Pray First 1 - Eternity is Now

It is important that we never forget the power of prayer.

Doyle Jackson
Aug 4, 2018    41m
In this sermon Pastor Doyle reminds us of the power of prayer, and reminds us to pray first and ask questions later. He looks to the Book of Psalms for examples of how to pray. He also discusses that it is normal and healthy for us to remember to pray during difficult times, that God loves us and wants to help us. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Recording: 00:05 Thanks for watching this message from The Church Next Door. We're thrilled that you're joining us online today. We'd love to have you stop by any weekend as well. We're located at 5755 Federal Road in Columbus, Ohio, and have services on Saturday evening at 5:00 and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:00. We hope to see you soon.

Doyle Jackson: 00:57 Well, welcome. This week we're starting a new series. It's called pray first. The reason that is, is this summer we decided that we would read through the book of Psalms and so every day we're reading one or two psalms just to kind of learn some prayers that Christians have prayed for generations. And literally thousands of years, God followers have used these prayers to help them kind of get their feet wet in the area of prayer. We invite you to join us with that.

Doyle Jackson: 01:25 We have this list of values here at The Church Next Door. Things we believe...that God's word will transform your life, that God invites us to participate with him. Well, one of those values is pray first and then we say this: pray first, ask questions later. The reason for this is many times they're like, well, should I pray about this? You know, is this something that I should be praying about? I don't know. That's why watched that silly video of the guy deciding whether or not you could pray for sliders or not. I'm sorry. Folks, if you're eating sliders, you better pray. Alright? That's all I'm saying.

Doyle Jackson: 02:02 Our idea is this: this whole idea that, you know, should I pray about this? What it goes to is this: sometimes we believe this idea that I'm not worthy to pray. I'm not ready to pray. I can't pray. God wouldn't listen to me. We have all these notions and what we're saying is this, just pray, then ask all those questions later. Let God sort that out. Just get your heart going towards God. And then, some say well, I don't know you know if God knows my heart, why do I really need to say that?

Doyle Jackson: 02:34 Well, this is why. Yes, you can meditate on God's word, you can think about God's word, but once you express it, it changes your relationship to it. For example, alright, I know I love my wife, but it changes the relationship when I vocalized to her and I say, honey, I love you. Right? Well, when you and I vocalize what's on our heart to God, it changes the relationship, and that's why we pray. We pray and it's just simply, it's just talking. It's vocalizing what's on your heart to God and we invite you to get going in that. We recognize that at first it may be a little bit uncomfortable. You're like awkward. You're like, I don't know what to say and how to say it. That's okay. Just say it. Get it out there and over time, the more you do it, you become comfortable with it.

Doyle Jackson: 03:21 Remember what it was like to ride a bicycle? Remember how excited you were to ride a bicycle? Before you got excited about it, you were afraid. You saw someone else riding and you thought that looks, that looks like fun, but I'm not sure I could do it. You know, you had all these doubts. That's the same way with prayer. And can I tell you, I've been praying for years. I've been praying for years, but I still have to choose to pray. You can know how to ride a bicycle. I know a lot of Christians, they haven't prayed for years. If their prayer life was a bicycle, their tires are flat and it's all dusty you know. It's time to get it out, man. Get get your prayer on so to speak. You know, because you can still do it, but it changes the way you relate to God and that's why we want you to pray first and ask questions later.

Doyle Jackson: 04:16 So this summer we're going to take four weeks this week and three more and we're just gonna investigate this prayer. But this week I want you to really grab a hold of this simple principle that prayer is eternity now. Eternity is now when you talk about prayer, because when you pray, you have a relationship with God who sits in eternity. Now, one of the big hurdles that some of us have when it comes to prayer is this whole notion of, wow, I feel guilty about praying because the only time I pray is when I'm in trouble. I just want to say something to you. Despair is a powerful motivator. See, when you're in trouble and you need help, it motivates you in the area of prayer. I know many people that their first prayers were when they were in trouble. That's natural in the same way that a child cries out to their mother and they say, mom, help. It's within your nature to cry out to God and ask Him for help. That's okay. Mom doesn't get upset. Mom doesn't say, oh, be quiet, go back to bed. No. She checks on you. Why? Because she knows that's part of this relationship. That's part of the life that we have together and God is not turned off when you call on Him in need.

