Michael Todd - Pray with Fire
What's up Switch? Yo, I am so excited to be here with you. And I believe God has something amazing to say to you tonight. This is our second week in this series. And last week, we talked about sex, and if you didn't hear that message, you need to go see it. And this week we're going to talk about something that is really the secret sauce to my life. And the title of last week's message was, Lay with fire. This week's message is, "Pray with fire". Yeah, yeah. Because some of the things in your life, they're only going to change with prayer. And prayer, the simplest definition is talking to God. Everybody say, "talking to God".
Now I know for a lot of people, you may be weirded out by that, is like, "It's God talking to me in an audible voice or what's happening"? Today, I'm going to explain to you, what prayer is and how powerful prayer is. I'm a young man. I'm 32 years old and God has allowed me to travel the world. I've been able to see some amazing things. I've been able to meet some amazing people. I've been able to do some crazy stuff, but I'm telling you, the one thing I do every day is pray. And it's because that's my connection to God. Let me help illustrate this. How many of you have a smartphone? Okay. And if somebody else still have flip phones, sorry, but if you have a smartphone, the crazy thing about this phone right here, iPhone, best phone.
Anyway, if you're an android user, we'll pray for you after this service. But the thing about this phone is that no matter how much, I can do with this phone, when this phone is not connected to a power source, it's worthless. See, when I come to this phone, I can find out all types of facts. I can connect with people on the other side of the world. I can be able to do all kinds of stuff, but if this phone is not plugged into a power source, it is useless. May I submit to you that your life is a lot like this cell phone, that if you don't daily connect to a power source, the things that we do in our life are useless.
And the crazy thing about it is, most of us with our prayer lives especially as young people, we pray whenever we need something. We don't have a routine or a discipline of prayer, and so what happens is, let me ask you this question. How often do you charge your phone? All the time. Some of y'all got to charge her right now in your back pocket, coming from your back to the front. Why? At least you're charging it every day because you know you will not be able to make it through the day, connecting with everything else, if you have not plugged into the source. What I'm telling you is that your life and the connection to God, is through, everybody say prayer.
And so I want to talk to you because I want you to all have this passion to pray with fire. To know that your prayers make a difference. To know that when you speak something out into the atmosphere, that it actually changes something. The Bible tells us that, the effective, fervent prayers of righteous people, not perfect people, but people who have been made right with God through the blood of Jesus Christ, that's most of us in this room. It says that, "Our prayers..." Everybody say, "work". Like your prayer is not just, "Oh God, please help me". Like, "Oh God, if you could just, if you had a little time on your schedule like, help me". Like, that is not what prayer is. Your prayer changes things. You can walk into a situation that is chaos and you can speak, "Father in the name of Jesus, I thank you that your peace, is in this room right now". And you don't gotta be loud with it. You can be like, "Father in the name of Jesus, I thank you that your peace is in this room right now".
Power doesn't come in volume. It comes in who's supporting you. And my Bible tells me, "If God before me who can be against me"? And so I want you to go to a scripture, that I really feel like all of us need to commit to memory, so that we can be able to pray with fire and it's going to take something of you. Look at 2nd Chronicles 7:14, it says, "Then if my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray". Everybody say pray. Like for you to pray, you're going to have to humble yourself, and I know you the best. I know you the bomb. I know you'll make up this popping, I know. But when you come to God, he doesn't care about your crown.
See, when you come to God, you've got to put your crown down. "Pastor Mike, you don't even know like, I got 3000 Instagram followers". God don't care nothing about that. He doesn't care that you're the jock on the basketball team. He doesn't care that your parents are rich. He doesn't care what... He said, "When you come to me, you put your crown down". You're gonna have to humble your self And when you humble yourself, then you come to God in the spirit like, "God, I don't care about all of that other stuff. This doesn't matter God. Thank you for using me, but without all of that you've been good, and I want to come to you, I want to connect to you". And it says, "You humble yourself and pray". And then it says, "And seek my face and turn from their wicked ways".
