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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Chris Hodges » Chris Hodges - The Prayer of Jabez

Chris Hodges - The Prayer of Jabez

Chris Hodges - The Prayer of Jabez
TOPICS: Pray First, Prayer

All right, who's glad to be in church today, everybody, everybody? Is that all? Who's glad to be in church today, everybody? Oh, it's good to see you guys, today. Welcome to week number three of the series that we're calling, "Pray First," and I'll tell you more about that in a second. I always like to take a moment and just say hello, again, to all of our campuses all across our region, and then to the men and women in the Alabama Department of Corrections. God bless you. We love you. We're so glad that you're along for the ride, as well. And there are always people in churches that are joining us. In fact, a bunch of churches are actually streaming some of these services, because they're in the same series with us right now, but there are people that are watching live somewhere around the world and are also on demand later in the week.

Would you, one more time, put your hands together and say the biggest hello to everybody? God bless you guys, amen. And also we're in the final week of 21 Days of Prayer, and God has been moving in a great way. I won't say a lot about this right now, because most of you are already fully engaged. I always like to remind you, though, that if you're just now hearing about it, or maybe just didn't get involved on the front end, it's not too late, everybody. Just join us for this final week of prayer and fasting. Maybe push away the plate in some area of your life or some type of food, or maybe a certain meal every day, or maybe something else that really is meaningful for you, like media or maybe your phone or social media, or whatever it is, and just kind of set some things of the world off to the side for 7 more days so that we can seek the face of God, and then we're joining for prayer at 6 a.m. every morning at all of our locations, or you can watch it. They're streamed live, or you can watch it on demand.

And then this Saturday at 9 a.m. is the grand finale, and I am formally inviting every single one of you to join us at your location, your campus, for that final day of prayer. If you've never attended that service, you have missed out, literally, on one of the best services that we do at Church of the Highlands, so I want to invite you to come be a part of that. We are in a 4-week study based off of a book that I've written that honestly, I've been writing for 40 years. I have been teaching students, when I was a youth pastor, for 11 years, and then as an associate pastor for a number of years, and then, of course, the past 22 years at Highlands. The very first thing we did together, as a church, was pray. And I knew that in order to get people praying, they had to enjoy it. They had to know what to do, what to say; because if you ask people to do something, and they don't know how, or they don't like it, they're just not gonna do it.

But if you can pray in such a way where you're touching heaven, and there is a way where you can touch heaven, and even get answers to prayer from God, in other words, there are certain ways and types of prayers that just get God's attention. I've put it together in all of these outlines and sheets of paper. For years and years, it was just literally in my house, copying these forms and these patterns of paper, stapling them together, bringing them to prayer meetings, and then just recently I decided to put it in book form. And in this book called, "Pray First", which by the way I'd love for everyone to get a copy. In some of the campuses there are still a few left out there, if you'd like to get a copy.

And, of course, they're available everywhere books are sold, but I would love for you to get a copy, and there's three sections of, first, how to make prayer work, the last, how to get prayer kind of more in your daily life and fasting and all of that. But the middle section of the book is the meat of the book. The middle section is what I've been stapling together for 40 years. It's these outlines. It's these patterns of prayer, and I give you seven of them, and there are many more that I use, and we'll teach them to you and have in the past, but that's probably the best gift I can give you is showing you, like, "Oh, now I know what to do. Now I have a little outline, or a form, or a pattern that I can follow".

And last week, I shared with you my favorite of the seven. If you missed last Sunday, go watch that message. It's my favorite way to pray, tabernacle prayer. Today, I'm gonna give you my favorite prayer that I pray. So, regardless of which of the models or outlines that I use, it always, without fail, includes the four words, four single words that I'm gonna give you today, and in some cases the four words that I'm gonna give you today, I just say those four words to God. That prayer lasts about 10 or 15 seconds, and it's just not a day that goes by that I don't ask God for these four things, not a single day, and then I have ways that I can really spend time on each one of the four words and develop it, and spend, obviously, more than 15 seconds. I can spend 15 minutes, or maybe even 30 minutes on these four words, just asking God to move in these lives, and I want to give it to you today, because I'm so excited about it.

