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PRAYER AND OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD

Series: Prayer
Lesson #1
“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” John Wesley
Ex. 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
Ex. 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, and fight with Amalek:
to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Ex. 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron,
and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
Ex. 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he
let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Ex. 17:12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat
thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the
other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Ex. 17:13 And Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
That is the story of prevailing prayer.
I. Here Is Moses, His Strength Is Not Equal To The Need, So They Brought Him A Rock
And Sat Him On It.
1. Aaron and Hur held up his hands. In this you have the position, the posture of an
intercessor.
2. This is the significance of Moses holding up his hands, showing absolute dependence
on God.
3. This matter of prayer shows my attitude toward God Himself.
4. Prayer is something that we talk about believing in, but the testimony of the church is
that we don’t really believe like we say we believe.
5. Here under the Old Covenant, Moses’ attitude toward God was that of dependence.
That is what the lifting up of the hands means: A total surrender. I give myself to
you.
6. Moses, on that mountain, with his hands raised, is the posture of one under complete
and total submission to God.
7. He called on the Lord, and Joshua weakened his enemy. That ought to challenge us
today.
8. If under the Old Covenant, people of prayer could weaken the enemy, and put them to
flight, what can we do under the New Covenant when we face an enemy whose works
have been destroyed by Christ?
9. Jesus destroyed the works of Satan. Everything the devil does in our day is through
deception.
10. Satan goes about as a roaring lion. He is not a roaring lion, but his deceptive
imitation fools people into believing that he is really a threat.
II. Jesus Defeated Satan At Calvary, Taking The Keys Of Death, Hell And The Grave.
1. If we will avail (benefit or aid) ourselves of that victory, and be the intercessors God
has called us to be, then we can go forth and enforce that victory.
2. But if we don’t pray, holding up our hands showing our dependence on God, the devil
in his deceitfulness will destroy us.
3. We look at Ezekiel 36. We are talking about prayer.
4. We have talked about the basics.
5. If you don’t have the basics in place, as we have been looking at in this School of
Christ, you will follow the flesh, and walk off into error because you have tasted that
the Lord is good, and that taste has left you wanting to see His glory.
6. If you don’t get the basics together, where you can position yourself in faith for God
to release His power and glory in your life, in your thirst for that power, you will
move in the flesh, and you will try to take a shortcut.
III. God’s Plan For Us Is The Crucifixion Of The Flesh And The Resurrection Of Jesus
Christ, Thus Putting Christ On Display To An Unbelieving World.
Ez. 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your
filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Ez. 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take
away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
1. God is speaking to a people who through testing were made to face up to the
worldliness of their heart.
2. This is generation later, but He treats them the same way, taking them down the same
paths of testing.
3. They were apostate, and He punished them. Now He is gathering them back, and He
said, “A new heart will I also give you, a new spirit will I put within you: I will take
away the stony heart out of your flesh” (Ez. 36:26).
4. Israel has just come back a second time. I believe that Pentecost has also come again
to the opportunity of revival unparalleled in the history of things. I believe it is the
end time, the last days that Peter and Joel spoke of, and God is about to pour out His
Spirit upon all flesh.
5. With that in mind, let’s go back to Ezekiel. Listen for all the “I wills.” We cannot
pray unless we know His will. If we pray according to His will, we know He hears
us.
6. How do I know His will? I learn it in His word.
Ez. 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye
shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Ez. 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people,
and I will be your God.
Ez. 36:29 I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and I will
increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
Ez. 36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and increase of the field, that ye shall receive
no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
Ez. 36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and
shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and you for
abominations.
Ez. 36:32 Nor for your sakes do I this, thus saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be
ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Ez. 36:33 Thus saith the Lord God; in the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your
iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
Ez. 36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that
passed by.
Ez. 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden;
and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
Ez. 36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the
ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will
do it.
7. When I read this portion of scripture, I know God is speaking to the church. All these
things, the Bible said, happened unto Israel as an example for us.
8. Regardless of how little time we have before judgment falls, God wants to bring this
to pass in the church of Jesus Christ.
IV. The Church As A Whole Is A Waste Place Spiritually.
1. The world knows our desolation. The world knows that we are nothing but a waste
place.
2. We talk about power, yet we give no proof of the resurrection.
3. But God said if we will walk according to His statutes, and His testimonies be in our
Spirit, we then do more than quote scripture, we speak forth from a relationship with
Him, and we do things His way, and He will restore His power and blessings.
4. The next verse is the key to it all. Even after we read, I will, I will, I will, we would
think that if He wills it, that is all that is needed.
5. God says, “I will,” and He says, “If I have spoken it, I will do it.”
6. I’ve heard the message, I’ve seen God’s power in little showers, but He says He will
fill the earth with His glory.
7. Why does it not happen? The answer is in Verse 37, “Thus saith the Lord God; I will
yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.”
8. You cannot do God’s will without the help of God, but His will, He will not do
without you.
9. We don’t have an option about this thing of prayer. {If we believe anything we say
we believe, we don’t have a choice.}
10. God said I have made all of these promises, but for all of this I have yet to be inquired
of by this people. Though He made all these promises, they never came before Him
in prayer asking for this to be done. This house must be a house of prayer.
11. If God did His will without being inquired of by the believer, the flesh would forget it
in three days.
V. Without Faith, It Is Impossible To Please God.
1. You must believe that He is. Prayer shows our attitude toward Him.
a. When you or I come to a place of prayer, we are showing our attitude in saying
we do believe that God is. In that place of prayer, I am demonstrating my
absolute, total submission and dependence upon God.
