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Pray without Ceasing! Necessary Qualities

Key Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)   Pray without ceasing.

SUMMARY

Praying without Ceasing is an experience that comes from a heart always connected to God and His word. These three words are easy to read  but the most difficult to practise. When we pray without ceasing, we subdue the powers of darkness and conquer lives for the Lord Jesus. Praying without ceasing is an experience that springs from the deep parts of our hearts as a result of a vibrant walk with the Lord. A prayerless christian is a lifeless christian.

SERMON POINTS

A Life of Prayer.

1 Thessalonians 3:1,2 (KJV) Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

In the Second Missionary journey of St Paul, we see him facing hurdles one after the other. Barnabas is no more with him.About A.D. 50, he arrived in Greece for the first time. In making converts in Philippi and, soon afterwards, in Thessalonica, he was beset by persecution from Jews and Gentiles alike. Moving on to Berea, he was again harassed by enemies from Thessalonica and hurriedly left for Athens (Acts 16:1117:15). Silvanus and Timothy remained behind for a while. Paul soon sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to strengthen that community in its trials (1 Thes 3:15). Timothy and Silvanus finally returned to Paul when he reached Corinth (Acts 18:118), probably in the early summer of A.D. 51. Timothy’s return with a report on conditions at Thessalonica served as the occasion for Paul’s first letter (1 Thes 3:68).

 

How can we pray without ceasing?

  1. Connected with men of God- Healthy Church life.

 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13 (KJV) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

The Lord uses His Servants to shape our spiritual life. A culture of honor is required to receive the things of God. When there is a servant of God among you ministering the word of God and leading the church in His ways, honor them and be faithful to your calling.  The precious word of God in our hearts will help us to cultivate an atmosphere of prayer. The Word gets rooted in our hearts when we honor the men of God and when we are at peace among ourselves. When we are connected with those who are connected with God,much grace and power would be imparted into our lives.

Our reception of God’s word depends on our perception of God’s servants. We must always remember that grace is transferable from their lives. It is through their ministry that God can lead you out of the wilderness of you life. (Hosea 12:13).

Let us heed to, honor and love the people, God has allowed to advice and lead us, that in itself is where our prayer life begins.

  1. Caring for others-Healthy character

 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (KJV)  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 A continuous prayer life becomes operational when we start caring for others. We need to encourage one another. The Bible teaches us to be patient with everyone and support the weak. This is the very reason that God has called us for, to overcome evil with love. Let us do the same by finding a need and filing it. This will help us in being consistent in our prayer life. We cannot have a consistent prayer life without praying for others and carrying the burdens of one another.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord- Healthy Condition of your relationship with Christ.

 Habakkuk 3:17,18 (KJV)  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

 For a consistent prayer life, we need to have a healthy relationship with the Lord. The Bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Being happy always no matter what the situation comes only if we experience the joy of salvation in Christ Jesus.

This is how we will pray without ceasing even when you cannot see the Lord at work but would persevere till His will is done. Delighting in His presence would cause your heart to rise heavenward. We would keep praising and trusting His name.

 

CONCLUSION.

Prayer is the oxygen of a spiritual man. But sadly, these days many of us think that there is no need to pray. When we cultivate the habit of honoring the servants of God and care for one another, we would go into a deeper spiritual lifestyle.

We need to pray and more so without ceasing! Let us introspect the condition of our spiritual lives and push ourselves to pray more and more till we see the Name of Jesus lifted high.

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Praying in the Spirit!

Key Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)   Pray without ceasing.

SUMMARY

The Bible asks us to pray without ceasing and this sermon helps us understand the secret of doing that. Praying in the spirit is a vital part of prayer without which our prayers lack the effectiveness. Let’s learn how to pray in the spirit and make our prayers vibrant.

SERMON POINTS

Praying in the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 We cannot pray continually in our flesh using our human languages. Therefore Apostle Paul teaches us a secret, which is-praying in the Spirit. Our empty lives and prayers become full of power and essence when the Spirit of God fills us.

Why should we pray in the spirit?

Matthew 26:40, 41 (KJV)    And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We need to learn and understand the principle of praying in the spirit. Jesus Christ at the garden of Gethsemane asks His disciples to watch and pray so that they may not fall into temptation. However the weary disciples couldn’t overcome their weak flesh to allow their willing spirits to lead them into prayer.

We need to speak to God in spirit because He is Spirit.

How should we pray in the Spirit? Only if we appropriate a spiritual life can we pray in the Spirit.

  1. The gift of God-Salvation.

 Ephesians 2:1 (KJV) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Just as Jesus said, our bodies are weak. They are dead in sin and transgressions but thanks be to God, He has sent His Spirit to quicken are bodies from death! We need this very experience to be ours if we want to pray in the spirit.

Ephesians 2:8 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

 Only through salvation can one receive this gift of God. We receive it by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Once you receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour your bodies are brought to life from dead state in sin.

