Well…isn’t this an awesome topic to see when it comes to why reading the Bible is so important. I believe this is gonna be another awesome message. I don’t really have a long-winded introduction for this message, but I do have some things stirring in my spirit just from reading the title of today’s message…Prayer For Guidance.
Remember when we talked about the Sword of the Word of God being our only offensive weapon in the Armor of God? I could hear some of you in my spirit asking me “what about prayer?’” Well, today we’re going to answer that question. Prayer like the bow for an archer or a gun for a soldier. However, it’s the Word of God that provides us with the ammunition. You see, without the Word of God we have no arrows or bullets to shoot.
As a former Marine I know that having a weapon is important, but what’s even more important than having the weapon is something to put into the weapon. If you have a gun without ammunition than what you have is a useless weapon.
The same goes along with prayer. You can have the most beautiful sounding prayers, but if you aren’t praying the Word of God when you pray it’s like having a gun without bullets. The Word of God is what gets God’s attention. The Word of God is what causes the Holy Spirit to move. The Word of God is what causes things to happen, and that’s why there is such an importance upon the Word of God. It is the single most important thing that we as the Body of Christ have. There’s no salvation without the Word of God. How do I know that? Romans 1:16 (KJV) says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV) reads: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Let’s look at that verse again. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Unto us which are saved it…what…the preaching of the cross is the power of God. Well, how in the world is it that the cross is preached? Well, it’s preached from the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit couldn’t do anything in creation until God spoke. How do we know that? “The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2 (AMP). Then God said: “Let there be light…and there was light.” For the rest of creation we see God said…and then what God said the Holy Spirit confirmed with signs and wonders following.
See, the power is in God’s Word. God speaks the Spirit does. Jesus speaks the Spirit does. Paul speaks the Spirit does. Peter speaks the Spirit does. Do you see a pattern here? If we would learn how to pray the Word of God when we pray…then there would be a lot more happening in our prayer life…why? Because the Holy Spirit responds to the spoken Word of God. When we pray things like “by Your stripes we’re healed”…the Holy Spirit is responsible for bringing healing to pass. God responds because you are praying His Word…oh…and let me add that we need to pray God’s Word in faith believing that whatsoever we ask in His name He will do it.
See, if prayer is the gun, and the Word of God is the ammunition, then faith is the trigger. See…it all works together. The more you pray the Word of God, the more results you’re going to see. The more results you see the more your faith is built up because God’s responding to His Word, things are happening in the natural because you’re praying and believing that when you seek God and ask Him things according to His will…and when you are praying the Word of God…you are always praying His will…and because you’re speaking out loud your prayer the Holy Spirit comes to action because He responds to the spoken Word of God.
See, when a gun works correctly you pull the trigger and things happen, right? However, sometimes you can pull the trigger, and nothing happens for one of two reason. Either you’re out of ammunition or you have something that’s obstructing the chamber. As a Christian we also have a few things that will obstruct our ability to have God move and do things in our lives. What are they?
The number one thing that hinders God’s ability to move in our lives is not sin, but unbelief. I know that this flies in the face of the religious who say that God cannot hear you over our sin. Listen, God’s not deaf. If that was the case then God wouldn’t have been able to hear the cries of David, but we know that God heard David’s cries…even in the midst of his sin. So, sin isn’t what keeps God from hearing the cries of those that are His.
Sorry religious folks, but if you’re looking for a religious ministry…you’re not going to find that here at Christlike Ministries NWA. This isn’t a “religious” ministry. This ministry is about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ…and if you’re looking for someone to coddle the ears of the religious then you need to find another ministry to follow because this ministry isn’t about dead religion, but a relationship.
The number one reason that God doesn’t move in people’s lives isn’t because of sin, but because of doubt and unbelief. How do I know that?
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.9 James 1: 5-9
Does this passage say anything about sin? No, what this double-minded man is…is a man who asks the Lord for something without faith. “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Would you like proof? I suppose you would because I just made sure to pop the religious balloon about sin being the number one reason people don’t receive from God.
6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.7 For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, James 1:6-7 Amplified Version
Here is verse 6 in the Amplified. No hesitation, no doubting…let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything he asks for from the Lord…why? Because of doubt. Everything we pray…even if it’s the Word of God that we’re praying needs to be asked for in FAITH. We know that without faith it is impossible to please God, right?
So, there it is. Even if we are praying God’s Word, and not seeing results it’s not because God is deaf. He can hear us over our sin, but what He cannot hear us over is doubt and unbelief. He cannot act even upon His Word if we have doubt in our hearts that He will do what He says He will do in His Word. The Holy Spirit cannot respond to the Word of God that’s spoken in doubt and unbelief either.
Can you imagine if God spoke about creation the way we speak to Him in prayer? Listen, when God spoke “let there be light” He didn’t have one ounce of doubt that when He spoke “Light be”…light would be. Do you know how we approach God? “Lord, if it’s according to Your will…if You could…maybe You might…and then we give our petition.” Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Jesus spoke to the fig tree like we speak to it?
