Summary: Jesus was a man of prayer. We know very little of his boyhood days, but a boy who at the age of 12 said, "I must be about my Father’s business" surely must have spent much time alone in communion with his Heavenly Father.
PRAYER THE DARK SIDE
Jesus was a man of prayer. We know very little of his boyhood days, but a boy who at the age of 12 said, "I must be about my Father’s business" surely must have spent much time alone in communion with his Heavenly Father.
After he was baptized by John the Baptist at the age of thirty He was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying. A hard and busy life lay ahead of him, and he prayed for strength to meet the test of these years.
Now watch his prayer life during his public ministry. When the crowds pressed around and sought to make him king, He slipped away to the secret place of prayer.
Before he chose his disciples, he spent the night in prayer. Often in the early morning when the disciples were still asleep he would go to the mountain side and spend an hour in communion with God.
Before any great undertaking, he prayed. When he went to raise Lazarus from the dead, he prayed. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed so earnestly that his sweat was as great drops of blood.
Finally, as he hung upon the cross, he stopped long enough to pray for his enemies, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Jesus was a man of prayer!! And he wants us to also be known as people of prayer.
At the men’s prayer breakfast we talked about and then spent time in prayer. But I feel that God is showing me that we need to examine this matter of prayer from all sides.
We hear much about prayer, even though we don’t practice it a whole lot. We have all heard of the benefits and the power of prayer...and I rejoice in the fact that we can come to God with our petitions and needs.
But this morning I want to show you the other side of prayer...the dark side...the abominable side...the sinful side. We must have a full understanding on this subject.
READ Psalm 17:1 3
David is crying out to God...with a sincere heart he is praying...
READ Psalm 109:6 7
In KJV it says, "Let him be condemned and let his prayer become sin! Is that in your Bible?
READ Isaiah 1:12 16
READ Proverbs 28:9
Today we hear a constant urge to pray for so many things...ex. our nation...Many use II Chron. 7:14 the problem is we seem to forget the part about confessing and forsaking our sins.
I can’t think of anything that we need more in the church today than to fall on our faces before God in prayer. But it’s a serious thing to call a carousing, compromising congregation to prayer...
This will cause a sin in their life greater than all their other sins combined...worse than drug addiction...alcoholism...pornography, etc.
Back in the days that followed the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites worshiped in a portable tabernacle. It was designed by God with very exacting dimensions and form. Everything had a place and special significance and purpose.
The outer court was a common place where anyone could come to bring their sacrifices and offerings. Beyond this area only the priests could go.
But these priests, after serving at the brazen altar, could not enter the holy place of God’s manifested presence, till hands and feet were cleansed in the laver. This laver is a type of Christ cleansing the believer from defilement of sin.
For them to go to the altar in the holy place before the laver was to degrade holiness and righteousness.
Are you with me so far?
READ Psalm 141:2
prayer and incense...
READ Revelation 5:8
Incense the prayers of the saints...Can you see that?
Have you ever prayed and it felt like your prayers just bounce of the ceiling? Well I want to tell you that every prayer gets through...but what effect does it have upon God?
Every prayer that a holy person prays is a sweet smelling savor to God But to offer a holy God a corrupt prayer is one of the greatest abominations.
We’re told to come into His presence with...Clean hands & a pure heart
...the laver then the altar.
This morning I want to show you How seriously God takes this matter of coming into His courts...to come in to a service like this...to sing and pray and worship...with sin in your hearts.
Something hidden down inside...you can be living in sin like pride, rebellion, bitterness, jealousy...all kinds of hidden things...and yet we’re encouraged to praise and worship the Lord.
But when we do this with sin in our life...it’s absolutely dangerous.
Some of you may say, I have no sin in my heart...Well, what about rebellion?