Pastor Jerry Locke
Another Sermon Series by Pastor Jerry Locke

4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135

Webmaster's Note: A Selection of 24 Single, Stand Alone Scripture
Sermons by one of our outstanding Independent Baptist Preachers,
Brother Jerry Locke, of Fort Worth, Texas. Enjoy!
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12 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
Jeremiah 33:3 - "A Single, Stand-Alone Scripture on Prayer"

Introduction - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
The Bible contains powerful:
Books...Genesis, John, Romans, Revelation
Passages...Genesis 1; Psalm 23; Isaiah 53.
Verses...Too Many to List

Most all Scripture needs a context for correct interpretation. Isolated verses are often the source of misinterpretation and ultimately heresy. The fact is, most Bible verses are not intended to stand alone.

But there are some single scriptures that are so powerful, so clear, so complete that they are able to stand alone. There are three things we are intending to do with each of these “single, stand alone” scriptures.

Memorize...Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” We will assign the scripture a week in advance to memorize.

Message...Organize and discuss these single scriptures.

Meditate… Psalm 1:2 ”But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

12 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
Jeremiah 33:3 - "A Single, Stand-Alone Scripture on Prayer"

1 Thessalonians 5:17 --- “Pray without ceasing”.

There are many great verses in the Bible that challenge us to pray.

Philippians 4:6 -- “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.”

1 Timothy 2:8 -- “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

Hebrews 4:16 -- “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

James 4:2-3 -- “Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your own lusts.”

Matthew 7:7 -- "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Before I concluded this series on “Single, Stand-Alone Scripture” God reminded me of a single, stand alone Scripture on prayer --— Jeremiah 33:3.

Prayer is at the same time the most demanding duty and the most precious privilege of the Christian. But this single Scripture is not a call to duty, so much as it is a declaration of privilege.

Prayer remains the most needed and the most neglected aspect in the life of the believer and the church.

Before developing Jeremiah 33:3, let me lay this foundation about prayer.

Praying is not something lost sinners are called to do. The lost sinner has rejected the only person who makes prayer available—Jesus Christ. The only One a lost person can call on is the Lord Jesus. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13. But before they can call on the Lord, they must “believe” in the Lord to the saving of their soul. “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Romans 10:14 follows.

A backslidden believer cannot benefit from prayer, until he or she repents and confesses their sin and gets back into fellowship with God. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Most Christians know more about prayer than they currently practice in their lives. David Hubbard reminds us that “praying rarely comes easy for us—despite the fact that we were made to pray. Birds don’t seem to have to struggle to muster up a song. Frogs need little exhortation to stir up their croaking. Dogs will bark at the slightest provocation. But prayer, which should be just as normal for men and women as singing is for birds, is hard to come by” (The Problem of Prayer is…p. 54).

I am hoping and praying that a careful look at Jeremiah 33:3 will get our prayer-life restarted and revitalized.

The Asking...Audience. “Call unto me.”

What a proposition! You and I didn’t think up prayer—God did! This was not conjured up around a conference table at some meeting of nations. Prayer is God’s idea. And the reason God is interested in prayer is because He is interested in you! Nothing in the universes matters more to God than what is going on in your life today.

What an invitation! You don’t have to pester God to get His attention. You don’t have to spend hours on your knees or carry a cross five miles or beat yourself with a rod or go without food for seven days to show Him you really mean business. He’s your Father; He want to hear what you have to say. In fact, He’s waiting for you to call .

Simplicity… “Call.” This can be done with the mind without the utterance of a single word.

Accessibility… “Call unto me.” The God of the universe invites you to speak to Him—at any time. Some people think, “Isn’t God busy keeping the cosmos in order. What interest would He have in hearing about my little problems.” God is never too busy. You won’t be put on hold. You don’t have to leave a message. You now have direct access to God, if you choose to take advantage of it. That access was made possible by the death of Jesus. The Bible informs us that when Jesus died “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom,” Matthew 27:51. Jesus’ death on the cross opened the way to God. You don’t have to be a priest to come into God’s presence. You don’t have to be in a special building to come into God’s presence. Romans 5:1 & 2 says, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.”

Audacity... “Call unto me,” God says. We are invited to go to the top! Talk to the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Infinite God invites finite man to call on Him.

You cannot ask too much and you cannot ask too often. God’s only rebuke is that we do not ask.

“If you were as sinless as Adam and as sufficient as Christ, prayer would still be the highest privilege and happiest experience of your life,” -- Dr. E. Harold Henderson.

