Jentezen Franklin - Make Up Your Mind To Pray
Mark 1, Mark 1:34, "Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, he cast out many demons; He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him". Verse 35. "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out, departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed". And so I want to talk to you about "Make Up Your Mind to Pray".
A new wind is blowing across Free Chapel: a wind of revival, a wind of awakening. And, I've never seen revival in the history of any church or any ministry happen where the place had not been saturated with prayer. God must do something in us, before He can do something through us, and that's why prayer is so powerful. Prayer is God doing something in us, so He can prepare and use us, and do something through us. Today, I have a very simple message, and I want to talk to you about the five key essentials that we can learn from Jesus' personal prayer life, five essentials from the prayer life of Jesus Christ that teach you and I how to pray.
You see, the first key essential to prayer is found in this text, in verse 35. "Now in the morning, having risen a long time," the King James says a long time, a long while. Either way, it's dealing with time. "He rose up early and He prayed". The first key essential about the prayer life of Jesus is Jesus had a time to pray. He had a time to pray. He set aside time to pray, to commune and fellowship with the Father. Nothing separated Jesus from His prayer time. He was not too busy to pray. He was not too successful to pray. He was not too active to pray. He was not too busy doing things like healing the sick and casting our devils to pray. But He understood, "I need a time of prayer".
He understood that, if I don't make any deposit in the bank of prayer, I can't write checks all day long as I'm healing people, or the checks will bounce if there's nothing in the bank. Our problem is we write checks but we don't make any deposits into the prayer bank. But Jesus had a time. Everybody say, "He had a time". He had a specific time to pray. It talks about that same time of prayer in Luke 5:16. "Jesus, oftentimes",there it is again, "withdrew Himself into the wilderness and prayed".
Jesus' prayer life was not spasmodic. It was not on again, off again, on again, off again. It was regular. It was predictable. It was a specific time of prayer. Oftentimes, He prayed morning after morning, after morning, after morning. So Jesus could stand before any king because He had knelt before the King of Kings. Jesus could stand before any judge and not feel intimidated or afraid, or any powerful person, because He had first in private prayed and kneeled before the God of the universe. And Jesus, number one, had a time of prayer. The Bible records in Luke 9:18, "And it happened, as He was alone praying, that the disciples joined Him, and asked Him, saying, 'Who do the crowds say that I am?'" But notice, He was alone, praying.
Can I ask you a question today? Do you have a time of prayer? If Jesus had a time of prayer and He was the Son of God, don't you think you need a time of prayer? Isn't church more about coming and sitting and going through another service? Isn't our relationship with Jesus supposed to be more than a weekend gathering? But really, when you want to grow and you want to come alive, you get a time of prayer.
And nothing so changed my prayer life one day when the Lord spoke to me many, many years ago, and He said, "I want you to see prayer like this," because I hit a time when I was so busy with the church and it was growing so much and we had small children and just running here and there and everywhere, that my prayer life began to, the flame began to fade out in prayer. I was praying, you know, but now in that place of prayer, that time of prayer. And the Lord spoke to me and He said, "I want you to see Me. I'm going to show up in this place and I'll wait for you to come and meet with Me. You have an appointment with Me. And if you don't come, you stand Me up, but I'll be here. I'll be in this place. I call you to this place of prayer".
Nothing changed me more about prayer than to understand He waits for me. I have an appointment with the God of the universe in my time of prayer, and He waits for me. He looks for me. A time to pray. A time alone with God. A time not to be interrupted. Sometimes, secondly, not only did He have a time to pray, but notice in Mark 1, same verse, verse 35, He had a place to pray. He departed into a solitary place. Jesus had a place to pray. He often, when He was in Jerusalem, went into the Garden of Gethsemane, and among the olive trees He would pray.
