Frankie Mazzapica - That's What Happens When You Pray
Thank you for tuning in today. My name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "That's What Happens When You Pray," That's What Happens When You Pray. I've got four major points. I'm gonna slip in some sub-points in there, but my four major points are this. When you pray, you receive grace and mercy. That's point number one. Point number two, when you pray, God begins to protect you at a level that people who don't pray do not experience. When you pray, you receive grace and mercy. You receive protection. That's number two. Number three is you begin to experience a sense of intimacy with the Creator of the world.
tar, the furthest star, as far as that is, every single galaxy, I read that there's over 100 million counted galaxies. Forget the ones that we haven't counted. All of those galaxies are not outside of God. If I'm God, it's not like there's a galaxy over there like those drums. Everything that exists, Colossians chapter 1, verse 17. He was before all things and all things are held together within him. There is no end to God, and this being sits down and has intimacy, a personal relationship with you. That's point number three. Point number four is when you pray, you experience a supernatural power that moves through your life. So I'm gonna unpack all of those, and we'll start off obviously with number one. When you pray, you experienced grace and mercy. Where is that coming from?
Hebrews chapter 4, verse 16, it says this. "Come boldly". A lot of people pray and they got their head down and they're in shame. That's not what the Bible wants you to do. He wants you to come boldly before the throne of grace, and the Bible says this so that you may receive grace and mercy during your time of need. Now, what's the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy says is soon as you came to me, the moment you opened your mouth, the moment you put your mind's attention and your heart's affection on me, mercy began to flow from God to you. Everybody we know. When we make a mistake, we say something we shouldn't say, we worry that they are gonna make us pay. You know, like stop talkin' to us for like 17 days or they're gonna make us pay. God does not do that. It's not like human beings. It says you've done the same thing 24 times.
How many times are you gonna say "I'm sorry" before you stop? That's not how God thinks. He does not think like that. Please hear that. He does not think like that. The moment your mind's attention goes towards him, mercy begins to flow in your direction. Now, what's the difference between mercy and grace? For all of us, it says, "God, I don't want to do that anymore. I don't want to be addicted to this anymore. I don't wanna talk to people like this anymore. I know it's wrong. I don't want to have these addictions and these worries and I don't want to act like a fool. I don't wanna act like a person who doesn't love you, because I do love you, but I can't stop". That's when grace kicks in.
See, mercy says I forgive you for what you've just done, but you do not have the power. You do not have the self-discipline to be able to stop doing what you're addicted to doing. Sometimes we say things before we thought it. We did it before we thought it. Like, when I wake up in the middle of the night to go make sure there's food in the house. I honestly walk to the cupboard with my eyes half closed, and I'm eating, and I'm not even thinking about how much I'm eating. It's just going. My body is doin' it, and back here, I have this one, should you be in all this right now, just as early as I share...and I wake up the next morning, I'm like, Frankie, you keep telling yourself that you're not gonna eat at 2:30 in the morning. Stop eating at 2:30 in the morning. I'm gonna tell ya, that is a battle that's too big for me. There are certain battles that are just too big.
Now, naturally, I'm bein' comical, and I'm only sharing a battle that is at a certain level of transparency. I'm not being too transparent. That's too much. We don't know each other like that, but let me tell you this. My wife said, "Frankie, I know God loves you, but I feel like he forgives you a lot". Like, only my wife would know me so well to be able to say that. Only grace can help us have the strength to stop. I don't talk about this a lot, but many of you guys know this. Our services broadcasts on TBN from from Florida to Seattle, from coast to coast. We got a letter the other day from an inmate in a prison on the West coast, and he said this. I was watching the program, and all of sudden and I felt my life change. I could feel God touching me, and I knew my life had changed right there at that moment. He says, "I am doing more for God in prison than I ever did outside of prison". He didn't even think about God.
Now he's touching people and lives are changing left and right. He's got a Bible study inside of the prison, and you say to yourself, how can a guy be imprisoned for so long, he went into a couple references. He didn't get specific on why he was there, but how can a person who is in prison for so long, who clearly did something very bad receive mercy and then receive grace to be used? How does that happen? Because you receive grace and mercy every single time you pray. That's what happens when you pray. Grace, mercy every time.
