The disciples asked Jesus about prayer and how to pray. This is such a great privilege God has made for us. We can be in touch with the unseen One. Even in the belly of the fish Jonah found he could pray (Psalm 42. Luke 11:1, 5-8)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 11/17/2021
P. Schaller –
Tonight we’re going to have a message on prayer. This is a week of prayer for the ministry, so in this room at
9:00 in the morning there were a few people, and at 2:00 and then again at 6. We had our
meeting with the Bible college.
My main desire tonight would be that something said would help us, inspire us, teach us about
prayer because it’s so easy that we know it and maybe go through motions, and then to be very
honest sometimes we just don’t have time and maybe don’t want to do it. Even we are like our
own enemy. You say prayer and we go, yes, but then there’s something about it.
I don’t know about you, but this is maybe a confession for me that I have had a long period of
time in my life, maybe decades, where prayer was a very big part of my life. I could be by myself
in prayer and touch God. I really felt it at different times, very much. I wouldn’t preach unless I
had a message from God or was prepared in prayer.
So, I really believe in it, but in time because of administration and needs and everything, I feel
that, you know, I always feel I should do more of it. But this isn’t the message. This isn’t about doing more or is it good enough or something like that. No, that’s not the message. But it’s more do we realize that it is such a powerful thing. Do
we realize what it is and how enjoyable it is? There are many people that absolutely love it. You
could look at them and think, why do you love it? Cause I don’t! I don’t know what you’re talking
about. I don’t understand what you are talking about. And they would say, it’s real. It’s amazing.
It is like changed my life.
Prayer is incredible. There is really something to say about that. I’m going to read a few verses
here before Jesse comes up just to – 1 Chronicles 16:11. Reminds us of Psalm 27:35, 2 Chronicles
7:14. Maybe that’s something that we have to think about. Maybe because I am so busy, and I
say my prayers and I believe in them. Like short prayers. You get in the car. Bless our trip or
you have to make a decision at the bank or you’re having a conversation. You say, Lord, help
me in this conversation to say the right thing.
It’s like Nehemiah. 4. Nehemiah had to give an answer to the king right on the spot and then he
prayed what to say. So, this maybe, those prayers are precious and important but we are also
Americans in the western world with IPhones and televisions and Netflix and every other thing
and gadgets and possessions and everything. We just don’t know what it means to wait upon
the Lord and to be humble before him. To stop. Like stop. Shut down.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:16 when you fast, and he talked about fasting to the disciples. But I have
noticed in the west in our country, we don’t fast that much and I don’t. Then tonight thinking
about it. Fasting. What does it mean? Well, I’m not going to eat for one meal or two meals or
three. One day or two days. Whatever it might be. It might be easier just to approach it not so
much how much I fast but just the fact that I am able to shut down and slow down and put my
attention on him. Maybe this is an expression of humility. “My people who are called by my
name would humble themselves.” I don’t like to go hungry. I don’t like to go to hungry. How
about you guys? I don’t like to go hungry, but you could do it this way.
You say Lord, I need to be refreshed. I need to be refreshed. I need something. I need
something from you. I want fellowship in such a way that my spirit is alive and I see you. Seek
my face he said. Can I see you? Yes, you can see me. You can see me. Seek me and you will
find me. Fellowship with me.
It says praying in the spirit in Jude 20. Praying in the spirit. It might be that my prayers are not in
the spirit. They are prayers out of frustration, prayers out of loneliness and desperation. It’s not
bad but it may be that I am so filled with myself that my prayers are all about me. Enter my
courts with praise, my gates with thanksgiving. Come before me.
“If my people will humble myself and seek my face.” Wow! So verse 14. “Turn from their wicked
ways.” There’s another one. Turn from my wicked ways. My pride. I was thinking of it this
afternoon. I just thought about some bad things and about Lord, am I proud? Am I proud?
Maybe I am proud. I think I am.