Listen Jesus didn’t look at the fig tree, and say “I surely would like it if you would uproot yourself and die.” No, Jesus spoke to the fig tree knowing that when He said uproot yourself and die…He expected it to die the moment He spoke to it.” That’s how we need to be when we are seeking something from the Lord…even if we are praying His Word.
I’ve heard people pray the Word of God without having faith that God would do what He said He’d do in His Word. What does the Bible say? It says if you lack or seek anything from God…let him ask in faith…nothing wavering. No doubts, No fears, No hesitation…just faith. What did Jesus say? Well, I’ll tell you what He said.
And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22 (AMP)
I’ll get back to what Jesus said in a moment. God just placed this illustration in my mind, and I think that you’ll enjoy it.
Listen to this. The religious world would have you to believe that God cannot hear you over your sin, and this is what the Lord just gave me.
The religious world would have you to believe that I’m sitting here like a child with my fingers in my ears when you pray, and because you have sin like that child I childishly say “I can’t hear you, blah…blah…blah.”. I am not deaf. I am not plugging my ears trying not to hear you because you have sin. The reason I cannot hear you isn’t because of your sin, but because of your doubt. When you ask for something in prayer in my name and really believe that you’ll receive them…you will. It’s not your sin that keeps me from hearing your petitions…it’s your lack of faith. When you ask, believe that you will receive, and you will have those things which you are seeking.”
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty good spot to close this message. I don’t think I really need to add anything else. That was the Holy Ghost, my friends, and I believe that I’m going to close this message with that Word from Him.
Points for Pondering:
4 Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.5 Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You [You only and altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5
- What is the truth that David is talking about here?
- Why should we put our hope into God?
- What are you seeking from God that even when you pray His Word you still pray with doubt and unbelief in your heart?
Conclusion & Prayer:
In closing, I want to go back to talking about how the Word of God is ammunition for our prayer, and that faith is the trigger. I guess, unfortunately, the best illustration for this point is a gun. I know from my time as a United States Marine how an M-16 functions, and how to use it to illustrate this point. So, I’m going to go with it in closing out this message. I will try not to have it go too long, but I will take as long as I need to in order to adequately illustrate this point, then we’ll pray, and close this message.
The M-16 is one of the deadliest weapons that a Marine could have. We load our weapons with things called a magazine. This magazine has a multiple number of ammunition in it. Some magazines hold as many as 100 rounds or ammunition. You see, the Bible is our magazine. It’s full of rounds of ammunition to use against the enemy, situations, and circumstances that come into our lives. We used to have a saying that a clean weapon is your friend. We spent hours cleaning our weapons…even if we hadn’t used or fired them at all. Because any amount of dirt in our weapons could cause our weapon to jam. See, like I just said the religious world would have you to believe that sin is what clogs our firing chamber, but the truth is that it’s not sin…but doubt that keeps our prayers from firing. See, Faith is the trigger for our prayers, but fear, doubt and unbelief are the things that will keep our prayers from being effective.
The Bible is full of rounds of ammunition. The M-16 is a unique weapon because with the flick of a switch you can go from firing one round at a time or a burst of three rounds with the squeeze of the trigger. Praying the Word of God in faith works the same way. Some times, we just simply need one verse, and some times we need several verses…but no matter how many verses we pray…when we’re praying the Word of God in faith…that’s like shooting rounds at the enemy.
However, the Marines have a simple philosophy when it comes to shooting. “One shot, one kill”. The point being one well placed round does better than spraying a bunch of rounds all over the place wasting ammunition. Now, I’m not suggesting at all that praying multiple scriptures is a waste of ammunition. However, what I am saying is this. One well placed verse of scripture that you pray that’s full of faith will do more for a particular situation than praying a bunch of scriptures you don’t have faith in. Listen, if you need healing…God would much rather you pray with faith in your heart “By His stripes we are healed” instead of looking up a bunch of verses and not really having the faith to know that God will do what He says.
Your prayer life will be much more effective if you can really come to believe and have faith that God is for you and not against you. That you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus, and that in Jesus you have victory. If you know those verses, and you have faith in those verses..and you pray those things in a situation or circumstance…that’s much more effective than praying anything else.
I hope it’s helped you to know that God’s not sitting up in heaven with His fingers in your ear like a little child because you have sin. Listen, I have sin in my life, but I certainly don’t let that be a deterrent when it comes to prayer. Why not?
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)
God couldn’t, and wouldn’t say that if it was true that God can’t hear us over our sin. How many of you know that when we have sin that’s the moment when we need to come boldly to His throne? No, my friends, the reason He can’t hear us has nothing to do with sin, but everything to do with doubt and unbelief.
I hope you enjoyed todays’ message, and I hope the illustration helped you too.
Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking directly to us today through today’s message. Thank You for letting us know that the reason You cannot hear our petitions isn’t because our sin has caused You to be deaf to our cries, but because we ask with fear and doubt in our hearts. Lord, teach us to pray Your Word, but more so…teach us to pray it in faith. Teach us to have unwavering faith so that when we come to You in prayer we can receive that which we ask because we know that You are willing and able to do that which we are seeking from You. I thank You for Your Word, I thank You for speaking to us today, and I thank You that we’re going to all be better prayer warriors, and we’re going to have clean weapons full of faith in You and Your Word. In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen & Amen.