Archive for Prayer

Understanding the Presence of God

by Pastor Pete Tackett

Text: John 15:5-8


  •  For the next four weeks, we are going to just linger over the most important issue in the Christian walk.
  •  It is the issue of prayer. I have used the phrase in this series, “The Presence of God,” because we have somehow misunderstood the scope and purpose of prayer in the life of a believer.
  •  It is the first and most significant truth needed in the believer’s journey, but unfortunately, is the most often misunderstood and ignored.
  •  It seems to me just anecdotally, that prayer is often the last thing we learn (as you see more Senior Adult prayer warriors than young ones) and should be the first thing we learn.
  •  Even those closest to Jesus seemed to have a hard time grasping it. In Luke 11:1, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
  •  Some weeks ago, I had a revelation as some folks on our MWPG simply said, we don’t know how to pray.
  •  I forgot that many of you have come into the church after the initial teaching I did a couple of years ago.
  •  Even since then, and especially in recent days, God has really spoken to me about prayer.

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Practicing His Presence 

by Pastor Pete Tackett

Text: Isaiah 30:15


• Last week…we began to realize that prayer is less about something we do and more about what we are and who God is.

• It is more about the presence of someone than the shopping list.

• We discovered that we remain in him, linger in his presence, let him love and father us. In return, his words remain in us.

• As we linger in his presence, his logos or living word begins to speak into our situations.

• Then we can pray and be confident of the answer because we have heard him speak into the matter and we can be assured that He will answer our prayers.

• Almost from the moment I said it, people began to say, How?

• It seems almost impossible in our culture to embrace the presence of God all day, every day.

• Truthfully, we need help. We are so geared to doing we need someone to tell us what to do.

• Isaiah 30 describes us, even though written to Israel.

• They were obstinate, refusing to trust God, making alliances with Egypt for protection, though it did not work.

• They were living in an unfriendly environment filled with deadly animals and threats to their safety.

• They had refused to hear from the prophets. Tell us pleasant things they said in v. 10.

• Stop confronting us, they said.

• God said, then you will be endure the punishment brought on by your attitude and your actions.

• Then he speaks v. 15. A direct quote from God. There is a way out.

• In this one verse, he gives them four keys to unlock His presence and blessing.

• We can learn from those four as we practice the presence of God.

1. Repentance

• Not the usual word for repentance. It has overtones of our NT word for repentace but is very nuanced and very specific.

• You have heard repentance for salvation described as turning and going the other way. This one is even more specific.

• Hebrew word is Shuwbah- retirement and withdrawal.

• If you are going to hear from God, to really practice his presence, you are going to have to retire from what you have been doing.

• He said to the Israelites, “How has that been working for you?”

• He would say the same thing to us.

• We have relegated prayer to a thing we do at an appointed time, but he says to remain with him and aware of his all presence every hour and minute of the day.

• Brother Lawrence (I hope some of you have downloaded that ebook. It is on our web page.) spoke of winning the war with minutes.

• He is saying retire, quit doing what you are doing.

• If we always do what we’ve always done, we will always get what we have always got.

• Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

• The other English translation of this word is the word, withdrawal.

• If you are ever going to embrace and practice the presence of God in your life, you must withdraw from the rat race.

• If your work and your entertainment occupies every thought, then it is very hard to abide in Him. When we don’t the result is that we do not hear his words.

• People say it all the time. I can’t hear from God. The heavens are brass. It is bouncing off the ceiling.

• You aren’t praying in His will because you have added prayer and presence to an already overfilled schedule.

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Responding to the Presence of God

by Pastor Pete Tackett

Hebrews 13:15


• We have begun 2013 with a series called, In HIS Presence.

• Prayer is not a thing you put on your daily checklist.

• It is more about walking daily and living moment by moment in his presence.

• Aware of his nearness, all presence, and understanding that his presence means he is there for every minute and every decision. For every good thing and every bad thing.

• All of it is filtered through his father’s heart.

• Prayer is the natural continuation of a life spent in His presence….John 15:7 – I remain in Him; His words speak and remain in me; then I can pray confidently knowing his will and be assured of the answer.

• We discussed practicing His presence in Isaiah 30:15 – by withdrawing from busyness, quieting our spirits in His presence, and being confident of His love and heart for us.

• Today, we move on to more of the whats of prayer. Even today, though, it is not about a checklist for God…He already knows.


• Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

• This little verse gives us a picture of what happens when we live our lives with an awareness of His presence.

• The writer, probably Paul, is writing to the Jewish believers, and has covered some incredible soaring theological points in the first 12 chapters. Now, in chapter 13, it is almost as if he thinks of this list of things he meant to say and just starts bullet pointing them.

• Love, each other. Remain morally pure. God is with you. Remember your spiritual leaders. Don’t get caught up in doctrinal minutia and strange teachings.

• One of those things he felt he needed to get in was the correct response to the reality of Christ in our daily lives.

1. The Supernatural Response to the presence of God is Praise.

• “Therefore” – because Jesus suffered, we suffer. Throwback to v. 12

• Pretty easy to say, even a good spiritual theory.