And if you'll just memorize these or get these in your notes, and if you're not normally a notetaker, get your phone out, get some paper, a pen out, take some notes with me today. You can even capture some of this stuff on the screen, if you just want to take pictures of it. And it comes in a place in the Bible where you wouldn't expect any kind of teaching. Because if you've ever read, some of the books of the Bible are just kind of, it's difficult. I'll just say it that way. Because if you ever get started on books like 1 Chronicles, okay, they're just pages, of pages, of pages, just in a row but nothing but this person had this person, this person begat this person, this person, he and his wife had this person, and it's just like, okay, God, what in the world? You know?

And in 1 Chronicles, there are 600 of them in a row, 600. Aren't you grateful that when that's part of your one-year Bible reading, that there's a Psalm or a Proverb that day? Any one of you... Okay, so 'cause it's like there's nothing in there until you get to chapter 4, and right in the middle of the 600 names, watch this, that get absolutely no mention at all of anything in their lives that they did or didn't do, one person gets honorable mention. One person, all of a sudden, the Bible interrupts right in the middle of the 600, and it gives a detail, and here it is in 1 Chronicles chapter 4. It says Jabez was more honorable than all the other begats. His mother named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain".

So, the Hebrew for pain is Jabez. So, his mama, ladies, do not do this, his mama named him Pain. I want y'all to meet Johnny. I want you to meet Sarah. Here's David. He's a pain. All right, see what I'm saying? This is not good, this is not good. Now, we don't know the circumstance that created that. The Bible does not include that. We can only infer that maybe she had a tough delivery. Maybe it was very, very difficult, maybe even the circumstance of her pregnancy was what created the pain in her heart. Maybe it wasn't even her. Maybe it was him. Maybe he had a disability, a physical disability. At the very least, his name is Pain, okay? So, she just thought that'd be cute, which it isn't cute. It's like a boy named Sue. Come on, everybody, that's just not a good thing. Can you imagine the playground dynamics. And we're not talking about P-A-Y-N-E. His name was Pain, okay?

Now, I want you to imagine with me, if your name was Pain, and you don't have to imagine this with me, if you had pain. So, if you had something in your life, and if you were describing your life to someone, the stories you would tell would be of your pain. Let me just talk to you about my pain. You have no idea what my life has looked like. And so let me ask you this question. If you had a life like that, if your name was pain, or your life has been marked by pain, what would your prayers look like? And I want you to see this in the next verse, because Jabez didn't talk about his pain. He cried out to the God of Israel, "I'm asking you to bless me. I'm asking you to enlarge my territory. I'm asking you to put your hand upon me. And if you'd do me this favor of keeping me from harm, keep me from the evil one in my life".

And that will take care of the prayer request that I didn't pray for. Like, instead of focusing on my pain, I'm gonna focus on the things that I know you want for my life. Because you always have this option when you're dealing with something difficult, and that is to focus on that which is difficult, or rise above the difficulty and put your eyes on something else. In fact, for most people, your problem is not your problem. Your problem is, is that you don't have anything greater in your life than your problem. Can I get a better amen out there? I'm not a preacher, but that'll preach right there, okay? And I'm serious. And what Jabez figured out was that if I would ignore their request, I would love God to hear, which, by the way, let me pause and say God does not mind hearing about your pain. Don't hear that from me. He cares about you, and he wants you to cast your cares on him. He really cares about you, and he doesn't mind at all.