Number two. What's number two? Protection. There's a verse in the Bible. It says this. Psalms 34, verse 7, it says that the angel of the Lord surrounds those who fear them and delivers them, an angel of the Lord. Many years ago, I think I was 21, 22 years old, I was at a friend's house, and he was, I don't know, he was wealthy. He was far wealthier than me, which isn't saying much. My wife and I could vacuum our whole house without pulling the plug out of the wall. And so, everybody was wealthy to us, but anyway, we're at his house, and he was extremely down. He was emotional, and I made the mistake of saying, "Are you okay"? And I say "the mistake" because I didn't know how to respond to what he said. He said, I've been workin' for Enron for 30 years.
Now, Enron is one of the biggest...companies in our country that is... how do I say this, and energy-producing company, is that what they were? They were so big that they...it was where the Astros played, the Houston Astros played, played in the Enron Stadium, and I'm talking to my friend, and he goes, "Enron just shut down. They found out that all of their numbers were fabricated. All of their numbers, all their stock numbers, all their income numbers, all their expensive, it was all fabricated". So this big, massive international company shuts down. So he goes from making a lot of money. He's been there for 30 years to no money, worse than that, all of his retirement was tied up in the stocks of Enron. And so, he has no retirement. He's got no income, this massive house and a girl going into college. He's checkmate, but he was a friend of mine, and I knew he prayed. I lost touch with him.
A few years ago, he came into our church, and I saw him, and I was like, "Oh my goodness, how are you doing? I haven't seen you in forever"! And I didn't want to ask, right? I made the first mistake. I didn't know what to say then. I'm certainly not gonna know what to say now. So I just said, "How are you doing"? And he goes, "You're not gonna believe how I'm doing". He goes, "I am doing better now financially than I was then, and my retirement is sealed like a zip-lock bag". How does that happen? This is what happens when you pray. He protects you. He puts a wall of fire around you. He leads you. When there's a fork in the road, he leads you. He leads you. He protects you. How many people in this room have been through a divorce, a major separation, or lose your job, and in the moment, you thought it was all done? "I'm not gonna get through this. I'm not gonna get through this".
Now look at your girlfriend. You're doin' better now than you did then. And for the husbands, now look at your dude, my girlfriend, and I gotta tell you that. My girlfriend's on the front row. I love my wife so much. He protects you. This is what happens when you pray, not when you think about praying, not when you walk around saying, I know I should pray. You know what happens when you think about prayer but you don't pray? Gats. That's Italian for nada, nothing, zilch. You're just like everybody else, scraping and clawing, hoping and wishing, getting bitter at the same time, angry at people who cannot change anything, but you gotta blame someone. Nothing happens, but this is what happens when people pray. You are protected. You receive grace. You receive mercy. This is what happens when you pray.
Now, let me talk about it. I got four points, but the third point is my favorite by far. In Revelation chapter 3, verse 20, it says this. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him". I love that verse. The reason why I love that verse is, not only is he knocking but clearly he's shouting because he says, "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice..." Now, I got locked out of my house a couple nights ago. It's a long story. I don't have time to get into it. My whole family was in the house. I'm locked out. It's, like, 9, 9:15, something like that. I walk up to the door. I start knocking on the door. Nobody comes. I walk up to the back door. I'm lookin' at it like, "Boom, boom, boom, are you're gonna open the door"? Like, "Oh, oh, look who's here". They come and open the door. I'm like, "Really? What have I done to deserve this"?
And then I get to sit down, and now, five minutes later, I'm a part of it... I wanted to be in the house. Just so you know, Every time he crosses your mind, that is how he knocks on the door. Every time he crosses your mind, you and I are this, we're made from dirt. We're dirt covered by skin. We're dirt bags. We don't have the capacity to desire a God we've never seen. We don't have that capacity. And so, God has to come to us. When you think about him that is him coming to you, and after you think about him, if you shut it down, he just crosses your mind and you go out throughout your day, you're not opening the door. He came to you. He knocked on the door. Now, this is how you open the door. "God, I love you too". I love you too. He came to your mind because he loves you, and you say back, "I love you too". The moment you do that, the door is wide open.
Now the conversation, now the relationship is engaged. You don't need to come to the church and hope... call up the worship team and ask everybody to be here Tuesday at 3:30. No, no, no, no, no, right there at that moment, you go, "I love you too". The door's open. Come on. Once you say "I love you too," don't be surprised if other sentences don't come flowing out of your mouth. It's like a string in your mouth. You pull it out a little bit, and then it's just... I'm sure, there's a better illustration than that, but that's what I got. After you open up the door several times, something fascinating happens. All of a sudden, after a period of time, when he crosses your mind, the closeness of knowing that he's there becomes more and more real.