Doyle Jackson: 05:46 When I was in school, the school that I went to every summer, they had summer reading. We had to read books in the summertime. And I have to admit I was a procrastinator, alright? And I would wait till the end of summer to pray. I'm convinced my mother still has issues because I waited so long and it caused stress in her life. She's like, would you just get the job done, read the book, and try to lock me in the bedroom to do my reading. One of those books that I had to read was Robinson Caruso. And, Robinson Crusoe is a story of this man who gets shipwrecked on an island.

Doyle Jackson: 06:32 If you'll get out your notes, I wrote down just you cannot use this to pass a Robinson Crusoe test. Just let me tell you right now, okay? This is less than the cliff notes, but it does get you started. If you want to read the book, it's a great book. Robinson Crusoe had been shipwrecked and was left alone on a desert island, miserable and sick with fever all alone and ready to die. He was a sailor and lived life far from God. Then he finds a Bible in a sea chest and stumbles across this passage, "Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me."

Doyle Jackson: 07:14 That night he prayed for the first time in his life and ever after that he had hope in God. See Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, was a Presbyterian minister and he knew that most people really struggle in their relationship with God. They get so busy in the adventures of life and what they're doing and the first time we'll really cry out to God is when we get into a moment of despair. So he took Psalm 50:15, and he slipped it right in the midst of his story about Robinson's life because he wanted to invite you and me to say it's okay. It's okay.

Doyle Jackson: 08:01 Listen to Psalm 50:15. It says, call upon me in the day of trouble and I shall rescue you and you will honor me. Let me tell you something, if you will value that principle, if you will pray first when you're in trouble, God won't be upset. God is totally okay. God is not displeased by our call in pain. God doesn't get upset because you called in pain. Listen, a parent of a college student, and the college student calls home and they say, hey dad, mom, send money. They don't get upset. They expect that call, don't they? Because they know that's what you need at that time in your life.

Doyle Jackson: 08:56 Did you know God is looking at your life? God looks at your life and He loves you. He values you and He knows what you need. He's just glad to get the call. He's excited to get the call. He's like, yes, I've been waiting to hear from this one. I've been, I've thought man, how bad does it have to get before they call on me? Some of you, you got a pretty high pain threshold, alright? And I'm telling you, that voice inside of you that says, God doesn't care - it's not true. Call unto Him. That voice inside of you that says God has forgotten you - it's not true. He has not forgotten you. The question is, will you be willing to cry out to Him and allow His hope to come in?

Doyle Jackson: 09:44 Know this, when Robinson Crusoe prayed to God, it does not say that that night angels flew in, lifted him off the island, and took him home. No, he had a lot more to go through, but he experienced what he was going through with hope. And see, that's the reality. When you and I cry out to God, what we're crying out for is a relationship with God. We want a relationship with God, and the reason that's important, the reason that is so it significant is this: when you and I pray, we reach into, we go through a gateway into eternity. See, prayer takes you from where you and I live and it reaches to where God lives and God lives in eternity.

Doyle Jackson: 10:32 You say, well, how do you know this? Because I know that that's what God says. That's what the Bible says. That's what Moses said. Psalm 90. We've been looking through the psalms and we've been mainly looking at David's Psalms when we did war cry. Okay? Well today I want you to look at Psalm 90, and it was written by Moses.

Doyle Jackson: 10:52 Think about this. Thousands of years, millions upon millions of God followers have prayed this prayer. People that are groping and struggling, man, they are just overwhelmed by life and they don't know how do I connect with God? And they hear from someone else who knows God and says, I've got an ancient prayer I want to share with you. It was prayed by the man, Moses who led the people out of Egypt. He offers this prayer to you and I.

