The Kind of Prayer that God Listens To

This sermon teaches you how to pray in a way that glorifies God.

Chris Hilken
Mar 10, 2019    43m
This sermon teaches you how to pray in a way that glorifies God. Pastor Hilken uses verses from Matthew chapter six to remind us of how Jesus taught us to pray. He says that it's not how fancy the prayer is, but that prayer is meant to be personal conversation with the Father, with the intention being to glorify God. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

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.

Chris Hilken: 01:07 What's up Cornerstone? Good to see you guys today. We are in The Book of Matthew chapter six, in the series where we're walking through the teachings of Jesus. This is the most controversial figure who has ever lived. He split time from AD to BC, from BC to AD. The things that he taught were foundational and fundamental to everything we understand our world today. He was crucified for his beliefs, which were considered radical at the time. And we now, 2000 years later, exist and we're in church today because of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The idea that someone 2000 years ago, could have such an impact that we would still gather in his name, shows that this book that records who this person is, is not to be taken lightly. So as we opened his word today, and we learn about this most controversial figure, and what he taught. May we all lean in to what we're going to be discussing today.

Chris Hilken: 02:02 Now, if I'm you, which I'm not, and I'm sitting here today. If I told you the topic we're teaching about, it would probably have caused me to go. Cool, I can take the day off, right? You didn't lose an hour of sleep last night, like those suckers in California. Am I right? Am I right? Bunch of losers. So, anyway, I get to fly home to a bunch of tired...I've got four kids at home in Oceanside, and they don't know that daylight savings time happens, so they don't really give my wife a break. So I'll be going home to that. But you guys learned out here, why not just not change your clocks? You guys are brilliant, that should be passed over to the west coast.

Chris Hilken: 02:42 But as I said here today, today we're talking about Jesus's teaching on prayer. And when someone tells me, hey, time for a sermon on prayer. I go, perfect nap time. Because let's be, I mean, heaven forbid we're honest in church, but let's be real. Is there anything in the Christian life that is more prototypically drole drumming, mundane, droning, inauthentic? I mean when we talk about prayer, which is like one of the two main ways that God communicates with us. Is the word of God, reading his text, and then communicating with him through prayer. Now let me remind you who God is. He created everything. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, all of time, space, the whole continuum was began when he spoke it to be that way. Everything in science now points to there being an inception point at which everything began, we now know that point to be this one singularity principle. God's spoken into the nothingness, and created everything. He created everything we know today. He created existential thought. He created music. He created everything we do in our lives, in our marriages. He created even the most blushing of topics that we don't like to talk about in church. When we began to procreate as people, this wasn't a shock to God. The method, the means and the process by which we do that. God made that any called it very good. This is an interesting God. In the Bible. He's going to speak through the mouth of a donkey. He's going to speak through people who are broken. He's going to take a terrorist named Paul, and turn him into a Christian follower. And he's going to plant churches.

Chris Hilken: 04:20 The reason you sit here today is because it terrorist once planted a church, somewhere around the Mediterranean, that's why you're here. Because a man named Paul was taken, and was blinded by a powerful light, Jesus redeemed him into his people. And then that's the reason we sit here today, it's because of terrorist decided he was going to follow Jesus. There's nothing that could be more interesting about this character, He was crucified on a cross, so get this whole thing out of your mind about he's just some Mr. Rogers character. He wasn't. It's really hard to crucify Mr. Rogers. I've tried, it doesn't work. No, I haven't tried. But imagine you can't convince people to do that. So what he did is he came and he toppled the whole system. Women are used, abused and thrown out in their culture, He lifts them up and they are the ones by what she announces his messiahship. They find the empty tomb. If you're religious, the religious precepts that you do fast, pray, giving, this is what religion is all about. God throws all those things out and he says, I have come to pronounce an end to religion. People were looked down on because they were lesser than, and he uplifts those who are broken. He takes the whole system, and turns it upside down. If you want to be great in my kingdom, you must be the least. If you want to be first, you must be last.

Chris Hilken: 05:35 And now this God whom all these attributes are true of, when it comes for us communicating it with him, we go, how much until I can just call myself a Christian? Like what level of communication do I have to have before I'm really not a very good Christian? And then whatever that bar is, we hit it, but we like to do it before we're falling asleep, right? When do we communicate with God? When I'm as tired as I can be, or it's this dole drumming mum bum. This is how we pray. But who in the world would consider a healthy relationship?

