Monday, July 28, 2014

DIVINE INSPIRATION

There are two thoughts I want to present to your mind.  First, I want you to realize that you need the Holy Spirit to give you divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event you are involved with.  Secondly, I want you to believe that God wants to give you His Holy Spirit to give you divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event you are involved with. 

Job 32:8
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

I know that it was the young and arrogant Elihu the Buzite who spoke these words; however, I believe that this part of what he said is true.  I do believe that “there is a spirit in man.”  And, I also believe that it is “the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”  When the Holy Spirit moves upon your thoughts to guide them in a certain direction: that is inspiration.  It is divine inspiration.  You and I need this divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event we are involved with.  AMEN!

Acts 2:16-18
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy , and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy :

This scripture is undoubtedly referring to the gift of God which enables a person to preach the gospel in the sense of ministering, preaching and teaching.  But let every one of us also consider that we are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by the way that we live.  If you claim to be a born-again, spirit filled, child of God; then, you are prophesying to your children, family, friends and every one you meet.  I want you to realize that you need God to divinely inspire the words which you speak.  If you do not realize this, you will not pray for it.  You need to ask God for divine inspiration. 

1 Corinthians 14:29-32
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

When you stand up and testify or sing and speak in the congregation of the righteous, you are prophesying, or you should be prophesying.  Don’t you believe that we ought to have God’s permission, approval and assistance to stand up and speak in the worship service of the saints of God?

Matthew 10:17-20
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak : for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak .
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Mark 13:11
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak , neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak , but the Holy Ghost.

When you are being persecuted, you need divine inspiration to help you respond.  When you talk to your enemies, you need divine inspiration to speak with wisdom and grace.  When you are in a difficult situation, you need the Holy Ghost to impress upon your mind the appropriate words which you should speak. 

Acts 4:29-33
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

We read that the saints prayed that they would be blessed with divine inspiration.  Their desire was “that with all boldness they may speak THY word.”  Not their words, but the words of God’s choosing. 

1 Corinthians 2:12-14
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak , not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

As we “receive” the right words from God, that is the “which things also we speak.”

1 Peter 4:7-11
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.”
The oracles of God are those which speak the truth about the one true living God. 
They speak for God.  They speak for His glory.  They speak His truth and His doctrines.
If we would discipline ourselves to speak only as would be appropriate for the Ambassadors of Christ, then we would no doubt speak as Christ would speak. 
This should be our burden, our goal and a point of earnest prayer. 

Proverbs 25:8-15
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

The Holy Spirit has spoken to the wise King Solomon and Solomon wrote these words for our instruction.  Let us consider what he has said:
V8:  Many problems have been caused by people who did not seek the inspiration of God before they went forth to strive with another person. 
V9:  Too often a person will complain and gossip to the wrong person instead of going to his neighbor with whom he disagrees.  If you have something negative to say about a matter, go to the one who has the responsibility to make the correction or amendment. 
V10:  If you talk to the wrong person, it will result in your shame.
V11:  The Holy Spirit can give you the right words to say in every situation and your words will have great value if they come from God. 
V12:  Gold is a precious metal and very useful; so are the words of the person who can give a wise reproof.
V13:  In ancient Israel, they packed snow in a cave during winter so that they could have a cold drink in the time of harvest. 
V14:  To boast of a gift you do not have is as empty of refreshment as a summer cloud. 
V15:  A soft tongue breaketh the bone.  How powerful are words fitly spoken.  How needful are words which are divinely inspired.  We need Spirit filled preachers and teachers.  We need Spirit filled parents and rulers. 

King David said in Psalms 85:8, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:”

Jesus said in John 8:25-26
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

If Jesus spoke only those things which He had heard of His Father, how much more do we need to be careful to speak only those things which we hear of the Holy Spirit. 

Proverbs 3:5-7
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes:

Jeremiah 10:23
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

We need the divine inspiration of God.  We can not glorify Jesus Christ unless we speak wholesome words. 