What I love about it is the way that Jabez would rise above his pain and say, "I'm gonna ask you for the things that I know you want in my life". And then watch this. "And that will free me from my pain". And I love this line. I want this line for you. This is what attracted me to the prayer, because this was the kind of prayer that God was looking for. "God granted his request". If you've prayed prayers that God granted every time you prayed them, I would never have to ask you to pray again. It's true. So, that's what I'm trying to help you with. And I discovered this, I've lived this. So, I want to ask you this question. What kind of prayer should you and I pray when we're in pain. And I want to submit to you that we replace it with what God wants, that we replace it with... I'm not saying ignore it. I'm not saying you can't talk to God about it. I'm just saying if you'll rise above whatever circumstance in your life that has been a pain, and just pray the things that God wants for your life, God will take notice out of 600 names and go, "Wait a minute, that's different, that's different, and I'm gonna grant that request". Can I hear a good amen, everybody?

All right? So, let's look at them one at a time. The first one he says, "God, I'm asking you to bless me". In fact, in the King James Version, it adds the word "bless me indeed," because in the Hebrew there's, the word there is put so that you could actually mean five exclamation marks. In other words, he was crying out, "God, I'm asking you to bless me indeed". And here's the first thing that I'm asking you to pray for, and that is pray for God to bless you. Now, you would need to know that God is a blesser. He loves blessing his people. Psalm chapter 5, "For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous, and you surround them with favor like a shield". When speaking of Isaac, it said, Isaac did his job, he did his work. He sowed in the land and reaped in the same year not the normal amount. He reaped a hundredfold. Why? "Because the LORD had blessed him".

In fact, it adds this word that makes some people very nervous. Put your seatbelt on, get ready for it, everybody. "The man began to prosper and continued prospering until he became very prosperous". Notice that God does not shy away from the word, even though the world doesn't like. "Are y'all one of those prosperity churches? Are you a prosperity church? Is that what you are? Name it, claim it, grab it, blab it? Is that what it is"? No, no, no, no. Not how you're thinking about it, no, we're not actually. Because they think of it, "Oh, you're just praying for God to bless you, so you can drive more cars, and have more stuff, and wear furs, and have gold seats, and all".

No, no, no, that's not what the word means, not at all, not at all. In fact, you want to know what the word "prosper" there in the Hebrew language is? It's the word selach. And you've gotta say it with, like, you have a popcorn kernel on the back of your throat. Selach. All right? Selach. Y'all don't think that's funny? That's hilarious, y'all. Okay, selach. And it means that you're able to go to a certain point, and then God pushes you further. Now, I don't know anybody in this room that would like to have a marriage like this is as good a husband as I can be, but then God made me a better one, or this is as good as I can do with my job, but then God added to it. This is as good as I can do with my health, but then God helped, who doesn't want that? Yeah, I want, yeah, within that, in that definition, yes, we are. Yes, we are.

In fact, in the New Testament, it says, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers". So, the right theology isn't what most people think it is. Real prosperity means having more than I need so that I can be a blessing to the people around me, so that I can be an eternal blessing, make an eternal difference in people's lives. Let me tell you why. Because if all you're ever praying for is your needs, then what in the world do you have to offer the people around you? God has to give us more, so that we can give it away. Can I get a better amen out there, right? And that's what I've asked for with this church. We want the reality of Genesis chapter 12. "I," God says, "will bless you". Why? So, you can have more? No, not necessarily. No, so that you can be a blessing to the people around you. And, honestly, guys, we have seen this. This is a prayer that I have prayed every day of my life. "God, never meet just my needs. Give me more than I need, so that I can be, I want to be generous. I want to have an open-handed life. I'd like to give my life away".

And I've asked this for this church. I mean, when we were building this church, early on we made some decisions about how we were gonna lead this church and especially in the finances, and we would never extend ourselves. We would always have margins, and we even set it up, in fact, the first few years of the church, we ran the whole church on about 25% to 30% of what people are giving, so that we could be generous, and we were giving 20%, 30% away to missions, and to church planting, and feeding the poor, and helping, and today God has blessed us richly so that we're all over the state. I mean, many times, when there are tornados, the first people that show up on the scene is the Highlands Disaster Response Team in red shirts, cutting trees off of houses and helping people. Why? Because we don't have just enough to turn on our lights and turn on our air conditioning. God has blessed us with more than we need.