 

  1. Being buried with Christ -baptism

 Romans 6:3,4 (KJV)   Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 The Bible also makes it clear to us that we need to die to the world and be buried in His death. When you take baptism by immersion you are buried with Him into His death. This is the other qualification that enables us to pray in the Spirit. It’s not enough if we receive the Lord as are Saviour we need to be buried with Him in baptism.

 

  1. Being resurrected with Christ.

 Revelation 3:1 (KJV)  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Salvation is regeneration of the Spirit and Baptism is identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Once we identify spiritually with the life, death ,burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ we move into a new spiritual realm. We cannot follow the sinful ways of the past and we start seeking things which are above.We mortify things of the earth and long for being clothed with things above. The Lord calls us to walk in the newness of life. When we constantly seek things that are above, we start praying in the Holy Spirit with groanings that cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:1 (KJV)  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

To those who are resurrected with Christ they walk not according to the flesh which is weak and prone to falling into temptation but they walk according to the Spirit.

 

CONCLUSION.

Praying in the Spirit is a powerful; weapon every believer must learn to wield. The old man in us must die and be buried into Christ’s death. We also need to be resurrected with Christ into the newness of life. These are the essentials that help us pray in the spirit and win over the enemy in Jesus’ name.

WILL GOD CHOOSE TO USE YOU

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

God uses sub-ordinary things to accomplish extra-ordinary things. The best way to illustrate how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extra-ordinary things is through the life of David. We face a lot of challenges every day which needs to be conquered; Goliaths to be destroyed and when we destroy them we create histories.
Will God chose to use you?? There is a price to be paid…..
Just like David we need to choose or follow certain steps to do the extra-ordinary.

STEPS TO CHOOSE TO ACCOMPLISH EXTRA-ORDINARY THINGS

1.CHOOSE FAITH OVER FEAR

1 Samuel 17:11, 24
11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.

The above verse tells how Goliath who was nine feet tall from the Philistine camp threatened Saul and the Israelites. Every morning and evening the Philistine would come and challenge the Israelites. Everyone in the camp of Isreal would run in great fear. But when David heard about it, he chose faith over fear. He took a step of faith to defeat Goliath even though circumstances were totally against him. Hebrew 11:6 tells without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Take a step of faith and do the extra-ordinary.
2.CHOOSE VISION OVER DIVISION
1 Samuel 17:28-31
    28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

David though, despised by his brother Eliab chose vision over division. He did not get offended by what his brother told him instead he focussed on his vision. In Psalm 18:29 he tells that with God’s help he can advance against a troop and with God he can scale a wall. People who focus on vision will succeed.
3.CHOOSE WORD OVER THE WORLD

1 Samuel 17:38,39
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

When Saul heard that David consented to fight against the Philistine, he told him that he will not be able to fight against him as he was only a boy. But David answered that he has struck the lion and the bear which came to carry his father’s sheep and that Goliath will be like one of them. He understood that God who delivered him yesterday is still the same to deliver him from Goliath as He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
David who was Saul’s armour bearer was clothed by Saul himself in his own tunic. He was put the coat of armour and the bronze helmet which denotes the worldly system. But David didn’t choose the worldly system. He chose to go in the way he was accustomed to.
Let us also like David chose the Word to defeat Goliath rather than the worldly systems. Let us be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14)

4.CHOOSE PRAYER OVER PRESSURE
I Samuel 17:40
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

David was facing pressure because if he failed to defeat Goliath, the whole country will have to serve the Philistines. But he chose prayer over pressure. He did not fight the Philistine directly but he chose five stones from the streams. This indicates connection with the river of Holy Spirit through prayer. When we are connected with the river of Holy Spirit through prayer, what we get is victory. Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Hebrews 5:7 tells us that during the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

5.CHOOSE PRAISE OVER DISGRACE

1 Samuel 17:42
He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him

Goliath despised David as he was only a boy. But David chose to praise the Name of God rather than disgrace and defeated Goliath. He ignored the statement of Goliath and praised God. Praise is declaring the Name of God over the situation. When we praise God by declaring His Name, we will get success in all what we do.

Categories: Shelterhouse Pulpit

THOUGHT LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

IPA Shelterhouse Online Service
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When: 12.09.2010 Sunday
Where: SKYPE (voice conference)

THOUGHT LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN
Isaiah 55:8,9 God’s declaration

(1) God’s thoughts
Jeremiah 29:11

(2) Our thoughts should be Faith dictated
Romans 12:3

(3) Our thoughts should be Christ centered
Philippians 2:5
I Corinthians 2:16

(4) Our thoughts should be Heaven oriented
Colossians 3:1

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Categories: Shelterhouse Pulpit

STAFF

Moses was chosen by God to deliver the people of Israel and though he was in the best position – the king’s palace; God had a different plan through which he had to deliver the people of Israel. He had to meet the Lord personally before accomplishing the plans in his life.
Exodus 4:2
Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.

A staff represents the spiritual experience which one should never compromise.