I see pride in my life and so on. This is brought before you. I want to bring that in the light of
your countenance. Heal me. I’m in a place where I can maybe hurt another person. I wouldn’t
want to be in their situation. I don’t want them to be hurt. I don’t want that to happen. I could be
in that situation. But I don’t want that to happen.
Why am I saying this? Because I want to talk to your about prayer. You cannot be an arrogant
person and praying. It doesn’t work. Arrogant people are not heard. Arrogance is not in the plan.
It’s not in the picture. It’s James 4. We ask amiss. We consume it on our own lusts. We seek but
cannot find. We are pursuing but cannot get it. We sit down in sorrow and the Lord is saying
your prayers, I don’t hear you. I don’t hear you. You’re not praying in the Holy Spirit.
If you are praying in the Holy Spirit, you would be humble and saying before me, “Lord, search
me and see if there is any evil way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Correct me and
fix me and teach me. Because I know – here it is – that you want to answer prayers. I know you
do. You are a prayer answering God.
By the way, many of our people, many of you sitting here you could say God answered prayer
for me again and again. And he has done it. Absolutely. But I’m also trying to say something
about myself and about us. It is a broken and contrite spirit God will not despise. And he knows.
Regarding our country, he said if you turn from your wicked ways. It means you cannot be lying
and praying to God in the same day. You cannot be looking at pornography as a habit, as a way
of life and then say your prayers and go to church and say your prayers and so on.
To be honest, you can, but you have to repent and bring it before God and then don’t do it
again. If you do it again, you repent and bring it before God. And you are forgiven and trust God.
As you learn how to be Spirit-filled and walk with God and be a giant of a person, an effective
person. “The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” It can affect a city. It can affect a
country. The fervent prayer of a righteous man can receive so much from God. “There is no
good thing that he will withhold from him that walks uprightly.”
So, the Lord is saying you have to turn from your wicked ways it says there. I will heal your land
in vs. 14. When you are forgiven of your sin, you know that. When you are forgiven of your sin,
you are deeply encouraged. When you are forgiven of your sin, you are bold as a lion. You are
not afraid. When you are forgiven of your sin, you have a mission. When you are forgiven of
your sin, you can walk by faith and many prayers are answered. You can see them answered by
Many times in Matthew 6 it says “when you pray, go into the closet, shut the door, my heavenly
Father will see you and he will reward you openly.” When you see a believer that is like walking
like that, you say how did they get that? How did that work? Why are they blessed? What is
happening with them? It might be that they have a prayer closet. It might be that they are
humble. It might be that they are going before God asking and receiving and it’s happening in
their life as a way of life.
By the way, probably for many of you, this is indeed the way that it is and you are living that way
and we can see that. We are very thankful for that. So, I want to speak about this tonight and by way of encouragement and say I believe when you get a group of people and they are praying people and not to go into the past and make a big deal about it, but to be honest, when we were in Lenox, we had Curley Owens come. We
started our 24 hour prayer chain. Through the 1980s, remember those years?
We had a prayer room and we were praying. We went to India. We went to Chile. We went to
Ghana. We were in China. We went to many countries in those years. It was like 200 people
went in the summer out on summer harvest and came back and then many of them later went to
those countries to do mission work.
I believe it was when “two or three are gathered in my name, there I am.” I will hear from
heaven. I will answer. And you will later look at it and say, how come forty years later those
works are going. They are from God, and you are saying, I can say, where did P. Gromov come
from? Where did he come from? Where did P. Satellite come from? Where did P. Matti come
from? Where did P. Scibelli come from? Where did these people come from? I would say the
Lord answered our prayers.
Okay. Past, present, and here we are thinking about it tonight for the next weeks and thinking
about it maybe to help you and to just quiet down, slow down and wait upon God and listen with
your Bible open and trust him and ask and receive. “Knock and it’s open. Seek and you shall
Okay. So that’s our theme. Alright. Turn to your neighbor and say, God has answered prayers
for me. He really has. And this is what he has done for me.