That means you're going to have to do a couple things. You're going to have to humble yourself. Then you're going to have to seek, and I didn't say, "Look". I said, "Seek". If you lost your keys, you wouldn't just go, "Yeah, I don't know where my keys are". You would start moving things, turning stuff over. Stay until you found them. God's saying, "I want you to have a passion after me, that is not like, I prayed and nothing happened". Y'all know how we do like, "Pray about that". "I just did. Nothing happened". No, you got to seek. Everybody say seek. So the first thing we have to do is, humble ourselves and then we have to pray, and then we have to seek, and this is the crazy thing and this is the thing nobody wants to do, because this is the thing that's not popular. It says, "You have to turn from your wicked ways".
That implies that all of us have some type of wicked way, even if other people don't know it. And the biblical word for this is, we need to repent and it's not deep. I'll repent, means is if I'm going this way, repent means to turn. That's all repentment. God's saying, "I need you to turn from the things that keep me away. Like sin is a thing that keeps me away. Like when you involuntarily sin and you keep putting me out". He was like, "I'm here for you, but I need you to not turn to sin. I need you to turn to me". And so he's saying, "All I need you to do is humble yourself. I need you to pray. I need you to seek me. I need you to turn from your wicked ways". And then look at the promise. This is a crazy deal. Look what God promises all of us. He says, "Then I will hear you from heaven and I'll forgive your sins".
How many people need their sins forgiven? Everybody. If you're hand ain't up, put your hand up. You need your sins forgiven, and then this is the beautiful things. This translation says, "I will restore your land". Another translation says, "I will hear, heal your land". God says, "If you do these four things, you humble yourself. You pray, you seek me, you turn from your wicked ways". He said, "I'll hear you and I'll heal you". Like this is the power, and so when you get that confidence, like, "Okay, I can do that".
And listen, this is the thing you got to know. You have to do it every day. Like every day you wake up, "Oh, I don't feel like praying, but I'm a humble myself. All right, God, I'm gonna give you these first three minutes instead of Instagram, these first three minutes". Because some of us wake up and y'all know the first thing we do, "Do I have any more followers"? And God says, "But I thought you were my follower". Oh that was nasty. I had to walk away, it stink over there. "All I'm saying to you, It's like I thought you were my follower and I thought you were checking, what was on my feed today. Cause I have a plan for you, a plan to prosper you. A plan to give you a hope and a future. Something that was planned before you were even in your mother's womb".
And so I'm a humble myself and then I'm going to do what? Pray. I'm a humble myself and then do? I'm a humble myself and then do what? And when I do that, then that starts more seek for the day. See I heard Smith Wigglesworth say this, and this really helped me, because my mom's a woman of prayer and I will wake up in the morning, she'd be praying like for hours and hours and hours. I was like, "Lord, I'd be asleep, if I had to pray that long". That's like four hours of prayer like, but she's very passionate and she prays with power. But then I heard this quote that helped me, Smith Wigglesworth said, he said, "I never pray more than 20 minutes, but I never go 20 minutes without praying".
Like think about a life that is talking to God consistently. Like I'm in class and I'm talking to God. Like, I'm at lunch and I'm still talking to God. Oh, I'm walking past people and I'm praying for people. I'm talking to God on behalf of somebody else. I'm interceding for them instead of laughing at their problem, I'm saying, "Father God heal their insecurity. Let them not be able to do that anymore". Matter of fact, I'm going to be loving hands and feet. I'm going to listen because God doesn't want prayer to be a monologue, where you're just talking. He wants it to be a dialogue. So when I'm praying and I'm going throughout my day, and I see that girl, and she's feeling low in doing something that maybe exposes her insecurities, and I'm praying, and I'm saying, "God, please help her not do that".
And then God's whispers back to me, and I get a strong impression on my heart. "Go over there and talk to her". "Oh, oh. No. That will require me Putting myself out there. And what if..." And we go through all this other stuff and God's saying, "Hey, hey, this is not a monologue in prayer. This is a dialogue in prayer. I want you to know that when you prayed for it, I'm not sending an answer another way. You may be the answer". Ooh. See, so many of us want God to provide an answer besides us. And so we'll pray something like, "God, please help that family have a great Christmas". He say, "Give him your Christmas money". "No, no, no, that's not what I was saying, God, what I was saying is could you please provide somebody else"?