Come on, everybody. And I just want that for you so badly. And if you'll ask for it, according to the Bible, God will grant that request. Here's the prayer, if you're taking notes, or if you want to get your phone and just screen shot it. "Lord, bless me with more than I need so that I can be a blessing to the world that's around me. I'm asking you. I just need more. I need more than I need so that I can be a blessing to the world around me". And then he prayed this, he prayed this. He says, "And now I need you to enlarge my territory". Now why? Because if you have more than you need, you need a place to put it. And for some of you, I want you to lean into this, your world is not big enough. Like, your world, how you live, it is too just right here. It's me, my, my stuff, my life. I take care of this circle. But you need to know that God has every intention of your life being enlarged.

And so here's how I pray for it. I use this word. Every day, I pray for influence. So, God, I'm asking you for influence. When I first moved here, I said, "God, give me influence with the people of Birmingham". Well, now it's, "Lord, give me influence to the people of Alabama. And, Lord, give me the influence in our nation. Give me influence with churches". And right now, we're serving and just giving resources away, at no expense, to more than 17,000 other churches. Every month they're downloading our employee handbook, our small group leader training. If we make it, we give it away, and God has given us tremendous influence. And listen to me. that's not just for your church to live that way. You can live that way. And the word for it is ministry. And I want you to hear this. You're a minister. You're not a congregant. You're not a parishioner. And for heaven's sakes, you're not the laity. I don't know if y'all even heard those words before.

A long time ago, the church created two words that are not in the Bible one time, Old or New Testament: clergy, laity, ministers, and just the ignorant lost souls out there listening to messages. No, no. And the Bible comes along and says he's made us a kingdom of priests. Like, we're all supposed to have some sphere of influence where we're giving our lives away in our workplace, in our families, with our jobs, with the people around us, that we're supposed to live out our faith for the benefit of the world that's around us, ministry. Can you just believe this today? I'm a minister, you're a minister. You are a minister, and you have something to offer the world that makes an eternal difference. Let me tell you why this is important. Because if you live your life too small and only on yourself, it's the most miserable life in the world to live, with a God who's just a big God.

And I'm asking not to pull God down to the smallness of our life. How about we pull our smallness up to the bigness of who God is? Can I preach a little bit here at the 9:45 service? Yeah, I'm fired up today, guys, 'cause we have a God who is able to do immeasurably... say the little four-letter word there: immeasurably more than what you're even asking for, even what shows up in your imaginations, because it's a God who will put his power in it and work inside of us on our behalf. You need to know that. You say, "Well, PC, how do I, how do I know what it is"? Let me give you one of the greatest theological lessons I've ever learned. How does God speak to me? How does God let me know what that more is for my life? Acts chapter 2 tells us. "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people".

Now, if you didn't know what was next, you might think, and it's gonna be healings, and big church services, and people just all excited, and goose bumps, and woo-hoo. No, that's not what pouring out my Spirit looks like. Notice what it says. When the Spirit is poured out, so, when we cry out for revival, this is what it looks like. "Your sons and daughters will see things. They'll even see things that should be happening into the future. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams". In other words, the language of the Holy Spirit is dreams and visions, meaning that God will go, "Wait a minute, you know what I think I could do? I think I could do this, and I think God's showing me this. And all of a sudden, I have a burden for that".

And I pray for that, because we built this church knowing that the dreams and the vision that I have wasn't enough. And early on in the... in fact, before we even had our very first church service, I formulated a team of volunteers called the Dream Team, and we gathered them together, and they were gonna help me launch the church, and I was so desperate to try to get them just to dream. We kept showing up in meetings, and they were sitting there, like, "Okay, Pastor, what do you want us to do"? I said, "No, no, no, no, I want you to help me dream it," and they couldn't do it. Like, they were like, "No, no, just tell us what you want us to do". And they'd been in so many churches where they weren't even permitted to have an idea. Just whatever the pastor wants, we're gonna try to pull it off for him, because he's the man of God. Like, no, no, no, no. I think some of the best, I just say some of the best ideas of the church aren't gonna come from me. They're gonna come for you.