Chris Hilken: 06:07 Hold on. Sorry, my phone's ringing. That's my wife. Hold on. Hi baby, yeah, I'll be landing tonight. Could you make sure that you can pick me up from the airport, and have some food in the car for me and make sure the kids are dressed and ready to go? And yeah, just be safe on the way to make sure that no one gets hurt. And oh, on the way home we can stop by the furniture store on the way home, that would be great. If we could have enough money to actually purchase furniture, that would also be great. Okay, bye.

Chris Hilken: 06:31 Anyway, sorry. How's my wife doing? I don't know, I didn't ask. And imagine if that was the way that we communicated, and then imagine if I timed it. And I went, okay, what's healthy for, what's considered good communication with my wife? And you went well, I mean we really should be talking to our wife every day. Oh man, every day, pray continuously, I've got to talk to her all the time, man. Well, what's the least I can do, and still be considered married? Anyone want to be in a marriage with me? No you don't, no one. Sign me up, I want the guy who...But that's kind of how we deal with prayer.

Chris Hilken: 07:22 Pastor, how much can I not read my Bible, and I'm still a Christian? And then when it comes to prayer, how much do I have to do every day, so I can be in? You know what, I'm pretty sure this is what Christ died for. When he hung on that cross, he's like, I can't wait to create a religious system by which my followers, who I call into relationship are constantly talking about how little they can do and still be considered in? It is finished. Right? Like what kind of garbage is that? And it's not because he's not fascinating, it's not because he's not interesting. It's because Satan, the enemy, has taken something so beautiful and has told us lies about it. And then we've created this inauthentic version, and we hate being inauthentic. In our world we hate inauthenticity, and yet we thrive in it in the church. And this is kind of the indictment that the outside world has towards the church in general. That we go, we're driving to church, were smacking our kids in the back seat were screaming at Sally because she won't put her shoes on. Billy can't find his shoes anywhere. So we're screaming, we're all frazzled. Then we open our doors and we go, all right kids, time to worship Jesus. And we open the doors and we walk out, and we float in the door, and this is just our experience at church. Billy, Billy, get over here, and Billy Billy do the Bible verse you said the other night. Oh ho ho, Billy and his Bible verses, he loves Bible verses. Sally do the thing you do when you sing that hosanna, she's singing hosanna again, that's beautiful. It's like did you just become British? Yes, that's what the Lord requires. That's how we know we're doing it right, when the British accent comes out.

Chris Hilken: 09:05 And our kids, they're leaving the church in droves. Why? They're looking for something authentic. They want something real. We want something real, and then prayer comes along. And maybe the most horrifying sentence in my life, which I shouldn't admit because I'm a pastor. The most horrifying sentence is when I'm in a group of people, like 10 people, and someone says, we're just going to do a popcorn prayer. Pray as long as you feel led, and then I'll wrap up at the end. I always think to myself like, but do we have to do that? Can't we just have the one guy pray for all of us? And then the prayer starts, and then it's like everyone's like, here we go, right? And then it's like a competition, it's like the ation competition. When I say ation, I mean how many words can I say that end in A, T, I, O, N. God, Dear Lord Heavenly Father God, we come before you today with the justification of the sanctification, and the salvation of the tribulation of the manifestation of your spirit, Lord. And then you're sitting around going, oh man, this guy is good, right? You guys are like in a prayer circle, and you're like dang it. And then it gets to the new believer, and they're like, God, my marriage is in shambles. It's like you don't get it, not one ation in your whole prayer. And then it's your turn and you're like, oh, I see your Dear Lord Heavenly Father God, and I raise you Son of Man, Christ crucified. Ready? Dear Lord Heavenly Father God Son of Man, Christ crucified. Uh...Right? And it's just this we start to pray, and then at some point in the process, I wonder if God's over here like making a sandwich. Like, are you're talking to me? Because it doesn't seem like you are. It seems like you're praying for each other, not praying to me. Or you're praying for a checklist to be checked off, and you're not praying to me. Please invite me when you're ready to be authentic. Please, please invite me when you're ready to have a real conversation.

