Have you prayed so long and hard but yet you cannot receive answer to your prayers?
Then I want to let you know that you are still living in sin which obstructs God from listening to you:
(Behold the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear. – Isaiah 59:1-2).
Because God can only listen to the prayers of the righteous:
(The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29). For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil. (1 peter 3:12). “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him. (John 9:31)).
Did you still persist in your prayer until God answered and blessed you with that which your heart was seeking for? Probably He has blessed you beyond your wildest imagination, and you now have wealth and riches that you are worried about on how to control?
Then I want you let you know that you are like the prodigal son who forcefully received from his father the inheritance he wasted away in a foreign country. And soon you are going to lose all those material possessions that you thought were a blessing from God; and if you are not wise enough, as the prodigal son, to return back to God your Father and beg for His forgiveness, you will soon find yourself in court standing trial for fraud, armed robbery or kidnapping, or worst still, you will meet a friend who will introduce you into a blood money cult that will make you end up killing those you love so much.
But God wants to help you, that is why you have in one way or the other come across this sermon; so all you need to do is put the teachings revealed to us by Christ herein.
First and foremost let us take our guiding text from Mathew 7:13-14:
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
For the manifestation of the above scripture, we all have to note that: the Broadway is where many people go in while the narrow gate is where only a few find. Thus, we are going to use this text as a guide and examine the prayer points, which acts as the desires and wishes of the believers in Christendom, in order to know which one is the broad way that leads to destruction as well as which one is the narrow gate that leads to everlasting life.
- So many Christians are praying for their enemies to die ———- Broad way.
But going to the scriptures we discover that our Lord Jesus said in Mathew 6:14-15 that if we don’t forgive people the wrongs they have done to us, the heavenly Father will not forgive us our own wrongs. He also said in Mathew 5:43-48 that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us because God Himself makes His sun to shine on both the righteous and wicked people.
In Ezekiel 18:23 we discover how God Himself says that He is not pleased with the death of a wicked person, rather He wishes for them to repent and be saved. This same scripture is further stressed upon by Peter in 2 Peter 3:9 and Paul in 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
And finally in Job 31:29 we discover in the prayer of the righteous Job that a righteous man should not be glad when his enemies suffer neither should he be pleased when they meet with disaster, and finally in verse 30 we discover that it is a sin for us to pray for our enemies to die.
Thus, knowing that no weapon fashioned against us shall ever prosper (Isaiah 64:17) and if God be for us nobody can be against us (Romans 8:31). And that vengeance is of mine says the Lord, (Deuteronomy 32:35).
We enter through the narrow gate by forgiving and praying for our enemies.
- So many Christians love to call on the Holy Ghost fire to destroy ———– Broad way.
But going to the scriptures, we discover in Luke 9:51-54 that when Jesus and His disciples, James and John, were trying to pass through Samaria and the people there tried to prevent their passage through their city, Jesus rebuked James and John for trying to call on the Holy Ghost fire to come down and destroy those people, and He concluded by telling them that He did not come to destroy but to save.
And Revelation 20:9-10 helps us to understand that the devil and his agents will not be destroyed until after the last judgment.
So after carefully studying the following scriptures: 1 Peter 1:7, Revelation 3:18, Psalm 66:10-12, Zechariah 13:8-9, Jeremiah 6:27-30, Daniel 11:35, 12:10 we come to the understanding that the work of the Holy Ghost fire is to purify the children of God in order to make them perfect; in other words the Holy Ghost fire is like the goldsmith fire which is used to heat and obtain the goal from its raw source.
So we enter through the narrow gate by praying for the fire of the Holy Ghost to burn away every urge to sin from our lives.
- So many Christians love to use insulting and abusive words against Satan and his agents when they pray. ——–Broad way.
But going to the scriptures we find out in Jude 3-16 that this prayer point was brought into Christendom by the false prophets or teachers; and that the arch-angel Michael himself, while struggling with Satan for Moses corpse did not use abusing words on him but rather conquered him by saying: “the Lord rebuke thee Satan”. And we also discover Zechariah 3:1-5 that this was the same words that the angel of God used to conquer Satan and deliver Joshua, the high priest when he tried to clothe him with a filthy garment. Again we also discover in the temptation of our Lord Jesus, recorded in Mathew 4:1-11 that all through His temptation, our Lord Jesus did not use insulting words on Satan rather He conquered him by quoting the scriptures.
