Monday, June 10 (day) - Day 10 of The Great Experiment, June 1-10, 2019
Hi. Matt Bennett here. It's Day 10 of the Great Experiment. Thank you for joining with me and thousands of others across the United States in seeking the Lord these last 10 days with the five commitments, with the Joshua Faith Challenge, with all these different things. The Lord loves it when His children seek Him.
As you may be able to see from my background here, I'm back in New York City. I recorded a couple of these videos right before the Great Experiment had started. Right at the end of May, I was in the Fiji Islands, as I mentioned, doing a Revival Tour. Extraordinary ... We'll talk about that another time. But, as you can see here, I'm back way up high. I live on 29th Street in Manhattan.
These ten days have been wonderful for me. I pray that they've been wonderful for you. I'm going to leave you with a nugget here on this last day, on prayer. I'm going to be reading from Matthew chapter 6. This is a helpful aspect of prayer which I found helpful for myself, and I think you will find it helpful as well.
I'm going to read starting in verse 7. It says, "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.'"
Now, I'm zeroing in on this passage because this phrase that says, "Do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their many words." If you're just reading this passage, you might think, "Oh, this is good, to not pray too long because you don't want to have too many words in your prayer." But how do we reconcile that, if that's what that means, with so many other passages that tell us to pray continually?
It says in 1 Thessalonians 5, also Ephesians 6, it says to, "Always keep on praying for all the saints, and always pray." Also we have the 1 Timothy 5 where it says, "The widow, she won't be given any financial help from the church if she doesn't pray day and night." So, you have these passages that tell us to pray like crazy, and then you have this.
Well, the reason why can be found in this phrase, "For your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." A few verses later in the same chapter, you see that same phrase, and it comes right after this passage where Jesus tells the listeners not to be anxious about what they'll wear, what they will drink, about what they will eat. Starting here down in verse 31 of chapter 6, it says, "Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' Or 'What shall we drink?' Or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all." So we have the same phrase here as occurs a few verses earlier, that our heavenly Fathers know what we need.
Then it says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." So, what the Lord is saying in this is not to not be just overly generous in our prayers, but certain ones of our prayers should be limited, and that is, prayers about our personal needs, about what we're going to eat or wear, just providing for us. Not that we shouldn't pray for them — we should — but not to make that our focus.
It says here, "Seek first the kingdom of God," the things that He values most, in terms of .... Not that he doesn't value personal things. Even in the prayer itself [that] Jesus gives, it says, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come." These are the things that should come first. And yes, there's a line in there that says, "Give us this day our daily bread." That's fine to have. But then it goes on to larger issues, like having our sins forgiven, and us being not led into temptation. These things more directly tie to the kingdom of God and what's the most important in our lives.
So, I leave this charge and encouragement with you, that when you pray, do include things about your personal life that you need, close family concerns, and provision financially, and what you'll eat and wear, and all these different things. However, the bulk of your prayer should be, I guess, maybe more spiritually-minded is one way of thinking of it, but of course, these natural provisions are spiritual as well in their own way. But focus on God's larger purposes, on your society being changed, on the spiritual needs of yourself and family members, and salvation, and forgiveness of sins, and love going forth, and the work of the Spirit, and all of these things.
So I leave you with this as a little nugget and as something to think about as you pray, and the way to shape your prayers to make them more in line with the Lord's desires and things that please Him. And we're left with that promise. If we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, then all these other things will come to you at the right time and in the right way.
Thank you for listening to this, and the Lord's blessings to you as we conclude this video. We'll have one more and tonight, it will be the end of the ten-day Great Experiment. It's been a joy to do this with you. Lord's blessings to you.
Here is this morning's guide for the “Five Rs” of The Great Experiment, June 1-10, 2019.
1. Read and Pray
2 Timothy 2:4-6 – No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13 for more context.
This Morning's Prayer Point
- As the Great Experiment comes to an end today, pray for the focus to continue seeking God with passion and discipline in the future.
What sins do I need to repent of today? What hindrances to my devotion to Christ can I remove today?
3. Respond to the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, what is the one thing you most want me to do today? (Write it down, and do it today).
4. Represent Christ.
How will I bear witness to Christ today? With whom shall I share the Gospel today?
5. Raise Your Faith.
Be bold and courageous in living out your faith (Joshua 1:8,9). Choose from one of the following options for a “Joshua Faith Challenge”:
- Host an all-night prayer meeting. Set a date during June 1-10 and invite friends to come and pray with you for revival in America.
- Every day, pray for ten friends and family members to come to faith in Christ and look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- Share an evangelistic post on social media every day from June 1-10.
- Anything else the Lord burdens you to take on that will require courageous faith.