James Merritt - Prayer for Dummies
I read a book recently and it had a title, "The Man Who Won't Go Away". When a person dies and I have to break the news to you, 'cause we're all going to die. But when a person dies, it's sad in a way, but almost immediately, we start forgetting the person who was even here. You may try to hold onto their memory for a while, but it just fades into the background. And we're just pretty quickly forgotten. And their names are very rarely ever mentioned, ever spoken of once they're gone. As a matter of fact, have you noticed, even if they leave behind something that we experience or we enjoy every single day, we don't really think about the person who did it.
For example, if you have an iPhone or a Mac, whenever you open your iPhone or you turn on your Mac, do you think about Steve Jobs? Probably not. You get up in the dark or you get up in the morning and you turn on a light or you listen to a radio. Do you think about Thomas Edison? Probably not. If you think about the constitution, but a lot of talk about the constitution lately, right? You think about James Madison? Probably not. Just the way it is, people die, their name fades away and nobody talks about them hardly any more except one guy, one guy battle the trend, one guy went against the grain. His name was Jesus. And here's, what's strange about Jesus. His impact a hundred years after He was dead was greater than it was when He was living. His impact 500 years later was greater than it was a hundred years later. His impact a thousand years later was so great that His teaching in his life and his influence formed the foundation of what we call today, Europe.
And here we are 2000 years after this guy checked out, after he left this planet, 2000 years later, and He has more followers in more places around the world than ever before. He didn't even have a full biography written about it. He had four, many biographies are called Matthew, mark, Luke and John, just for little short books. And most of them talk about one week in his life. And yet they have impacted the whole world so much. These four books have been translated into 2,527 languages. Now to put that in perspective, listen to this. The second most translated book is "Don Quixote" and it was only translated into about 60 languages.
Today this very day, His name will be mentioned out loud by more people around the world than every other name of every other person put together in all of history put together. It will be mentioned in every single language. This man Jesus even changed the way we thought about history. We start a new year on January the word, just we'll see if you're awake. All right, January the first. Well, why don't we do that? That you don't know this right? In Israel, a baby was brought to the temple on the eighth day after they were born in order to officially give them their name. Well, eight days after the 25th of December, Christmas is January the first. December the 25th is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. January, the first is when he was officially given his name.
So every January, the first we're actually celebrating the name of Jesus and we don't even realize it. We don't even know it. So even after two millennia, think about this every time anybody anywhere opens the calendar, opens a newspaper, boots up a computer, looks on the internet. We're reminded that Jesus Christ is the center, the core, the circumference of human history from the time that Jesus was born until the time that Jesus died, every ruler, every king, every president, every dictator has to be dated in reference to the life of Jesus. I was signing books out there a while ago. And somebody said, would you mind writing down the date? Which I never do. Would you mind writing down the day?
So I wrote down the date, how do we know the date? How we know what date? Because we measure the date by BC, Before Christ, AD Anno Domini, After Christ. So whatever we write a date, believe it or not we're bringing back to the name of Jesus. This is 2020 in the year of our Lord. That's why I don't know how anybody can disagree with what the British author H.G Wells said. He said this, "I'm a historian, I'm not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this Pinnilees preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history, Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history".
Now say all that because we're beginning a series today in a letter that a man named Paul wrote to a church, he never even visited, never even met the people called Colossians. And the reason why this is such a fantastic book is because it talks about the guardian of the galaxies. A matter of fact, that's what I'm titling the series, "The Guardian Of The Galaxy" because there's no book in the Bible that does more to lift up Jesus, to magnify Jesus, to exalt Jesus, to elevate Jesus than this book called Colossians. A matter of fact, the whole book can be summed up in one half of one verse. This is what Paul said. He said, "Christ is all and is in all". Let's say that out loud. We ready? "Christ is all and is in all". That sums it up.
So just as this guardian of the galaxy has control of this universe, He wants to be in control of your life in my life. Listen, he doesn't just give us life so that we can live. He gives us life to tell us how to live that life, how to live life in such a way that you find your purpose, that you fulfill your role, that you be what you were put on this earth to be. And that leads us to a prayer we're going to study this morning, that Paul prayed for people he had never even seen. What I hope that happens today is this. As we go through this prayer, I hope you'll say the same thing I said, the more I studied this prayer I said, Lord, except maybe for the Lord's prayer. This has got to be maybe the greatest prayer ever prayed.
