Frankie Mazzapica - Pray Without Rest
Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of my message is "Pray Without Rest", Pray Without Rest. I'm getting this verse out of Isaiah chapter 62 verses 6 and 7, it reads like this. "Take no rest, those of you who pray. Give the Lord no rest until he has completed his work". You know, when I pray, there are often times when I feel like, okay, I'm done, I've prayed about everything, I just feel like I'm done, and then I'll think about my desires, I'll think about the things that I want, I'll think about where in my life I need God to move, and I'll say to myself, "Holy Spirit" or I'll say to the Holy Spirit, "Help me pray longer".
That is a powerful prayer. Help me pray longer, because I understand that there is too much at stake, there's too much on the line. My needs and my desires are not something that I can live without. See, there's some things that if God doesn't give it to you, things will still be fine. Like, you'll be fine, but when there are certain things that you have got to have God say yes, you can't live a happy life if he doesn't say yes. You have to have these certain requests, and so I'll tell the Lord I'm not gonna give you rest, I'm not gonna give you rest, I'm just gonna keep knocking, I'm gonna keep seeking, I'm gonna keep asking. Which is what we're told to do in Matthew chapter 7 verse 7. I'm not going to give you rest.
My daughter, who's eight, thinks it's real funny to go out the back door and come around to the front door and ring the doorbell. She thinks that's so funny. It drives me mad. And if we don't come fast enough, then ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And so I'm walkin,' and I've got whoo-whoo...I'm hot, I'm walking over there, and I grabbed the door, I'm like, "She's eight". "Hi, Kate, how are you"? "Hi, Kate, don't do that ever again for the rest of your life". But it's that ding, ding, ding, ding, and if I don't come fast enough, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. It's like this has to be our attitude. Too often if God does not respond, then we give up. It has to be the exact opposite. Those of you who pray, give yourself no rest. I'm going to keep knocking. I'm going to keep asking. I gotta keep pressing. We cannot be, we cannot be people who get discouraged too quickly.
Charles Finney said this one time, he said, "People often give up before they break through". The reality is, is that most of the things that we need and we want, we have to fight for. The things that we don't need and we are not passionate about often come to us, but the things that we have to have, we gotta war for. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12 says that we are wrestling against evil authorities and rulers in an unseen world. When we quit praying, we let them win. When we lose heart, we let them win. They are wrestling with us.
Now, here's something fascinating. In a minute, we're gonna have three case studies, if you want to know where we're goin' here. We're gonna have a case study on a guy named Hezekiah, a case study on a guy named Cornelius, and then we're gonna have our third case study on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But I want to point out another thread, a golden thread about prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says, "Never stop praying". So, if you don't get anything out of this message, at least you'll memorize a verse on the way out. So, let's say that three times, one, two, three. Never... Okay, turn up the volume just a little bit, okay? This is, like, your favorite. Turn it up, just like you're in the... duh, duh, duh or duh, duh, duh, whatever. Turn it up, one, two, three. Never... Whoo, you sound so good. One last time. Never... See, now you'll never forget that Bible verse ever again. "Never stop praying".
Now, watch this, this is fascinating. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, it says, "Never stop praying". First Thessalonians 5:19, it says, "Do not quench the Holy Spirit". Now, how is praying and quenching the Holy Spirit at all related? We've been in our house for the last 11 years, every single plant, or 95% of the plants and the flowers, anything you see around our house, we planted them. And so, when I walk around, or when we set up water things to make sure that they're all... I'm passionate about it. The new plants that we put in, I gotta walk around with a water hose and spray them individually. Now, when I'm done, and I'm going to walk back and put the hose away, but I don't want it to get all over me while I'm walking, what do I do with the hose? You quench it.
Now see, now you're ahead of me. So now, you quench it and you walk back. As long as you're quenching it, the water cannot come through. The Bible is saying this. When you are not praying, there's no Holy Spirit coming through you. You are operating on your own personality, your own instincts, to your own beliefs, your own emotions, you're operating by yourself. There's no flow of the Holy Spirit in your life. When that is not happening, the personality of the Holy Spirit is not coming through you. You can always tell when someone prays, and I wanna say this. Smith Wigglesworth once said, "I rarely pray for an hour, but I never let an hour go without praying".
You can always tell the people who are praying, because the personality, the characteristics of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22 starts coming through them. You know his personality, if you were to describe my personality, I don't wanna know what you would say, but if we were to describe the Holy Spirit's personality, it's crystal clear. He's full of love, he's full of joy. I mean, a person who is full of joy is addicting to be around. Love, joy, he's full of peace. He's always patient. He's always kind. He's always good. He's always faithful. He's always gentle. He is always under complete control of his emotions. This is how he is, and when we pray, it starts comin' through you. Those characteristics are coming through you. People are gravitated to you, everybody.
