Creflo Dollar - How To Completely Depend On God - Part 2
All right, let's go to number four. Let's go to number four, I wanna get this done today. All right, so here's the fourth subject that's being taught in the Bible that teaches us complete dependence upon God. Multiplied admonitions to pray are repeated reminders of the believer's dependence upon God. Admonitions or counsels over and over again, urging you, "Well, you need to pray about something". What is this prayer thing? Prayer is not this, you know, this magical thing you do and to make God do something. There are people praying all the time and because of his mercy and grace, maybe some things break loose or maybe because of the prayer of other people, but this is about depending on him. It's like, I'm praying because I depend on him; I'm not praying because I'm desperate.
That's what most people do. I pray because I depend on him. I pray, it's like I got to pray, not 'cause somebody's making me pray but because I have submitted myself to him, I depend on him, and part of my dependence on him moves me to pray and moves me to communication. Look at these Scriptures with me. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and 17. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and then 1 Timothy 2:8. Let's look at about four Scriptures on prayer and really talk about this. This is so important. I pray because I depend on God. I pray because I depend on God. I don't pray 'cause I'm looking for something, some magic thing to happen. I pray because I depend on God, all right? I depend on him. I depend, I'm not separating my prayer from depending on God. "Well, I'm gonna pray 'cause I'm gonna make something happen. When it happen, I'll tell people, 'I prayed; that's why that happened'". No, no, no, no. Prayer is a part of my curriculum of complete dependence upon God.
All right, look at verse 17, very short. He says, "Pray without ceasing". That simply means don't cease to pray as it demonstrates your dependence upon God. He doesn't say, "Pray without ceasing," meaning once you start praying just pray all your life without a break. That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about don't cease to pray as a result of your complete dependence upon God. I get that. I get that. That if I say I'm dependent upon God, then I'm gonna pray. When I say I'm dependent upon God, no matter what people think about speaking in tongues, I'm gonna pray in the Holy Ghost 'cause the Bible says. I'm gonna pray in my most holy faith, speaking in tongues, that's what the Bible says. And he says when you do that, you build yourself up, spirit, soul, and body. So I do that. I'm not gonna do it to offend anybody, but that's a part of my depending on God. Especially when I just can't figure nothing out. I can't figure out even how to ask God about this situation. I go to praying in tongues.
Somebody says, "How long are you gonna pray"? Until I get peace. Until there's a peace that comes over me that says, "You good," and that's a part of my depending on God. That's a part of my depending on God. You know, yesterday, I was sitting and getting some treatment and I thought, "Well, I'm not doing anything, let me go ahead and just pray". Why? Because I depend on God. There are all kinds of opportunities for you to pray. Somebody says, "Well, I ain't got time to pray for a hour". Who said you had to pray for a hour? "The Bible". No, it didn't. Jesus asked the question, he says, "Could you not pray with me for an hour"? He was asking his disciples, the ones he said to pray. And he says, "You couldn't pray for me even an hour"? And then somebody else took that and say, "See, you gotta pray for a hour".
Yeah, I'm guilty, I taught a whole series on how you gotta pray for a hour, until I got tired one morning and went in there and I said, "Ooh, boy, here we go. I sure ain't looking forward to this". God's like, "Me neither". If you ever wanna know kind of praying you praying, "Oh, Lord, thank you. Oh, God, I thank you. Thank you for my mama, my dad, and my..." And you look at the clock. Ain't but a minute went by, like, yeah, dawg. No, there's a part of me depending upon God. Look at 1 Timothy chapter 2 and 8. 1 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 8. We do this because this is a part of our complete package, our complete dependence upon God. He says, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or without doubt". He said, "That's my will. I want them to pray. I want men to pray everywhere". He said, "That's my ultimate will. I want men to receive my grace. I wanna be able to teach. That's my will".
If he's telling us to pray, it's got to have something to do, I pray 'cause I depend on God. I communicate with him and he talks to me. I depend, I have to hear from him. "You mean to tell me God speaks to you"? Yeah, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice". Glory be to God. He expects for you to hear. Don't let the world talk you out of the truths of this gospel of grace. Yes, I expect to hear from God. That's the game-changer in our lives. There should be things going on in the lives of Christians that when unsaved people look at you, they should say, "How'd you get that to happen"? You ought to say, "Well, God told me". "You mean, God speaks to you"? Yeah, you ought to try it. Lift your hands up, I'll lead you to Jesus and introduce you to him. Yeah, when we walk in the room, the atmosphere ought to change 'cause there's an anointing on every last one of you. You're not just Christians. God lives in you.