Doyle Jackson: 11:23 See what you and I do is we take those prayers and they say, well, if it worked for Mo, maybe it'll work for me. I'll try that one on. I'll see if that fits. See, that's what God invites you and I to do. He says, take the prayers that I've given my people throughout generations and let them, let them soak into your soul. Let them come down and touch your being and change the way you live. And what Moses said was this. He says, listen, you and I live in the midst of trouble, difficulty and pain. If anybody knew about trouble, difficulty and pain, it was Moses. Folks, he was, he was cast away by his parents because of a governmental decision.

Doyle Jackson: 12:10 He felt the sorrow and the heartache of being an orphan, and he was called in and brought into another home. And then he felt the confusion of understanding one family and this family and the terror. You think God doesn't know what you're going through? I'm telling you, He does. He does. He feels your pain. He feels your sorrow and what Moses learned in his relationship with God, the great I am that spoke to him from the burning Bush. He says, if you will talk to me, if you will come to me, I will be your father. I will be your best friend? I will be the one who walks through life with you. And God can say that because he stands outside of life. He sits in eternity and He looks in on life and He says, I have a much better perspective if you will listen to me.

Doyle Jackson: 13:08 If you would, I want you to read along with me as I read Moses' prayer. It's from Psalm 90. Alright? Now the translation I'm giving you is called the passion translation, and if you would like to get to know the Bible in a fresh kind of new language, you know you've read the translation, you've read for a while or you say, man, I can't relate to that one. Go get the passion translation. It's on YouVersion. You can get it on Bible Gateway. You can read it. Those are both free. Alright? Then you can decide if you want to buy it or something, but this is the passion translation.

Doyle Jackson: 13:42 Just follow along with me. This is a Psalm 90:1-4. Lord, you have always been our eternal home, our hiding place from generation to generation. Will you read just verse two with me aloud? Long before you gave birth to the earth and before the mountains were born, you have been from everlasting to everlasting the one and only true God. See what Moses says right there? What Moses says is God, you sit outside of time. You sit in eternity. Verse three, when you speak the words, life returned to me. Man turns back to dust. One thousand years passed before your eyes, like yesterday that quickly fade away like a night's sleep soon forgotten.

Doyle Jackson: 14:40 What actually the original Hebrew says there in verse four is that it talks about a night watch. And in the ancient world, if you were a shepherd or you were someone watching over a city, they broke the night down into three hour segments so you could stand guard and you could watch. And it says three hours for you are like a thousand years. See God doesn't view time the way you and I do. God doesn't view relationships the way you and I do. God sits in a whole different approach to everything. He's beyond the universe.

Doyle Jackson: 15:36 You know, in previous generations, when you had this conversation, they would look at it and they were like, this is crazy. This is crazy that you and I can talk to God. God lives some far away a place. He can't hear me, it's too far. Because they couldn't imagine that. But, you and I, we live in the 21st century. You have no problem of thinking of talking to someone that lives halfway around the world. I have friends that live in India. I pick up the phone, I talk to them. I can face time with them. I can look out the window with them. I have friends in Israel, Africa, and people all over the world and I talk to them and it's no problem at all. Evans can call and I say, well, well Jennifer and I will send you a $150. We'll just, we'll transfer it right now. We'll just, we'll go to our app and we'll press [unintelligible]. It'll be in your bank in a matter of moments. See, in ancient time and in other times this was like a spiritual activity. This is like woo, super spiritual. You have no problem with that.

Doyle Jackson: 16:42 Remember Jesus? Jesus is teaching. He's at Capernaum. He's right there by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. I can, I can see it in my mind. And, and this, this, this Roman soldier comes up a Centurion and he says, someone in my house is sick. Jesus, can you, can you help me with that? And Jesus says, sure, let me grab my things and we'll go. Come on now, let's go. And this guy says, oh, no way. No way. He says, I'm a man of authority. You speak and it will be done. You speak and it will be done. And Jesus is like, oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, this guy, I've never met anybody like this before. He says, I've been around God followers all my life. I've met some of the greatest Jewish minds. This, this Roman, this ungodly uncircumcised, you know what I'm saying? He has a greater grasp on how the Kingdom of God works than people who spend time with Him all their lives.

