Morning Prayer for Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist
Morning Chapel Prayer Today

Pastor Ken…

Good morning. Happy Wednesday!

We thank you, Lord, that you are truly all that we need. We just set our expectation on you this morning. We put our focus and we elevate our hope in you, knowing that you will never fail us, that you will always be with us. Even under the end of the age. Thank you, Father.

A change in our expectation…

I was reminded as we were worshiping that as believers… Well, let me say this first. That some wise person once said that all that is needed for us to change is a change in our expectation, a shift in what we’re hoping for, what we’re expecting.

Have hope in God…

And I’m reminded that the Bible echoes over and over throughout its pages that we’re to hope in God, have hope in Him. And hope is described as an “earnest expectation.” How many of you know that as Christians, as pray-ers, we ought to be the most earnestly expecting people on the planet because of what the blood has accomplished for us, because of what the Word reveals to us. Hope is someone sitting on the edge of his seat with an outstretched craning neck, looking for the next good thing that God is going to reveal.

It’s time to level up our expectation in God…

So I just want to announce this morning that it’s time to level up our expectation in God. That despite what we’ve been facing, what we’ve been going through, what our emotions are trying to dictate to us, that we should feel, we can hope in God today. Despite what happened yesterday, last year, last decade, maybe if it’s been really rough, we can get on the edge of our seats spiritually. We can with outstretched neck, look and expect and profess or announce over our lives that God is up to something good. As pray-ers especially. We ought to be a people who see beyond the present, that see beyond the messiness of the circumstances that may swirl around us in society or perhaps our own lives. And see through that with the eye of faith and see what God has revealed in His Word. See what God is preaching to us in our hearts.

Adopt a new attitude of mind…

How many of you know if you listen closely, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus is preaching a message 24/7 on the inside of you. He’s preaching a message, and that message is eternally hopeful. And so I just want to challenge you this morning as the Word declares in the New Testament, adopt a new attitude of mind. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus. That is the mind of Christ. And it is a mind saturated and completely and eternally hopeful and expectant that God is going to come through for you. In fact, God has already come through for you. Amen. God’s just working out circumstances and relationships and situations in this earthly realm. But from the eternal perspective, God has a plan. He’s already made a way before we knew we had a problem. He’s already factored in that the enemy would try to muddle and mess things up. And He’s already prepared provision, a strategy, answers, and a comeback for you and for me.

Pray “I hope in You, Lord…”

And so I think as pray-ers, one of the greatest and most important prayers we can pray on a daily basis is just simply to pray or to say, “I hope in you, Lord. I expect you’re coming through for me today. I with outstretched neck am looking for the salvation of the Lord in my life, in my situation, in my nation, in Israel.

The story of Benaiah…

In the scriptures, there’s a story that maybe isn’t too familiar to some Christians, but it’s found in the pages of 2 Samuel. And it’s the story of a man by the name of Benaiah. Who was a guy who had such hope and expectation and confidence in his God that one day, he chased a lion into a pit. And when most people would run, because their expectations was that they were going to get killed. His expectation that he was going to defeat or kill or slay that lion. And the Bible records that he went into that pit on a snowy day, in fact, and with his bare hands killed that lion.

How many of you know that, that didn’t look like a good situation to get into? But he had such hope and confidence and expectation in who God was and who God had revealed Himself to be to him that he knew and was confident that he was going to come out victorious despite the crazy life-threatening circumstance. And he did come out victorious.

And how many of you know that’s a good thing to put on your resume that you killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day, especially in ancient times. Because what looked like a defeat or instant death for him ended up being something that God leveraged and used to promote Benaiah to become ultimately the chief bodyguard for King David and over his security detail, you could say. Because I’m sure when David heard of what Benaiah did, he said, “I want that guy to protect me. If he did that, I want him by my side.”

An important element in prayer: expectation…

There’s a passage in a Psalm where David writes… I’m going to start in chapter 5:3. Actually let me read it from the New King James translation. Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. In the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” So in other words, that’s an important element to prayer, our expectation. We can’t just utter a request or pray a prayer of faith and then just go our way, all Negative Nelly.