2. God is going to deal with our attitude toward His provisions, toward the world,
toward circumstances, toward grief, bitterness, and hurt.
3. He is also going to take care of our attitude toward Himself, and there is nothing that
shows more about how I feel about God, than my prayer life.
Heb. 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe
that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.
4. My faith is never tested like it is tested when I kneel at the altar. Every devil in hell
invades that room to see what I’m going to do.
Ps. 106:7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude
of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea.
5. They did not understand that great deliverance. God is looking for a place to birth
Christ and to bring Him into full maturity. That is why there is more rejoicing in
heaven over one sinner who repents than anything else. A new creature is another
opportunity for Christ to be put on display in this world.
Ps. 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty
power to be known.
Ps. 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths,
as through the wilderness.
Ps. 106:10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from
the hand of the enemy.
6. {All you read in this book is commandments. There isn’t one suggestion in here.}
Ps. 106:11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
Ps. 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
Ps. 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
7. They didn’t pray, they didn’t wait on God.
8. Prayerlessness shows a heart of unbelief toward the person of God and what He says
He will do.
Mat. 21:12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in
the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that
sold doves,
Mat. 21:13And he said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but
ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mat. 21:14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
Mat. 21:15And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the
children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were
sore displeased,
9 {If you are feeling displeasure about this message, it’s the same kind of thing that was
there. It’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.}
Mat. 21:16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea;
have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected
praise?
VI. Here Is The Order. God Comes Into The Temple And The First Thing He Does, He
Purifies The Temple.
1. If you know Jesus as Savior, you can relate to this. You remember the cleansing.
2. When you came to Him to be birthed of God, you know that His first work was to
cleanse you. The vilest of sinners come to this fountain and they leave white as snow.
He comes and purifies us.
3. That is the first order of business. He cleanses the temple. We are the temple of God,
and the first order is purity; cleansing.
4. The order is purity, prayer, power and praise. We know about the churches of praise,
but we know little about the church of prayer.
5. The results are that the praise is only lip service. You come to the house of God and
praise a God that you have ignored all week long. That is a tinkling symbol.
6. The church of Jesus Christ is without power, because it is without prayer.
7. I can trace back every frustration I have experienced in my Christian life, from
wanting to jump from purity to power.
8. Churches that try to produce power, try to produce praise by operating on memory;
that is, operating on things they heard once happened. The world can see right
through it.
9. We’ve got to do something to prove that we are spiritual. We’ll sell our integrity,
anything to make something happen.
10. God is not going to release power until the order is right.
11. “…I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, I will heal the land, I will visit you, call on
Me, I will answer you.” But for all of this, He must be inquired of us to do it.
VII. Purity Is Not Enough; You Cannot Have Power Just Because You Are Pure.
1. Meekness is discipline, it is strength under discipline.
2. We get the strength of God when He purifies us. We get God’s power to be
victorious over sin, because He paid the penalty of sin, broke the power of sin at the
cross. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin.
3. I have His power in my life when I’m saved, but that will not produce the manifest
power of God in the body of Christ that heals the sick and glorifies the name of God
through the power gifts of the Holy Spirit.
4. You cannot jump from purity to power, nor can you jump from that to perfected
praise.
5. We’ve got to discipline all of that power we received at the cross under the mighty
hand of God. We must show a humble, submissive, and repentant attitude toward the
person of God by praying without ceasing.
6. We have built one Ishmael ministry after another, and now we don’t have time to
pray, because we are having to invent so many ways to support them.
7. We’re too proud to allow them to crumble to ashes. We are going to keep them afloat
if it takes 24 hours a day. So, you have what preachers call “burn out.” It’s not burn
out, it’s sin.
VIII. Jesus Prayed.
1. He went out a great while before day, as was His custom, and He prayed.
2. You find it in the beginning of His ministry, the middle, and the end of His ministry.
3. At Gethsemane, and on the cross, He prayed.
4. The disciples walked with Him for 3 years. They saw His power, they saw Him heal
the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead.
5. They did not ask the Lord to teach them how to have power, or how to heal the sick.
6. They put it all together, they saw what was causing it all to happen and they said,
“Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk. 11:1).
7. When the Gospel is presented, most of the time it is going from one power
manifestation to another. That’s not right. What happened in the Gospels happened
between one place of prayer and another place of prayer.
IX. To Walk With Jesus, You Have To Go Where He Is. He Isn’t Going To Come Where
You Are.
1. Where is this High Priest? He is interceding at the throne.
2. The servant is not above His master. “As the Father has sent Me, so send I you.” So
they said, “Teach us to pray.”
Mat. 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray
standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of
men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
Mat. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door,
pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward
thee openly.
Mat. 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they
shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat. 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need
of, before ye ask him.
3. You are not talking to a reluctant God. You don’t have to present your case like an
attorney. You don’t have to have a twenty-five page brief about your needs.
4. Just learn what prayer is. Pray like Jesus taught the disciples to pray.
5. He knows our needs before we ask. He is trying to get us lined up and positioned, so
that He can be God.
6. When He is God in the Church, the power will be there. “After this manner therefore
pray ye:...” (Mat. 6:9).
7. The flesh doesn’t want to pray. The Spirit in me must command the flesh to get down
and pray.
8. The order again, in bringing this lesson to the close, when He entered that temple, He
cleansed that temple. Then He said, My house must be a house of prayer. Purity,
prayer, and then power. The power comes as a result.
9. The manifest power comes as a result of prayer. First, the cleansing, then prayer.
Prayer brings the power, then comes the praise and the worship to God.