Summary: Reminding us to consider what we have in Jesus as a way to help us overcome obstacles in life

1. Text: Ephesians 1:16-19

2. Title: I Keep Asking God

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, May 22, 2005, in the series ¡§Praying for Loved Ones¡¨

4. Objectives:

ľ for the people to understand that there are great things to ask as we intercede for those we love

ľ for the people to feel confident that asking for these items for a loved one is a great thing to do

ƒæ for the people to more carefully pray that their loved one¡¦s ¡§eyes might be opened¡¨ to see the good things God has for those who love Him

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to consider the great value of the helps we have from God, put this at the front of their own thinking when confronted with challenges, and to pray for their loved ones to have this same helpful experience

6. Type: Expository

7. Dominant Thought: Just realizing what we have in Christ can help any person overcome great obstacles in his life

8. Outline:

Intro ¡V There¡¦s a TV show called Antiques Road Show. It¡¦s pretty simple ¡V they show up with a bunch of antique experts. People show up with their old stuff. The experts appraise the peoples¡¦ stuff. Usually, the ones they show you are the people who find out something they own is really valuable. After hearing what it¡¦s worth, they all say the same thing: I had no idea! I think that¡¦s kind of the way this text from Eph 1:16-19 is. (please turn to it.)

The king of Aram was mad ¡V ¡§enraged¡¨ the NIV says. He was at war with Israel, but every time he would plan to attack the armies of Israel, they¡¦d somehow learn it ahead of time. It was like there was a spy, a mole, who was telling them every time he made a plan. ¡§Alright,¡¨ he finally said, ¡§Which one of us is on Israel¡¦s side?!¡¨ ¡§None of us is on Israel¡¦s side, but Elisha, the prophet, he can tell the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.¡¨

So, the king sent huge forces after one man ¡V 2 men really: Elisha, the prophet, and his servant Gehazi. The Arameans learned that Elisha was in Dothan, so they went and surrounded it at night.

2 Kings 6:(8-)15-23

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don’t be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. Elisha told them, "This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for." And he led them to Samaria. After they entered the city, Elisha said, "LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see." Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

And sure enough, there was Elisha, the man they were looking for! Only, they were smack in the middle of the capital city of their enemies!

What I want you to remember about this story this morning is the prayer of Elisha, and how the Lord answered it. Here was poor Gehazi, scared out of his wits. What do you do? Elisha prayed. He prayed for his servant. But I want you to notice, that the prayer wasn¡¦t to change their situation. Elisha didn¡¦t pray that the army of Aram would be swept away. He just prayed that Gehazi¡¦s eyes would be opened to see what he already had around him. And there, in the hills, were horses and chariots of fire all around them ¡V the armies of heaven, who have been there all along.

This sermon may apply to you directly this morning. It may be that you¡¦re needing just to be able to see what you already have at your side. And it may be that you have a loved one who you know that needs the same kind of help Gehazi needed. Once again, I want to turn to one of the letters that Paul wrote, to a church of people very dear to him, and consider what he prayed for them.

Paul had been praying for the Ephesians. He must have realized that in Ephesus, there were too many Christians whose Christianity wasn’t "working" for them. The Ephesians are Christ-followers trying to live out their faith in the middle of a very not-Christian city.

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