And I'll tell you why I call it that, it is a perfect model on how to pray for people you don't even know. It's a perfect prayer to pray for someone when you find yourself in a situation where you're not sure how to pray for someone. This is one of those prayers. I mean, it's so unique by the way. That's why I've titled my message today. A prayer for dummies, okay? Prayer for dummies. Now, I don't know if you've seen these books, "Blank For Dummies". I've got a bunch of them in my library. Somebody came up with this idea of writing books on certain subject for dummies you think that would succeed. Why we would buy a book for dummies? Well, guess what? This man wrote over 500 titles of these books and those books have sold over 4,200 million copies.
So I thought it'd be interesting to show you why these books have sold so many copies and what these books can do for you. So I'm gonna throw up on the screen some actual books for dummies you can go buy and I'm not making these up. Not before I put them up. Let me just say to you if you're single and you're not married, but you'd like to get married. You might wanna think about buying these books, okay? I'm just gonna get you ready for this. All right so let me give an example. You may say, man, I do wanna get married, but I'll be honest, pastor. I'm embarrassed. I have a skin problem okay. Then you need to read "Acne For Dummies".
Okay, this is for you. You read that. They'll tell you how to get rid of your skin problems, right? So then you get rid of your skin problems then you say, okay, now I wanna find a girl. I wanna start a relationship, but I don't know how to get it started all right, then you need to read "Flirting For Dummies". This will tell you how to flirt. This will tell you how to kind of get in the door and get this girl interested in you. Now, let's suppose you learn how to flirt and the girl says, man, I kinda like you. I like to go out with you. Then you need to read "Dating For dummies". This will tell you what to do, what not to do, where to go, what not to go.
Now, let's suppose that spark turns into a fire. Then you need to read "Making Marriage Work For Dummies". So you read the book, you get married and hopefully you'll live happily ever after, but if it doesn't work out, you can read "Divorce For Dummies". So they got all these books they'll take care of every one of your problems. Now you get the picture. If I were to write a book on prayer for dummies, I would base it on the prayer we are about to read. This one prayer. If you brought you to this "Sawfish Book" this is on page 54. If you bought a copy of God's word, when the book of Colossians chapter one. So let me tell you why this is a very practical prayer. If you're in a situation right now and you're praying for someone, it may be your son, it may be your daughter. It may be a grandchild. It may be someone at work. It may be for somebody that you know, somebody, you work with, somebody that you play golf with, hunt with, fish with, somebody you do business with, and you really burdened for them, but you don't know how to pray for them.
I've got the solution. This is a one size fits all prayer. This is a prayer. You can pray for anybody, anytime, under any circumstances. By the way, I would like to ask you to pray for your pastor. I hope you do and if you do, or if you'll start, I want you to pray these three things for me, if you pray these things right for me, I would be so thrilled. And by the way, I would also ask that we all prayed these three things for our church. It's a simple prayer. Here's what Paul says.
Number one, "we need to pray that we would be directed by the will of God". Pray that we would be directed by the will of God. Now, I don't know how much you know about this man named Paul. If you don't know a lot, let me just kind of tell you this. I know a lot about him. I've read him over, over, over, over, over and over again. And I'm telling you one thing, this guy was wise, this guy was sharp, but there was one thing this guy knew like the back of his hand. He knew prayer. This guy knew how to pray. This guy knew how to pray in such a way, he was 100% sure every time he prayed, he connected because he knew how to take prayer to a totally different level.
Now, before we get into this, keep in mind, he's praying for a church he's never visited. He's never been to Colossae. He doesn't know anybody in the church. He doesn't know the elders in the church. He doesn't know the pastors of the church. And yet you say, well, if he doesn't know anything about the church, he doesn't know who's in the church. How in the world does he know how to pray for this church? Here's the amazing thing. He doesn't wonder about it. He doesn't struggle over it. He doesn't agonize over it. He simply begins by praying. One of the most important things. You can pray for anybody. So he begins in this prayer this way. "For this reason, since the day we heard about you".
I never seen you I've just heard about you. "We have not stopped praying for you". Really Paul, don't even him knew who these people are. What'd you pray? "We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will, through all the wisdom and understanding that the spirit gives". Now, before we get into this prayer, you got to keep one thing in mind, okay? This prayer is sequential. In other words, Paul, didn't just kind of brought this prayer out willingly like, well, what's the first thought that comes to my mind, Paul it evidently really brought by spirit of God. He had thought through this prayer and every part of the prayer builds on the next part of the prayer.
