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Romans : Chapter 6

17) But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19) I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21) What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

Sammy Tippit: We’ve been having such a good time talking about prayer. God has been blessing, and I don’t know about you, but it has made me excited about prayer, the possibilities and the power of prayer, and what God wants to do. It’s just thrilling to know I can come into the presence of an almighty God, but sometimes that’s not reality where we are.
Sometimes a lot of us are saying, “Well, I wish I were there. Why am I not there?” So Dave, I want to talk about what will keep us from being there in that place where it’s really an intimate walk and fellowship with God, where we’re getting to know him. What are some of the hindrances? I know that for me, probably the biggest hindrance is busyness. I just get so busy that I don’t have quality time
Dave Butts: Right.
Sammy: I say, “Oh yeah,” but I really don’t have that quality time with God.
Dave: That’s right. Yeah.
Sammy: But what about you? You’re mobilizing people around the world in prayer. What do you find are some of the most common hindrances to people, and how do you deal with those hindrances? Let’s first talk about the hindrances, and then we’ll get to how you deal with them.
Dave: Sure. Well, actually, I kind of have to talk about two of them together.
Sammy: Okay.
Dave: It has to do with how we fail to ask for help. There are a lot of things I’m not very good at. If my car breaks down, I can try all I want to fix it, but I’ll never drive that again. I just don’t have that sort of mechanical ability. If my car breaks down, I need help. That means I need to go ask for help. If I want to be a man of prayer, I need to ask for help.
I’m convinced (this is where I’m getting into the practical help side of this) that if you want to be a man of prayer, if any of the individuals watching this want to be people of prayer… Ask for help. Here’s what I say. You have to pray about prayer. I know it sounds like you’re going in circles, but it’s just really true. We have to pray about prayer.
When it really comes down to it, we’re not that spiritual. We’re not really suddenly born as these tremendous spiritual giants who just naturally pray, study Scripture, and do all of the things we know we ought to do. I’ve discovered I really need help, so every day of my life for years now, I’ve just said, “Lord, help me to pray. Lord, teach me to pray. Lord, make me a man of prayer.”  What I’ve discovered is first of all that God doesn’t zap me. I mean, he doesn’t zap me and suddenly make me a person of prayer. It’s not that he can’t, it’s just that he certainly hasn’t, at least in my life. It has been a process of many years in which he has begun to answer that request and change the way I pray. He changes your heart and changes your desire.
I really believe one of the biggest issues most people have not even looked at is that they need help in prayer and haven’t asked for it. We think it’s a matter of discipline. “Oh, I’ll get up earlier,” or, “I’ll set this much time,” or, “I’ll do this,” or, “I’ll do that.” It’s kind of our self- discipline thing instead of just finally coming to God and saying, “No. What I really need is your help.” That’s what’s big for me. The second thing I would look at that’s a real hindrance is not one that’s fun to talk about, but it’s sin. It’s just really simple.
Scripture indicates that if there’s sin in my life that I’ve not dealt with, it can become a block, an obstacle, in my prayer life. That’s literally what Scripture teaches. Your sins have separated you from God, and he will not hear your prayers. We must realize that. So one of the things in my life is… I find that if I’m struggling, if I’m finding that my prayer life is not good, if I’m not seeing things happen, I have to then (in a sense) turn the spotlight of the Holy Spirit on my life and say, “Lord, would you show any sin in me?”
Sammy: Kind of like the psalmist said, “Search my heart and try me.”
Dave: Exactly. “Search my heart.” That’s exactly what it is. “Would you show me what’s here that I need to repent of and turn from so that there’s this free access again?” I really believe the first thing is we need help. That means we need to ask for it. The second thing that’s a biggie… Again, we could talk about it for a long, long time, but it’s simply to say, “If we have sin, we need to deal with this.”
There is a third thing that I think is a big obstacle, and it’s related a bit to the first one. It sounds funny. We don’t know how to pray. I find (I’ve been traveling around for decades now, teaching on prayer) that as I talk to Christians, I find they all pray, but when I start talking to them, most of them say, “I don’t really know how to pray.”
Sammy: Right.
Dave: I really believe one of the things we can do as individuals (certainly church leaders need to hear this) is give people tools.
Sammy: Teach people.
Dave: We have to teach people not simply that they should pray or that they ought to pray but how to pray. Isn’t it interesting…? We’ve been talking about the teaching of Jesus, what we often call the Lord’s Prayer. When Jesus answered the disciples after they said, “…Lord, teach us to pray…” he gave them an outline.
Sammy: That’s right.
Dave: He didn’t give them a sermon on prayer.
Sammy: Five concrete things he…
Dave: Yeah. No sermon on prayer, no lecture on how you ought to pray. He said, “Here. Pray like this. Make sure these things are in your prayer life.” I want everyone to hear this. Learning to pray is a good, godly thing to do. It’s biblical. It’s how Jesus taught his disciples. We can do this. We really can.
Sammy: Mm-hmm. See, one of the things (in relationship to that) that would be helpful, especially for those who are going through this on the app, is to go back through what we started teaching on where Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Just walk through those things. To go back through that would help them. I want to kind of maybe draw this to a close here in sharing what I started with: what my problem is. It’s busyness.
Remember, God did a mighty work in my life at the Heart-Cry for Revival conference at The Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center. I was going through some tough, tough times, and I just felt worn out. I was just ready to give up. The Lord said, “Sammy, your problem is you’ve not been waiting on me.” I committed myself to do that, but then he kind of instructed me in how to do that. He made me look at my calendar and said, “Okay, this here… You say you don’t have time, but look at your calendar.”
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: There was a lot of junk in my calendar, things that were good things, not bad things, but not necessary things. They were things that could be replaced by that time alone with him.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: I think doing that comes from a sense of what I call purpose and priorities. What is our purpose in life? Jesus told us our purpose is to love him and love people. “Love God with all of your heart, and love people as yourself.” That’s our purpose. Based on that, what are our priorities? I mean, you have time for what’s really important.
What I had to do was go, “Look at what’s really important in my life. I mean, life is short, so when it comes to an end, what is it going to be?” So I had to rearrange some priorities in my life. Yeah, I love watching the news… This is one of the things that was very practical for me. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of people start praying but few people finish praying.
Dave: Yes.
Sammy: They start off. They’ll listen to something like this, and they’ll say, “Well, let’s go for it.” But one of the reasons is what you were talking about. “Well, I have to get up 30 minutes earlier.” Well, you see, everybody’s body is different, so your body says you need this much sleep and my body says I need this much sleep.  If you try to shard it, it isn’t going to work. Pretty soon, you’re going to get tired and quit. So what you have to do is look. “Okay, if I’m going to get up 30 minutes earlier, then what do I need to remove from my life so I can go to bed 30 minutes earlier?”
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Anyway, those kinds of little things… Let me just encourage you to go before the Lord with whatever it might be that’s hindering you. I think that probably the most spiritual prayer I’ve ever heard prayed was one word: “Help.” So like Dave said in the very beginning, go to God and just say, “Help.” He will help you.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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