Okay. Let’s turn to Luke 11. Thank you, Jean Marie. What a great verse, huh? Some of us are –
what’s the word? Jealous! Luke 11. Thanks for your love, the love of the Body and your
ministries which are extraordinary and the Spirit doing his work amongst us in so many
P. Barry Quirk and the school. The teen ministry. Women’s ministry. Children, small little ones.
It’s amazing. The Bible college. P. Philippe and P. Matt. P. Love on Grace Hour, faithful servant.
P. Cannon, humble, meek – isn’t he? He’s precious and his wife.
It’s amazing what God has given to us and how much we enjoy it. And so, this portion in Luke
11:1, “when he ceased.” Jesus was praying and they were watching him pray. It looks like that,
because when he stopped that’s when they felt they could talk to him.
vs. 1b. When you see somebody praying, sometimes it’s very motivating. Like when you are
with somebody and they are in communion with God and it’s – you’re with them and it can be,
woe! That’s amazing! Teach me that. Teach me that.
But remember he is in a culture filled with prayer. They are on the streets praying. They are at
the temple praying. But when Jesus prayed, it’s like we don’t know anything about it. We don’t
know what is that. What’s going on? Woe! Wow! Like what did they discern? What did they
recognize but this man has a connection and I could see it.
So they said teach us that. Teach us to pray. This is what we are trying to say tonight. I know all
about boredom, dullness, prayer. People roll their eyes. We know all about it. We all do. Say
prayers. I know. I know about it. I know exactly what you mean. I’m not talking about that. I’m
not talking about that. Don’t even worry about it. I could care less about that. That’s not what we
are talking about.
We are talking about you having the Holy Spirit and being hungry and focused. You’re capable
of being focused on the invisible world. You’re capable of being in the presence of angels and in
the presence of God. You are capable of communion with the Holy God of heaven and earth.
That’s amazing. That’s what we are talking about.
For this reason too, I don’t think so much about our prayer duty or mechanical prayers. I want
you to find on your own in your own way some satisfaction that comes from a prayer life where
you are able to relate to God and he fills you. He fills you like a consistent basis. You are in
fellowship with God.
Contrarily, we are capable of pride. I believe it is that pride – turn to James 4, please. This will
be short, I think, because it doesn’t need to be long I think to do what we want. James 4:2, you
lust but it’s not working for you. The lust doesn’t get you what you want. It doesn’t work. You lust
for money. You play the lottery every day and you get nothing. You lust but you cannot obtain.
You want a new job. You are lusting for it. You desire it for years and years, but you don’t get it.
You want a friend, a certain friend. You want to have a great friend but it doesn’t seem that it
works. We all know about this. vs. 2. There’s a lot of that.
A lot of fighting and scratching and crawling and climbing and beating and deceiving and
working and ambition and everything. It’s all flesh. It’s power lust. It’s the flesh that you have not
because you ask not. You don’t ask. Yes, of course I pray to God. I pray to God. Yes, I ask. The Lord is saying you ask amiss, vs. 3. You ask and don’t receive cause you ask amiss that you may consume it on your lusts. I want
this. I want this. I pray and I want it. If God gave it to you, it would just be a lust pattern. It would
just be something more. I want this. I want this, and if God gave it to you, and he may. He can
give it to you, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He’s looking for the humility, the Spirit. He’s
looking for fellowship and brokenness. He’s looking for wisdom. He’s looking for the work of
redemption in our lives.
vs. 6. Do you think I could be proud when I pray? Yes. Luke 18, the Pharisee said, Lord, God,
thank you that I am not like him. Oh, I am like – my behavior is right. My words are right. I’m in
the church. I say my prayers and the Lord says you are proud. What do you mean I am proud? You are proud. You think you are – and whatever way you want to say it. You have this secret pride. You have this arrogance. You have this pride before God and people.
I need you to humble yourself. 1 Peter 5. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. This is
amazing. I bring my pride before God.