Matthew 12:36-37
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

When you stand before the Great Judgment Throne of God, what will your record say about the words you have spoken?  Will you be justified by your words; or, will you be condemned by your own words?

YOUR ADVERSARY

Life is a battleground of good against evil and truth against lies.
Satan and his angels are the enemies of God’s children and Satan has been a liar from the beginning.  No person can defend himself, by himself, against Satan’s subtilty (fraud and deceit).   

1 Peter 5:1-11
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We do not need to fear the Devil; but, we must watch and pray.  We must be diligent and alert to his traps and snares.  He only leaves us for a short season and then he will be back with his tricks.

To consistently defeat our adversary the Devil, we must be merciful and quick to forgive other people.  People make mistakes and Satan is quick to put thoughts of rejection and retaliation in your mind.  You must be merciful and more willing to forgive than to seek revenge.  Revenge and vengeance belongs only to God. 

2 Corinthians 2:9-11
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Don’t let Satan get an advantage in your mind and heart.  Don’t ever follow his counsel.  Don’t be hasty in your decision.  Be careful of the judgment you speak.  If you allow the Devil standing room in your mind, he will come to you as an angel of light.  His counsel will be divisive and destructive.  He is come to steal, kill and destroy.  His purpose is always to hurt your faith and steal your righteousness.  Let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit be your counselor and guide. 

We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.  We know how Satan likes to sow his seeds of discord and division. 

To effectively resist and fight against our adversaries, we must keep a pure heart and mind.  We must love our enemies and treat them with respect.  Often times your adversaries will be the members of our own family. 

Matthew 10:34-39
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

In another verse we find this counsel:
Matthew 19:29
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

The greatest protection we have against Satan and all of our adversaries is to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow His counsel.  Jesus tells us very clearly how we must act and live.

Matthew 5:1-13
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Every spirit and every thought which is against or in opposition to these beautiful attitudes is of the devil and we must resist them to do the right thing.  I cannot over emphasize how important it is that we be peacemakers.  Although we must always be careful not to compromise righteousness and hold up the standard of holiness; we must also not be hasty to condemn and cut off those who have erred from the right way.  Sometimes the errors of the people are committed in ignorance and do not constitute rebellion against God and truth.  To be disobedient is greatly different than to be mistaken. 

We will be reviled, persecuted and spoken against falsely.  We must not believe evil reports against each other without proving all things with reliable evidence and two or three witnesses. 

We will have enemies who hate the truth and who have allowed Satan to deceive their heart and mind.  They are walking in darkness and do not understand what they are doing.  They are blind and cannot see the way they are going or the consequences of their actions. 

Have faith in God.  He will protect you from your enemies.

Psalms 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I B

Why should we worry when our God has promised to feed us with spiritual food in the very presence of our enemies.  By God’s grace we are stronger  than our enemy.  We can overcome and we will overcome.

Psalms 25:1-5
1 Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

We must not forget the Word of God with tells us that “greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:3-4
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Philippians 3:7-19
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

May the Lord help us to know our friends and to know our enemies.

Love your enemies and pray for them; but, do not let them turn your heart away from obeying the commandments of God.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

WEAK IN FAITH

There are those who are weak in faith.  Their spiritual condition may be the result of a lack of time and opportunity to have matured in faith.  It may be a lack of exercise and use of the little faith which they do possess.  It may be that they are limited in their mental ability to understand.  It may be a lack of sound teaching, a holy example or some other source of discouragement.  Do you have weak faith?  Why? 

Do you try to justify your weak faith due to the circumstances in your life?

Will Jesus tolerate your failure to faithfully endeavor to increase your faith?

Can you justify your weak faith by comparing yourself to others?

Do you want stronger faith? 

Are you willing to suffer to obtain stronger faith?

