Maranatha Media

As a Little Child...The Necessity of Prayer

Posted Feb 12, 2023 by Allan Gathoni in Christian Life Style
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A DEEPER EXPERIENCE

Do you want a deeper experience with God? Do you want an ongoing walk with Him? Do you want to overcome besetting sins? Do you want the sweet peace of oneness of purpose with God? If yes, then there is one necessary thing: prayer.

Why prayer? First, it is the way God wants you to relate yourself with Him. Second, this relationship with causes us to bring what we learn about the world and the Word and bring it into into our relationship with God. Our Father speaks to His dear children through nature, through the prodding of His Spirit (“notice  that…” the Spirit gently tells us), and He is always there longing to have an active relationship with us: “the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14).

But for this to be a true dialogue, a healthy relationship of growth and love, He wishes to see His children commune with Him on the things concerning our own lives. This would reflect our total dependance on Him.  Prayer is a constant conversation with the Father, the very life blood of the Christian who has the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Jesus Himself was a man of prayer. He would pray alone, and at times in the presence of others:

Mat 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone

Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Christ's life was a life of prayer. This showed how He fully depended on His Father for everything (“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” - John 5:19), how grateful He was to His Father for being with Him always (“And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always…” - John 11:39-41) and this made Him worship God as His Father (“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” - John 4:22; “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” - 20:17). He had a constant relationship with His Father, deeply in love with Him and desiring to be with Him.

We all have the desire to imitate Christ as our example. By beholding Him, you become changed into the same likeness. This is the reason we are drawn by His spirit to spend time with Him to learn of Him.  If you focus your attention on the problem you have and disregard the problem solver, you worsen your situation. Hope does not flow from problems; it flows from solutions and the source of every “good and perfect” solution is God. “Christ is the source of every right impulse.” Regardless of difficulties and challenges, we are to constantly remind ourselves and others of God’s love and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ.

We are admonished in (1 Thes 5:17) to ‘’Pray without ceasing’’. We are encouraged to keep our mind always in contact with Heaven. Paul says in Colossians 3:1 that if our affections will be on the things above, that's where our mind will be, for ‘’where your treasure is, your mind will also be there’’ (Mathew 6:21). You and I cannot pray without ceasing if the things that are important to us are worldly, because that is where our mind will be. This is a psychological principle but more importantly, a Biblical principle.

Praying for the Faith of Others

And what was most important to Christ, that which He prayed for most? The faith of His disciples, and those who believe in His name {character}:

“The Redeemer had spent entire nights praying for His disciples, that their faith might not fail.” (DA 689)

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them {the disciples} which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them {us} also which shall believe on me through their word;

One principle of prayer is believing that God will do as He has promised in His word He will do (not to be confused with believing what we inaccurately think God has said He will do). This only happens when we remain, stay, continue, and persist in communication with Heaven:

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Christ has Spirit filled words, living words. May we stay in the living word of God and by His Grace hearken/obey it. It shall be the guide unto our feet, and Light unto our paths (mind).

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left’.

The life of the vine will be manifest in fragrant fruit on the branches. “He that abideth in Me,” said Jesus, “and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing. {DA 676.4}

In a sense, by creation, everyone in the world is God’s child. But, in reality, the experience of being God’s child is only entered when we choose to be adopted and maintain the relationship of adoption. Our heavenly Father always stands ready, waiting. It is our decision whether we shall be, in the fuller sense, His little children. The only safe, worthwhile relationship we dare sustain toward God is that of a small child. When you and I want God as much as a small child wants his mother, we will have an abundance of Him in our lives. This child-parent relationship is a living experience which makes you a son or daughter of the God of Heaven! What a noble bloodline to be a member of!

In this experience of sonship/daughtership to God, you love Him, trust Him implicitly, and He send the Spirit of His Son to help you obey Him promptly and happily. You come to Him with all your problems, trials, questions, hurdles, challenges, disappointments, pains, and hurts. Indicative of how genuine is the experience, you spend a sizeable amount of your “together time” sharing your joys with Him and praising Him for His goodness and all the blessings you have. You are not just asking for something! You just love to be with Him! What a tremendous joy!

It is a sweet, peaceful, happy relationship, even though others may be trying to cause you grief. As did David, when his men considered stoning him (1 Samuel 30:6), you “encourage yourself in the Lord” and are prepared for whatever may happen.

The secret is, in His strength, to put all those bad things away—and quietly, humbly, enjoy the ongoing walk with Him. There is great strength in clinging to Him!