Lord, listen to this – we have at least pastors that are operating this way. There is some pride.
There is some pastor who has some pride in his heart, in his life, but he goes through – he’s in
the ministry. He goes through the ministry and he’s effective. But there’s something not right.
There’s something not right there. Where is the humility to say I am wrong. Where is the humility
to say you could be right. I could be wrong. But there is something in leadership that happens
and that is if I confess error, that shows weakness.
Hey! What are you talking about? What are you talking about? We don’t need to follow a strong
person. We need to follow Christ and we need you to be Spirit filled and humble before God and
that means you can be wrong. You’re not always right. We are not always right. We are wrong.
Many times in our attitude in a course of a day, I catch myself and I see something in my heart
that I don’t like it. It’s not right. I’m just saying it to help us in our prayer life. It might be that the
prayer life of a Christian is so dead that he just goes through the whole drill. It’s just a drill and
he gets up and walks away and goes on his way.
It’s got to be more than that. It has to be that it affects me. I’m not saying that every time I pray I
get off my knees and I’m shining like an angel or a big light bulb. I’m not saying that. Or I’m just
bouncing. I’m not even touching the ground. I’m walking through the air.
No, I’m not saying that, but I am saying that there is prayer and it’s prayer that is asking amiss.
It’s not prayer. It’s not heard. It doesn’t work. And you wonder why you are bored and why you
go to the local bar room. Or why you look at pornography or something. Why you are so dull and boring. You are a boring person. You are an empty person because you are not Spirit filled.
That’s not being Spirit filled.
Being Spirit filled is the Holy Spirit affecting you in your inner man and you are actually humble
because of the Holy Spirit, and you are actually able to be transparent and open before people
and love them. They see Christ in you. They see Christ, not arrogance.
Let me say something about that. Maybe it happens in our cafe sometimes. Somebody comes
in and they hear something and they go over to another table. I’m making all of this up. I don’t
know of it ever happening. I can imagine. I’m making it up. They go over to the other table and
they straighten out the other person. They straighten them up. You know. They are like a
Pharisee. Walking around like they are spiritual. I am spiritual. You are spiritual? Yes, I say my
prayers. I go to the church. For thirty years I’ve been in this church. I’ve been in this church.
Who are you? My chair is over there. I’ve been here 30 years. You are proud. What’s that got to
do with it?
Who cares how long you’ve been in this building or even on the earth or how old you are and
what you have done and who you are in that way. That means nothing. What matters is are you
filled with the Spirit and do you love the brethren? Is Christ important? Not you. Are you
important. I had that one time many years ago. I walked on a door in another country, and there was a
priest who came to the door. He said that he’s a priest and he said I’ve been a priest for 40
years. It’s like, who are you? It was like conversation is over. I’m about two weeks old! You
know, that’s like not fellowship. That’s not fellowship.
So, I got off track there. Okay, so when they saw Jesus praying in Luke 11, they said teach us
to pray as John also taught his disciples. I believe John also knew how to touch heaven and his
disciples knew about prayer. The Pharisees didn’t care about prayer and nor does God, but
these prayers. The prayers you pray in the morning when you pray. It’s interesting.
The psalmist says I pray in the morning and another psalm says twice a day and another psalm
says three times a day. Then Luke 6:12, Jesus prayed all night. Then Paul said pray without
ceasing and the Lord hears. He answers us.
In closing here, the last part is in – we’ll skip down to verse 5-6. That’s like us. There is a need.
Baltimore City. I have nothing to set before Baltimore City. What can I do about Baltimore City?
There’s a need. But I know who to go to. I can go to my heavenly Father and say, Father, I’m in
Baltimore. I have nothing to give them. I need three loaves. I need the Father, the Son, the Holy
Spirit. I need you to give me something to give them. I need you to help us. Help us. The
teenager, the mother, the father. I need you to answer the prayer.