You better be careful what you pray, because God doesn't want us to just be one to pray. He wants us to be answers to prayer. This is part of praying with fire is knowing that sometimes you'll be the answer. And what ends up happening is most of us need to see this and this is probably one of the main points I want you to see is that, God this people pray out of love. We don't pray in lust, like most of the things that I used to pray for was things that I lusted for. Like, "Lord please, could you please make a way for me to get them new shoes, lord". And I was desiring something instead of someone.
See the end result of prayer, should be God being closer to you, not something God could provide. What if you had a relationship that was only based on what you could give the person. Like what if they came up to you all the time and they were like, "Hey, what's going on Becky? I love you, you look cute. Can I have your hat? Can I have your... Could you provide for me this? Could you provide..." That wouldn't be a real friendship, that would just be a business partner. And that would be transactional. And when you needed to call somebody, you wouldn't call them because all they wanted you for is what you had. I wonder how God feels. When people, the only time they talk to Him is when they need Him to save them.
How many of y'all... come on, let's be real. Let's be hot, humble, open and transparent. How many of you have prayed a prayer like this? "God, if you get me out of this situation, I promise I'll..." Oh, come on to everybody in the room. Lift your hands. Because many times the only time we talk to God is because we've lusted for something or maybe gotten ourself in a wrong situation or maybe hooked up with the wrong people or maybe did something we weren't supposed to or maybe didn't study for the test and we want God to somehow transfer all the information into our heads or whatever the thing is. Like maybe we're doing that and all we want God for is what He could produce.
And I'm just saying the power of prayer is talking to God because of who He is and what I'm saying is when you communicate with God daily, when you humble yourself, when you turn from your wicked ways and God starts to hear you, then he starts to heal you. And then you start to turn the conversation from a monologue into a dialogue, and then you become a person of prayer. And I can tell you something that there are things that I'm not qualified for, that God has allowed me to do because I have an open line of communication with the Father. He speaks to me things, that I'm supposed to do that I don't even know how to do. I have six months of high quality Tulsa Community College education. High quality. Do you hear what I'm saying to you? Supreme. That's it. But God allows me to run a large corporation. He allows me to speak on stages to thousands of people.
How do you do that? It's because I'm always talking to the one who created everything. How do I walk in rooms with CEOs and bank presidents and able to give them wisdom because I'm connected to the one with all wisdom. How... Oh y'all help me. How I'm I able, how I'm I able to be sensitive in a situation I've never been in before? Because the Bible tells us that Jesus, He walked through everything we had to walk through. So He knows everything what we've gone through and when I'm connected to Him, and I'm talking to Him, He'll give me wisdoms in situations that I've never been in before. But I have to always, everybody say "pray". So I'm going to give you three things that helped me, Cause I always like to know, why.
Why do we pray? Why do we do anything? Why do we do anything? I'm going to give you three things. The first reason we pray is to invite God in. Like God's a gentleman, He's not going to invade your life. You're going to have to let him in. The Bible says it like this, in Revelations 3:20, it says, "Look, I stand at the door and I knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends". What we want God to do is be like, "Poof, I am the holy one of Israel here to clean and change everything in your life. Hey, it's me. Hey, I was wondering today could I come into your house and clean up some stuff and help you? Oh, no, no, no. You're too busy? Oh, you got a new boyfriend? Okay, cool, I'll be back tomorrow. Hey, yeah, it's me again, JC, just wanted to see today. I heard some whimpering, some crime, some things that aren't settled in your life. Hey, I could come in and help you".