Have you ever met somebody you just don't like being around? It feels like they're sticking in umbilical cord into you and sucking the life out. Have you ever been there before? They're just sucking the life, and then when you see 'em, you're like... They just suck the life right out of you. But the exact opposite, there are certain people we love to be around, why? Because the same umbilical cord is getting shoved in you, but you just feel like you're ten feet tall being around 'em. You laugh harder when you're with 'em than when you're not with them, are you with me? This is how people are. And when the Holy Spirit is flowing through you, all those characteristics become your characteristics, and people are just like, "I just like being around you".
This is what happens when we pray. This is what happens, the Spirit of God moves through you. In Psalms 56:9 it says, "The very day," everybody say, "The very day," one, two, three. Loud this time, one, two, three. "The very day I call for help, the tide of my battle begins to shift". The very day. I don't know if it's your health, your marriage, your kids, your neighbor that you wish would just move. Just the very day you call for help, the tide of the battle begins to shift. This is how important prayer is. Don't pray like, like, if you move today, then I'll pray again tomorrow. No, no, no, no, no, if you don't move today, I'm going to pray again tomorrow. That's how you think. That's how you think.
In Psalms 5:3 it says every morning I wake up, I'll be back on my knees, laying the pieces of my life, my marriage, my health, my mindset, my family, my friends, my finances. Every day I wake up. I'm gonna lay the pieces of my life on your altar, and I'm going to wait for the fire to fall. I'm going to wait for you to just touch it, and take it, just burn. Take all the bad out and bring all the good up. Come on, am I talking to anybody? Bring it all up. We gotta be people of prayer. We gotta be people who don't stop praying. This has gotta be the fabric of who we are. This has to be our culture.
I love goin' to Mexico, because they can make Mexican food a lot better than we can here. Now, Tex-Mex is kinda decent, I gotta be honest, but this is their culture. This is what they do. They get a big old pot, and just start just putting it all together. You got a grandmother in the back slapping tortillas all over the place. This is their culture. They know what they're doing. It has to be our culture to be people of prayer. It's gotta be what we do. It's gotta be what we do, we're always praying. Let's have a couple of case studies. Let's start with Hezekiah. In 1 Kings chapter 1 verse 20, it reads like this. "That at that time, Hezekiah became deathly ill. And Isaiah the son of Amos came to visit him".
He gave the king this message. "This is what the Lord says, 'Get your life in order. Get your affairs in order. You are gonna die. You are not gonna recover from this sickness.'" Hezekiah rolls over, he was in bed when Isaiah went to visit him. He was in bed, he rolls over, puts his face to the wall, and he begins to cry out to God. He begins to cry out to God. John chapter 5 verse 16, "The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much". He's makin' hell tremble, and he's makin' heaven shake. He's crying out to God. There's a difference between praying and praying fervently. There's a massive difference.
Charles Spurgeon once said, "Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog". If you're not gonna pray fervently, you may as well not even pray at all. I had Pop Tarts for breakfast Saturday morning, thank you, Jesus, for my Pop Tarts, s'mores Pop Tarts. Thank you, Jesus, for my Pop Tarts. But when I need God to move in my life, the fervency that I pray for my Pop Tarts is minuscule to the fervency that I pray for God to move in my life. It requires fervency. Somebody say, "Fervency". Hezekiah rolled over and he just prayed with fervency. Isaiah was walking out of his chambers, he's walking down the street, he's gonna go get back on his camel and go home. Before he got out of the door, the Lord told Isaiah, "Turn around, go back up to his room".
Turns around, goes back up to his room, and says, "Tell 'em I'm givin' him 15 more years onto his life," 15 more years. Fervent prayer, I read this business entrepreneurial book a while back. No, I heard the author doin', she was speaking, and she said this. There's one common denominator between all people who are successful. Successful with your diet, successful with your career, successful at school, it doesn't matter. There's one common denominator that they all have. It's not education, it's not looks, it's not charisma. Whether you're a CEO of an oil and gas company, or you're a CEO of a snow cone stand, it's still the same characteristic all the way across the board. You know what it is? Grit, G-R-I-T, grit. You know, it's so fascinating, I love basketball, I love basketball. It's become obvious that the best basketball players on this earth are not in the NBA, they're not.
Go down to Rutgers Park in New York City, you will find the best players in America. They're not, but why aren't they in the NBA? I watch the dunk contest in the NBA, I was sleeping right through it, I watched these guys in New York, and I watched these guys all over the place, not just New York, they're everywhere, throwing the ball in the air, putting it through their legs 50 times, putting it under their legs, dunking, and I'm like, "You're better than the guys in the NBA. Why aren't you in the NBA"? Grit, to get to the NBA, to get through a diet, to stay married My wife doesn't have to have grit. No, I don't have to have grit, she has to have grit, that's what I was trying to say. Could you imagine being married to me? Everybody say thank you, Allie. Grit, grit, that's what Hezekiah had, grit.