Doyle Jackson: 17:41 This man understands that God sits outside of time, space, and when God does something, it's not bound by time and space. See, when you and I pray, we're talking into a realm that is beyond our imagination. You said, well, if I can't, if I can't, if I can't understand it, I can't. I just can't do it. Really?

Doyle Jackson: 18:14 I love Graeter's Ice Cream. You need to know it, and if you need to spend some money at Graeter's call me. I do not know how they get those great big chips down in there. It hasn't caused me any problem in eating Graeter's Ice Cream. I don't sit there and go, nope can't eat that stuff. I don't know how they do it. We get in cars and we drive cars that we don't even have stick keys in anymore. We press buttons and we're like, we don't fully understand what they've done to that car. We don't understand the internal combustion engine, but we ride around in them.

Doyle Jackson: 18:59 I don't understand where eternity is. I don't understand that, but I do understand that God is not bound by time and space and He doesn't worry about it. So when I look at God, God lives in eternity and He doesn't worry about time and He invites you and I. He says, let's get into the conversation together because if you'll spend more time with me, you'll worry less about time.

Doyle Jackson: 19:24 If you spend more energy in your relationship with God, you'll spend less of your energy worrying. See, God invites you and I to join Him in eternity. And every time you and I have a conversation with God, every time you and I pray and we share our heart and we talk aloud, it's the same way when you talk into that cell phone and it goes all the way to Africa or India or Mexico City. It doesn't matter where it is. When you, when you talk from your heart to the living God, in the name of Jesus, it goes [makes noise], it goes beyond time into eternity and God goes, alright, they're starting to get this. I designed them more than to be slaves to time. I designed them for more than slaves to life on this earth and worrying about things. And see you're beginning to realize that your life was meant for more.

Doyle Jackson: 20:29 You're beginning to dance with God. When I look at it that way, in the same way that when you dance, you want to move together. When you begin to share your heart with God, it allows you to move with Him and He begins to move you. He says, no, let me lead on this one. And see really that's what happens when you pray. God begins to direct you and say, really? Is that what you want to pray? And you're like, well, maybe not, but this is what I was hoping for and it's a dialogue. It's a conversation and it begins to change your life and you and you shift with Him.

Doyle Jackson: 21:08 Look what it says here in John Chapter 17. It says, now this is eternal life that you, that they know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Doyle Jackson: 21:21 So prayer is an eternal relationship. Prayer is when you and I have a conversation with God who lives in eternity, but you're cultivating this relationship with God. You're cultivating this. How do I know that? It's in Romans Chapter 10. Paul the Apostle that planted churches through the ancient world, and he writes this letter to the people of Rome, and in this he says these most amazing words that have impacted God followers to our day. It says, if you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth, that you profess your faith and are saved. So what is Paul saying here? Paul says, first of all, that it's faith. It's your heart that has to believe this God thing.

Doyle Jackson: 22:31 It's your heart that has to engage God. But if your heart engages it and you never let it out of your mouth, it never really happens. He says, for it to really, really happen, you have to speak it aloud. At some point you have to let out what you believe and when you do that, He knows. He knows that it's going to cross from time into eternity and it's going to grab a hold of that little bit of eternity and it's going to go [makes noise] and bring it back into your life in the same way that you can do a wire transfer and the money can go from one account to the other. What happens is this: Jesus took all your sin. And then He takes all of his goodness and He pours it right back into you, and this is what Paul understands. This is what Moses understood.

Doyle Jackson: 23:24 When you and I have a conversation with God it does a transfer. It does a transfer from God's account into your account and it takes from your account all the debts, all the bad debts, and it'll bring them right over there. And the way you do that is you confess them. He says, if you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin. He says that if you will call upon me, I will meet you. See what God is inviting you and I to, He says take what's on your heart, whatever is heavy, whatever burden you have and give it to me and I will give you rest.