And get ready. Everything's failing, this is a big set-up. This is a big set-up. God's setting this whole thing up so he can show out in you. No, listen. He's doing no different than he did Abraham. "I'ma wait 'til he turn 100, I'ma wait 'til she turns 90, and then at the set time". Somebody shout "set time". Get that tape from Wednesday. At the set time, he gonna show up and do what he does. And I am telling you this is going on now 6 months of teaching on the gospel of grace and God is setting you up so that when the news announces, "This is not failing, or this is failing and that's failing, and oh, the stock market, and all of your 401(k), oh, and ah, eh," it won't both you one bit; why? Because you have made your mind up that "I completely depend on God anyway. I knew you weren't gonna have no food, and God already showed me what to do. I knew your systems were gonna fail, but God's already spoken to me, hallelujah".
If he could speak to a Joseph and prepare them for a hard time, he can speak to you and I and prepare us. Get ready, church. Get ready. Something awesome, something magnificent, is about to take place in you and in me, praise God. Part of this is making a decision to live in complete dependence upon God. It's a huge deal. It's a huge deal. Look at this next verse, Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 18. Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 18, hallelujah. Thank you, Lord. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints".
You see, in prayer, one expresses a need that he himself is unable to satisfy. And then he acknowledges dependence upon God to supply that which is needed. And so I go to prayer, as we do. "Have no idea how to handle this, Lord". Or something that was brought to my attention that I know I can't do by myself and I go before you and say, "Lord, I need you to help me with this. I realize today that setting myself aside was a lot more than what I thought and I need you to help me with this. And so I know you love me, so I'm not questioning whether or not you'll be a very present help, but I wanna make sure that you know that I depend on you. I depend on you, I rely on you, I trust you, and I thank you, Lord, that as we start this journey, that I'll gather wisdom from this", and you'll begin to walk with this.
Now, listen to this. This is a key statement for today. "The essence of prayer is acknowledgement of helplessness, coupled with confidence in God to supply the need". "The essence of prayer is the acknowledgement of helplessness". When was the last time you went to God as someone that says, "I can't do this without you"? And I used to just think I'd do that when something big and significant happens. I'm finding that I'm doing that, like, every day just with my life and the things I have to do in my life. I don't have to struggle with this all my life. I don't have to carry this all my life. I go to God and I go to him not as someone who doesn't need help, but I go to him clearly saying, "I am acknowledging that I am helpless in this area. But I'm also acknowledging the confidence in you to supply what I need". That's changed my life. It's a humbling thing for me to keep reminding myself that I am not all that. You either.
Some of you think you're all that. No, you're not. No, you're not. There's something so powerful that happens when you pray, I believe, the most powerful prayer around: "Help me". Glory to God. "I'm feeling moody today, Lord. Help me". "I'm a little ornery, help me. And I trust that you have the supply that I need". And just getting up from that place of communicating with God, there's a strength that's released upon you that says, "I have a God who loves me. I have a God who can help me. I'm never alone". And you walk away from that place and you declare, "And never again will I declare that I'm broken because I'm in relationship with a mender. I'm in a relationship with a master potter. Glory to God". He'll take the good clay and mix it with the bad clay and make a masterpiece. You gotta go in the kiln in order to shine. But it's gonna be all right. Nobody in here knows what nobody in here has really gone through.
You might know about what they've gone through, but until you can read the insides and the battles of their mind and, you don't know what they have gone through. It's not just as simple as you would like it to be. And I tell you, you look around you, you see a bunch of miracles sitting around who God has helped. God has helped me. Somebody say, "What's going on"? God has helped me. I've been helped by the Almighty God. And then you say like they did in Abraham's day, "Is there anything too hard for God"? And you know how we are. "I can be a witness. Let me be a witness. I thank and I praise God, that I went to sleep last night, but I hadn't slept in one week. I thank and I praise God I didn't have nothing to eat but I looked in the back, in the real, real back, and I found a can of pork 'n beans. I thank and I pray".
You've gotta learn how to thank God. If you're gonna enter into this time of prayer and depend on God, you gotta start thanking God before you see the manifestation. You've gotta start shouting before anything ever happens. You've gotta start living that life of thanksgiving. "Father, I thank you". Now let me show you where that gets you. Let me show you where that gets you. To pray without ceasing is to maintain a constant attitude of dependence upon God. It's not to pray without ceasing, to maintain prayer for 24 hours. It's to maintain a constant, consistent, dependence upon God. This whole thing is about dependence upon God. Everything that happened in the Garden of Eden was over dependence upon God. And when they decided to eat of the fruit of that tree, when the devil said this one statement, "You're like God. You'll be like God," they thought, "Well, praise, I don't need to depend on him because I'm gonna be like him".