Reset your reticular-activating system…

Instead, we must pray and then expect and look for the answer. Look for the results. Look for God coming through. Prayer should really reset our reticular-activating system. What’s your reticular activating system? It’s a part of your consciousness or your mind that determines what gets noticed. It’s your filter. You can’t notice everything. There are millions upon millions of things that stimulate and come at us in a sensory sort of way. And there’s a reticular activating system that God has set in your mind that determines what gets filtered out and what gets filtered in so that you see and notice certain things. Like the car coming down the street so that you can get out of the way. Right?

And prayer is to set our reticular activating system so that we have a hopeful perspective, and we look for the answer. We expect and look for salvation, look for opportunities, look for a shift in the momentum of our lives, in the spirit.

Lighting the altar fire…

So I just like what David said here: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. In the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” I like that. In fact, in the Passion translation in Psalm 5:2, it says, “Don’t you hear how I’m crying out to you? My king and my God. Consider my word. For I am calling out to you at each and every sunrise, you will hear my voice as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to you.” Which is interesting. The commentary in this particular Passion translation reads that the Hebrew word for prepare is a priestly term for lighting the altar fire. Preparing a sacrifice and laying it out in order upon the altar to be consumed. I like that. So, prayer is lighting the fire on the altar of your heart. Laying out a sacrifice of worship, of silence, of being present and waiting. Of requests, laying it out. And then looking and expecting the fire of God to come and consume it.

It goes on in verse three in the Passion translation to say, “Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and I wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.” The commentary reads “implied in the concept of preparing this morning sacrifice, or your prayers, the Aramaic text states ‘at dawn, I shall be ready and shall appear before you.’ That’s what David did. The Hebrew can also be translated, “I’ll be on the watchtower for the answer to come.”

Mark Batterson’s book “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day”

Now, can I read one more thing to you? This is out of a Pastor Mark Batterson’s book “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day,” which I highly recommend. I haven’t read it all the way through for years, but it’s such a good book. And it talks about how, while God isn’t the author of adversity and bad things, He will, without a doubt, work to redeem everything the enemy tries to do to attack us.

In fact, use it like in the case of Benaiah. He used it to promote him to a very high position in David’s kingdom. Of course, that’s the case with David as well. David faced off against many adversaries in his early days and those negative circumstances and challenges and adversities actually built his resume so that when the time was right, he was able to step into the office that God had called him to ultimately in Israel.

The more you pray, the higher your expectations…

But Mark writes in one of his chapters in his book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” that “low expectations are the byproduct of prayerlessness. But prayer has a way of God sizing our expectations. David can’t wait to see…” He’s referring to what we just read in Psalm 5. “David can’t wait to see what God is going to do next because he is living in prayer mode. The more you pray, the higher your expectations.” I like that.

If you’re not in prayer mode, then you’re in survival mode…

In other words, prayer sets your reticular-activating system to see what you and I need to see today. When we’re not in prayer mode, then we’re just in survival mode. And we’re going to see as the world sees. We’re going to live by sight rather than by what the Word says and what we truly believe. Amen.

And we’re entering in an hour and a time where it’s going to be demanded of us if we’re going to live as God’s called us to live, to live by faith, to live by the perspective and the lens of His Word, to live from our hearts. So that we can be at peace when maybe in the present moment, things aren’t working out so well. But yet we know who we are in Him. We know what He said about us and what we can do and who we are in His kingdom as kings and priests and royalty in the family and household of faith.

We can rest even in the midst of turmoil…

And so we can rest even in the midst of turmoil, even in the midst of tribulation times. We can rest and we can trust and we can rely and lean back, in fact, in confidence in Him. Our job isn’t to strive and struggle to figure it all out, but to daily be cognizant and to refresh our mindset that He has already figured it out. He has already made a way. Our job is to be consumed with what He has said about us, our identity in Him. What His Word has to say about our particular circumstances, our society, what He wants to do in America. Be so captivated and so caught up and tangled up in a good way in what God has revealed through His Word and to our hearts by His Spirit that we can’t see and we’re not impressed by what the enemy is doing to saber-rattler or strike fear at us in our hearts.

