Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Hear, O Lord

Psalms 27:7-8 “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me and answer me.

When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”

I love these verses…..

They speak so clearly as how we should pray…..what we should pray.

Some people struggle with “how” we should come to God. Should we kneel, or bow our head, or is it alright to pray walking or jogging.

I believe:

Reverence in our personal prayer times….kneeling, when we can.

Bowing our head (again, in reverence to Him), when praying with family, church, or friends.

Otherwise the “meeting-place” of us with God in prayer,……is in our hearts. We can pray….anywhere.

When God shows us our need, “seek ye My face”……then we should respond with that prayer….”Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”

When I pray, I often find a verse that the Lord has showed me, concerning what I am to pray about…….and use that as a start.

I start with what it says to me….and move outward, claiming it for others.

(One our “go-to” verses is:

1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us:

And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”

To pray the Lord’s will is to open up for ourselves a lighted path…..it is to open the way to the Lord’s ear….it is to show Him how willing we are that His Will, not mine, be done.

It is to hear from our own lips the Will of God, and in prayer ask Him to perform it.)

Prayer is talking to God…..about our troubles, confession of sins, praise for mercies received, and seeking direction,…..seeking peace…..seeking the Lord’s face….to come into His presence, in a special way or time.

“Hear, O Lord”

If we expect to be heard…..we need to come as servants, wanting to really know what to do….and how He wants us to do it. He is Lord, and should be our Lord….in this situation.

If He is asking for us to pray….then He is asking us to agree with Him, and seek it from Him……

….Putting us in our place in the Battle which always rages between the Lord and our Adversary……

Most people do not realize that prayer is so hard, because it is so powerful.

In it, we are asking the Almighty God….to act on our behalf or someone else…..we are asking Him to speak….to move…..people’s hearts and lives;

To change circumstances, which are adverse to His Will;

To remove hinderances.

No wonder the Adversary of our souls, fights it so hard…….interfering in thoughts from yesterday, tomorrow, or next year.

(an old proverb says, “You can’t prevent birds from flying over your head…..but you can keep them from building nests in your hair.”)

1 Peter 1:13 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Daniel is our example:

Daniel had been praying for a particular promise for the people, back in Israel….one which had been shown him from the Word of God:

Daniel 9:2-3 “….I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:”

Once Daniel knew the Lord’s Will concerning the time for restoration of Israel and Jerusalem……he prayed…..earnestly seeking God to do what He said.

And what did he pray? Confession, first….then claiming the promise, according to His righteousness and mercy.

Daniel 9:16-19 “O Lord, according to Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger….be turned away…:

Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear;…..for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.”

(I love Daniel’s prayer, here…..like Ezra and Nehemiah to come, they confess as representatives of the whole nation of Israel…their sin….praising God, that in His chastening and wrath….He remembered mercy to them. All three great prayer chapters are in the ninth chapter. And all are for the restoration of Israel to God’s Word….in their lives, in Israel, and in Jerusalem.)

And what happened, when Daniel prayed (how long he prayed this prayer or other’s like it, it does not say…a day, a week,….but…)?

Daniel 9:21-23 “Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.”

Our prayers, matter…..to God. This is His means of bringing certain things to pass….we ask for them.

Nothing takes the place of obedience (if you are a child of God),…..nothing…..but to pray is the first sign of an obedient heart….the seeking of His Will…..and asking Him to perform it….through you, or others.

New Testament example:

Herod (all of which were bad), saw the church growing, and arrested James the brother of Peter….and beheaded him.

He saw that it pleased the ruling religious body, so he arrested Peter and put him in prison….for the same death.

Acts 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”

They were praying day and night for God to do something to save Peter….

Acts 12:6-7 “And when Herod would have brought him forth (to behead him), the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains:…..

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side (had to wake him up!), and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.”

The angel wakes him up…..the chains fall off, and the angel guides him through the prison, across the Romans walled fortress, to the gate, separating it from the city…..which opens before Peter.

The angel then guides him toward the right street and departed from him.

Peter then went to the house of Mary the mother of John Mark….and knocked.

(It is interesting to note that when the maid heard it was Peter, she went and told those gathered to pray inside….they did not believer her……

…..this is just like us, so many times with out prayers…..we often pray, wanting God to hear us….but not believing, as we should, that He does.)

Acts 12:16-17 “But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door;…

But he, beckoning unto them with his hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.”

Prayer is God’s means of accomplishing certain things…..

….and He blesses it.

In the last days of this year…..let us make sure our confessions are up-to-date….and let us seek to know His promise for the days, and months ahead….

….that we might ask for it,……and have His blessing in us…..for us…..and for the church.

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