I am not trying to discourage you or to cast you down.  However, I am sure that our Heavenly Father wants us to examine our own self and desire to be more like Jesus.  I want my faith to increase.

Luke 17:5 says: “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”

Just like the apostles, I say: “Lord, increase my faith.”  I want to be full of the Holy Ghost and full of faith.  I don’t want to doubt God.  I don’t want to be weak in faith.  I want my faith to be sufficient for every trial, test, battle, affliction or whatever God allows to come my way.

Matthew 8:23-27
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Jesus had a right to expect that the disciples should have stronger faith by this time as they had been witnessing the great power of the Lord of the whole earth. 

Matthew 8:1-4    Leper healed

Matthew 8:5-13 Centurion’s servant healed

Matthew 8:14,15 Peter’s mother-in-law healed

Matthew 8:16,17 Cast out devils and healed all that were sick

Matthew 8:26      Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Notice that we are reading in Matthew chapter eight.  The records presented to us in Matthew’s writings are given in chronological order. 

In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead.
He healed the woman who had been sick for 12 years with a blood disorder.  He healed two blind men.  He delivered a man who was deaf and devil possessed. 

In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus had sent out the twelve disciples with the power to heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead.

In Matthew chapters 11,12 and13, Jesus taught them with wisdom and authority.  He proved His power by other miracles which the disciples witnessed.  Jesus performed these miracles before the events which happened in Matthew chapter fourteen. 

Matthew 14:25-31
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Jesus said, “Peter, did you forget what I have done in your sight?”

Could Jesus say to you, “Have you forgotten what I have already done for you?”  Why do you not remember all the things that I have done in your sight?  Have we forgotten what Jesus has done for us? 

Matthew 21:18-22
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

What is the greatest hindrance to strong faith?  Is it doubting that Jesus will do what we ask for?  Why do we doubt?  Is it unbelief?  Is it a lack of confidence in our obedience and acceptance with Jesus Christ our Lord? 

What is faith?  It is the strong belief and trust in the power, ability and integrity of another person.  Faith and the works of obedience are very closely connected.  It is not by believing by itself; and, it is not by works alone.  The apostle James wrote, “I will show you my faith by my works.”

If we have a clear conscience by obedience, we must not let Satan cause us to fear or doubt the power, ability and integrity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must take hold of the promises of God and believe with all of our heart that God will keep His word for us. 

Romans Chapter 4
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

God was not indebted to Abraham.  Neither did Abraham earn his blessings by his works.  Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  The sinner, the ungodly is justified by faith.  The sinner has no works which could merit the gift of salvation.  Salvation, the saving grace of God, is obtained by faith.  You must believe with all your heart that what God has promised, He will do all that He has promised.  Abraham believed God.
 
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Are you fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able also to perform?  Can you believe?  Will you exercise the faith God has given to you?

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We walk by faith and not by sight.  We do not need to see before we believe.  I believe in the things of God which I do not see.  I have faith in the reality of those things I hope for by the promise of God. 

John 20:29-31
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Thomas believed because he was able to see with his eyes the proof he thought he need to be able to believe.  That is not faith.  Faith must precede seeing.  Can you believe before you see?

1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Have you been justified by faith?

Have you been sanctified by faith?

Can you believe in the promises of God which have been given for you?

You should not remain in a condition wherein you are weak in faith.

You should not be satisfied only to be justified and remain weak in faith.

You should not draw back from the trying and testing of your faith.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

We Need To Pray

Prayer is communicating with God.  Prayer is talking to God.  We need to pray.  We need to talk to God.  God wants us to talk to Him.  God wants us to listen to Him.  God wants to communicate with us.  We need prayer.

When God created man, He also created a beautiful garden for him. 
God created a companion for Adam and put them in the Garden of Eden.
According to the scriptures we know that God came to visit Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and talked with them.  God’s desire was to communicate with the man and woman He created.  God wanted to teach them how to live by learning knowledge and wisdom from Him. 

