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Indian Christian Assembly Church Message

Sermon on 06th October 2013 in I.C.A CHURCH

Psalm Reading: 20th chapter full

Scripture reading- Romans: chapter 12 full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                  Importance of Prayer!!!                -  By:   APOSTLE: C.CHELLADURAI.

                                                                           

Preaching Verse: Psalms: Ezekiel: 36: 37(Promise verse of October month 2013).

37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Once again I will yield to Israel’s plea and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep,

Here in this verse God was comforting the Israel people, and people whom he loved the most had stepped away from God for a while by which they had faced problems and they called upon God for help. Our God, the God of compassion told the Israel people to plea once again after repenting from their sins so that God would bless them. Same way today we are in this busy world forget to pray, we are coming to his presence only during our distress and problem times, but God wants you to be with him throughout the entire situation.

 

For example let us see the life of Jacob the son of Isaac and his prayer life:

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JACOB’S MODEL PRAYER, Jacob does not come before God with a long round about story, telling in general terms the fact that he was in some sort of trouble, out of which he wished to be divinely helped; but he distinctly mentions the perilous circumstances in which he found himself. He says, “O God, deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.” Certainly, God knew that the name of Jacob’s brother was Esau; yet Jacob thought it was necessary to mention his brother’s name in order that his prayer should be distinct and clear. So he pleaded, “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and slash me, and the mother with the children.” He was probably then alluding to his dearly-beloved Rachel and her son Joseph, though he may also have referred to the other mothers in the group, for he was a tender father, and cared for his children, and he mentioned them as being very near his heart, and specially needing divine protection. So you see that Jacob is very clear as to what he asks of God; and I urge you, my brethren, to imitate him in this respect.

When we pray, we sometimes use very round about expressions; we do not come straight to the point; we seem to imagine that a kind of religious etiquette forbids us from speaking plainly at the throne of grace. I am persuaded that this notion is altogether wrong; and instead of God approving this mode of speaking to him in prayer, he would much rather have us speak to him as a child speaks to his earthly father, — respectfully, reverently, remembering that he is in heaven, and we are on earth, yet simply and plainly, for our Heavenly Father needs no garnishing of our speech; and the poor tawdry flowers of eloquence, with which some of our brethren at times adorn their prayers, must be displeasing to God rather than acceptable to him. Especially must you unconverted ones imitate Jacob in this matter of plainness of speech; when you pray, never mind about the mode of your expression, but come to the main point at once. Tell the Lord that you have grievously offended him; and mention your sins to him in private, by name. If your great sin has been drunkenness, call it by that name; if it has been uncleanness, call it by that name. Do not endeavor to dissemble before the Lord, or to cloak your sin before the all-seeing Jehovah. You need not reach down a prayer-book to see how the bishops would have you pray, nor borrow somebody’s Morning Devotions to see how a certain eminent divine prayed; but go straight to God, and say, “O Lord, thou knows what I want! I am a poor guilty sinner, and I cannot express myself in such a way as to please my fellow-creatures; but thou knows what I am, and what I need. Wilt thou graciously give me the pardon of my sin, O thou who alone canst forgive the guilty? Wilt thou receive, me to thy bosom, thou blessed Savior of the lost? “Come to the point with God, dear friends; be explicit with him; let it be seen that you are not, praying for the mere sake of performing a certain religious ceremony, but that you have real business to transact with the Most High. You know what your request is, and you do not intend to leave the mercy-seat until your request is granted.

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So I commend Jacob’s prayer to you because of the plainness of its speech. Next, it is to be commended for the humility of its spirit. Notice especially these words of the patriarch, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.” If you even hint that there is any worthiness in yourself, the power of your prayer is at once destroyed; but if you plead your unworthiness, you will then be standing where the publican stood when he cried, “God be merciful to me a sinner;” and you know how “he went down to his house justified rather than the” Pharisee, who said that he fasted twice in the week, gave tithes of all he possessed, and was not like other men, especially that publican! In that way he destroyed any power that his prayer might otherwise have possessed. His self-conceit tore the chariot wheels from his prayer, so that it dragged heavily, and soon could not move even an inch. On the other hand, a deep sense of sin, a full consciousness of utter understandable, will enable you, like Jacob, to wrestle with the great Angel of the covenant, and to prevail over him. Possibly, you have not succeeded with God because you have not sunk low enough before him. You unconverted ones especially, if you put your mouths in the very dust, which will be the best attitude for you to assume. If you still have some relics of strength, you will not receive divine strength. If there are some remnants of the pristine idea of human merit tolerated in your heart, the robe of Christ’s righteousness will not be wrapped around you. Ask the Lord to strip you of every rag of self-righteousness, to enable you to trust in Jesus alone, and to have no confidence in the flesh, either in the feelings which you experience or in the works which you do. Your time of uplifting will follow close upon your time of falling down flat upon your face. The dawn of day succeeds the darkest hour of the night, so ask God to bring you down to that dark hour in which the night covers every hope that is born of human confidence, for then will the Lord appear to you in his brightness. So, imitate the prayer of Jacob in its humility of spirit.

