Sermons

Summary: Sinful living prevents God from hearing our prayers.

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INTRODUCTION: THE BIBLE TEACHES IN JAMES 5:16 THAT THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS AVAILETH MUCH. WHILE THAT IS A TRUE STATEMENT, OUR PRAYERS WILL BE NULL AND VOID IF OUR LIFESTYLE IS IN CONTRADICTION WITH OUR LIPS. IN OTHER WORDS MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, OUR LIPS SAY ONE THING AND OUR LIVES SAY ANOTHER. WITH OUR LIPS WE PRAISE, WITH OUR LIVES WE PROFANE. WITH OUR LIPS WE TESTIFY, WITH OUR LIVES WE TESTILY. WITH OUR LIPS WE HAIL OTHERS, WITH OUR LIVES WE HURL STONES OF GOSSIP. YES MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTER, MANY PRAYERLIVES ARE PARALIZED, POISONED, POWERLESS, AND POLLUTED BECAUSE THEIR CHARACTER SAYS ONE THING AND THEIR CONDUCT SAYS ANOTHER. BUT IF YOU WANT YOUR PRAYERS TO REACH THE EARS OF ALMIGHTY GOD, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE STRIVE TO WALK WORTHY OF THE VOCATION WHEREWITH WE ARE CALLED.

I. TEXT

THE WRITER OF THIS PASSAGE LET’S US KNOW THAT GOD WILL NOT HEAR OUR PRAYERS IF SIN IS SITTING ON THE THRONE OF OUR LIVES. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, REVEREND, I COME TO CHURCH EVERYTIME THE DOORS OPEN, I DON’T SIN. 1 JOHN 1:8 SAYS, “IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US.” THE BIBLE ALSO TEACHES THAT ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.

THE WORD POLLUTE CARRYS THE CONNOTATION OF MORAL DEFILEMENT, IMPURITY, CONTAMINATED, AND UNCLEAN. THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF CHRISTIANS WHO’S PRAYERS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE UNCLEAN AND AS A CONSEQUENCE, THEIR PRAYERS ARE UNCLEAN.

IF SIN IS YOUR MODEL AND MASTER, THE ONLY THING THAT YOU ARE DOING WHEN YOU PRAY IS USING UP OXYGEN. IF SIN DICTATES AND DOMINATES YOUR LIFE, YOUR PRAYER HAS AS MUCH VALUE AS A PLUGGED NICKLE. IF SIN IS YOUR CAPTIN, YOU ARE HELD CAPTIVE BY A CRIPPLING CONDITION THAT IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO YOUR CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.

IF GIVEN THE CHANCE, GARY BAUGH SAYS THAT SIN WILL REPLACE YOUR LOVE WITH LUST, JOY WITH SORROW, COMFORT WITH CHAOS, GLADNESS WITH GRIEF, GENEROUSITY WITH GREED, BLESSING WITH BUDENS, PEACE WITH PERPLEXITIES, HOPE WITH DESPAIR, DELIGHTS WITH DISAPPOINTMENTS, PURITY WITH PERVERSION. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUR PRAYERS ARE POLLUTED!

II. PRAYER

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, REVEREND, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME ABOUT PRAYER BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN PRAYING A LONG TIME. I KNOW THAT MY PRAYERS ARE NOT POLLUTED. ALLOW ME TO MOCK TIME MOMENTARILY AND GIVE YOU THE PASCHAL PERSPECTIVE, AND TELL YOU THAT EVERYTIME YOU GOSSIP, THAT’S POLLUTION; EVERYTIME YOU BACKBITE, THAT’S POLLUTION; EVERYTIME YOU HAVE AN EVIL THOUGHT, THAT’S POLLUTION; EVERYTIME YOU REFUSE TO FORGIVE OTHERS BUT EXPECT GOD AND OTHERS TO FORGIVE YOU, THAT’S POLLUTION.

BEFORE I TELL YOU WHAT PRAYER IS, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT PRAYER IS NOT. PRAYER IS NOT SOME EMPTY EMOTIONAL, ECCLESSIASTICAL EXERCISE. PRAYER IS NOT SOME ROUTINE RELIGIOUS RITUAL, WHERE YOU REHEARSE, REHASH, AND REPEAT PHRASES YOU’VE HEARD SOMEBODY ELSE PRAY. PRAYER IS NOT SOME OUTTER ORATION OPERATING ON HOW GOOD YOU SOUND WHEN YOU PRAY.

PRAYER IS THE SINCERE DESIRE FROM THE HEART, THAT SEEKS THE EARS OF GOD AND NOT THE EARS OF MAN. PRAYER BEGANS FROM THE INTERNAL, SOMETIMES VERBALIZE EXTERNAL, WITH THE PURPOSE OF REACHING THE ETERNAL. PRAYER IS THE HEARTFELT PASSION, PLEADING IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.


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