Chris Hilken: 11:11 And this is why prayers become so disinteresting for us, because it's not what we really are thinking about, or talking about. We're a whole bunch of people walking around in spiritual blindness, who have no clue which way is up. We are so broken by our depravity in our current condition, and yet we walk boldly and we go, God, here's what I want, give it to me. And then there's this weird like sprinkling of pixie dust of the holy spirit that we put in our life. And it's here's my life, here's the best I can do, and God, I better get a little bit of that extra Juju at the end. God here, I'm going to do everything I can to get a promotion. And oh, just I got to cover my spiritual base as well, God give me the promotion. And we're done, we're like, I couldn't have done anymore. I came to the end of all that I had, and then I prayed like I'm in the position possible. But inauthenticity for us, it's the most gnawing, nauseating thing. And especially as believers, because we are blood bought, and we are redeemed. Your identity is found in Christ who is never changing, he's the same yesterday, today and forever. We have no reason to fake anything, and we do it, perhaps, more than the outside world around us, at least outwardly. And for a long time inauthenticity in church was great, we loved it, and it almost destroyed the church.

Chris Hilken: 12:27 We want big stained glass, everything's got to be like plated in gold, and then when we went to church, we had to make sure we drove really nice stuff. And the televangelists, here's my really nice car, and here's my really nice helicopter it, and here's my really nice plane. And you raise money for the new football stadium that I'm going to build as a pastor, and we went, yay, yay, yay, yay, this is what God is all about. That was the same generation where Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch were thriving. When you went to the store and you could buy one thing over here that was $6 at Walmart, and then you bought the exact same article of clothing with holes in it at Hollister and it had like an eagle on it, and we went, I will pay $1,000 for that shirt. Why? Because then you could walk around and everyone went, you pay $1,000 for clothes, that's awesome. And when I was like a little kid when I was growing up, and you're like, oh, that was like, okay, I'm 30. But when I was a little kid, they were like lines out the door of Hollister, and you would like take your picture next to the buff, like mostly naked guy. You know what I'm talking about? Remember that guy? He was like, I work at Hollister. It's like, okay, do you know what two plus seven is? No, it doesn't matter. But that guy would stand at the doors and he was like, you want a picture with me? I'm like, no guy, you sweaty weirdo, I'm not going to get a picture with you. And then, but then when I was a kid, if you shopped at Goodwill, everyone went, what are you doing there? Why are you at Goodwill? We had like crazy dress day when I was a kid, and we went to Goodwill, and my mom literally stayed in the car, she's like, it's Goodwill. Now if you show up this summer wearing Hollister, everyone's like, what is your problem? Why do you get that eagle on your chest, right? And if you shop at Goodwill, then what? You're awesome, right? And it's like, hey, good find. I got this for $2 and everyone is like, that's awesome. Why? Because our world right now thrives, we want something real. Social media, fake. Facebook, fake. Instagram, fake. The way that we present ourselves, fake. The way that our whole skin, our body, other things on our body, fake.

Chris Hilken: 14:22 And Jesus came to pronounce freedom. Freedom from inauthenticity, freedom from fake, freedom from brokenness, freedom for the captive. Isaiah 61, "To pronounce new life." Not to bring good things great, or to bring okay things into good, but to make dead things alive again. And we've lost it, we've lost it, and our prayer is a direct reflection of that. We're speaking, God enter into the world that I have built, and give me that extra level of spiritual joy that I need, give me that extra little bit of Juju and chance and luck that I need. And that's what prayer is, when we're done with everything we can do, God sprinkle on a little bit of that extra luck, and then I'm done. And I just don't think that when we approach God in prayer with this justification, sanctification, prayer. And they're really big and worry, and we're praying for a long time, and were praying over one another. And I just don't think that Christ came and died on a cross for that, I just don't think he did. That's what Hebrews four says, "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our pain, but in every way became just like we are." "That we as his children, as adopted sons and daughters, Romans eight reminds us, we can approach God's throne of grace with confidence." But as his children, as kids. The innocence of the prayers of my kids to me, obviously they don't pray to me, but their requests of me or their talk to me. They don't know how to be fake, and sometime it's like, wow. When my son, like when I go into his room at night, and he's just been disciplined. And he's like, I don't feel good about myself, I'm really mad at you. I don't go, hey, what happened to faking it my man? You can't be mad at me, that's not how relationships work, you fake it till you make it my man. No, I listened to that, I love that. I couldn't imagine walking into his room when he's bawling his eyes out and going, everything's fine, I just really need to raise at work, and the car's in the shop and you..I don't want to deal with that, I want to deal with you. I want to know who you are, what you want, the brokenness of who you...that's what God died for. He didn't come to begin religion, he came to pronounce an end of it. It's over. That's that word of the cross to tell us, die in the Greek. It is finished, and it remains complete to this day. It's in the present perfect, in the Greek. Yes, sure, I did it on the cross, but it's always done. It is finished, but it remains complete. We don't have to put on a facade.