• Becomes much harder in the crucible of life.

• It is why the writer defines and underlines it.

• He defines it as a sacrifice.

• The word, sacrifice, here has overtones of the old testament sacrifices – can even be interpreted as the word, victim.

• Recognizing that we are victims – of life; of God’s plans and hopes, we must sacrifice ourself, saying God is still God and His plan is still best.

• It is the same word used in Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

• Follow the progression of thought over the past few weeks.

• We live our lives in the presence of God. We understand he is always present. In the good and bad experiences of life, trust that his father heart wants whats best for us.

• So, even when it feels bad, we can offer a sacrifice of praise, knowing that a good God with the heart of a father, ultimately has a better understanding of pain and pleasure than I do.

• So, when it happens, we offer a sacrifice of praise.

• The old song says, “I will praise Him in the storm.”

• Make no mistake about it…it is an OFFERING.

• He insists that it must be continual.

• Greek word, (de-a) means ongoing through place, time, and means.

• Praise that is for good things and good times only is not praise.

• True praise is the ability to worship him in whatever spot you are in; whatever stage of life you are in; and whatever resources you have.

• It is rooted in a couple of profound yet simple truths.

• I deserve nothing. I can’t ask about bad things and good people, because there is none good, no not one.

• Every thing I have is a result of his overwhelming love and mercy.

• Acts 17:28a “for in Him, we live and move and have our being.”

• Lamentations 3:24-26 “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”

2. The Supernatural Mode of Praise is Confession

• Here is what praise really looks like “the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

• Fruit – the Bible always uses the word fruit to indicate something that happens as a result of something.

• The natural result of a fig tree is a fig. The natural result of planting corn is more corn. The natural result of a life lived in the presence of God is lips that confess His name.

• Confession here is not the same as agreeing about your sin.

• As a matter of fact, it means to celebrate the object of confession, in fact your translation may say praise.

• Stay with me. The result of living in the presence of God is that you see things the same way God sees them.

• You live minute by minute, day by day, aware that He is God, He is present, he loves you and wants whats best for you.

• When cancer strikes; when death occurs, when jobs are lost; because of your intimate love affair with him, you don’t go nuts, screaming Why? Instead, you listen, you pray, you think, but most of all, you praise Him. You give thanks for the journey and for his daily mercies.

• Doesn’t mean you are grateful for the circumstances, but that you are grateful for the presence of God in the journey.

• I Thess. 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

• This is the life of presence that results in praise.

• Listen carefully. You are not ready to ask God to remove the circumstances until you can thank him and praise Him and confess his name in the midst of the circumstances.

• This is a supernatural working of time spent…long times spent in His presence.

• The result is that you declare his name over the circumstances of your life. You recognize that He is Lord and He knows best and He wants best.

• You speak out freely about His mercies and his grace even when you are hurting.

• This is how you respond to His presence.

• The object of your confession is HIS Name.

• It invokes everything about God…his authority, his love, his mercy, his compassion, his father heart.

• Sometimes, in the valleys of life, all you can do is whisper his name.

• That is why you see some folks just cry out, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

• They are confessing his name over the circumstances of life.

• Hard to do when you have not lived in His presence in the good times.


Gloria Gaither wrote these words years ago.

• Jesus, the mere mention of His name can calm the storm, heal the broken hearted, and raise the dead. At the name of Jesus, I've seen sin-hardened men melted, derelicts transformed, the lights of hope put back into the eyes of a hopeless child…

• At the name of Jesus, hatred and bitterness has turned to love,forgiveness and arguments cease.

• I've heard a mother softly breathe His name at the bedside of a child delirious with fever, and I've watched that little body grow quiet and the fevered brow cool.

• I've sat beside a dying saint, her body racked with pain, who in those final fleeting seconds summoned her last ounce of ebbing strength to whisper earth's sweetest name–Jesus, Jesus…

• Emperors have tried to destroy it; philosophies have tried to stamp it out. Tyrants have tried to wash it from the face of the earth with the very blood of those who claimed it. Yet still it stands.

• And there shall be that final day when every voice that has ever uttered a sound–every voice of Adam's race shall raise in one great mighty chorus to proclaim the name of Jesus–for in that day "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!"

• Ah–so you see–it was not mere chance that caused the angel one night long ago to said to a virgin maiden, "His name shall be called Jesus." Jesus–Jesus–Jesus. You know, there is something about that name…

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Employing the Presence of God

by Pastor Pete Tackett

Philippians 4:4-7


• Last in a series of message…trying to untangle the lies we believe about prayer.

• We run to him to give him our shopping list when he says in John 15:7, Remain in me…let my word remain in you…THEN ask and be assured of the answer b/c you are asking in my will.

• We saw in Is. 30:15 the need to just slow down and be quiet. To withdraw from busyness and noise. To be quiet before God and have confidence and trust in Him.

• Last week, in Hebrews 13:15, we learned that when you experience the presence of God, both in the good and bad of life, the response should be one of praise, confessing His name.

• Finally, today, we get to prayer as we know it. Talking to God about the things that bother us.