Doyle Jackson: 24:04 So he invites you and I into a relationship with God. And right now you may be saying, well, I need that. I need a relationship with God and have prayed about it before and people have talked to me about it before and it just hasn't seemed to come together. Well, let's try it again. Hmm.

Doyle Jackson: 24:25 You know there's some things that on my first try, it didn't go well. It could be why I don't play golf anymore. My first swings and I didn't see much improvement, so I quit that. But now we're talking about a relationship with God. We're not talking about a game. This is something that's for all eternity.

Doyle Jackson: 24:52 So I wrote a little prayer right there in your notes. You can look at it while I'm talking if you want to. If some of you have never said a prayer to invite God into your heart and I want to invite you just to consider praying this prayer with me in just one moment. Others of you, you've prayed the prayer before, but you don't really remember it. You know what I mean? You prayed this prayer and you know you talk about it and you're talking to momma or grandma or poppy and they say, oh yeah, you prayed that years ago. You're good to go, but in your heart down here, you're like, you've got these questions and these doubts. I want to say, pray it with me today.

Doyle Jackson: 25:42 Maybe you're like, I grew up in a Christian home and I prayed that prayer over the times. They were telling me how I prayed it, but I didn't feel like it was really engaging me and it wasn't settling into my heart. And so, I'd be at a meeting and they would offer this opportunity to say the prayer and I'm like, I want to say it again because I need something to happen here. I need to get something going. Then I invite you to say the prayer with me today. And there's of you, you've got somebody here and you just want to say the prayer because you want them to feel comfortable and hear other voices in the room saying the prayer, and I'm good with that too. What I want is this: I want you to think about it. Moses said, when you and I pray, we touch God in eternity and He has a doorway to touch us, and Paul says, if you believe in your heart and you say it out loud with your mouth, it'll change everything for you.

Doyle Jackson: 26:49 So if you want to say that prayer, you can even pray with your eyes open because that's how we're going to read this prayer together. So now you've learned a whole other lesson about prayer. All right, so let's say it together, those that want to, okay? Jesus, I want you to be my Lord. I believe God raised you from the dead and took my sins on your cross. I put my life in your hands. I am now part of God's family. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 27:20 Way to go. Alright? This is what I want you to know. The simplest part of this prayer (and if you ever have to lead in prayer), there's only three things that are in the prayer that matter. Number one, that you admit that you have a problem with sin and you needed Jesus' help. Two, that you believe that Jesus was the solution for that, and three is see that you confess Him as your Lord. And that's what's in that prayer, any prayer along those lines.

Doyle Jackson: 27:43 But if you didn't pray that prayer, you felt a little bit nervous and you decide you want to pray it later, you can still pray it, okay? You don't need 200 people with you when you pray it. You can pray it alone or you can pray it with a friend, but this is what I do want you to do. If you prayed that prayer today and it really was a transition point for you, it was a first step with God. Tell somebody before you leave today. Tell a neighbor, someone sitting near you, a friend that you came with or come down front and talk to one of the many people that are always down here to chat with people and pray with people. This is why. It's like when you ask someone to marry you or someone asked you to marry them, and you're like you just can't wait to tell somebody. I did it. I did it. It changes the relationship when you begin to tell other people about the step of the relationship you took.

Doyle Jackson: 28:28 Now I want to give you one more insightful instruction. Most people in the New Testament who took that step, one of the things that they quickly did afterwards was they went to be baptized in water. And see, we want you to know if you want to take that step of faith, you can do that in this place. You can write it on your comment card. You can go to the neighborhood, The Church Next Door, and you can sign up for that or just talk to somebody today. But, take that step. Don't wait any longer. Can I tell you if I have a regret when it comes to baptism, it was that I waited. My mom and dad baptized me as a child and then later I felt like I needed to take that step, and I was so nervous about other people; just don't make the mistake I made. Go ahead and say yes to Jesus because the moment I did that, it just lifted a lid in my life. Because it let me know and the people around me know that God now really was Lord of my life and I wanted Him to clean it up and take control and move with me.