Chris Hilken: 17:02 And there is a point in scripture where Jesus is asked boldly, how should we pray? Here's the answer. I'm going to begin at Matthew chapter six, verse five, Matthew chapter six, verse five, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites." Okay? So the hypocrites where the people who used to perform in the ancient near east, there's all these kind of Colosseum places, but they call them hippodromes. And hippos is the Greek word for horses. So if you went to go watch the hippos races, you would go to the hippodrome, and you would watch the hipposes race. But at halftime during the hippos race, the horse race, there'd be these people who would come out and they would perform the tragedies or the stories of their people groups. So if you are in Greece, you would go to the hippodrome, you'd watch the horse races. When they were getting the next set of horses up, then you would walk in, and you would play. Just like, you would put on a performance and you would have masks, and you'd put on different masks depending on what character you were. And the people who performed in the hippodrome we're called hippo crits. The actors of the hippodrome. Crit, hippo, actors of the hippodrome. So they would put on masks, they would go, look, I'm a villain, now I'm a good guy, now I'm a woman, now I'm a man. Right? And they would wear different masks. And so Jesus's declaration here is simple, don't be an actor, don't act. Ooh, what is that about? Don't put on a mask, don't have a church mask, and then a job mask, and then a home mask. And then when you're alone with your wife, how you treat her mask, and then when you're going to be a good parent, don't do that. Don't be like hypocrites. Don't be like someone who performs in the hippodrome, don't be an actor. They love to praise any of the synagogue, and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly, I tell you, they received their reward in full. So if we pray in order that others think that we are spiritual, and we go look at me, I'm prayin, then our objective is to have glory in the eyes of men. And in that case, when I pray loud, and I pray with big words, and I pray really fancifully, and people around me go, wow, that was great. Then guess what? I'm done. My objective make men glorify me, my accomplishment I made men glorify me, the end. Mission was stated, mission was completed.

Chris Hilken: 19:41 And God goes, and when that happens, God's over here going, what do I have to do with that process? You sought the glory of mankind, which is what pride is. Pride is to compete with God for his glory. You competed with me for my glory, you sought it from man, man gave it to you. Why would I be listening to your prayer? You weren't talking to me, you were talking for men. It says they received their reward in full. That's this word [inaudible] in the Greek, it means that the invoice, the invoice of their prayer was paid in full by man. But, verse six, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen. Then your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." Now listen, that doesn't mean that if we pray in public, we're doing something wrong. It's saying that it's all about motivation. In the section before this, it talks about giving. It says when you give, don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. So it's a hyperbolic phrase, he's using hyperbole. Clearly, if you give, A-Your hands don't have brains, so your left hand can't know what your right hand is doing, that doesn't make any sense. And when we give, we can't withhold half of our body from knowing what the other half is doing, that's impossible. But what God is saying, is he's saying, make it as if your intention should be that you give to glorify me. Not even that you, yourself, are seeking glory for yourself. Don't even let your left hand seek glory from your right hand or vice versa, so he's using hyperbole. So then he says, and when you pray, if you've got an issue with your intention of prayer, if you've got an issue with why you pray, if you think that praying is to get something for yourself, or the main objective of prayers to look good to other people, let me give you a great starting point, pray by yourself. It'd be really difficult for you to seek approval from others, if you're praying by yourself.

