1). The way that God has decided He will work IN us; and
2). The way that God has decided He will work THROUGH us.
Prayer: The Way God Works
IN and THROUGH Us
Let me repeat that:
• First, Prayer is the way God transforms us into what He wants us to be like. We read, study, memorize and then ask Him in prayer and He transforms us.
• Second, Prayer is the way that God uses us in other’s lives. Evangelism, missions, discipleship, edification, provision of finances, provision of health, provision of safety, and on we could go. We ask Him, seek from Him, and Knock on His door and He answers; but ONLY through prayer.
Like the spark in the piston to the working on an internal combustion engine, only prayer can energize, explode, and cause to happen what the Lord desires that we do for Him.
Prayer is how God has chosen to move us along in our lives for Him.
Prayer is more vital than any of us will understand until at last we are up in Heaven. Let me just say it this way: we can never pray TOO much!
Jesus prayed for everything. His life shows prayer before big events and decisions, and after big events and decisions. Jesus prayed when He faced the best times and the worst times. Jesus just prayed all the time: early, late, during the day, and sometimes even all night.
To get a little deepening in all our lives of prayer we are going to punctuate this evening with prayer times.
First let me show you just one of the many illustrations of the way we are to come to God in prayer. This evening we’ll use the Tabernacle as our illustration. But every part of tonight is all about:
Learning How to Come Boldly
To The Throne of Grace & Mercy
Our opening text we are going to read is Hebrews 4:14-16. Please stand with me and read these words from the slide.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV) Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Tonight our goal is to grow in our practice of prayer.
God has left a wonderful picture for us in the Tabernacle.
The elements God designed in the Tabernacle can help us connect the way that prayer illustrates the access that Christ's death accomplished for us.
Hebrews tells us that through Christ we have access to the very Throne of God. We can boldly come seeking His help in our times of need, and know that He hears us and will answer according to His will.
Hebrews tells us that Christ is the pathway to God. Christ interceded and opens our way to God (Hebrews 10:20).
Which means that first the Tabernacle illustrates the pathway of faith.
The steps along that pathway have been perfectly illustrated by God Himself in the elements of the Tabernacle. First the pathway of faith: the way we approach God. Listen to the purpose and implications of each piece of equipment the Lord instructed they construct:
1. Brazen Altar: the sin offering is paid by Christ when I fall at His feet for salvation;
2. Laver: the blood of Jesus constantly cleanses me of all sin, as I confess and forsake them;
3. Holy Place: I enter through the doorway which is Christ;
4. Lamp Stand: He is the Light of the World that shines in my heart;
5. Table of Showbread: He is the Bread of Life that feeds my soul;
6. Altar of Incense: He is my Great High Priest, the One who intercedes for me’
7. Holy of Holies: He is the Holy One of God;
8. Mercy Seat: He is the propitiation for my sin;
9. Ark of the Covenant: He is my Master, through the New Covenant in His Blood, I am forever His.
Secondly, the Tabernacle illustrates the pathway of grace.
The Tabernacle also portrays how God comes to us:
• From the Mercy Seat of the New Covenant, on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice,
• He justifies me so there’s no record of my sins;
• He intercedes for me constantly;
• He illumines my heart by His Spirit;
• He feeds my soul through His Word;
• He cleanses me so I can boldly come; and
• He offers His salvation through the one and only door into the Tabernacle.
So we can say that our Access: through Christ, by prayer, is portrayed in the Tabernacle.
Think of the Israelites walking up to the Tabernacle.
They were getting to come before God, and they were assured that He wanted them to come.
Look at that wide gate.
Just as Christ is the only way to God: there is only one door into the Tabernacle.
With joy those worshipper came.
That is the first attitude of prayer:
Now please stand with me. We are going to start our prayers tonight practicing prayers of adoration to the Lord.
First we read in unison Psalm 100
Now, take your hymnal and turn to #80
I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear
Sing this chorus to the Lord, thinking about entering His Gates with thanksgiving.
Now turn to form a small circle, and each of you can offer some prayers of adoration to the Lord.
After a few moments we will prayerfully conclude our adoration by singing “I Love You Lord” as a prayer.
“I Love You Lord”
Now individually, spend 4-5 minutes on your knees or sitting, thanking the Lord for all the blessings in your life. We’ll come back by singing this chorus again.
Sing “I Love You Lord”
Now, take your prayer sheets, look them over and break into small group and pray through as many parts of this sheet as you can before you leave. Just get up quietly and go.
Carolyn will play the piano at 710PM if any of you are still praying to remind you that the service has come to a close.
1. ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING: “Worthy is the Lamb” # 180
Revelation 5:9-10 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
1. LAVER: “Nothing but the Blood” #195
Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
2. HOLY PLACE: “Holy, Holy, Holy” #262
Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
1. LAMPSTAND: “Spirit of the Living God” # 247
Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
2. TABLE of the BREAD of the PRESENCE: “Break Thou the Bread of Life" # 274
Hebrews 2:14-18 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
1. ALTAR OF INCENSE: “Sweet Hour of Prayer” # 433
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
2. ARK OF THE COVENANT: “And Can it BE?” # 203
Hebrews 7:24-26 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;