Doyle Jackson: 29:55 There's one more aspect of prayer that I want to help you lock in on before we go, and it's all from this prayer from Moses. Okay? This is Moses talking to you. Think about that. What if you wrote a prayer and you just started praying it every day and it became so important to your life that you started sharing it with your children and family and friends? And over time they said that was Nana's prayer, but they started praying Nana's prayer too. And then we go 30, 40 years from now and everybody in your little circle is still talking about Nana's prayer. See, when you and I pull out Moses' prayer, he gave us a gift.

Doyle Jackson: 30:54 Listen to what he says here. Psalm 90:12, same Psalm. It says, help us (he's speaking to God). God, help us to remember that our days are numbered and help us to interpret our lives correctly. Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts so that we may accept your correction. What's Moses saying? Moses is saying, God, help us to look at our lives from your perspective. God, help us to stop and recognize right now I live in time, but I'm part of eternity because of you. Can you give me an eternal perspective on what my day looks like? This, this has transformed my life. Just the whole idea that I would start my day and I would say, Hey Lord, this is what I know, or at least I think I know I'm supposed to do today and I just want to know, I want you to know right now, God, I give you permission. You can interrupt, you can take anything off the schedule. You can add anything to it. My life is your life. Now what? I invited you to come into my heart. I made you Lord of everything and that includes my time. That's my time, God, and so today.....

Doyle Jackson: 32:04 And you know what? Sometimes I'll be in that prayer time with God and he'll say, "Nope. Why'd you put that on there?"

Doyle Jackson: 32:11 And I say, "Well, hadn't thought about that way."

Doyle Jackson: 32:20 He says, "Okay."

Doyle Jackson: 32:22 I say, "Thank you."

Doyle Jackson: 32:22 See God's Holy Spirit is your friend. That's what the Bible says. The Bible invites you and I to have a relationship with God's Holy Spirit. He's a comforter, counselor, helper, a friend. Too many of us say, I've got an agenda for today. Moses said, no, I used to have agendas, but now I have a relationship with God. And that's what God is inviting you and I to have is a relationship with him. So this is my question for you today. Will you let God choose the use of your time? Will you let go of controlling every day? And will you begin to ask God every day, God, if there's anything you need me to do today, I want you to know I'm your servant? You purchased me on a cross on Calvary and I want my life to be guided by you. That's what pray first is about.

Doyle Jackson: 33:49 We're going to say a prayer in just a moment. And part of this prayer is inviting God every day to help you with what you're doing. But I want to tell you that I believe that you have seasons in your life. Okay? You have seasons where God has priorities for you and God has directed you. I'll give you an example. When I was in college, I was in this season when I was learning how to spend time with God and how to pray and to journal and to build my relationship with God. And that season, that was my priority. That got, that got first priority in my schedule, that relationship with God and building that relationship with Him and getting to know Him. Later, I stumbled upon the fact that I had a wife and two sons and I needed to pour into them.

Doyle Jackson: 34:42 And God said, you need to pour into these men so they can be godly men. And I said yes, sir. I got that. And I had to adjust my schedule, the way I was living and what I was doing, just to make sure that they could see what it looked like to be a godly dad and they could be around a godly dad and that I could give them the time to listen to them and love them and encourage them and cheer them on and say, you can do it. See, that's a season.

Doyle Jackson: 35:07 What is your season? Just recently, just recently. I have this, this, this young man that that's a part of my life. I'm discipling him, I'm loving him and encouraging him and I'm talking to him about the Kingdom of God. And, I went to dinner with him and I said, "So tell me, alright, we've been, we've been talking for the past six months; you and I have been hanging out, spending some time together. Tell me, what have you learned over the past six months?"

Doyle Jackson: 35:31 He said, "Wow."

Doyle Jackson: 35:33 He sat there for a second. He really thought, and then he said, "Well, you know, six months ago I knew that I loved God because of my mom and dad."

Doyle Jackson: 35:43 He said, "God was God in my life because of Daddy and Mama." But, he said, "Over the past six months I've learned that he's my Jesus, that he's my Lord, that my father in Heaven loves me and that I have a relationship with Him."