Chris Hilken: 21:28 So he says, let me begin you in a place where you can kill this habit of praying for others, but you're going to hear me pray at the end of this message, you heard Tim pray to close out worship. We can't go, excuse me, Matthew six, only pray alone. Jesus prays in public all the time, it's all about intention. It's not where your feet are, or if there's other feet around you, it's where your heart is and the hearts of those around you. That's when prayer makes a difference. Then your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Bingo. Isn't that a promise then to get what we want in prayer? As long as we pray then, with the intention of giving God glory, is this not a promise then that he's going to give us what we want? If I earnestly seek the king in the quiet of my own room, in his glory, not my own, it then says he will reward me. The issue is in 21st century postmodern American, when we read this, we think then you're going to give me what I asked for. That's not what the text says, it says you will be rewarded. If you guys have something to write with, I'd circle that phrase, circle the phrase reward, we're going to draw a line of something here in a second. "

Chris Hilken: 22:49 And when you pray, do not keep babbling on like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." Which tells us ipso facto, you're not heard because you talk a lot. Well, doesn't the Bible say pray continuously? First of all, Cheryl, that's not what that means, okay? Anyone who prays continuously would be completely incapable of doing anything else that we're called to do as Christians. You couldn't love your neighbor, if all you did all day was to pray in this fashion, you would be an ineffective. You'd be a monastic, and that's not what we're called to be as people. So what does pray continuously mean? It means, first of all, you don't need to make prayer this really big ritual, where every time you pray you are like, hmmmmmm. Pray continuously, as you're walking into a meeting, you're just going, hey God, would you be with me in this? Right? Even the other day, like my wife's pregnant. And you're like, what are you doing? Sorry. Someday you'll have to explain me how this keeps happening. So they, the doctor, calls us and just says, hey, your 20 week ultrasound came back, everything looks great. And even in that moment I just thought to myself, oh great, everything's great. And then it hit me and I went, did I? What? What? What am I doing? And so I stopped in that moment, I didn't like, but it was just...I sat there and I went, God, you are so good, thank you so much for that coming back the way that it was. And if they made a mistake and something isn't what they thought it was, may you be glorified. Like that's just it, it's pray continuously in everything that you do, as you're going throughout your day. But don't keep babbling on when you're praying, that's not...The other thing, it's really hard for us to remember, God doesn't listen to your prayers when you pray them. Let that sit for a second. So your whole Dear Lord Heavenly Father God, would you just come into my life right now, and would you make sure that you are the great healer, you are the....And it's like, whoa. Like if you talk like that, then pray like that. But if you talk like this on a normal basis, then you go into like, hey...It's like what are you? You're an auctioneer all of a sudden? Like what is your problem?

Chris Hilken: 25:11 Let me, before you get all mad, and sent a whole bunch of comment cards. Romans eight says this, "In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for." Is that not shocking to us? In your most earnest of focused, of vision casting, laser ingrained perspective in your life. The Bible makes one thing very clear, you have no clue what you should pray for. Yes I do, I know what I want. Don't yell at me, the Bible says, "You do not know what you ought to pray for." You just don't. Well then, why do we pray, if God doesn't hear our prayer? Here's why, because the spirit intercedes for us through wordless [inaudible]. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit, because the spirit intercedes for God's people, in accordance with the will of God. Which means, our broken prayer down here is received by the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us, and then it's translated to God, into what we ought to actually pray for.

Chris Hilken: 26:24 The way that I liken it to, is imagine if I held up a sheet of paper and there was a circle on it and I said, Cornerstone, what does this look like to you? And you would say, that looks like a...Oh. And then what if I painted that circle orange and said, Cornerstone, what does it look to you? And you would say an orange circle. And then I said, what if this was your life, and every time you got on your knees to pray, and every time that you prayed in your bed, and every time you prayed with your family. I handed you this piece of paper and I said, with this perspective, pray for that circle. You might go, well I just think this circle should be bigger? I think it should be smaller. I think we should change its color. I think it should be a square. I think it should be over here. Oh, I think it should be over there. But your whole life is fixated on this idea of what that orange circle could, or might, mean. Now, what if I finished that little trivia question by saying, what is this, and you said an orange circle. And I said, no, you're so far off, that's a rivet on the second colonnade of the Golden Gate Bridge that holds up the second mast. The tension power on it is x. It was put there in this year, it's going to be replaced in this year. It's this big because of this reason, it's this small because of this reason. It helps this many cars drive across it every day, it's able to hold this much weight because of the way that it...And you would go, how was I supposed to know that? It looks like an orange circle to me. So is our life, our life is this little, it's...