So Paul says, let's just start with prayer 101, the first thing I prayed for you individually, the first thing I prayed for you as a church, I want you to know the will of God. I want you to be able to find out what is the will of God and know what the will of God is. You say, why would he start out that way? If you think about it brilliant, because here's what Paul knows. That's true about us. If you know that you are living in the center of God's will for your life, every other part of your life will fall in place. If you know that you're living in the center of God's will for your life, every other part of your life will fall into place. Now we've got to understand what Paul meant, because there are two words here I want you to kind a hone in on. One is the word filled. And the other is the word knowledge. He said, "I pray that you would be filled with the knowledge of God's will".
What does it mean to be filled with the knowledge of God's will in the scripture, whatever you read filled, it doesn't mean like your filled from head to toe that's not really what it means. It means to be controlled by. So if you're filled with alcohol, you'll be controlled by alcohol. If you're filled with bitterness, you're gonna be controlled by bitterness. If you're filled with anger, you're gonna be controlled by anger. If you're filled with the holy spirit, you'll be controlled by the holy spirit. So what Paul is saying is I'm praying that you will be controlled by the will of God. But then there's another word knowledge, he says, "I pray that you'll be filled with the knowledge of the will of God".
Another time, another way we misunderstand this, what Paul means and what the Bible means about the will of God. This is not referring to an intellectual knowledge in your head that's not what the word means. The word means a personal experiential, practical knowledge in your heart. And let me tell you why I say that, I can't tell you how often when we talk about the will of God, we're always almost 98% of the time we're thinking about the future. When people come to me or come to my office or they'll stop me and say, hey, pastor, I'm really struggling with what is God's will for my life. I know what they're gonna say. It has something to do with their future. I don't know what all to take this job or that job. I don't know whether to date this girl or that girl. I don't know whether I ought to move to this place or stay here. I don't know the hell to go to this college or that college.
Now let me just say, there's nothing wrong with that because there are many ways in which the Lord leads us, okay? And I want you to hear this clear. This is so important you hear. The will of God is not primarily about trying to figure out something you need to learn. The will of God is primarily obeying what you already know. In other words, let me tell you what the Bible means by the will of God, the will of God in the Bible, primarily refers to not what you need to know you do not ought to do tomorrow. It's about what you ought to be doing today.
So let me give you this one statement. This will tell you all you need to know about the will of God. The Psalmist said, teach me to what's that word? Do. "Teach me to do your will for you are my God may your good spirit lead me on level ground". The Psalm did not say, Lord, would you teach me to learn your will? Would you teach me to find your will? Would you teach me to discern your will? Would you teach me to know your will? He would say that. He said, "teach me to do your will". There's an assumption there that you already know what the will of God is if you are a follower of Jesus. So I need to say to you right now, if you're a follower of Jesus, you ought to already know 99.8% of what the will of God is for your life.
You say, wait a minute, where do I find it? If I won't take a guest right there, right here, the reason why some of you struggle with the will of God, 'cause you don't know what it is 'cause you don't read your Bible. You don't study your Bible. what is the purposes of this book? It is a tell you what the will of God is for your life. And I typically solve all the time, the vast majority of the will of God for you has already been revealed. You don't have to learn it. You just need to do it. All right, let me just go. I I don't have time for chapter and verse, but let me give you an example. Several times we're told specifically it is the will. If you're a single person, it is the will of God that you be sexually pure. That's not narrow-mindedness and that's not homophobic or heterophobic, that's not sexphobic.
It is the will of God that you be sexually pure, just God's will. It is the will of God that we be for those who have the spiritual gift of criticism. It is the will of God that you be thankful, is God's will that you don't go around grumbling about what you don't have, but being grateful for what you do have. That's the will of God. It's the will of God, to be thankful, it is the will of God, to love other people that we should love others. Now here's a good thing for all of us. I don't find in the will of God was God's will for me to like everybody, 'cause I got news for you. I don't like everybody I've met some people. I mean, Will Rogers said "I've never met a man I didn't like". He didn't meet very many people, but it is God's will that we love each other. It is God's will.