And so I said, and so I coined the phrase, the Dream Team. You're the Dream Team. I want you to dream. It's the language of the Spirit for you to dream. And all of a sudden, literally, some of the best ideas, they didn't come from me. They came from people on that team. In fact, the Dream Center downtown in Woodlawn was not my idea. It was the idea of a medical doctor who came up to me and said, "I have a dream". I said, "What is it"? He goes, "I went to medical school really to pastor people and to lead people to Jesus. Can we open up a health clinic"? I said, "Go for it, find one. We'll buy it. Go fulfill the dream that's on your heart". And I never had the idea to have a health clinic and a Dream Center. It was the idea of Dr. Robert Reichard who had a dream in his heart. And all over this church are people who are just dreaming. Are y'all listening to me, everybody? And I'm trying to get you to think bigger than yourselves.

Back in 2008, John Maxwell, Dr. John Maxwell, who's a friend and mentor of mine, he called me, and he said, "Hey, I want you to fly down to south Florida and celebrate my birthday". And I had done it the year before in 2007 on his 60th birthday. He had invited seven people to come play golf with him for a couple of days on his 60th birthday. So, he wanted to get the seven people back together again for a reunion on his 61st birthday. So, we flew down there. And, of course, with John it's never just a party or golf. He's always mentoring and training. I always have my pad out. I'm taking notes and everything. And anyway, we'd played golf. We had dinner together. We had a phenomenal discussion. And it was about 8 p.m. I was ready to go to the hotel, 'cause I go to bed pretty early. And he said, "Let's go see a movie". I'm like, "Dude, I don't do movies".

Like, and it's not for spiritual reasons. I just don't, for whatever reason, I've just never been a movie buff. And like, huh, well, it's your party, okay. So, I decided to, "All right, let's go". At least they have popcorn, which sounds really good right now. Amen, everybody? Like, a bucket, like, maybe two. And so, yeah. And so we sat at the very top. I'll never forget it. And I was, honestly, very disinterested. I didn't even care what it was. I just got my bucket of popcorn, and it was the movie, "The Bucket List" had just come out in 2007, and that's that movie where these two guys are dying. They had terminal illnesses, and one of them was wealthy, and they decided to create a bucket list, things they wanted to do before they kicked the bucket, and the rich guy was gonna finance the whole thing. And the whole list were like thrills, and jumping out of airplanes, and racing cars, and stuff like that.

And the moral of the movie is those aren't the things that actually satisfy. There are actually some more meaningful things like family and love and doing something for others. Actually ended up more... by the way, I cannot recommend the movie, and I'm not recommending the movie. Don't watch it to find out why. Okay, so, anyway, so I was like, "Oh, my God. Okay, some popcorn, popcorn, pop, okay". So, but in John Maxwell form, he, after the movie, he starts mentoring us all. He says, "How many of y'all have a bucket list"? Well, I didn't. He goes, "I'm gonna give y'all an assignment. Go back to your hotel. Start your first bucket list. Write some things you want to do before you kick the bucket, both meaningful, just fun things, thrill things, vacations, job related, whatever you want, and bring them back to me. We're going to have a discussion before we play golf," the next day.

And so I went back. I only put five things. I could only think of five things, five things that I wanted to put on my bucket list. And I just had a hard time being creative with it a little bit. And today I have 113 items on my bucket list, 'cause I've kind of gotten the flow, and I've seen how dreaming works. And anyway, in one of those, most all of them are ministry, except for one. There was only one thrill thing I put in my top five, and that is that I wanted to fly in a military supersonic jet, like, 'cause I knew, like, congressmen or women could have civilian rides, 'cause I lived right next to the Air Force Academy for 7 years, and I got smitten by all things Air Force, and I want to, but then I researched it, and they've discontinued the civilian ride program. In fact, I researched it. I tried every leverage I had to no avail. They don't allow that anymore.