And you read of it over and over and over in the scriptures. He withdrew Himself. He went away and He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. When He was at Galilee or the Sea of Galilee, many times you read, He went into a field and prayed. He went up into a mountain, at a boulder, and He knelt and He prayed. He had place, a place of prayer. Do you have a place of prayer? I have a place of prayer that I've prayed many, many decades now. It's trails in the woods. I have trees that I have marked by rocks and by knives that I've taken and scratched those trees and carved into those trees particular burdens or trials or situations with family.
And I would mark those trees and say, "God, I want this to be a memorial before You about this situation, about this child, or that situation in the church or that need that I'm praying about". And I can walk through those trails, as I did yesterday, as I do almost every day of my life, I can see those trees and I'm reminded God gave me a victory right there. I remember when it was a burden and it became a victory in the place of prayer. Hallelujah. He knelt and He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had a time of prayer. He had a place of prayer.
Just like what Etienne, our worship leader, was talking about, here, a few moments ago. That he had a music room when he was in college. A little practice room. You know what that became? You don't have to walk in trails, you're prayer place may be a recliner chair, in your home. You may be an elderly person, but you can turn that red chair into a prayer place, and God'll meet with you. Do a time, have a place. It can be a room, it can be a bedroom, it can be a bed, it can be a track, where you go and run, or whatever, but it becomes your place of prayer. I'm tellin' you, these are the essentials from Jesus' prayer life, that He shows us, by example.
The third thing that I want you to see about Jesus' prayer life is, number three, He prayed out loud. This is so important. Don't misunderstand. There are times when praying out loud would be inappropriate. Let's say you're at work and you're a computer worker or something. You fix computers and you have a problem with a computer. You shouldn't drop down on your knees in the middle of a secular workplace and throw up your hands and ask God for wisdom and start pleading the blood over the computer. You don't do that. There's sometimes when public prayer, open out loud prayers are inappropriate. But I want to say something big. There is never an inappropriate time to pray silently. Never. Anywhere, everywhere, you can pray silently. But with that said, there is a secret to the prayer life of Jesus.
Matthew 26:39, "And when He had gone a little further, He fell on His face," listen to these words, "and He prayed, saying", It didn't say He prayed thinking. It didn't say He prayed meditating in His heart. It said He "prayed saying". I don't think there's an accident that He said it. He didn't just think prayer, but He said it. And there's power in that. Jesus had a time of prayer. He had a place of prayer. He prayed out loud. I know the power of praying out loud. There's something that happens when a church learns to pray out loud. We're so politically correct in the church, we worry so much about what people think when we ought to just - The Bible said it's better to please God than please men, and we need to learn how to pray.
There's something about having a mom or a dad that prays out loud in a house. I can remember on Saturdays, my dad was a preacher, and we lived in a little parsonage in Rocky Mount. And that home was so tiny for our big ol' family. And daddy had to take a closet and he tore all the stuff out of the closet and made that closet his study. And here this family is of five kids and we're - The living room is right here where we all watched TV. And we'd play basketball all day Saturday, come in and eat and clean dishes, and daddy would go in that little side closet that was right there.
And I'd come in late sometimes after playing basketball all day long, round 11 o'clock. I'd want to watch Saturday Night Live. I couldn't wait. And I'd hear daddy in that little side room. I'd see the little light on up under it and I'd hear my daddy praying. "O God, O God, touch us. Give us a mighty move of Your spirit tomorrow". There's something about hearing the prayers of a mother, a father out loud. It's powerful. It really is. A time to pray. A place to pray. Praying out loud.
That's why the disciples came and said, "Lord, teach us to pray". Why? Because they heard Him praying. They heard Him praying out loud and they'd never heard anybody pray like Jesus prayed. And it so moved them that they said, "Teach us to pray". And that's when He taught them the Lord's Prayer. But it was a response to them hearing Him pray out loud. Does your family ever hear you pray out loud? Are you ashamed? We don't do it for people to see us. But I'm going to tell you, even in your secret place, pray out loud, because there's power in words. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Not only did He pray out loud, but I want to say this to you.
