The Book of Hebrews
Prayer is vital to the Christian. So when this fails, everything else seems to go. Listen to this sermon on Hebrews 10:19-22 as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the great fight man is engaged in. Look at the instruction Christ provided on the difficult task of prayer. Why is prayer difficult? Learn about the grandeur of entering into the presence of God. There can be no confidence in prayer until the accusing conscience is dealt with. Man's heart is polluted by sin, and he is desperately in need of a sincere heart. Look at the hope of Psalm 51 and passages in the New Testament that show the possibility of going before God in boldness! There is a new and living way – no longer bound to the temporality of priests who die. Find a firm foundation in the shed blood of the Son of God. Prayer is not merely psychology, it is God's way to walk in confidence before Him. There is a needed sincerity and purity of heart that is required. You must deal with your conscience. Christ was punished and He literally rose again. You cannot resist the devil without this doctrine. Deal with your one remaining problem and rejoice in the hope God has given.
Some say, “Doctrine divides, let’s focus on prayer.” But what is prayer without doctrine? Is prayer really the easiest thing we can do? Is it as simple as breathing? Can anyone go to God in prayer? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that prayer is not easy. It is extremely difficult. And here’s why: prayer is entering into God’s presence with a clean conscience and pure heart. How can anyone do this? It seems impossible. Our conscience condemns us. Our hearts prove our guilt. Yet, prayer is absolutely vital. It is essential to the Christian life. Listen to this sermon as the Dr. not only explains our problem in prayer, but shows the solution. We enter into prayer through the flesh of Jesus Christ. It’s through His incarnation and His death. Our punishment which the law required was placed upon Jesus Christ. It’s been dealt with; therefore, God cannot punish us again. Since the law is satisfied, our conscience is satisfied. How can we pray? It is through Jesus Christ and him crucified. Therefore, the Christian approaches the throne of God with fear, and also with great boldness. Lloyd-Jones points out: this is all doctrine. Thus, doctrine cannot be separated from our prayers.
Are you unhappy in your faith? Genuine Christians may lack joy in Christ as they lack certainty of their relationship with God. In Hebrews 10:19-22, the writer encourages the reader to have full assurance and draw near to Christ. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the chief problem: our conscience condemns us. In one’s nature, man is unable to come before the throne of God in prayer because of sin. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights the Old Testament temple practices of entering the Holiest of Holies and the work of the priest. This was the old way, one which required blood and priests. It was a kind of communion with God few would enter. This practice, however, paved the way to a new and better way. Through the blood of Christ, the vilest of sinners can enter the holiest of all. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that Jesus washes and sanctifies the believer, clothing them in righteousness, and fitting them for the presence of God. As the High Priest, Jesus has gone before them and has prepared a way for believers to commune with God. Therefore, let us draw near to God with a true heart having full assurance of faith. Listen and experience the joy of the Christian life.
What role does prayer play in your life? If you are a Christian, are you surprised by the amount of difficulties and trials you encounter? Perhaps when you trusted in Jesus for your salvation, you were under the impression that all the negative aspects of life would disappear. There is hope! As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims, Jesus, promised that along with the increase in trials, we will have His power and protection to persevere through difficult times. The power and protection is accesed through prayer. We find this in the letter of Hebrews as an example to encourage believers to pray through trials. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides three biblical characteristics that should be consistent in how we pray. First, we must pray with confidence in God’s ability to handle our requests. Second, we must have a clear conscience since prayer is entering into God’s presence. Third, Christians must be sincere with God, it is no use holding back 1% of ourselves since we must be willing to submit all of ourselves to Him and His sovereign plan. Listen as Lloyd-Jones helps the believer apply these characteristics of godly prayer to their lives. The only way to stand firm in persecution is to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!