A Child with his Father

What do you think of the child who is only nice to his parents when he wants something from them? You will reply, “He is selfish and probably does not respect them very much.” The best experience is one that is filled with thankfulness and gratitude. When you are with God because you want to be with Him (through prayer and study of His word), you will find that many of your conversations consist of praise to Him. Soon it becomes an atmosphere of praise, rejoicing, thankfulness, and singing. Prayer lifestyle changes the entire being. It is an atmosphere that is a blessing to those around us, in which angels love to dwell.

You have a most wonderful Father, and you love Him all the more because of it. Our earthly parents may be fine, but our Heavenly Father is the provider of everything good in the universe! (James 1:17). This experience is a marvelous simplifier of life’s problems. Every day we encounter situations which we can work through with our Father’s help. I have encountered in my own personal life, in the life of the brethren I’ve come across, and those sharing with me about their faith journey, how peaceful it is beholding Jesus and meditating upon His goodness. I’d go ahead to share the following:

  1. If you run into a problem, you cry to Him, “Father, what do You want me to do?” “Father, take care of this problem; I know You will. Tell me whatever You want me to do.”
  2. If there is something to be done, “How do I do this?” “Please, help me do it—and in the right way.”
  3. In a scenario where you meet someone you could talk to about Christ. How should you approach him? You send up a prayer to your kind Father, “What should I say?” And the words are given you as promised.
  4. You learn of someone needing help. How should you best go about giving it to him? Talk it over with your ever-kind Father. He will guide you as to the best way to go about doing it, and help you with your words.
  5. When tempted to enter upon a wrong course of action, you are so thankful that God is near. You ask Him for help and He grants it. “Help me, Father; do not let me dishonor Thee!”
  6. When you sense that discouragement is near, then it is time to do as David. Comfort yourself in the Lord. Rejoice, I say, rejoice! Praise God and sing a sweet song, such as Sweet Hour of Prayer, Just as I Am etc.

Special Time

There are special times in the day when you can do the most sharing with your Father, this is during the morning and evening sacrifice hours (9am and 3pm). Although, we have the entire day given to us for communing with Our Father, if possible we should at least remember these times. Or add another like Daniel did in th midday. Much of the great strength of Muslims comes from their discipline of praying 5 times a day. A serious habitual prayer life helps us to resist temptation:

We may commune with God in our hearts; we may walk in companionship with Christ. When engaged in our daily labor, we may breathe out our heart’s desire, inaudible to any human ear; but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard. (GW 258.2)

“It is only through Christ that His people can resist temptation, and become men and women of high and holy purpose, of noble integrity, who will not be swayed from truth, right, and justice. The Christian must be much in prayer. Prayer takes hold upon Omnipotence, and gains us the victory. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And those who thus make Christ their daily companion and familiar friend will feel that the powers of an unseen world are all around them, and by looking unto Jesus they will become assimilated to His image.”— {Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, October 1, 1889, par 10}

To summarize how to have a daily experience in prayer to God: Value His presence, be cheerful and thankful that you are with Him, study the Scriptures (the Bible and/or Spirit of Prophecy) and meditate upon His Law day and night, and talk to your sweet Father. Cheerfulness will lead you to praise, and praise induces cheerfulness, share your problems with Him, and cry for help and guidance.

What higher power can man require than this—to be linked with the infinite God? Feeble, sinful man has the privilege of speaking to his Maker. We utter words that reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. We pour out our heart’s desire in our closets. Then we go forth to walk with God as did Enoch. {HP 81.6}

You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you. {COL 146.4}

“If compelled to be in the society of those who are evil, you are not compelled to enter into or engage in their evil. You can, by prayer and watching, remain unsullied by the evil manifested about you.”—Letter 16, 1867.

True prayer, offered in faith, is a power to the petitioner. Prayer, whether offered in the public assembly, at the family altar, or in secret, places man directly in the presence of God. By constant prayer the youth may obtain principles so firm that the most powerful temptations will not draw them from their allegiance to God.”— {Youth’s Instructor, February 15, 1900, par 1}

"While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome." (GW 254.2)

May Our Heavenly Father give us strength, reflect on His Love when we feel forsaken and His peace when under turmoil.

Blessings, Allan (and Danny).

 

Two Presentations I did


Please excuse the few sound issues and the interruptions by an intoxicated guest, besides that I think this sermon is good. :)


Sermon on Jesus's most important prayer. Once again, excuse the text being off screen a little.