Chris Hilken: 27:56 Isaiah forty five God makes it clear. He says, "Your ways are not my ways, nor are my thought your thoughts, declares the Lord. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are his thoughts greater than mine." Which means that we are closer in understanding to a two year old, than to God. If God is infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, he's omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, all the Omnis, omnibenevolent, he's all those things. That means he's infinitely that way, which means in our understanding, are you closer in understanding to a two year old, or to God? Two year old. Now does anyone truly listen to the prayers of a two year old when they ask you for something. Imagine if in your life, when you were four, God gave you everything you asked for. First of all, everyone would be dead around you, right? You would be dead from all the food that you ate, right? And from all the sugar that you consumed. Every day would be Halloween, right? These are the prayers of a four year old. And when you're four you think that that's your world, you just exist to get more candy, and everything is just one big trial to receive more sugar and sweets, right? Your whole world is there. Now imagine a twelve year old babysitting a four year old. And the twelve year old looks at the 4 year old and goes, oh, you don't understand anything about life. And now imagine being an eighteen year old looking at the twelve year old going, what did you just say? Jessica, who wasn't invited to Brad's party, and you cried for seven hours on Thursday night, do you understand the world? To which any of us who are older than eighteen look at the eighteen year old and go, do you think you understand the world? The eighteen year old goes, yeah, I'm in college. I took a philosophy class. The only thing more dangerous than someone who's never taken a philosophy class, is someone who has taken one. I totally. Well, it's like what Dukartis said? It's like, okay, that's not how you say his name. First of all, it's Dukart. And secondly, you do not think, therefore you are not. Okay? That was a joke. Sorry. At least now I know who's taken philosophy in here.

Chris Hilken: 30:08 But now imagine, I'm 30. and I look back at myself at 25 when I had my first kid. It was the first I taught at North Coast Church. It's a church, we have 13,000 people that come to our church every weekend. They put me on stage at 25 years old. Idiots. To look back on it, I go, who would ever listen to that moron? And now I'm 30, and you who are older than me go, you have no clue. I've got four little babies, and you're like, you don't know what raising teenagers like. And you're right. I've survived this point in my life where I go, I know nothing, and it's gone really well for me so far. Like true knowledge is to know the extent of my own ignorance. I know nothing about the world, and things are going better now than they ever have before. But I guarantee you at 35 years old, I'm going to look back on myself today, and you're going to be the victims of my talk today. You're the victims, because then when I'm 35 and look back, I'm going to go who listened to that guy? The answer is, you did. Now, fortunately we're grounded in the scripture, so if he's going to talk through a donkey and talk through a terrorist, I think I qualify for at least one of those things.

Chris Hilken: 31:16 But, I don't see this pattern stopping in my life. Now imagine our prayers that we throw up to heaven, and God going, you're closer to the understanding of a two year old when it comes to the big picture of the universe, than you are to getting the smallest glimpse of why you're here, and what you do, and what you're meant for. It's all born into who god is as a person, as a deity, as a god. He sees the whole bridge, and we see this rivet, but we are consumed with the rivet. But don't worry, you're not responsible for your own prayers, but you're given permission to pray boldly. And then it says, the spirit takes that prayer, it intercedes, and gives it to God and says, here's what they really need.