If God does not move when you pray, take your high heels off, put your cowboy boots on, dig your heels in, say, "I'm just getting warmed up". Cornelius, second case study, Acts chapter 1 verse 10. It reads like this. In Caesarea, there was a... Acts chapter 10 verse 1. In Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius. He was a Centurion, he was associated, he was not just a Centurion, he was a part of the Italian cohort. Now, at the end of this story he gets saved, so I just wanna say the first person that got saved who wasn't a Jew was an Italian, I'm just sayin,' just sayin'. So, he was a part of the Italian cohort, and here's how the Bible describes him.
Number one, he was a devout man. Number two, he feared God and so did his family. How did his family follow suit? I don't think some of 'em had a choice. You're going to live here, this is how we roll. They feared God. Number three, he gave alms generously to people, particularly the poor. And number four, he continuously prayed. But he was praying that he would have what the Jews had. The Jews had a relationship with God. The Samaritans, the Philistines, and he was not a Jew. It's an awkward thing when you look at other people and they have connections that you don't have. It's an awkward thing when you look at their parents and they were richer than your parents so they have more opportunities than you do. It's an awkward thing. When somebody is just born drop-dead gorgeous, they come out with an advantage.
Brad Pitt has an advantage, my God. He has an advantage. George Clooney has an advantage. Denzel Washington has an advantage. Who would you rather have lunch with, Denzel or me? You know me, you don't know him. Why am I not winning? He has an advantage. When you come out like that, what do I have an advantage in? I don't have an advantage in Jack. This is what Cornelius was sayin.' I don't have that. But he was relentless with his prayer. At the end of the story, he got saved. The first guy who wasn't a Jew to get saved, his family got saved, all because he had this grit. All because he kept on praying.
Here's the last case study, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three guys, you can read about this incident in Daniel Chapter 3, Daniel chapter 3, I think it's 3:16. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not want to worship this image, this statue. They're not doing it. They're not gonna do it. I've always wondered what I would do if somebody put a gun to my head and said either stop worshiping Jesus, or I'mma blow your brains out. There would be, I have entertained the option of saying, "Pull the trigger," but I've also entertained the option of saying, "God, you know I don't mean this. I just wanna live so I can serve you more, so I'mma have a little, just a... Okay, I'll stop praying".
I got my fingers crossed behind my back. Ha, ha, we all win. They're lookin' at Nebuchadnezzar, and Nebuchadnezzar says "I'm gonna throw you into that blazing furnace". And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they look at Nebuchadnezzar, and they said, this is in verse 16, Daniel 3:16. "We don't need to defend ourselves to you. We don't need to defend ourselves. If you throw us into that blazing furnace, we believe that God will rescue us". And here's the big one. "But if he doesn't, we will continue to serve him". But if he doesn't. I'm gonna tell you, I can tell you miracle after miracle that I've seen God do in my life.
There's not a lot, I tell him thank you all the time. There's not a lot of people that have prayed for blind eyes to open and seen them open. There's not a lot of people that have prayed for cancer and seen it go away. There's not a lot of people that have seen deaf ears open more times than they can count. This has been the story of my life for the past three years. But in the midst of it all, and I have more stories where he didn't come through for me that were bigger. I prayed for a baby one time that had a broken collarbone. I felt the collarbone move under my fingertips. I was so excited. I went to go pray for a lady named Lana in the hospital because she had stage IV cancer. She dies, the baby gets healed.
The baby was gonna be fine either way. They were gonna do surgery on the baby the very next day. The baby was gonna be fine either way. So, what do you think I'm thinking? How in the world? This single mother passes away, and the baby gets healed. How are you making decisions up here? Have you ever been there? I tell you, all of hell sits on the edge holding their knees, watching to watch us. How are you gonna respond when God is not your servant, when God is sovereign? How do you respond?
There has to be something on the inside of you that says look, he's gonna deliver me from the furnace, but if he doesn't, but if he doesn't, if he doesn't, because if that's not on the inside of you, this will probably be the last time we see each other. This will be the last time, because the Bible says as long as you're on this earth, you will have battles. As long as you're on this earth. How did Jesus Christ, the Son of God, how did he die? He was betrayed and he was killed. Everybody has to go through things that they don't ever wanna experience, but in the process, if you are able to say steadfast and keep praying, and keep praying, and keep praying, and keep praying, and keep praying, hell will fear the moment you open your mouth and say, "Jesus Christ". It will fear you. It will fear you.
When you're on your knees, hell will tremble. When you're on your knees, angels are moving. They are afraid of you because you are battle tried. You're battle tried. There's this old saying, "Never take a new gun to war". You take a gun to war that you've shot a thousand times, that you can rely on. I'm telling you, God can rely on you. He can rely on you. The fact that you're in this room right now tells me that after disappointment, you will still come into the sanctuary of God. You will still come to the sanctuary of God. You have disappointment, you have praise reports, you have testimonies, you've got moments where you've skinned your chin on the ground, you're still in the sanctuary of God. Come on, give the Lord a standing ovation for that. You have to stand up.