Therefore searching for the narrow gate we discover in Ephesians 6:12-18 that the enemies we are fighting against invisible creatures i.e. Satan and his host of demons and that in order to conquer them one has to be armed with the whole armor of God which are completed in these six things:
- Truth means the word of God. (“Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. – John 17:17).
- Righteousness can be obtained by practicing the truth i.e. the word of God. (Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. – 1 John 3:7).
- Announcing the good news of peace is the readiness to preach or teach others the word of God i.e. evangelism. (and how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” – Romans 10:15).
- Faith is gotten through believing and hoping for all the promises attached to keeping God’s words. (But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6).
- Salvation is sure once you have gotten to this point since the Spirit of God you obtained through Jesus Christ on the day you repented and baptized is now working in you. (For it is God who works in you to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13).
- And lastly, you must always apply God’s i.e. quote the scriptures, whenever you stand out to pray because it is the sword that you will always need to cut through Satan’s traps and conquer.
So we enter through the narrow gate by always depending on the Holy Spirit to guide us in prayer as it is written: Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:2)
- So many Christians pray for abundant blessings which they want to happen exactly as they think, and should God delay in giving it to them they will start complaining or persevere in more prayers ——— Broad way.
But going to the scriptures, we find out in James 4:3 that the reason we cannot receive what we ask from God is because we ask for things that will give us worldly pleasures. And as I observed in the introductory part of this sermon, if anybody continues to press God for these blessings he gives it to him and the story of the prodigal son manifests in that individual.
We also discover in Hosea 13:6 that if we have too much it will make us become prideful and forget God.
We also discover in Mathew 6:25-33 that we should not be worried about the things we will eat and wear because our God who is able to provide for the birds and flowers of the field that do not sow nor reap will provide all that we need to eat and wear every day.
We also discover in 1 John 5:14 that if we ask anything according to God’s will, He shall give it to us.
And so we enter through the narrow gate by always making our prayer look like the one found in Proverb 30:7-9:
Two things I request of you (deprive me not before I die): remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches – feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of My God.
And in the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us: “give us this day our daily bread. (Mathew 6:11).
- So many Christians always pray God to deliver them from persecutions ————– Broad way.
But as we go a searching of the whole scriptures we can’t seem to find anywhere that our Lord Jesus told us we will be free from life’s troubles while here on earth, instead all we find in these scriptures: Mathew 16:21, 10:17-19, 24:9, John 15:18-27.: 16. Etc. is the predicting of his own persecutions and telling us that the same thing that befell Him will befall us.
We also discover that persecutions is another name for the cross He told those who are willing to be His disciples to pick it and follow Him. (Mathew 10:38).
And we also discover in the following scriptures: 1 Peter 2:21, 4:12-13, 5:9-10, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 13:14. Philippians 3:10-11, 20-21. Romans 3:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:12 that His disciples, who were the first to experience the persecutions, also gave us the same instructions.
So we go through the narrow gate by praying Christ to give us the grace to endure all the persecutions we are meant to pass through in this world where we are only sojourners.
- So many Christians are so self-centered in their prayers i.e. they pray about their own problems and those of their closest ones alone. ————- Broad way.
But going to the scriptures we discover in James 5:6 and 1 Timothy 2:1 that we must pray for others i.e. make intercessory prayers.
Consider a father who has two children: one obedient and the other disobedient. Now the disobedient child goes to the father and makes a request, but the father refuses to give what he wants to him due to his being disobedient. but on seeing this the obedient child goes to the father and pleads on behalf of his father, asking the father to please grant his request. And on seeing this father says: “I am doing this for your brother because of you”.
So we go through the narrow way by being obedient to the father so we can be in the position of praying for our brothers and sisters who are disobedient.
And finally, I want to let you know that it will seem very hard for you to have this kind of prayer life, but I want to again remind you that this is the narrow gate where only a few can find; and if you are among that few goodluck!.
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