The Answer. “...and I will answer thee....”

If there were no answer to prayer, it would be an exercise in futility. But God accompanies His invitation with a stirring motivation. He says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee".

It is almost too good to be true. He hears and responds when we pray. According to this second phrase, our prayers sends God into action in our behave. God answers prayer.

“If there be a God, Creator of the heavens and earth, the sustainer of all things, then it would be silly to quibble that He is unable to answer prayers, any king of prayers, and answer them to any extent; provided only that to answer the prayers would be right. God cannot lie, cannot sin, cannot be tempted. God ca, in His infinite power and authority, do anything that is right,” John R. Rice.

This is clearly Positive… “I will…”

There is a declared Promise… “...answer…”

This is absolutely Personal… “...thee…”

God answers prayer because:
He is listening.
He is interested.
He is able.
He is willing.

Phillip Brooks said, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold on His willingness.”

Skeptics argue that answered prayers are only coincidences, but as one man said, “Its amazing how many coincidences occur when one begins to pray.”

God answered the prayer of:
Moses when his weary arms were held high and his army defeated the Amalekites.
Hannah and gave her a son, Samuel.
Elijah with fire from heaven.
Jabez, granting him what he had requested.
Hezekiah, and healed his sickness and extended his life 15 years.
The Jerusalem church by senting an angel to deliver Peter from his prison to freedom.
God answers prayer!

How do we address the mystery of “unanswered prayers.”
“I’ve been praying…
...for my husband to stop drinking, and he came home drunk again last night.”
...for a job, but no one wants to hire a fifty-year-old middle manger.”
...for my wife’s health, but she is only getting worse.”

If the request is wrong, God says, “No”... answer denied! “No” is an answer to prayer --- it’s just not the answer we want.

If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow” ... answer delayed! “Wait” is an answer to prayer. God’s delays are not God’s denials. God’s timing is perfect. Wait on the Lord.

If you are wrong, God says, “Grow” ...answer is different. There are so many times that we are the problem to answered prayer. In 1 Peter 3:7 God tells husbands to dwell with their wives according to knowledge, ”that your prayers be not hindered.” You see, an unsettled relationship, 1 Peter 3:7, unholy motives, James 4:3, unconfessed sin, Psalm 66:18, an unforgiving spirit, Mark 11:24-25, and an unstable faith, James 1:5-8, will all postpone God’s answer to our prayers.

If the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says, “Go!” ...answer is delivered!

The Assurance --- “And shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

“God” things come in answer to prayer. "I will shew thee," God promised. God moves in answer to prayer. Jesus said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, THAT WILL I DO, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I WILL DO IT" John 14:13, 14. Again, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, HE WILL GIVE IT YOU . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" John 16:23, 24. We ask and God acts. That is the way prayer works.

Great things come in answer to prayer. "I will show thee great and mighty things," God promised. "Great" things mean big things, abundant things, many things, precious things, vast things and things which know no bounds. "Mighty" things indicate things requiring power, strength, force, ability and authority. God promised both "great" things and "mighty" things in answer to your prayers. Why do we delay to pray? We can see the power of God manifest in answer to prayer.

Guarded things come in answer to prayer. I will "show thee great and might things, which thou knowest not," God promised. Things that are hidden will be revealed when we pray. Workings of God which we have never seen will be revealed when we pray. Plans and purposes of God of which we have no idea will become clear when we pray. God only knows how much His children miss because they neglect the privilege of prayer. Remove any question from your mind at this point. God answers prayer.

I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know—God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late,
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought,
Will come in just the way I thought.
But leave my prayers to Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest. --- anonymous

Can you sense the hunger of God’s heart for someone who will believe Him and pray? Someone who will pray and be prepared to receive great and mighty things from the hand of a mighty God.

It is said that Sir Walter Raleigh came before Queen Elizabeth to request her to finance one of his expeditions. She asked, "Raleigh, when will you leave off your begging?" And he replied, "When her majesty leaves off her giving."

Do not quit praying until God quits answering, and you will never quit praying at all. God invites, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" Jeremiah 33:3.

Most Christians know more about prayer than they currently practice in their lives.

“The early church exerted the privilege of prayer. The church of today is in danger of deserting the privilege,” Jack Taylor.

G. Campbell Morgan has said, “Any discussion of prayer which did not issue in the practice of prayer was not only not helpful, but dangerous.”