Prayer – Part 7

Luke 18:1 GNB  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.   

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 CEV  Always be joyful  (17) and never stop praying.   

  • Praise and worship is the highest kind of prayer.
  • You were born to worship. You were created to worship.

Worship is love for God expressed.

  1. What is the greatest hindrance to us expressing our love for God? Simply put: FEAR
  •  It could be fear of people, fear of what people might say, fear that someone might see us.

Proverbs 29:25 NKJV  The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. 

Proverbs 29:25 MSG  The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that. 

  • The fear of man defined: caring more about what people think than what God thinks.
  • Who do you respect more? Or who do you honor more?
  1. What causes the greatest hindrance of worship? (FEAR)

When did fear come into the world? 

Genesis 3:8-10 NKJV  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  (9) Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (10) So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 

There was no fear until sin came into the world. Shame came as a result of sin. (v10)

  • Sin causes shame and shame causes fear. Where there is shame and fear, there is no worship of God.

Even though we may express our love for God in different ways, there are some scriptural ways that we are told to worship in the Bible.

  • We are told to shout. We are told to lift up holy hands. We are told to sing. 
  • If the Bible says for us to do these things in the presence of God and we choose to disobey what the Bible says to do, the only reason we don’t do it is the fear of what people might think. 
  • That is how deeply rooted shame is in us. 
  • Satan is so good at this that he will even try and put shame on us when we are doing something right.
  1. What conquers the greatest hindrance of worship? What conquers fear and shame?

Acceptance is what conquers shame! 

  • Religion will try to get you to think that if you do well enough, you will be accepted. The truth is that we can never do well enough in our lives for God to accept us.
  • The Good News is that God decided to not leave it up to us to do well enough. Jesus already did well enough and on the basis of what He did, we are accepted by God.

Ephesians 1:2-6 NKJV  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  (4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 

  • Based on what this scripture has said, we are BLESSED, FORGIVEN, ADOPTED, AND ACCEPTED BY GOD.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. 

  • Jesus did the work for us and all that we have to do is receive it. It is by His grace that we are all of these things and not by anything that we have done. 
  • This is so important because an incorrect and improper understanding of grace is what allows fear to stay in your life. 
  • If you have difficulty with fear, it is because deep down, you still believe that you have to do something to get God to accept you instead of knowing that you are already accepted.

Luke 15:5-6 NKJV  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 

Luke 15:9 NKJV  And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 

Luke 15:22-24 NKJV  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. 

When you have lost something and you find it, what are the two things you do? 

  1. You stop looking for it.
  • We were born looking for favor with God. We were all born hiding from God and afraid of God. 
  • We were Born Again accepted.
  1. You rejoice because you found what was lost..
  • The reason that many of us have not started rejoicing because we have found the approval and acceptance of God is because we have not stopped looking for it. 
  • You were born looking for favor with God but the truth is when you received Jesus and were Born Again, you got it. It is yours now!!! 
  • Some of us are able to enter into worship easily because we understand that we have found favor with God. 
  • Others have difficulty entering into worship and expressing your love to God because there is a sense of shame there because you are still trying to earn God’s approval and acceptance. 
  • The enemy tries to tell you that you did not find favor with God this week because of something you did or said and you have asked for forgiveness. GOD FAVORS JESUS AND YOU ARE IN CHRIST!