See, initially you say, "And I love you too". But he's still a distant being, but if you continue to not shut down the thought, you just say, "I love you too," what ends up happening is that all of a sudden, the relationship becomes more and more personal, and you become (this is the catcher) you become aware of the presence of God around you. It's so amazing when this begins to happen, because as an example, your relationship might unfold and grow in a different way, but just now I looked out the window, and I looked at those trees, and I'm like those trees are reaching up towards you. You picked out the color of green of every single one of those trees. I feel wind, and I'm like, How did you do that because even the smartest person in the world doesn't know how the wind is gonna go. It could come west, it could come east, it could go south. It just, phuw, when some of you have hair and it just bows in the wind. For me, I just, ah. For you it's like, wooh. This is God. And you become more and more aware.
At this stage of my life, whenever I am a little bit stressed, which I'm half Italian, half Brazilian, so a little bit happens a lot, so, I can close my eyes, and if I just give myself about 10 seconds, I can visualize him to the best of my ability. I can visualize and I know I'm in his presence, and so long as I keep that moment, everything's okay. Then when I open up my eyes, I feel like I'm 10 feet tall, and I've got muscles on my teeth and lightening in my veins, and it just took ten seconds to visualize him and become aware of his presence, and what's exciting to me, is God is the only person, the only being, in the world that once you found him, you continue to look for him. You just want more, and you wanna get closer. You'll want more, and you want to get closer. Help me out. Encouragement. Last and final point, supernatural power begins to move in your life. There are certain problems that you have.
Now, I'm not preaching at you. I can easily say we have, but just give me some margin here. There are certain problems that you have that you're never gonna get rid of. They're there forever. I'm not tryin' to do shock value. I'm makin' a point. Just wait on me. Sometimes I'm talking with somebody and they tell me a problem, and I think to myself, "You're gonna have that for the rest of your life".
I was talking to somebody on the phone, and it was like 8 o'clock, and the conversation kept going and going, so I pulled off into like a Walmart because I know God's in Walmart. So I pull off into a parking lot, and he pulls off in a parking lot. We both pull off in a parking lot to talk to each other, and he's telling me how horrible his marriage is, and I said to him after about 15 minutes, and I've talked to him like 1700 times about this, and I finally said, let me just name him John. "John, this is what I want you to do. I want you to grab the lever on your seat in your car, and I want you to pull it backward and just lay down. Did you do it"? He's like, "Yeah I did it".. "And I want you to tell yourself, 'This is my life, and it's never gonna change.'" And he's like, "Pastor"? I said, just remember I'm saying that. "This is my life, and it's never gonna change".
Obviously, he didn't like that at all, and the reason why he didn't like it and the reason why you guys don't like hearing it is there's something in your spirit that goes, "No! That's not true. No, it's not true". And you're right. It's not true. So long as you're praying. The Bible says this in Ezekiel 36:26, it says not by might nor by strength, not by your intellect, not by your charisma, not by your strategy, not by your money, not by your know-how, not by this...some of you have a really high EQ. You can kinda feel the room. Not by your EQ, Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing you have, nothing you bring to the table is going to change it. It says not by might nor by strength, but by my power, says the Lord.
This is what happens when you pray. This is what happens when you pray. Sometimes somebody will want to pray, but they will feel like there's a lock on their jaw and they just can't get it open. So, they think about, "I should pray. I need to pray. I know he will help me if I pray". But they can't get their mouth open, and you have to ask the question: Why is that? Why is that? I'm Gonna tell ya. That all of hell has barb wire wrapped around your lips. You just can't get it open. Have you ever been in a dream, it's amazing how many people have been in this situation, where you're laying in the bed, and all of a sudden, you wake up and you feel frozen, and you feel like there's an evil spirit in your room, and you can't move and you're scared. Raise your hand if that's ever happened to you, as high as you can, as high as you can. You're encouraging all of us. As high as you can, elbows straight. Come on. Wave it around.
Now, everybody look around. It's about half the room, and you sit there, and for those of you that haven't raised your hand, you're like, "Thank God it was y'all and not me". But when you're in that state, you know in your spirit and your mind, if I could just get Jesus out of my mouth... Jesus and a bang. It's like, oh. Are you with me? Did that happen to you? Jesus. This is what happens when you pray. Those of you that can't get your mouth open, just get that name out. Get that name out. Those barbed wires will fall to the ground like puppy fuzz. I'm not even sure what puppy fuzz is, but you got my point. This is what happens when you pray. Do you receive that today. Come on.