"Well, no, I have things that aren't fixed yet. That's why I'm here. Cause I'm a carpenter. I rebuild things, rebuild lives. A matter of fact, I come with the cleaning crew called the Holy Spirit. And we'll come in and you don't need to have to worry you. All you have to do is let us in". And God is standing at the door of your life every day and He's knocking and He's knocking and He's knocking and He's saying when you pray, you invite Him in. So when you pray about your family, when you pray about your school, when you pray about what college you're supposed to go to, you're not just going to a college because all your friends are going there. That may be the very worst place that you could be, but when you say, "God, I need your direction. I need you to help me. I need you to give me peace about where I'm supposed to go".
What you're doing is, you're inviting God in. And this is the thing. A lot of people invite God in for their salvation, for eternity, but they don't invite God in daily. So what happens is you have a lot of people who get saved, but then they, that was the first and last time they had a communication with God. And they try to live their life without having daily communication with God. God wants to be your GPS. He wants to give you turn by turn instructions. He wants to be able to talk with you. Do y'all know that's how it all started. Adam was in the garden of Eden and the Bible says, "And he walked and talked with God all through the day". Like that was the plan from the beginning, is for you never be disconnected from God and so we pray, so that we can invite God in.
I heard this quote and it really messed me up. It said, "A day without prayer is a boast God". What this means is when you don't pray, you're basically saying, "God, I don't need you". Like you're literally saying to Him, "Hey, I didn't pray about, I didn't invite you in to my family cause we don't need you in our family". Like "I didn't invite you into my sexuality because I don't need you there". But when you pray about it, you're saying, "God, hey, hey, you can come into any area of my life". And I don't know about you, but I need God in every area. How many people need God in every area of your life? Okay.
And so let me give you the second reason why we pray. Okay? The second reason why we pray is to communicate with God personally. So we invite Him in, but then He wants to have like one-on-one time with just you. I said it before, but prayer is not a monologue. Prayer is a dialogue. Like I speak, God speaks. The problem is you have to wait for him to speak. And most of us are doing drive by prayers, and so when He starts to speak, we're already gone. Come on, let's be honest. "Like Lord blessed today. Like, Lord, please show me if this is the relationship I'm supposed to be in". And we don't stay still enough, we don't. We don't meditate. We do not have a devotion life, what we've set out time for Him, and this is the craziest thing about our lives. We set out time for things that take from us and we don't set out time for the thing that died for us.
And so all I'm saying to you is maybe in a 24 hour day, could God just have 24 minutes? Like 24. We do a thing at our church called The thirsty 30, where we're trying to develop an appetite for people to spend time with God. Like how many people get thirsty everyday? Everybody gets thirsty, cause our body needs water, your spirit needs God. And some of you ate last week at Switch, and you haven't eaten in a whole week, spiritually. What would you look like, if you hadn't put any food in your body in seven days? Some of them are like, "That's what I need, pastor. I need to lose this weight". But others of you, you know you would be malnourished, if you lived your life like that.
Some of your physical bodies are in better condition than your spirit, cause you won't communicate with God. And so what I'm asking you to do, this thirsty 30 thing, it's so simple. You spend 10 minutes in prayer talking to God and listening to Him, waiting for Him to talk back. "Pastor Mike is He's saying some audibly"? A lot of times it's an impression in your heart. A lot of times He speaks first through His Word. A lot of times He speaks through other people. That's why He says you have to humble yourself because there may be your crazy cousin that said something, you're like, "I ain't listening to you". But it may be God speaking through them. That's why you got to humble yourself.
And then tits been 10 minutes in prayer, 10 minutes in the Word and 10 minutes worshiping God. Not for what He's done, but for who He is. And what it does is it creates a devotion life. And this is one of the things that changed my life. Somebody told me, he said, "Your devotion won't start off as devotion. Devotion starts off as a discipline". Like you do it just cause you have to do it. I hate working out. Let me go on record. I really hate working out, but what happens is when I make a plan to go work out, it's a discipline. I'm there, I'm going to do it. It doesn't matter. But after a while of doing the discipline, the discipline turns into a desire and the day you missed, you'd be like, "Man, I didn't work out today. I need to go work out today".