Chris Hilken: 31:59 How should we pray? Jesus says this, Matthew chapter six, "Our father who art in heaven." So it begins with us remembering that we can only approach the throne of grace because God has saved us from ourselves. For thousands of years before Jesus came into the world, you couldn't call God father because he wasn't, and you weren't his son or his daughter. We were given the spirit of adoption through [inaudible] the cross. But we don't even trip over that phrase anymore. We begin our prayers with our father, and we go, wait, did you just called the God who made quarks, and subatomic particles, and the mountains, and sexuality, you just called him dad. And that was not, you didn't have a hiccup. Hey, Father, and it's like, did you just let me call you dad. Our father, remember the relationship in heaven. And then there's three different petitions here. Let your name be holy, in other words, you are perfect. Your kingdom come, in other words, you are powerful. Your will be done, in other words, you know, you know the will of the world and I don't. So these are three things we proclaim. God, you are holy, that's what the word hallowed means. You are holy, you are perfect, right? You are perfect, I am not. You are powerful, I am not. Your will is good, and mine is bad. But you're a father, and you know and love me better than I know and love myself. Then God gives us, even though we don't know what to pray for, he says request. We are body, soul, mind, and spirit, and God goes make requests of all four of those things. Don't worry, I'll have it translated. But then Jesus says, for your body, pray for physical health. Give us today our daily bread, a physical request. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, that's a relational request. Lead us not into temptation, there's a mental request. Deliver us from evil, that's a spiritual request. In full light of who I am, have no issue making all of your request to me, spiritual, relational, mental, physical. God says, bring them up I want to know that, I want to know what you want, but understand the spirit's going to intercede and give us what we need to bring about Christ's likeness in our life. That's the answer to the reward from above, the reward that you circled above. If you want to tie it down to the idea of his will, your will be done. Our reward is that our broken spine of a soul, that's it's all warped and dilapidated and weird and out of sync because of sin, because of brokenness. This is how our conscience and the way that we see the world, our moral fiber looks like this.

Chris Hilken: 34:30 The prayer of a righteous man in a righteous woman is not, God, bend yourself around my will, it's God align my broken spine to your perfection. This is what the calling of prayer is. Prayer is not to get something, it's to know someone. Prayer is not to get something, it's to know someone. It takes the focus from my problems, to the problem solver. This is the goal, and objective, of prayer. It's not to change my circumstances, it is Dear Lord in your mercy, please change me. Would you just change me? It's how the same two people at the exact same circumstance, and come to two different conclusions. Because they've had a change of themselves, even though the circumstances are exactly the same. And Jesus demonstrates this for us, he says, make it clear if you don't understand who I am, that is point and pivotal.

Chris Hilken: 35:26 If you're not a follower of Jesus, that's where you begin today. If you walked in this room, you don't get this whole Jesus thing, let me help you with something. Until you submit your life to God, your prayers don't go any further than the ceiling, he doesn't listen. He listens to the prayers of his children, who are blood bought because of the cross. So if you're here and you're new to this thing, welcome, we love that you're here. It's awesome that you're in attendance. We think this is the most important thing in the universe, is to understand who God is. But it's not religion, you can't be a little bit Buddhist, and a little bit Hindu, and a little bit Muslim, and in a little bit Christian, that's not how this thing works. God doesn't share thrones, and so it begins with us understanding, in full view of salvation, who our God is. We're able to call him Father, Abba, due to the adoption of sonship that Romans eight tells us about. Then three things, you are holy, I am not. You are powerful, I am not. Your will is good, and mine is bad. Therefore, give me today my daily bread, or if not, that's your will. Give me help in my relationships, if it be your will. Give me health in my mental health, if it is your will. Deliver me from the evil one, a spiritual request, if it is your will. But if it brings you glory to keep my circumstances the same, then not my will, but yours be done.

Chris Hilken: 36:42 This is Matthew twenty six, I'm going to end with this. Jesus puts his money where his mouth is in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane literally means, the place with the olive press. So the way that you make olive oil is you take olives and you put them around this thing, and you put an extremely heavy weight on them until you press them so hard, they begin to bleed olive oil. The Garden of Gethsemane or [inaudible] means, the place of the olive press. Where we watch our King being pressed so intensely that it says, he begins to bleed through the pores in his head. His sweat turns to blood as he's rupturing different arteries in his head, because of how intensely he does not want to walk to the cross. But listen to his prayer, it's echoed from Matthew six, "Going a little farther, he fell on his face to the ground as a symbol of surrender. My father, (the same way) Father, if it is possible, your will, you and perfect power, in perfect holiness, may this cup be taken from me." So he makes a request, Jesus makes a request. And says he making a physical request. He know that his spirit is going to be tried. He knows that his mental state is going to be pressed. He's going to be stripped naked and put on a cross in front of everyone that he created, humiliated, drag to the streets of the cities that he built to die on a hill that he created. And then a spiritual one. Keep temptation far from me. If it is your will let this cup pass from me. And then Jesus demonstrates even the king himself when he prays to the father because he found in human flesh, he submits that his will in that moment is not perfect because what he wants is bound in his flesh. Is he perfectly God? That moment, yes, but he's also full human. So he says, there's this moment right now where everything in my flesh, she says, my spirit is willing, but my body is weak. In the weakness of my condition, would you please not make me suffer? But the prayer of a righteous man, a righteous woman always has that word in it, but yet a conditional that says, in my brokenness, I make this request, I request this of the orange circle, but you who sees the bridge, not my will, but yours be done. Matthew 26 gives us that perfect example of Jesus in communication with the Father. There's no babbling on, there's no long “ation” words. It's just a son before a father saying, would you please, but if not, not my will, but yours be done.