• It is important to do that, but it cannot be done as though God is in a room or at a church, and I just run to him.

• It is a life lived in His presence.

• Only when we have been quiet, embraced His presence, and responded to Him, can we truly be in prayer about something.

• The apostle, Paul, knew something of this when he penned these words in Philippians 4.

1. The presence of the Lord is the cure for anxiety.

• Anxiety is at an all time high. More people are on anti-anxiety medication than any time in history.

• High bp and heart disease are rampant. Many of us cannot sleep at night. Our minds are racing in concern for loved ones and situations that seem out of control.

• Yet, into this, Paul says, “do not be anxious about anything.”

• Anxious here means to be weighted down with care and to perceive responsibility.

• It is the absence of the word, gentleness, which means to have a calm and trusting spirit.

• The Bible has much to say about anxiety.

• Luke 12:25-26 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

• Prov. 2:25 reminds us that “an anxious heart weighs a man down.”

• I Peter 5:7 instructs us to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

• Very hard to do that apart from Him, lingering near him, hearing from him, letting him speak his word into your heart.

• That is great, pastor, but how can I do that? I can’t get my brain to shut down and quit. I don’t do it on purpose.

• Paul gives us a hint in the previous verse. “The Lord is Near.”

• The secret to giving up your anxiety and trusting him is rooted in being near to him…dare I say it? The presence of God.

• When your nearness to the Lord allows you to trust him as we talked about a couple of weeks ago, you are ready to hand off the anxiety to HIM.

2. Prayer is the pathway to peace.

Four key words:

• Everything

• As you linger near him, there is nothing off limits.

• You are both allowed and encouraged to bring everything to him.

• No matter what others think of the importance of your request.

• As you linger near him, he speaks a word into your life about whatever you are dealing with, reveals his will, and then you are ready to ask.

• Prayer – general word for making requests known to God.

• Carries the idea of adoration and worship, devotion.

• We talked last week about praise being the supernatural result of time spent in the presence of God.

• Petition – your translation may say supplication.

• The earnest sharing of our requests with God.

• Notice I did not say needs.

• According to Matthew 6:8, the Father knows your needs before you ask.

• He wants to know what you want from him.

• He really wants to know that you want what he wants for you.

• Remember the two blind men sitting by the road in Matthew 20:32. Jesus asked them, “what do you want me to do for you?”

• Petition is simply to linger in the presence of God so long and so completely that you want what he wants and then tell him what about it.

• Our problem is that we worry so much about people and things that we just tell him what we want without ever considering what God is doing in that situation.

• Thanksgiving –

• We established last week that in order to praise God, we must first linger near him long enough to see his perspective on our situation.

• This is not to say we are grateful for pain or for the difficulty – but we are thankful to God for being near us in the pain. We are thankful to God for being merciful and gracious during our pain. We are thankful for lessons learned in pain.

• We are thankful for other times and other ways that God has answered prayer and spared us.

• Most importantly, we are grateful for his unconditional love and Father’s heart for us as his children.

3. Peace is the ultimate end of prayer.

• Health, financial stability, reconciliation-though they may be the focus of our prayer, they are not the real result we need.

• The ultimate need in the life of a believer that can only be accomplished through living life in his presence is peace.

• It transcends understanding – Unless you have tasted the presence of God in the darkest days of life, it makes no sense to you.

• If you have tasted it, even then you don’t understand it, but you know it and enjoy it.

• I could take the mic and go from person to person and hear stories of dark nights of the soul and the way God showed up and extended mercy.

• Why does God consider peace so important as we pray.

• His peace is a guard – a sentry. Paul understood this, chained to a Roman guard.

• This guard keeps some things in and some things out. Maintains order.

• One of the few verses that speak to both mind and heart.

• His peace stands guard over both areas that cause anxiety in our lives.

• His peace guards our hearts, from where we get wrong feelings and our minds, from where we get wrong thinking.

• This peace doesn’t mean absence of trials but it speaks of a mind and heart that doesn’t race in fear and plot our own answers, but simply rests in quiet confidence that no matter what we face, HE is there.

• Remember, the Lord is Near.

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Need A Miracle? – Give God A Call!

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by Eddie Lawrence

Jeremiah 33:3  ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Jeremiah 33:3  Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

-Judah was in captivity and the situation seemed hopeless and impossible, yet God takes the initiative and extends an invitation to His people to call to Him.

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Secret Place Secrets

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by Eddie Lawrence

The Secret Place Scripture

Matthew 6:“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

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Posturing Yourself to Hear from God

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Posturing Yourself to Hear from God
by Eddie Lawrence
1. Be Still so You Can Hear or (Open Your Ears) Read More→

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Author Unknown

The highest privilege ever afforded to man is the power of prayer.
…then why don't we pray?

The right to talk to the highest potentate in all the universe…
…then why don't we pray?

The most powerful force accessible to man is the potential of prayer…
…then why don't we pray?

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TEXT: ACTS 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him……
4:4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

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How To Ascertain The Will of God

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How to Ascertain The Will of God
by George Muller

1) I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

2) Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

3) I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.

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