Genesis 2:15-17
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Notice that God came down and visited with Adam in the Garden of Eden and gave Adam commandments concerning what he should do in the place where God had placed him.  Have you listened to God and talked to God about what you should do in the place where He has placed you? 

Genesis 3:8-9
8 And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

If you are not obeying God, you will try to hide from Him.  Although you may try to hide, you cannot hide from God.  When God wants to talk to you, He will find you.  You should want to talk to God; and, God has said that if you will seek for Him you will find Him.

James 5:13-18
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

The Bible tells us to pray for one another and promises us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  If you are a righteous person, God will hear and answer your prayer.  If you are not a righteous person, you should first repent and be born again.  If you are not a righteous person, God will not hear your prayer unless it is a prayer of repentance and an expression of your desire to obey His commandments. 

Colossians 4:2-6
2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

We need to pray.  Prayer is a good way to watch for your soul.  When you talk to God, He will talk to you and you will learn what to watch for and you will learn how to watch for the safety and protection of your soul from evil.  Satan is busy setting snares for your soul, to tempt you and to catch you unaware of his evil devices.  You need to talk to God and learn to watch.

Ephesians 6:18-20
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to pray and ask God to help us know how to talk to others about living holy and keeping the commandments of God.  We need God to send His Holy Spirit to teach us to speak as we ought to speak.  We need that divine inspiration to witness to others and to teach them about the commandments of God.  If you begin to think that you are smart enough to instruct people because you have learned so much, you are going forth without the Holy Spirit and you will fall.  The apostle Peter said:
 
2 Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

When you pray and follow the counsel of God, you will never fall.  But if you go forth without God’s counsel, you will utterly fall. 

1 Thessalonians 5:14-25
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.

Pray without ceasing.  Every hour of every day, you should be communicating with God because you need His guidance.  In every activity and in every conversation you need the Holy Spirit to direct your steps.  It is not in man to direct his own steps.  We must be constantly conscious of the voice of God so that we can follow His instructions.  When we choose to go forward without God’s leadership, we are foolishly walking in darkness.  If the light of God’s word is not shinning on your pathway, you are walking in darkness.  Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to pray.  I will pray for you.  Please, pray for me.  I need your prayers and you need my prayers.  We need each other to talk to God with prayer and supplications for one another. 

2 Thessalonians 3:1-4
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

Pray for those who are being tempted and persecuted.  Pray for those who are sick and for those who are afflicted by Satan.  Pray for grace and wisdom.

1 Timothy 2:1-8
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Take time to pray for the children of God.  Take time to pray for sinners.  Take time to pray for the pastors, teachers and ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Pray for all men.  Pray every where.  We need to pray.  We need to talk to God and then we need to listen to God.

Luke 21:34-36
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Pray for yourself.  Ask God for help, for understanding, for wisdom and for grace to do the will of God in everything that you do and say.

John 14:12-17
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

These are the words of Jesus Christ to His disciples.  These are the words of Jesus Christ to the children and servants of God.  If you can believe, if you have confidence that you have kept the commandments of God, if you will have faith in your relationship with God, you can ask any thing in the name of Jesus and He said, “I will do it.”   WOW!!!!!!!!!  What a promise, if you can believe and have faith. 

Luke 22:39-46
39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
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.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  You must rise up and pray if you expect to receive the help you need from God.  God will not use a spiritually sleepy, lukewarm people to do the mighty works of God. 

Matthew 5:43-45
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

It takes the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit to help you love your enemies and to pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.   But by God’s wonderful grace you can keep this commandment and all other commandments which God has given to you. 

We need to pray.
We must pray.
Without prayer, we are doomed to failure. 

By prayer and fasting, we enter into the glorious work of the Kingdom of God.  By prayer and fasting, we will see the miracles of God which He wants to perform in the sight of all men.  By prayer and fasting, souls will be saved and the Lord will give an increase to His church.