Praying with Purpose in 2020
Text: Esther 5:1-6 (also, Esther 4:13-17)
Date: January 5, 2020
Speaker: Pastor Ulysses Stephen King, Jr.
Let's not get caught up in the enemy's distractions and end up only having a "hindsight is 20/20" mindset. That's a waste of time. We need to pursue walking in the best state of mind and vision NOW so that we are on time and on target for the year 2020.
“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord,” the Scriptures say, “and He will lift you up.” If we want real success this year, if we want to see our church, ministry, and community become a center of influence where lives are being changed and transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ—having fulfilled God’s purpose for your life—then it starts with humility; humility driving you to the foot of the cross, prayer and pleading with God to meet our every need.
We all want success. No one comes to a problem in life and says, “I hope I fail at this!” But what you have to do is be willing to redefine what success is. For the Christian, success is coming to the end of your life, having fulfilled God’s will for your life. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less. That is what Mordecai told Esther. He said, “You have to do this thing. Who knows whether this is your life’s purpose?” Regardless of the outcome, Esther was fulfilling God’s purpose for her life, and that is success!
This morning I want to challenge you to do two things in regard to the challenges you face. If you want real success in life; if you want to be guaranteed some level of assurance that you are doing the right thing, then you will need to practice this biblical principle: Elevate your view of prayer.
When Esther told Mordecai to pray, and to have all the people pray, she wasn’t asking as a formality or to sound spiritual. She knew that all her earthly success depended on the divine intervention of heaven. How often we are asked to pray, and yet we do not think enough to remember what we are to pray for, or we simply do not pray as though we were absolutely dependent on the God of heaven for an answer.
Author Richard Foster has said that “Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life.” In other words, when we are not praying, we are walking in the flesh, settling for carnality, destined for only what we can do. Listen; there is nothing that I can do that is worth anything. If I can do it and I don’t need God for it, then it was a very small and insignificant thing to start with. But when I pray for that which I cannot do, for that which is greater and higher and grander than me, I am compelled to throw myself at the feet of the Father and beg in earnest that He will do through me what I cannot do myself.
We must elevate our view of prayer. Prayer is no little thing. It is not a habit to be taken lightly or to discard as either a formality or an inconvenience. Prayer is not one of the things we are to do; it is the main thing we do.