 

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The third point in which I would have you copy Jacob’s model prayer is in the arguments to be used. The whole prayer is highly argumentative. If some of the prayers I have heard at prayer meetings, — though I must say that the fault is less in this place than in most others! with which I have become acquainted, — if some of the prayers at certain prayer-meetings were less doctrinal, less experimental, and more argumentative with God, they would be more like true prayer should be, for true prayer is just pleading with the Most High, spreading our case before him, and then pressing our suit with all the arguments we can muster.

In this short prayer of the patriarch, no less than four arguments are used. The first is the argument from the covenant: “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac.” God had entered into covenant relationship with Abraham, and made solemn promises to him and to his seed, so Jacob prays, “O Lord, thou hast pledged thyself to be the God of the seed of Abraham, whose grandson I am, and of the seed of Isaac, whose son I am, — now, therefore, by thy faithfulness to thy covenant promise, help me in this dark hour of my life! “Beloved friends, this is the kind of plea that we can use with the Lord: “O God, hast thou not made a covenant with the Lord Jesus by which thou hast promised that thou wilt save all them that trust in him? Hast thou not said, ‘I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people? Then, Lord, though guilty, I trust to the merits of thy dear Son, and I ask to be absolved by virtue of his great atoning sacrifice. Behold, as the earthen vessel hangs upon the nail, so hang I upon him, and upon him alone. Now, by the covenant of thy grace, which is ordered in all things and sure, I beseech thee to manifest thy love to me.” If you use such gracious pleading as that with the Lord, you will surely prevail with him. And I urge you also, children of God, to do the same, for the everlasting covenant is a mighty plea with God, —

“In every dark distressful hour,
When sin and Satan join their power.”

Then we pass on to the next use which Jacob makes of the promise which God had given him: “Thou said unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee.” If you and I know that we are walking in the path of duty, if we are where the Lord has bidden us go, we can always claim the divine promise. The Lord is bound to protect his servants when they are in the path of obedience to his command. If you follow your own counsel, you must manage to take care of yourselves; but if you go where the Bible and the clear indications of divine providence guide you, you may always reckon that the Master who sent you will protect his obedient servants, let, the dangers of the way be whatever they may. If God should command you to go to the utmost verge of this green earth, to rivers unknown to song, or if he should bid you travel through distant deserts, as Mungo Park journeyed through the midst of Africa, yet he could preserve your life there as well as here in England; and being there, sent by him, you may rest, assured that you shall hear the sound of your Master’s feet behind you, or have other unmistakable evidences of his presence with you.

And, sinner, this is a good plea for you to use. You can say, “Lord, thou didst tell me to believe in Jesus Christ, thy Son; then, wilt thou not accept me, for his sake, for I have done what thou didst bid me do? Thou hast said, ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble;’ Lord, this is a day of trouble with me, and I do call upon thee; so wilt thou not answer me? “If you argue with the Lord in such a style as this, you will find that this kind of pleading is potent with him who is omnipotent.

Then, further, Jacob argued with God from his past history. He said that he was not worthy of the least of God’s mercies, yet he had received many of them. Though he went over the river Jordan, when he left his home, a sad and solitary man, with nothing but his walking-staff in his hand, yet, he had come back with wives and children, and so great a number of servants, and cattle, and camels, and goats, and sheep, and asses that he had become like two bands. “Now, Lord,” says he, “after all thy past mercies to me, I beseech thee: do not leave me now. Hast thou blessed thy servant up to this moment, and canst thou leave him now?