Somebody might say, "Well, you know, I don't pray out loud 'cause I don't want the devil to hear my prayers, 'cause if he hears my prayers". The last place in the world the devil wants to be is in a prayer meeting because that's where the angels come and surround and beat back the forces of hell. At the sound of the earnest prayer, Satan's hosts and his demons flee. God's angels wing their way from a far world, Spurgeon said, to shut you in and beat back the forces of hell. I'm saying to you that when you pray, God will sanctify the place where you're praying and He will surround it with angels, and demons cannot get in on that conversation when you use the name of Jesus. Just take a praise break right there. Oh, there's power in that name, power in that name.
Number four - You need a time to pray. Jesus had a place of prayer. Jesus prayed out loud. And then, notice the fourth essential from the prayer life of Jesus. He prayed for people by name. He prayed for His friends and family by name. Luke 22, "And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has desired to sift you as wheat.' But I have prayed for you". Oh, my. "I prayed for you by name, that your faith fail not". Jesus' prayer was not unspecific. His prayer was not general. But He prayed out loud and He prayed for His, for people by their name. He said, "Peter, I have prayed for you".
And the Lord told me to tell everybody under the sound of my voice that Jesus is saying that about you today. That there may be difficulty and challenges that you're facing, but Jesus, right now, is praying for you. You are on His heart. Your name is on His lips and He is not just praying general prayers for all His billions of children, but He's praying your name. He ever lives to make intercession and He's calling your name out because He knows when Satan is targeting somebody's life. Jesus prayed for Simon Peter by name.
Now, I want to ask you a question. When Satan asks for permission to sift Peter, who was he asking? When he said, "I desire to have Simon Peter," who was he asking? Was he asking God? God wouldn't give him permission. Jesus wouldn't give him permission. So this is what many scholars believe. They believe that he was asking for evil angels to attack him. He was saying to his evil angels, "I desire to sift that one as wheat. I want you evil angels or fallen angels, demon spirits, to go get this man and stop him and ruin him. He has a great possibility. I sense God's hand and destiny is upon his life and so I want you to focus demonic hordes of hell on him and stop him before he gets there to his purpose and wipe him off the face of the earth".
And demons said, "We'll do it" and they were released, hordes of hell upon his life. But here comes Jesus and He says, "I'm going to pray for you by name. Simon, I'm praying for you by name. And it's not that you won't fall and it's not that you won't mess up, but that you won't quit and you won't utterly fall out of the hands of God's grace. And on the day of Pentecost, you'll get up and preach and 3.000 will be saved". Hallelujah. Satan studies our genetic backgrounds. He studies our past failures. He studies our children and our children's children. And he puts these demonic hordes and he says, "I want to stop 'em. I sense that there's a plan and a purpose for their life. Go. Go now and wipe that person out".
But as you pray for your son out loud, as you call your daughter's name out loud, as you pray for your husband and speak his name out loud, as you pray for your wife and speak her name out loud, all of a sudden, there is a strength and a power and a grace that covers them. Jesus prayed for Simon Peter by name. I want to ask you a question. Are you praying for your son every day in a place and a time out loud? Do you call their name before the throne? Are you praying for your daughter? Are you praying for your son? Are you praying for your husband?
I can honestly say every day of my life, I go through it and I name every one of my children, every one of my family. I call their name because I believe in the power of praying out loud and speaking their name before the throne. 1 John 5 tells what happens when we pray. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him," when we pray. Notice our confidence is not in us and how holy we've been. When we pray, our confidence is in Him. "...that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us".
Is it God's will to save your family? Is it God's will that your children make wise choices? Is it God's will that they marry the right person? Is it God's will? It absolutely is God's will. And what he's saying is if I will say their name and pray for them, it will be harder for them to reject Christ than accept Christ, if we pray. Actually, when we pray for someone, it's harder for them to reject Christ than it is to accept Christ. The more we pray, the more they keep bumping into the grace of God. Where sin abounds, they'll find grace, grace. What in the world? What in the world? They start to do something - Imagine this in your mind. They start to do something crazy, but a mom drops to her knees in the bedroom, or a dad, and says, "God, I don't know why they're on my heart, but I hold them up and I ask You, Lord, to move".