Doyle Jackson: 36:08 I mean, you need to know I was in this restaurant and I'm ready to shout. I'm like, yes, he's got it! Because see, I know people that are still believing, you know, because of mama and daddy and they've never transferred it into their own count. They think that that they're going to get to Heaven because Papa loves Him. No, you're going to get to Heaven because Jesus loves you and you've confessed with your mouth and you believe in your heart that God loves you and that He raised his son from the dead. See, that's where the interaction goes.

Doyle Jackson: 36:44 I said, "Way to go." I said, "Okay, so what do you think God's doing in your life right now?" I'm asking this young man. I'm interviewing him. I'm just listening to him, trying to help him recognize.

Doyle Jackson: 36:51 And he said, "Well, you know what's really kind of neat?" He says, "Lately. I've shared my faith with several people."

Doyle Jackson: 36:58 And he said, "A couple of the guys that are in my building have accepted Christ."

Doyle Jackson: 37:05 And he said, "That's so exciting to me, that I'm learning how to share my faith." And he said, "It's like, it's like God is showing me who to talk to and when to talk to them and how to talk to them."

Doyle Jackson: 37:15 I said, "That's awesome. Sounds to me. Sounds to me like God's doing two things for you."

Doyle Jackson: 37:20 He said, "Yeah." He said, "Number one, He's given you a heart of evangelism and He's teaching you how to share your faith. That's really important, but number two, you're learning to recognize the Holy Spirit. You're learning to recognize how God can prompt you and lead you."

Doyle Jackson: 37:36 I said, "Sounds to me like you know what your assignment is for the next uh little section."

Doyle Jackson: 37:42 We're going to continue to learn how to share our faith and we're gonna learn how to recognize the Holy Spirit speaking into our lives so we can follow Him. See, do you believe that God has a plan for your life? He believes it. The question is, do you believe it? See, when you pray, you're reaching into eternity. You're touching God, and then He reaches through eternity to impact your life and you're supposed to then pour that into the world around you so they can experience eternity through you.

Doyle Jackson: 38:16 Now we're going to say this prayer and if you want it, and when we say this prayer, when we get done, I want you to just to pause and listen to God. And maybe he'll show you what your number one and your number two priorities ought to be right now, and you write those down. You write those down. You share that with your other friends. Maybe in your small group, you go to your small group this week and you talk about that. Or maybe you talk to, I don't know who you came to church with today. You say, well, I feel like God has this priority for me. And like me, with my friend, in the conversation with other Christ followers. That's how I like. I remember it to this day. It's so funny to me. When I went to my small group and I told them, "I think God's calling me into ministry," and they're like, really? You're just now getting that? We've been waiting for you to get a clue.

Doyle Jackson: 39:17 Invite God into the conversation. Now I want you to stay seated and we're just going to read this prayer aloud. I invite you to read it with me and then you just pause for a second and who knows what the Lord might show you. He may show it to you later this afternoon, but just pause for a minute. Give Him room to speak to you. You want to say this prayer?

Doyle Jackson: 39:36 Alright, here we go. Lord, help me to go before you at the first of every day. Right now, I place myself as a blank sheet of paper before your Holy Spirit. Would you write out what you want my priorities to be for this season of my life? Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 39:57 Lord, I just pray right now. I pray that you will speak to hearts and minds and Lord, some of us, we've never done anything like this before and this is kind of a strange notion. Just walk us through that. Lord, we want to know if there's things that we've been involved in that we need to adjust that involvement. We welcome your help. Give us the strength to do that. Lord as we leave this place today, let us not be afraid to talk to you this week just to share our heart, to listen to you. In Jesus' name, amen.

Doyle Jackson: 40:50 God bless you. If you need to take a moment, you have a moment, but, uh, have a great week. Alright? Have a great week.

Recording: 41:03 We hope you are encouraged and challenged to grow in your relationship with Jesus by this message. If you like to learn more about The Church Next Door, stop by our website at, or look for us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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