it's Christ, and I'm living this life by the faith of Christ. So, he is informing my faith. He is the foundation of my faith. He is the source of my strength and my, you know, my comfort and my joy and salvation. So it is really living out that in a complete way. And it's a journey. It, you just don't snap your fingers and get there. I've been, I've been saved for a long time - 45, 45 plus years, 50 years. And I can tell you that it hasn't always worked. The way I thought it worked. God hasn't always done what I thought he was gonna do. I've suffered things that I just couldn't imagine God would allow to happen. But when I've trusted him in the stuff I didn't understand, he's always given me a peace so that I could walk, walk forward with him. So, Yeah. You know, I just encourage people to hang in there. When we are faithless, He remains faithful. Trust, trust his faithfulness and trust his sovereignty.


Jared:

Yeah. For sure. And so many good things come in my experience, just in the short amount of time that I've, you know, been on the earth, there's just so many good things that come from those seasons of, "God, I don't get why you're not doing this, or why you're not doing this my way, or why we seem to be so, like, wanting such different things..." You know what I mean? I always end up coming out of there being like, Yeah, no, I, I don't know anything. You know what I mean? That was problem.


Pastor David:

That, and that's the self component of, that's the self component that informs our reasoning, our thought processes, our understanding, and if we don't understand that, that's the thing that undermines faith... More than the devil, more than circumstances itself, it's how we process things that undermines it more than anything else.If we don't understand that it makes this journey a lot more difficult. A lot more difficult.


Jared:

Yeah. For sure, man. Well, appreciate you, man, appreciate your insight.


Pastor David:

My pleasure. Yeah. These are the good questions.


Jared:

Yeah, for sure. I know that one. I got super excited when that one came through. Cause I was like...


Pastor David:

That's, that's good. That's a really, really good question.


Jared:

Yeah, it's one of those like, I don't wanna say... - unanswerable ones, but it's one of those where, you'll never get to a point where you're like, "okay, I got that in the bag".


Pastor David:

Here's the point that gives you the complete perspective on, it's always gonna be a process, like you said. So I appreciate you, man. We appreciate you guys so much. Thank you so much for bringing in your questions and we'll see you next week.


Pastor David:

All right. Bye guys.




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