Also, Lord, I ran out of gas. I ran out of gas a long time ago, but I come to you. By the way, don’t
say you’re old. Don’t say you’re done. You’re finished. You can if you want to. That’s your
business, but I am trying to say I kind of have it in my mind that sometimes what I say is what is
going to happen to me. What I say is I can’t do it, so I can’t do it. I said I can’t do it so I can’t do
it. But if you just change your vocabulary. I am young. I feel good. Thank you, God.
Here is a good thought. Jonah had Psalm 42 in him. Psalm 42 was in Jonah. How do we know
that? Because it’s written in Jonah 2 what his prayer was when he was in the fish. Psalm 42 was
in Jonah and the fish swallowed Jonah. What was in the fish? But Jonah and Psalm 42. Psalm
42 was in the fish in Jonah. Jonah said that prayer.
What did the fish do? It headed for the weeds. It wasn’t feeling too good. That fish headed
towards the weeds. Why? Cause it says it in the Scripture. It was in the weeds. And also the
weeds were wrapped around Jonah’s head and he’s in the fish. But don’t worry about it. In a
way, don’t worry about it because Psalm 42 is in Jonah. When he said the prayer, God spoke to the fish and the fish shot him out like a missile. It doesn’t say he landed in the water. It says he
landed on the beach. Wow!
What’s my point? My point is and I’ll finish with this: if you have a prayer life with the Bible open,
probably you are going to end up learning the Bible and it’s going to come to your spirit and your
heart and it’s going to come to your memory and it’s going to be an authority in your life.
“Young men, you have overcome the wicked one because the Word of God abides in you.”
That’s how you get the Bible in you by a prayer life. If you have a prayer life, you can literally be
– if it happens in the Spirit, you can actually be hours before God and in the Word and the Word
in you and you end up walking in the authority of God’s Word in an ungodly world that is evil and
you have authority over the evil. God is answering your prayers and leading you in your life.
And he said he “will not withhold any good thing from him that is walking uprightly” like that.
Psalm 84, Psalm 34, “mark the perfect man for the end of that man is peace.” That guy has
something going on.
There’s no way that your flesh can do it. There’s no way that religion can do it. It’s only a
relationship with the living God and you because you are humble before him and trusting him.
If I go to somebody and I’m like in a hurry and I say I want you to come to my house Friday night
at 6:00 for dinner, and then walk away from them. I gave them an invitation, but what are they
thinking? Why are you walking away from me? I haven’t answered you. Are you kidding? Are
you serious about it? Do you want me at your house at 6:00? Where do you live and everything.
That’s how we can pray. We say Lord, this is what I want. This is what I’m looking for and then
just kind of – because my phone is ringing. I just go away cause there is a movie on or
something. No, this is beautiful. Eye to eye. Could you come to my house Friday night at 6:00.
I’m waiting. I’m waiting on you. I’m serious. Are you serious? I’m serious. Do you want to come?
I want you – you can answer me. I’ll wait on you. Give me an answer. It’s beautiful. That’s
Imagine the Lord looking for us to be like this and to say to him I am serious Lord. Answer me,
please. In Jesus’ name. I’m waiting on you. I’m waiting on you in the land of the living. I’m
waiting on you in the Spirit. I’m serious about it. Isn’t that beautiful.
Do you need a used car? Ask God and wait on God. Ask him and be serious about it. Don’t be
double minded. It’s not a game. This isn’t a game. This is about you and God.
Do you need a place to live? Do you need a job? I was thinking this can happen, but behind it all
is walking in the light with our God. How can two be agreed? How can we walk together unless
we be agreed? Let’s close again in prayer. (Prayer).
You might say what I want to pray for is a used car and those kind of things. You could also say,
Lord, anything. Whatever you want to do with me. I am available. That’s a great prayer, right?
“The preparation of the heart of man is from the Lord.” The Lord prepare our hearts to say, I will
go. Who will go? I will go. Send me. I will go. I’m available. Isn’t that amazing. The Holy Spirit
does that and you’re just saying I’m available.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.