And what you have to know is that spending time with God in prayer, spending time with Him in worship, it may start out as a discipline. I'm going to set this 24 minutes every day or this 30 minutes or this 10 minutes, wherever you need to start. But what begins to happen, is it turns into a desire. And just like when you get a good drink, like a good drink, like one that you gulp it. Y'all know those gulp drinks? You don't want to stop because it's quenching something on the inside. What I'm telling you is when you pray with fire, it quenches something on the inside of you. I pray, because it invites God into my life.
I pray, because me and Him got get to not just have a monologue, but a dialogue and the last reason I pray, it's because prayers, my weapon. Prayer is the thing that can go into situations and change things, when I can't change them. The Bible says it like this, "That He's giving you all authority". You I know, I know, I know, but he's given you with all your flaws, with all your message. He's giving you all authority over every spirit that's not like Him. And He said, "You have this secret weapon that in prayer you can loose and bind things through your prayer".
And those words mean something very simple. When you lose something, it means you allow it. When you bind something, that means you disallow it. And the Bible says, "As believers in Jesus Christ, we can walk around and we can say, in the name of Jesus, I bind all confusion". That means I disallow confusion in here. And God says, "All of heaven backs that up". And some of you need to take out your weapon. Your weapon has been put down for too long. You've only been using prayer to maybe get a gimme from God, and He say, "No, no, no, you put down your weapon".
You're so frustrated about what's going on in your family. You need to walk in there and loosen buying stuff tonight. You need to walk in there, say, "In the name of Jesus". Everybody say, in the name of Jesus. Because at that name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It says, "In the name of Jesus, I bind the spirit of division that have tried to come in our household and I'll loose the spirit of peace. I allow God's love to move in here. I bind the spirit".
When you're gone through sexual thoughts and perversion, I bind the spirit of lust, I tie it up, and I loose the spirit of purity and I loose love and I lose consistency. Some of us have been thinking of prayer as a wishlist and it's your weapon. If you want to pray with fire, you don't do this once a week, once a month, once a year. You do it every single day cause just like this cell phone, if it's not connected to the power source, it's just the pep away. And many have you been living your life powerless, but connect to the source of Jesus Christ through prayer. And I want to do it for you right now. If you're in this room and you know your prayer life, like you want to pray with fire and you want to go to another level, just lift your hands all over the building. Come on right now. I want to pray for you.
Father, you've seen your children, Father, they're saying, "We need another level, of your spirit in us and discipline and desire". So God, I thank you that you would meet us right here. I thank you Father that this group of people who is listening to this message, will pray with fire. When they pray, it changes situations. When they pray it moves mountains. When they pray it's stops storms, cause Father, that's what you have placed on the inside of us. I thank you that, never again will we think of prayer as a second option, but we will pray first and we will use it as our weapon, in Jesus' name.
And right now, with everybody's heads still bowed and eyes closed, I want you to examine like where are you at with Jesus right now? Because the thing that changed my life while prayer is my secret sauce, it's cause not that I'm praying, it's who I'm praying too. It's the God who changed everything. It's the God who took me from being a liar, somebody who was addicted to pornography, somebody who was a manipulator. It took me. And when I accepted Jesus, into my life, in a situation similar to this, it changed everything in me.
And today, God wants to give you that exact same opportunity. If you're in this room and you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, on the count of three I want you to do something bold. I want you to stop caring about who you came with and who you're trying to impress and I want you to know that the God of the universe is ready. You got to invite Him in now. He's ready to change your situation. If you want to make Jesus Christ, your personal Lord and Savior, I want you to raise your hand. One, two, three. Come on.
Hands are going up all over the building and I want to pray for every person in this room. I saw two hands go up, and this is so beautiful. We did this and in one service and now we're doing it in another service and people are still coming to Jesus. This is what it's all about. And today we're going to pray and we're all going to pray together for the benefit of those who are coming to Christ. Come on, we're a family here at Switch. Let's say it together. Say:
God, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for sending your Son, to die for me. Today I ask you to be the Lord of my life and transform me. I am saved, in Jesus name.