1.STAFF OF WORSHIP
Exodus 4:2,3
Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”  “A staff,” he replied. 3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it.
When Moses threw the rod which he had in his hands, the rod became a serpent. Serpent represents our sins. Though Moses had the rod in his hands for several years it didn’t turn to be a snake. Only in the presence of God did the staff turn out to be a snake. This denotes that when we come to His presence we will understand that we are sinners. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6). When we throw ourselves in the presence of God; our sinful situations goes away from us and Christ dwells in us. (Gal 2:20). After this experience, the staff which was the staff of Moses becomes the Staff of God (Exodus 4:20). When our sinful nature, evil desires are exposed in the presence of God; we will become the man/ woman after God’s own heart. The staff of worship enables us to do His will and give our lives as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God—this is our spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

2.STAFF OF ANOINTING

Exodus 7:12
Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

Even the Egyptian magicians performed the miracles which Moses and Aaron did. But the staff of Aaron swallowed their staffs. There are powers of darkness equivalent to the power of God but the staff of anointing which we have, will swallow all the other staffs; for greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. When we carry His presence, the gates of Hades will not overcome us.
Mark 16:17,18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

3.STAFF OF GOD’S WORD
Exodus 14:16
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
When the Israelites were standing in front of the Red sea and saw the Pharaoh’s army behind them; many murmured. Those who murmured died and did not inherit the promises of God. When Moses stretched the rod of God’s promises to the red sea of problems, God did a miracle. The circumstance did not harm them. The Red Sea stood like a wall of ice. When we speak God’s word to our problems; God performs miracles.

4.STAFF OF FAITH
Exodus 17:6
I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
When Moses used his staff to strike the rock; water came out and the people had enough water to drink. The staff represents the faith in God. When we strike on a hard situation with a staff of faith the hard situation will break and not our faith. The word of God came to Moses and faith is the obedience to the Word of God. When we strike the problems with the staff of faith, miracles will happen. Our miracles are proportionate to the faith we have.

5.STAFF OF PRAYER
Exodus 17:9
Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

When the Israelites had to fight with the Amalekites, Moses stood with the staff of God in his hands and when his hands were lifted the Israelites had victory. The staff represents prayer. With more prayer, there is more victory and when there is no prayer there is defeat. When Moses’ hands grew tired, Aaron and Hur held his hands up. Similarly we must uphold our spiritual leaders in prayers. Paul asks men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:8).

Categories: Shelterhouse Pulpit

RESTORATION

Psalm 53:6
“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.”

When things get lost in our lives, it is God who restores it back to us. The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy but Jesus has come so that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

STEPS WE SHOULD TAKE TO MAKE GOD RESTORE ALL THAT WE HAVE LOST

1) REfuse to give up

In 1 Samuel 30:1-6, David faces a situation where his city Ziglak has been invaded by the Amalekites and burnt with fire. Their wives, sons and daughters had been taken captive. The people spoke of stoning him as he was the source of the problem. But David refused to give up; instead he strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Sam 30:6). He was determined not to give up but wanted to get everything that was lost by force. The violent shall get it by force. (Mat. 11:12)

2) Seeking God’s face
David didn’t seek the council of people instead he chose to seek God’s face. (1 Sam 30:7,8). As a result God restored all that was taken as captive. David inquired of the Lord and he along with his four hundred men pursued and got back everything that they lost. Jehoshaphat chose to seek the Lord by proclaiming a fast when the people of Moab and Ammon came to battle against him.(2 Chr. 20)
3) Take Him to the place of loss

We might have lost the cutting edge in our lives. For eg: our trust in God, our faith, our talents, our anointing, etc. In 2 Kings 6:6, the axe of the man who was cutting down a tree fell into water and Elisha asked him to show the exact place where the axe fell. Similarly in John 11:34 when Lazarus died, Jesus asked his sisters where they have laid him. When we show God the place where we had missed it, He is able to restore the lost things in our life.

4) Obey what He tells

Though at times it may sound illogical to the human brain, we must obey what He tells us to do. When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus, He asked them to roll away the stone (Jh 11:39). When Jesus performed His first miracle, Jesus’ mother told the servants to do what JESUS tells them to do. (Jh 2:5). When the servants obeyed Jesus by filling the empty jars with water, miracle did happen. God’s power works on obedience.

5) REcover what belongs to you
In 1 Sam 30:18,19 David recovered everything from the Amalekites. Recover all that the devil has stolen from you. When Elisha put a piece of wood, the iron floated. Put the cross of Jesus on every situation and recover everything that the enemy has stolen.

GOD’S ARITHMETIC OF RESTORATION is always in double measure to what we have lost. When Job prayed for his friends, God restored to him twice as much he had before and he became prosperous. (Job 42:8-10). In Zech 9:12 He promises to restore twice as much to us.

Categories: Shelterhouse Pulpit

Discouraged?? Don’t give up!

Categories: Shelterhouse Pulpit