Everything's about that. It's almost like we almost missed the whole boat because of religion. This Christianity is not about the show. It's not about me figuring out a way where I can show out how anointed I am. Give me that line, that line, that line. No, no, I depend on God. In fact, I depend on God so much I don't feel the need to do those things like I used to do 'em. I still do 'em but I depend on God. God has done some amazing things, and is doing some amazing things. And I wanna meet him. I wanna meet him, knowing that he's meeting one of his children and say, "Son, you've really depended on me". Yeah, Lord, I'm here 'cause I depended on you.
What a ride. It's gonna happen one day. I'm just not waitin' 'til the last minute to try to get it together I'm gonna be, it's gonna be eternity. I'm not playing church and this is gonna be over with one day. You're going to die one day and as stupid as this world is, my prayer is that you'll be protected so your life is not snuffed out before its time. That's the blessing I pray over you, World Changers, that you will not die before your time. If they fire off a bullet, it shall not hit you. A thousand, oh, glory to God, shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come through you. Why? You depend on God. A constant attitude of depending on God. "Gosh, Pastor, why are you hollerin'"? This stuff is so real to me.
There are lots of things that people play with but this one thing about, you know, what's gonna happen when I die? Nah, we ain't playing with that. You know, it's a eerie thing to prepare your life, your insurance, your will, your ceremony. You know, I just finished doing that not too long ago and it's weird. But this is pretty simple. Basically, when I die, throw me in a box, put me in the thing. Nobody needs to be there. Just put me in the hole and if you all wanna have something afterwards, that's up to y'all but I'm not even gonna be here. I don't care. Paul said, "Well, I fought a good fight and I kept the faith". "Well, who's gonna take after you go"?
Well, I don't plan on going anywhere for a minute. I mean, like a long minute. I wanna see what it feels like preaching grace at 100. I met some people recently. They said, "Creflo Dollar"? He said, "Oh man, I thought you were dead". I'm like, "What? No, bro". I depend on God. Help me now, help me. This is the life of Christianity, man. It's the world seeing and watching us depend on God, not ourselves. We're not trying to be like the world and try to outdo them. I was looking at a role that I was, you know, practicing and I looked down at the role and I was playing the part of a police chief, and this was a little different because they had some cuss words in it. I was, like, "Wow". You know the three-letter cuss words. I said, "So, will you want me to do that"? He said, "Yeah". And so, I tried and I'm, like, "Ooh, I am not going to lose my ministry that I walked in for 41 years for a 3-letter cussin' word".
Now, some people get it. They say, "Oh, well, that's just acting". Not church folks, mm-mm. "He cussed for real". I said, "I won't say nothing in a role I ain't say it at church". But it was just something about, you know, I depended on God so much in areas of my life and character. That is never gonna be important to me. It was a quick test, and I thought, "Nah, it ain't worth it. Get somebody else to do it. I don't care". Now, listen to this. Go to Ephesians chapter 5 and 20. I think we'll finish this. We've got 12 minutes. Somebody say, "You go by the clock"? Yeah, you all got something to do. Don't go by the clock, I can't stay up here a long time, people would be like, "Ooh, the pastor don't ever shut up, do he"? No, I stick with the clock. When that clock go off, I'm off.
"Well, what if you don't finish it"? Well, ask the Holy Ghost, he'll tell you the rest of it. That's why we want this relationship with God. Ephesians chapter 5, verse 20. He said, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". "Giving thanks always for God," and so here's the only one who is completely dependent on God, only one who is completely dependent on God can give thanks always for all things. We're talking about all the things of God. We give thanks in all things, but not for all things in the other Scripture. So there is no finer expression of dependence upon God than in giving thanks.
Now this is important. This is an amazing expression of depending upon God when you give thanks. Listen to this carefully now. Prayer acknowledges one's dependence upon God in times of need. Prayer acknowledges one's dependence upon God in a time of need. Thanksgiving, however, acknowledges dependence when the need is satisfied. Thanksgiving acknowledges dependence when the need is satisfied. Prayer acknowledges your dependence upon God in a time of need. One is acknowledging dependence on God in the time of need; the other one, thanksgiving, is acknowledging dependence on God after the need is satisfied.