Chris Hilken: 39:35 I remember teaching at Hume Lake five years ago now, and it's a big camp up in central California. And my wife was eight months pregnant with my son Peyton, and you'd have to do your kick counts every day that late in the pregnancy, and you're supposed to get a certain number of them per hour. And Peyton hadn't moved, my wife hadn't felt Peyton move in eighteen hours. And I taught on suffering that night to the students. And I said, Jesus didn't come so that you wouldn't suffer, instead in suffering we can become more like Christ. I taught about the importance of Romans 5:3-5, "We rejoice in our sufferings, suffering, produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character hope, and hope does not disappoint us." James chapter one, "The suffering is able to create the..." So I taught all about suffering, and I get back to my room and my wife was just crying. And she's going, the baby's not moving, hasn't moved all day. I said, well have you eaten spicy food? Have you drank a lot of sugar? Have you tried jumping jacks? I mean like, what do you mean? What do you mean? What do you mean? What do you mean the baby hasn't moved? We didn't know if it's a boy or girl, the baby's just not moving. So I'm sitting on the bed, and putting my head underneath her stomach. And every time her heartbeats, I'm going, oh no. That was just her heartbeat. That was...and now my tears start to flow out and I'm so mad. And I start praying out loud, like, is this it? Is this your big plan? You go to Hume Lake Chris, and you get in front of all 1500 high school students, you start talking about suffering. And then don't worry, I'm going to usher you into the pit of it. So now you're going to go, you'll really have a good testimony tomorrow, Chris. I can't wait until you get on stage tomorrow and talk about how you had this late term, just dead, dead baby, or I still got to give birth to this. Are you kidding me?

Chris Hilken: 41:24 You know I truly believe, I believe that those are the kinds of prayers that Christ died for. The brokenness of our world saying, this is not how I made it. God didn't make a world where babies die. God didn't make a world where we have miscarriages. That's not the world God made. In our autonomy, we rebelled. This is the world we now live in, and he sits beside us and he weeps. And my wife is sometimes is the greatest pastor ever to me. Opens her mouth to pray and says, God, we would love to walk this little girl down the aisle. If it's a girl. We would love to see him do something great with his life if he's a guy. But ultimately his life is yours, and if it brings you glory, not our will, but yours be done. As I'm thinking to myself like there's that orange circle. As she prayed that, our son just started kicking crazily, and I'm not saying that to go well, as soon as you understand pray in the right context, God gives you everything you want. But God did reward us in that moment, and it's not because my son came back to life, I don't even think that that's actually what happened. Maybe it is, and if so, to God be the glory. But do you know what changed in that moment? I did. And to this day my prayer is still, you entrusted Peyton to me, you entrusted Harper and Brady and Calvin. You're entrusted all these kids to me, but they're yours, and if it brings you glory, let it be so. Here's my circle God, here's what I want, but not my will, but yours be done. Prayer is not about getting something, it's about knowing someone. It's about knowing who I am, in light of who he is. And knowing him, understanding then who I am.

Chris Hilken: 43:01 Let's pray. God, would you just a break our hearts for what hurts you? God, I apologize for my life that has taken prayer, which should be to get to know you better, and I've made a religious ritual, which you came to pronounce in the end of. God, I do that all the time, I'm just sick of it. Would you redeem that part of who I am? Give me full view of who you are. Let me understand my life as this orange circle, may always yield to your greater plan. To you be the glory, and we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286