And so I wrote it down, because there's this tension by the way, when you dream, do you write down things you know have absolutely no chance of happening? And the answer is yes. Okay, the answer is yes, because we serve a God who's able to do immeasurably more than yo ask, right? So, I had it on there, I had it on there. And so fast forward about 5 years later. I do a series called, "Dreams". I did a three-part series. You can go look it up online, a three-part series called "Dream". Dream. "Dream Again". And I tell this story, and I said, "Look, there's a tension, 'cause you can put stuff on your list that you know can't happen, and write it down anyway". And I said, "For instance, I always wanted to fly in like a F-16 or something like that". Well, right in the middle of this crowd at Grants Mill were two full bird colonels, and they looked at each other and said, "Hey, let's see if we can make this happen for PC".

Now, I don't know this is happening. "And so they go to the Pentagon and vet me through". The series was in July, and at Christmastime, at our Christmas services, they walk up to me, unbeknownst to me, walk up to me in full military dress, with this letter in their hand. Well, I figure it out, I go, "Ah! Don't mess with me. Are you serious"? And he said, "On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, you are formally invited to a civilian ride in an F-16, if you can pass the training". Phhh. Let's go. Check that off. Let's go. What's next? You know, yeah. And which by the way, all the training was ejection seat training. Shows you how to die. Anyway, so I went through the training. And in February of that next year, I flew an hour and 10 minutes in an F-16, pulled 9 G's several times. I flew it for 10 minutes, barrel-rolled that crazy, you want to see a picture? Show it to hem on the screen. There, right there. Isn't that amazing, everybody? Yeah, and when I was driving home in the car, I said two things to God.

And one is I'll never say never, and that I will be dreaming bigger dreams. And that's when the list went from about 5 to about 105. And the question is, "Are you dreaming"? 'Cause your life can stay as small as you, or it can be as big as God, because God has big things for you. He can enlarge, increase your influence. And here's the prayer: "Lord, let me see what you see, so that I can pursue the full potential that you have for my life". And then Jabez prayed this: "Bless me, increase my influence". Watch this, don't miss it. He said, "Now let your hand be upon me". Now, why would he pray for that? Why do you need the hand of God on you? I'm gonna tell you why. Because he invited you into a world that's too big for you. Lean into this. And you're gonna feel over your head. I'm completely in over my head right now, and I can't do it without God's presence, presence, the hand of God.

The Bible says in Acts, "The hand of the Lord was upon them, and that's what caused a great number of people to follow the Lord". I'm gonna tell you something. I give God all the glory, because I know who I am. I stepped into a dream called Church of the Highlands. You have no idea how intimidating this is to me. I don't even have very many people to call. Like, I've never been here before. Everybody who trained me has never been here before. I have no idea, honestly, folks, you have no idea how not competent I am. But I know this: because of that, I cry out for his anointing to live my life with God's power so that my life is not the level of Chris Hodges. It's a supernatural life. Moses felt that way. He said, "Lord, if your presence does not go with me, don't even send me out there".

I stand right on that side every Sunday, without fail, you can believe this or not. It's just the truth, whether you choose to believe it or not. I stand right over there while you guys are watching Highlands news, and I'm saying, "I refuse to go out here, I can't go out there, if you don't come with me, I can't do this. I've got to have your blessing. I've gotta have your presence in my life". In fact, do you want to know the truth about it? And I wish I had time to really teach it. I have a massive inferiority complex. I know you don't see that.

You see this, having just a blast kind of a person. I have a massive inferiority complex. I have felt that way my whole life. I was bullied as a junior higher, and then I was put into a big ministry job way too early, and I didn't know what I was doing. And Tammy will tell you this, it's the truth. I've been in ministry 40 years now. For at least 20 years, I had a verse on my bathroom mirror, so I could see it every morning, and it said this. This verse was on my mirror for 20 years. "God, I'm not competent, and my competence can't be in anything that I've done, but my competence can only come from you. And, Lord, you have made me competent, not because I have a lot of degrees and a lot of skill, or a lot of reps, because I know what I'm doing now. I'm only competent, not because of my degrees, not because of the letter, what man can do, but because of the Spirit, for the letter kills, and the Spirit gives life".

