TEXT: Luke 6:12
And it came to pass in those days, that [Jesus] went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 286 messages in this series.
This is message #287 titled, Prayer: The Power Behind the Life and Preaching of Billy Graham, Part 3.
Today, I will continue sharing with you from Billy Graham’s message, “Power When You Pray.”
There are so many lessons that Jesus taught us in prayer that I cannot possibly cover them in these few minutes that we have today. Certainly, one that we should remember during these days of prejudice, hate, and lust in the world is this: Jesus teaches us for whom we are to intercede.
How startling His instruction and His example. He tells us to pray for “them which despitefully use you and persecute you.” In other words, He says, “Pray for your enemies.” We are to plead for our enemies, asking God to lead them to Christ and for His sake to forgive them. In the first words Jesus uttered from the cross, after the heavy nails had been hammered through the quivering flesh of His hands and feet, He began to intercede for His crucifiers, saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” How many of us have ever spent time praying for our enemies? Even the atheists? Yes, we are to pray for the atheists that they may be turned from the evil of their ways and recognize that God is the Lord of history.
We are also told in Scripture to pray for the conversion of sinners. I listened to a discussion of religious leaders recently on how to communicate the Gospel. Not once did I hear the mention of prayer, and yet I know scores of churches that win many converts each year by prayer alone. If there’s a person of your acquaintance that needs Christ in his or her life, start praying for them. You will be amazed at how God will begin to work.
There is one more lesson that Jesus would teach us and that is the victorious assurance that God answers every true petition. Skeptics may question it, humanists may deny it, and intellectuals ridicule it. Yet here is Christ’s own promise: “Ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.” Trust that promise with all your soul today. Build your hope for time and eternity on that divine fact that God answers prayer. Your father possesses everything. He can supply all your wants according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. The might of dictators and the glory of empires are but passing to Him. He can defeat each enemy of your soul and defend you from every danger. With God, nothing shall be impossible. No task is too arduous. No problem too difficult. No burden too heavy for His love. The future, with its fears and uncertainties, is fully revealed to Him. He understands your affliction and sorrow. He alone can purify and preserve your soul for eternity. Turn to him, and you can say with Job, “He knoweth the way I take. When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
No, ladies and gentlemen, we are not the masters of our own souls. Do not put your will above God’s will. Do not insist on your way. Do not dictate to God. Do not expect an immediate answer in your way, in your place, in your manner. Rather learn the difficult lesson of praying as the sinless Son of God Himself prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done.”
There are many of you today that pray in times of danger. But you have never come to know Jesus Christ. The Scripture says the “one mediator between God and man is Jesus Christ.” You must know Him and you must pray in His name. Your prayers must be directed according to the will of God. Many of you do not know how to pray. Why don’t you start today by saying, “God, have mercy upon me a sinner.” Let Him forgive your past sins, transform your life, and make you a new person. He can do it today in answer to the simplest prayer.
Shall we pray? “Our Father, we come to thee as little children today, asking you to change our lives and to teach us to pray. We know so little about prayer. Lord, teach us to pray like Jesus and to spend the time He spent in beseeching, fervent prayer. We ask it in His name. Amen.”
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.