Be consumed with God’s perspective…

Faith comes from having a perspective of God and who He is. The Bible reads that Abraham became fully satisfied and assured that what God had promised, He was well able to perform. In other words, you can get to a place where you get so far out into God that you can be consumed with God’s perspective. You can see as He sees. Perceive as He perceives. You can cut through and see through the darkness and the chaos and the lens of your past and see that God is doing something new and that just like the sun rises in the east, so, too, you can see that the sun is rising upon your life, upon that situation, that relationship, that set of circumstances. God’s people and pray-ers in particular ought to be the most hope filled, expectant people on the planet.

You’ve got to “jack up” your hopes everyday…

The Bible reads, devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Watchful has an air of expectancy. So get your hopes up today. Bertha Copeland used to talk about how if you’re going to be in faith, you’ve got to have hope. Thereby to faith, hope and love, right? Hope is an earnest expectation. And he would say you’ve got to jack up your hopes every day. Get your hopes up. The world says, “Oh, don’t get your hopes up. You don’t want to be disappointed or discouraged.” No! God says, “I double dog dare you… get your hopes up. I’m going to come through for you.” It may not happen exactly when you want it to happen, and sometimes it doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen. But make no mistake about it, our God is faithful. He’s going to see you through. He’s not brought you this far to abandon you by the side of the road of life. No, He’s going to take you all the way. You’re going the distance.

Can I just prophesy this morning?

You’re going the distance with that dream that He’s put in your heart. You’re going to see it through. You’re going to cross the finish line in your race of faith as the Bible reads. So lean in with hopeful expectation today.

“Well, what if it doesn’t happen for me today or tomorrow or next week?”

That’s okay! God will have His way in His time. There’s always a timing involved in the plan of God. That’s part of faith, trusting in His timing and His way. Learning to just put your roots down as pray-ers, as believers. It’s time more than ever for us to just continue to sink our roots down deep into His perspective. And praying in the Spirit in particular calibrates your spiritual faculties, your heart to God’s perspective.

That must’ve been the case with Benaiah for him to intentionally chase a large feline into a pit on purpose on a snowy day. So you know it wasn’t going to be easy to get out of that pit, that he was in an ancient cage match, if you will. But he had such expectation.

Or King David! Think of King David, the guy that Benaiah worked for, who as a teenage, freckled-face kid went to bring some food out to his brothers on the battlefield when he heard Goliath. We all know the story.

He said, “How dare you, Goliath? Who do you think you are to attack and malign the God of Israel? How dare you?” And he walked out on that battlefield without hesitation.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some moments in my life, and I’d like to have some more of them, where I had such expectation that I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It took me a while to realize what I was doing, but I did something so bold, so confident, so out there that it was like, after the fact that I realized what I did. It was almost like I had an out-of-body experience because the faith of God took over in me. And I did some bold things that maybe you have to.

But you can get to a place where your faith rises up in you to such a degree that you get outside your mind and outside your natural, lazy, fearful, timid self. And you do the impossible because God is in you. God is looking for a people that will allow Him to be released within themselves, that we would become literally a sacrifice unto Him. Sacrificing our fears… sacrificing our will… our ways… and saying, “God, your will be done. Even if it goes against my natural personality. I know that if you’ve called me, I can do it because you will empower me.” And you will give me the faith and sustenance and the ability supernaturally. In other words, above and beyond your natural ability. That’s what He wants to do in this hour in us as pray-ers, as believers. He wants to add His super to our natural so that He stands out in a generation, so that signs and miracles can be a common occurrence posted about in stories and posts on social media.

God is wanting to be put on display…

Not us, but Himself through us, through the church. But that’s going to require us recalibrating ourselves with a new kind of perspective and expectation. One where we get up every day and say, “Lord, what’s up today? What’s next today? What good are you going to do in me and through me today? I make myself available. I turn my heart toward you in prayer and worship in gratitude. And I expect you to show up like David said in Psalm 5 to consume me with holy fire.”

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