If you're not a believer in Jesus, it is the will of God that you be saved. That's God's will for you. It is the will of God that we keep the golden rule. And I've told you this before, but I'm going to repeat it. "The reason why many people never find the will of God, they don't know is because they're not already obeying the will of God that they do know". And that's why Paul goes on to say this. He says, "you should be filled with the knowledge of His will, through all the wisdom and understanding that the spirit gives". Now, let me show you how this works. You say, boy, pastor, there's an area in my life and I'm trying to find the will of God and I wanna know what to do now. And I'm not sure what decision I wanna make.
Okay, let me tell you how this works. There is a spiritually scientific process that works every single time. Here's how it works. "The spirit of God takes the word of God and gives you the wisdom of God to know and do the will of God". That's how it works. "The spirit of God takes the word of God and gives you the wisdom of God to know and to do the will of God". That will be very honest, in my Christian life I've had a lot more struggle trying to do at times what I know is already God's word from my life, then trying to find out what I'm not sure what to do or what I think God's will, might be. I've actually had people come into my office. I'm not making this up. I've had men come into my office and say, God has told me to leave my wife.
Now there's a Greek word for that stupid. No, sir, God, didn't tell you that. I know what God said. And God didn't say that in His book, "Confession St. Augustine" tells the story about the turning point in his own life. He was struggling between the temptation of a mistress, that he was having relationships with, that he knew he should not. And the call of the spirit of God on his life. He was sitting on a bench, under a tree with his Bible open and he would anyone want to read it. He was so far away from God. And all of a sudden, he hears this voice out loud from a neighboring house. And he said, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up. Well, he thought for a minute, is that God's speaking up? And then he heard that voice say it again.
Then he looked over and realized it was simply a neighbor over in a house next to him, calling out to some children who were playing a game, but Augustine knew it wasn't just a neighbor. He knew this is God speaking to me. So he simply picked up the Bible that he had turned open. Hadn't even looked what he turned it open to guess what he reads. "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and the debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh". He said, at that moment, I heard the word of God. I received the wisdom of God to do the will of God. And I said goodbye to my mistress forever and ever. And I surrendered my life to Jesus.
That's what it means to be directed by the will of God. That's a prayer you can pray for your kids. That's a prayer you can pray for your grandkids. This is a prayer that you can play 24/7 for anybody be directed by the will of God. Here's the second thing. "Be devoted in our walk with God". Pray that we would be devoted in our walk with God. Now here's the answer. Here's the question. So what's the purpose of being directed by the will of God? In other words, God has a will for us, right? Well, what is the end game? What God trying to get us to do? Paul tells us, "so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way".
Now that word live a life is very interesting in the Greek language. In fact, we get the word peripatetic from that word. It means to take a walk. What he literally says is "that you may walk worthy of the Lord". You know why the Bible compares living a life to a walk, because that's really what we do if you think about it, I mean, every day you get out of bed, what's the first thing you do you take a step, then you take another step. Then you take another step. Then you take another step and all day long, that's what you do. That's exactly what you live your life. Every day you take certain steps to go with directions or do certain things. And what Paul says is it is the will of God that every step you take would be worthy of the Lord and every step you take would be pleasing to the Lord.
See when you're trying to make a decision about, hey, should I do this or not do this? Should I say this or should I not say this? Should I go there or should I not go there? Well, here's a couple of great questions to ask, "is what I'm about to do say or think worthy of the Lord"? Second question. "Is what about to do, say or think pleasing to the Lord"? Do I really believe? The reason Paul was praying for that in that church in that day is exactly the same reason we really need to be praying that for our churches in this day and let me tell you why I say that. And when I'm about to say, I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer here. I'm just being honest with you. And I'm not gonna tell you something you don't know already know but we need to hear.
Research shows that people who call themselves Christians fall into two categories. So you're in one of these two categories. There are those who see their Christian faith as just background noise. It might be something you do Sunday every once in a while, but otherwise didn't really have much influence on your life. And then there are those who are actively in the game. They're in it, they're all in. So let's take the latter group first. People for whom their Christian faith is very important in their lives they attend church at least once a month, Christianity is a way of life for them, okay? They know this is the way out it, this should affect me. is this not secular and spiritual, it's not, I can't let this affect my job. I can't affect this let me, it's just a Sunday kind a morning church thing. No, they say, nope, this thing is all we long.
Here's what will break your heart of all the people in America who called themselves Christians only three out of 10, by that definition are practicing Christian. Three out of 10. Then you've got, what's called nominal Christians. They're the largest faith group in America today, three out of four adults, listen, have some Christian background, but about three in five American Christians are completely, are mostly inactive in their faith. So in other words, for every 10 Christians, you meet six of those 10 Christians have basically walked away from Christianity. They're really not a part of the Christian scene. And they'll tell you, they're either too busy or they just wanna find God somewhere else. Or they just don't have any more interest in it. And all of that leads to a greater issue.