And I tell God, "I just can't do it". It's why we fast, guys. It's why we pray. Because I can't do a year. And I have to lean into this right now. Some of you are feeling pretty inadequate right now. Maybe it's a mom. Maybe you thought you could do it, but all of a sudden it's way too difficult for you. Or as a husband, or maybe it's your job. And I'm telling you how you can pray. I pray it every day of my life. "God, I need more than I need. I'm asking you to make my world bigger than I ever dreamed it would be. And Lord, let your hand be on me. Because, honestly, God, what you've called me to, you should've never done it. It's too much for me, and I can only do it if your presence goes with me. God, I need blessing. I need influence. I need presence".

And if you get more than you need, watch the progression, and if you get a world that's bigger than you, and God anoints you to do it, that's when all of hell's gonna come after you, because the devil loves to come after those who think they're gonna live their lives making a difference. And by the way, if you're under the attack of the enemy right now, don't be discouraged. That may be the greatest compliment you've ever received. Because if you're not butting heads with the devil, you might be walking with him. He's opposing you. And that's why Jabez says, "Keep me from harm".

And I pray for protection, blessing, influence, presence, protection. Every day, blessing, influence, presence, protection. Because you have an enemy called the devil, and he is right now, whether you like it or not, trying to devour you. Don't be freaked out by that. You can resist him, in the name of Jesus, and stand firm in your faith, and you can involve yourselves in what the Bible calls spiritual warfare. It's in Ephesians 6. I don't have time to teach it. And that's where we confront our enemy. Because listen to me. Prayer is not just communion with God. It also involves confronting the devil with the name of Jesus, the authority of the Word of God, the power of the blood of Jesus.

And dads, I'm asking you to stand up every morning and say, "Devil, get your hands off my wife. Get your hands off my family. You'll not have my job. You're not having my day". Moms, I pray over my kids. "Devil, you're not having my kids. No, they're gonna serve you. They're gonna have favor following them. They're gonna have friends who love you, God". And just fight, fight spiritual warfare, because God has given you authority over your enemy to confront him, all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall harm you. So, we pray, "Lord, strengthen me in the battle. Lord, I'm asking you rescue me from every evil attack of the enemy". And if you'll pray that kind of prayer, God will grant your request. Let's bow for prayer.

So, Father, we do have pain. It's very real. It hurts. But God, we're not only going to mention that to you and give that to you, but, God, we're gonna pray for what we know you want for our life: blessing, influence, presence, protection. And God, let this simple prayer just be a part of all of our daily lives. And, God, we know you're gonna hear us. You're gonna hear us.

With heads bowed and eyes closed at every campus today, if you're under the conviction of God right now, in other words, God is knocking on the door of your heart, for some of you, your heart's beating fast right now, because you sense, "I need to do something. It is time for me to turn my life around and go toward God". For some of you, today, you need to do that. I'm not asking you to join this church, per se. I'm asking you to surrender your life completely to Jesus. What a great way to start a brand-new year.

And if you're here today, and you just know you feel empty, helpless, guilty, God seems a million miles away, but something is drawing you to him, I can't do that, only God can do that, and I want you to hear this. All of your life has pointed to this moment, this moment. Like, God had you in the seat you're sitting in for this moment. And if you're ready to give him your life, at every campus, every person watching online, I want you to pray this right there. Just whisper it, say it out loud in your heart. Say:

Jesus, I need you. I want you to be the Lord of my life. I completely surrender my life to you. I ask you to forgive me, change me. Holy Spirit, live in me, so that I can be who you called me to be. I believe you're the Son of God, and I believe you died and rose again, and today I put my faith in the name and the person of Jesus Christ, who is now my Lord. In your name I pray, amen and amen.

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