So Jacob prayed, in effect, “Lord, thou hast often been my Helper in the past; so now deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.” You, my unconverted friend, may ever adopt this form of pleading, for you can say, “Lord, thou hast saved my life many a time when I have provoked thee. Let thy longsuffering, which now leads me to repentance, also move thee to forgive my sin. I remember what thou didst on Calvary for sinners in ages long past. Didst thou give thy well beloved and only-begotten Son to die for sinners, and wilt thou not now accept every trembling sinner who seeks thy favor? “This also shall prove to be the kind of pleading that will cause the gates of God’s grace to open. The fourth argument that Jacob used was perhaps the best of all: “Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good,” and so on. Ah, that was the master-stroke; and, in like manner, if you would succeed at the mercy-seat, you must bring down the hammer of the promise upon the head of the nail of prayer, and then clinch it, as Jacob did, by saying to the Lord, “Thou saidst,” so-and-so, and so-and-so. David once said to God in prayer, “Do as thou hast said.” When a man has promised you something that you really need, you take him by the button-hole, and you say to him, “Now, you promised to give me that;” and if he is an honest man, you can hold him by his own word; and shall the God of truth ever fail to perform his promise! No, that is one of the things that God cannot do; he cannot lie, and yet cannot run back from his promise, nor does he want to do so. O Christian, if you would get anything from God, find a promise of it in his Word, and been thou mayest count the thing as good as received. When a man of means gives you his cheque, you count it just as good as hard cash; and God’s promises are even better than cheques or bank notes. We have only to take them, and plead them before him, and we may rest assured that he will honor them.

II. Thus I have tried to place before you the points in which Jacob’s prayer is worthy of both commendation and imitation; and now I want to say something concerning our LAST PLEA, which seems to me to be very suggestive: “Thou sadist.” Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, I need not say more to you upon this matter, for you know the value of the promises of God, and you know how to use them. But to those who are not converted, I may perhaps speak a few words suggested by Jacob’s last plea: “Thou sadist, I will surely do thee good.” Sinner, lay hold, as fast as thou can, of the promise of God, and then pleads it with him. To this end, I would say to every unconverted one here who desires to obtain the priceless blessing of salvation, — Study the Word of God very diligently, and always read it with the view of finding a promise that may suite your special case; and when you read it, study it with the firm conviction that it is God’s Word, and that, in each promise, God is as truly speaking to you as though he had sent an angel to apply that promise personally to you. Take a text which you find to be applicable to yourself, and say, “This is what the Lord says to me as certainly as though he now spoke it in my ear.”

Next, I beseech you to remember that God’s Word is absolutely true. Fix that fact in your memory, and then say to yourself that the promise, being true, must be fulfilled. Next to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great object of faith is the promise of God; and if we were more familiar with his promises, we should more steadily get out of that Slough of Despond in which so many of us flounder so long. Bunyan says that “there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this Slough; .... But these steps are hardly seen; or if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step besides, and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there.” Look out for these stops of promise, my friend. There is, in the Bible, a promise just exactly suited to your case, so mind that you find it. Did you never send for a locksmith to open a drawer because you had lost the key, and could not open it? He comes with a great hunch of rusty keys, — very like God’s promise which you have allowed to get rusty through not using them, — and first he tries one key, and then another, and another, till, at last, he gets the right one, and the treasures in your drawers are spread open before you. It is just so with the treasures of God’s mercy. There is one special promise in Scripture which will fit the words of the lock of your experience; and you must try promise after promise till, at last, you get the right one, and then you can say to the Lord, as Jacob did, “Thou sadist,” That is the main matter, what God has said. Never mind what I say; that does not signify an atom except so far as I say what God says. Never mind what anybody else has said; but, let your one concern be to know what God says.

Same way we should also pray full hearted like Jacob, thou he forgot to fulfill his vow towards God’s promise but still God kept him close to his heart and delivered him from all the difficulties he faced.

In Psalms: 20: 1, 2.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.

Pray that the Lord may hear your prayer and free you from all the distress. On this 10th month of this year God says you to pray to him, so that he can deliver you from the entire difficult situation through which you are going through, so that he can stretch his hand and could bless you from Zion. Our God is not an ordinary God; he is the only God who answers your prayer. When you Israel come out of Egypt then only God can act on us, so repent from your sins, get rid of all ungodly things which does not make God happy. Remove all those things from you which don’t allow the God to come near you.

Conclusion: Isaiah: 43:1, 2.

But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.


 The creator who has formed you says not to fear, for he has called you by your name, he chose you in your mother’s womb, he knows each and everything that you’re going to do, he knows when you will sit and stand, he has the account even of your hair, such a wonderful God tell you not to fear of anything. He wants you to be with him in the entire situation, both good and bad. For all these things to happens the only thing you need to do is to Prayer. Prayer makes a man to get rid of everything. Prayer makes you success. Prayer keeps you away from all the evil things. Just Pray!

********Have a blessed week ahead!! Pray without ceasing!!**********



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