The Barna Research Group representing thousands of interviews every year have found that born again Christians failed to display much evidence, either in their actions are their attitudes are transformed lives. Let me back up. People who say they are born again Christians because in a recent study, here's what they found most, I'm quoting. "Most of the lifestyle activities are born again, Christians or statistically equivalent to those of non-born again Christians". So born again believers are just as likely to gamble, just as likely to visit a pornographic website, take something that doesn't belong to them, consult a medium or a psychic, physically fight or abuse someone, consume enough alcohol to be considered legally drunk, use an illegal non-prescription drug, said something to someone that wasn't true. Gotten back at someone for something they did to them and said mean things behind somebody's back. People say they are born again Christians.
So it's no wonder that the number one criticism of people who don't go to church say about people who do go to church, you're hypocrites. It's just hypocrisy and see, we all face the same decision when we walk out the door of our homes that everybody else has to make every day. So you walk out the door of your home, watch steps am I going to take? What path am I going to follow? Which direction am I going to go? Which action am I going to exercise? And there's so much more than I can say about this. So let me just say this loudly and clearly we'll move on to the last point. Jesus died for us so that we would live for him. Jesus died for us so that we would live for him. The way he walked to the cross in his death is the way we should walk and live our life for Him.
See, we went into the world in two ways, our words and our walk. And Paul says, "if you're really in the will of God, you wanna make sure every day that your words and your walk are worthy of the Lord and they're pleasing to the Lord". And that leads to the last thing. So Lord may my son, my daughter, may I may our church be directed by your will. May we be devoted in our walk? And then here's the last thing Paul says, "may we be diligent in our work". Maybe we be diligent in our work for God. Remember, I've told you this prayer was sequential, remember that? So what Paul is saying is, you know what? If you're directed by the will of God and you're devoted in your walk with God, you will be diligent in your work for God.
So he goes on to say, this, here's what he says. And this is the climax of this prayer. He says, if God answers my prayer for you and you are devoted in your walk with God and you are directed by the will of God, here's what will be true. "You will be bearing fruit in every good work growing in the knowledge of God". So we covered that point in the message where I get to do something I love to do. And I said, okay, let's just examine ourselves right now. Let's do a self examination. So I say to you, hey, are you being directed by the will of God? Well, I think no, but do you know you are? Well, I don't know. Are you being devoted in your walk with God? Well I hope so. Well, are you being diligent in your work for God? Well can you just tell me how I can know that? Sure ask yourself one question. "Where's my fruit"? Right now. Where's my fruit. You know what Jesus said, spotted them all off "by their fruit you'll know them".
Let me add one thing to what Jesus matches. Make it real plain. Jesus said by their fruit, you will know them the rest is just talk. That's what he said by their fruits you'll know them. The rest is just talk. I cannot tell you how many funerals I've done of people that I'm just being honest. They were good people said they were believers. They came to church, they live good moral lives. But other than that, I never saw any fruit in their life. I cannot tell you how many people I have conducted their funeral. How many people have stood by the grave side? Don't believe they were saved. I believe they were saved, but I never knew them to share their faith one time. I never do them to go on one mission trip. I never knew them serve any place in the church or outside the church. And I would have been hard pressed to see any real fruit in their life. Oh yeah compared to average one real person they were good people, but they were really godly people?
So as I was working on this message, I mean, God convicted me too. I'm in the boat with you. I'm not always with all the baby. Let me make that real play. But I thought, you know what, why don't we do a little exercise? Okay is this going to sound like I'm being kind of a mini kind of amateur psychologist not mean that this Rorschach test and all that jazz, I don't know. But let me let's just do something. I want you to imagine just roll with me on this for a minute. I want you to imagine you're a tree. Okay hang with me. We're not gonna get good for you, I want you to imagine that you are a tree. Here's the question. Would there be enough fruit on your limbs for people to look at you and say, you must be a follower of Jesus? Will there be enough fruit on your limbs for people to look at you. So I mean, you must be a follower of Jesus.