Now, what you don't know is in the unseen world, the Bible says around the throne of God, the angels are there and they're waiting on the command from Jesus. And Jesus says - They say, "Can we go? Can we go? Can we go? Can we beat some demons up today? Can we go"? And Jesus says, "Oh, here comes the prayers from a mom in the bedroom. Now, go". And those angels go and find that son, that daughter, surround them, and just when they start to do something stupid, there's a restraining force that pulls them back into the grace of God. And even if they mess up, the grace of God'll pick 'em back up and say, "Brush yourself off. God's not through with you".
Don't you ever stop praying. "The fervent, effectual prayers of a righteous man avail much". There was a place of prayer, there was a time of prayer in Jesus' life. There was the praying out loud. There was the specific calling of names of loved ones and friends. And lastly, He often prayed with others. The Bible said that Jesus prayed alone, but it also points out over and over again, such as in Luke 9, He took Peter, James, and John and went to the mountain to pray.
What is that? That's a prayer band. He had a few that He liked to - "If one can put a thousand to flight, two ten thousand," and He had friends and family that He would form a prayer band with. That when people are binding together in prayer bands, "wherever two or three are gathered in My name praying, I get right in the middle. I'll come in any situation. I'll come in an office. I'll come in a home. I'll come in a hospital. I'll come at a funeral home. I'll - Anywhere people band together and pray".
The Bible said when Paul got to Macedonia, there was a band of women praying by the river. It was a prayer band. Over and over and over. And how powerful, how powerful if we could get thousands of prayer bands in this church, all over this place, and even in our nation as we're facing things... If the body of Christ would start having prayer bands and praying and praying and praying and praying. I'm saying to you today you ought to have five people you're praying over, calling their name out loud, because there's power when we pray.
And I'm going to ask every person who will in this room, to stand to your feet, but I want every person who can physically do it to get down on your knees, lift up your hands toward heaven. Open up your mouth. And when I say pray, I just taught you to pray out loud. There's a rumble and a roar to a church that learns how to pray. I want you to lift your voice out loud and I want you to begin to pray for the members of your family, one by one, all over this room. Open your mouth and let's praise the Father for just a moment. Come on. Father, we worship You. Father, we come - Come on. That's not out loud. Turn the volume up on your throat right now. Turn it up. Turn it up three notches. Oh, we call on the name of the Lord today.
Lord, we cry out to You today for our families. We cry out to You today for our homes. We cry out to You, O God. We humble ourselves before You. We kneel for this cause, for this purpose, that we might commune and fellowship with the Father. O Father, we come and we ask You today for Your will, for Your kingdom to come, Your will to be done. And Lord, we pray out loud for those who are lost. We pray out loud for family members that are on our heart. We pray out loud.
Now, just begin to pray out loud for your family members. Call their name, as though heaven has a band, a squadron of angels that are waiting on reserve. And the moment you speak their name, those angels are dispatched. They're sent forth by the hand of God. Just begin to call their name. Call your husband's name. Call your wife, your children, your grandchildren.
Father, we thank You. We speak blessing over our homes, over our marriages, over our families. We pray for the lost. We pray for the backslidden. We pray for the addicted. We pray for the demon-possessed. We pray for the afflicted and diseased and dying and suffering. We hold them up. We pray now for healing. Just like when Jesus prayed and He cast out many devils and He healed many diseases, we pray now for that power that's in the name of Jesus to be exercised through our hands and through our lips and through our prayers for those who are afflicted by the enemy. We pray, O God, for provision. We pray, O God, for miracles. We pray, O God, for revival in our land, revival and a turning back to You. We pray against terrorism. We pray against racism. We pray against hatred. We pray against violence against our police. We pray against it, O God. We pray against, safety against attacks of violence in our schools. And we pray for safety on our campuses. We pray for safe borders. We pray for safe cities. We cry out to You, O God, for homes that love You and one another. We repent and we seek Your face. We seek Your face.