You say, well, pastor, why is bearing fruit so important? What's the big deal? Because Paul says bearing fruit lead to "growing in the knowledge of God". And please don't don't check out on me yet. Please listen to this next part, 'cause I've been wanting to say this for a long time, too many people who read their Bible. You know why they read their Bible? They read it for information. They're reading it to learn more about God. That is not why God wrote this book and that's not why you all read this book. God didn't write this book so you would know more about him. God note this book so you would know him. So you would know him. So you would grow in your knowledge of him. Say the big question people want to know today they don't wanna know how much you know about God what they wanna know is how much do you know God?
That's why you got a lot of people out here that do more harm about the Christian faith than they do good 'cause they claim to be Christians. They claim to be saved but the way they act, you go, man, if this guy knows, God, I don't need that God. 'Cause is not how much you know about it. How much do you know God, by the way, if you really wanna show people that, you know God don't just tell them how much of the Bible you know, show them how much of the Bible you live. Let them see your fruit. You know why they're so important. You can't love God until you know God, but the better you know God, the more you'll love God. And the more you love God, the more you wanna serve God. And the more you wanna serve God, the more you obey God, the more you'll obey God, the the more you please God, I'm not saying that again. I'm gonna give you a great example.
So next month, 44 years, we celebrate together next month. I want you listen to me. I love that woman right there more than the day I met her. I go to bed every night, I'll say I can't love her anymore. And I loaded that. Wake up the next over more. You say, boy, how do you explain that? How do you explain? You love her more today than ever? I figured it out the other day, working on this sermon. The more I live with her, the better I know her, and the better I know her. The more I love her. 'Cause she is so worthy to be loved. And the more I love her, guess what? The more I want to serve her.
And I'll tell you little bit about our marriage. You'll find is that look, let me just be honest. In some ways I'm not a good husband. I'm not a good husband. I'm allergic to yard work. I'm allergic to housework. I'm allergic to handling the finances. I'm allergic to calling plumbers and, it's not my spiritual gift, but I do two things every morning, two things. And she thinks I'm a hero and what I'll do every morning, I'll bring her coffee. I'll make her coffee. And it took me a year to learn all you got to do is put the pod right here, shut it, hit a button and you're good. She thinks I'm a hero. I go in there I put the coffees in a Yeti cup. I turn the fan off in the ceiling so it'll stay warm.
And then the dog has to go to the bathroom. I take the dog out. That's it that's all I do. She does everything else. And that's it. That's all I do. And she thinks I'm wonderful. I hope she never recovers, but this is the point that I want you to hear me say, please hear this. Why do you do that for her? 'Cause I know her better than anybody in the world knows her. And I know what a fantastic woman she is. I know what a great person she is. I know why she's the best friend I have on this planet. And that's the last the joy of my life to love her. I don't want you to watch this. I wanna show you what happens. Is there anything else you want me to say? I can't remember.
I wanna show you what happens. I wanna show you, listen, I'm finished up right here. What happens when you're directed by the will of God? What happens when you're devoted to the will of God in your walk with God? What happens when you're diligent in your work with God? Can I show you the fringe benefits? Watch what happens. Watch this "you'll be straightened with all power, according to his glorious mind so that you may have great endurance and patience and you'll give joyful thanks to the father. And you'll be qualified to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light". Or not best buds in the world, sitting right there on the front row, worked for some of the best companies Scott in the world. Great fringe benefits got no you had any fringe benefits like that, bro. Can't even touch him. You mean I get all of that, all of that, all of that is just because I'm directed by the will of God.
I'm devoted in my walk with God and I'm diligent in my work for God. He says, here's what'll happen. You'll be tough. You'll have great endures that refers to handling the difficult problems in your life. He said, then you'll be patient. You'll be tender. You'll be able to deal with the difficult people in your life. And then he says, you'll be thankful, no matter what else is going on. Doesn't matter what's happened in the stock market, who was the president. So who loses, who's in power who's in not, you don't feel good or you do for good doesn't matter. You will be thankful that you've got a God who has qualified you in spite of yourself to be a part of his forever family.
And the reason he can do all of that is because this Jesus, the guardian of the galaxy rescued us, redeemed us and reclaimed us for his own. So you really want God to hear you when you pray? I mean, really? I don't know why you wouldn't otherwise waste time. So yeah, I do want God to hear me when I pray. Well, let me tell you if you want God to hear you, when you pray, you obey him when he speaks. So when you're directed by the will of God and you're devoted in your walk with God and you're diligent in your work for God, not only will God here you pray. Here's the best part. You will be a part of the answer. Would you pray with me right now?