Hope for the Underdog Week 3 BTCS

PPT Sunday, October 10, 2021

Senior Pastor, Dr. Janet Cook

BTCS – Hope Is Here: Week 3

Hope for the Underdog

©2020 Praysers Ministries, Inc. d.b.a. River of Life Community Church

Note: Unless otherwise indicated all scriptures are taken from the NKJV


Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:20-50 / Ephesians 6:12


Romans 10:10— “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. With the heart man believeth.”

  • Scriptural faith is in the heart, but hope is in the mind.

1 Thessalonians 5:8— “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”

  • The helmet is “the hope of salvation.”


Today we are talking about the hope that is given to us when we feel like we are facing more than we can handle and we are the underdog.


READ 1 Samuel 17:20-21 “So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army.”




READ 1 Samuel 17:23-26;32-37

23-26 “Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.”

“So, the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

“Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”


The Critics

1 Samuel 17:28-30 “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.”

Kingdom Principle: He turned from the critics

David’s reasoning for this hope comes from God’s faithfulness in the past.

1 Samuel 17:31-33 “Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”


When we find ourselves in seasons of struggle, sometimes we must remind ourselves of how God has been with us in the past.

1 Samuel 17:34-36 “But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

  • David’s confidence comes from God’s faithfulness, and it is the drive he needs to overcome.

1 Samuel 17:37 “Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”

1 Samuel 17:38-39 “So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.”

READ 1 Samuel 17:40-47

“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him.”

“And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”

“And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”


  • Maybe you don’t feel equipped to overcome the things that you are facing.
  • Maybe you know that your trial is too much for you.
  • For David, this is a spiritual battle, and it takes God’s involvement to experience a victory.

1 Samuel 17:48-51

“So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.”

Paul speaks to this in Ephesians 6:12.

READ Ephesians 6:12-13 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

READ 1 Samuel 17:52a

“Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines…”

Suddenly, the once frightened Israelite army is emboldened by a little boy and his sling. Because of David’s bravery and trust in God, they are all given hope that they too can be a part of the triumph of God.


Ancient church father Thomas Aquinas said it this way, “Faith has to do with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not at hand.

Think: My God is more powerful than any force in the universe. Together we can do amazing things.

Feel: If God is with me, there is nothing I cannot overcome.

Do: Choose faith over fear.

How do we spread hope? By sharing the good news of the Gospel. We can be born again into a living hope through faith and belief in the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” NIV

  • Hope is the direct outcome of the new birth
  • It is the direct outcome of being born again by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ
  • It is specific faith in His death, burial and resurrection.


Where does My Help Come From?

PPT – Where Does My Help Come From?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Senior Pastor, Dr. Janet Cook

©2020 Praysers Ministries, Inc. d.b.a. River of Life Community Church

Note: Unless otherwise indicated all scriptures are taken from the NKJV


God the Help of Those Who Seek Him                                       

A Song of Ascents.


Psalm 121:1-8

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.


He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.


The Lord is your [b]keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.


The Lord shall [c]preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve[d] your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

We are hardwired with a “trouble response” to lift up our eyes…look for God when things go sour.


The Pentagon Miracle by Colonel Linda Herbert


Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:28 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.


Hebrews 10:19-22

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.


Hebrews 10:19-25

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

It is Well

PPT “It is Well”

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Senior Pastor, Dr. Janet Cook

©2020 Praysers Ministries, Inc. d.b.a. River of Life Community Church

Note: Unless otherwise indicated all scriptures are taken from the NKJV


Elisha and the Shunammite Couple

  • Ingredients for a Successful Marriage
  • God’s Word defeats the enemy


2 Kings 4:8-37

Elisha meets the Shunammite Woman

Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 10 Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”

  • They were a hospitable couple who went from providing meals for Elisha to providing space for him.
  • You will invest in what you are passionate about.


Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Make room for God in your home so the Word of the Lord can be fulfilled in your lives.


The Prophet asked, “What can I do for you?”

11 And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. 12 Then he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ ”She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”

  • Consider the heart motives of the Shunammite woman.
  • She did not bless the man of God in hopes of getting something.
  • Do you need help in the political realm or do you need some protection?
  • Her answer was I am content, I am good, Everything is fine, I am all set.

Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Godliness with Contentment

Godliness with Contentment

1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

The Secret of being Content

Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)

Gehazi answered the question for her.

14 So he said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 So he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” 17 But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.”

  • No son was an indication that she would have no one to care for her in the future.
  • This couple positioned themselves for a blessing.
  • “Do not lie.” she is saying, let what you are saying to me be backed by God and able to be carried through all the way.

Ingredient for a Successful Marriage: Embrace God’s will for your life and act on it.

Their Promised Son Died

18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.”

  • The Shunammite Woman knew how to deal with a storm.
  • She took him to the prophet’s room. It was in that room that the Prophet spoke the Word of the Lord to her.
  • She laid him on the bed of the man of God. Then she called her husband.


Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Respect

  • Respect can be defined as ‘to feel or show honor for, to think highly of, or to look up to, to have regard and to be thoughtful of, to show consideration and concern for another individual’.


The Shunammite Man trusted his Wife

23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.”

  • When her circumstances around her looked hopeless, she still said, “It is well”.
  • “It is well”- the phrase in the Hebrew means – God will bring clarity and there will be a righteous resolve or judgment.
  • She was saying to her husband, the reason I am going to the prophet is because I believe there will be a righteous perspective brought forth. “It is Well”

Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Trust

Trust is weightier than details, just like grace is weightier than the law. (anonymous)

Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Agreement

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

  • Communication breeds agreement.


Prayers are hindered if you are not in agreement with each other.

1 Peter 3:7 –“ Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”


24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

  • She didn’t let her circumstances slow her down

25 So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ ” And she answered,It is well.” 

  • Elisha wanted to know “is everything in order?”

Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”

  • God did not tell the prophet their son had died. But God knew.

28 So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?”

  • She got a hold of his feet
  • The prophet was their connection with the Rhema word of the Lord


29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Get[f] yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.”

I Will Not Leave YOU!

30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. 

  • This is the same phrase Elisha spoke to Elijah in 2 Kings 2:2
  • Expectation is the breeding ground of miracles

31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.”

Elisha Went in and Shut the Door

32 When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. 

Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son

35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

Ingredient of a Successful Marriage: Love and Honor God

  • Put God first in everything.
  • They sacrificed and built a place for the man of God.
  • They were given a child by God.
  • When the devil touched their gift, they went right back to the maker.
  • The presence of God in your marriage does not mean it will be easy but it will work.

Ingredients of a Successful Marriage

  1. Make room for God in your home so the Word of the Lord can be fulfilled in your lives.
  2. Godliness with Contentment
  3. Embrace God’s will for your life and act on it.
  4. Respect
  5. Trust
  6. Agreement
  7. Love and Honor God


Results of Fasting

PPT August 15, 2021

Part 3 – The Daniel Fast Series

“Results of Fasting”

Senior Pastor, Dr. Janet Cook

©2020 Praysers Ministries, Inc. d.b.a. River of Life Community Church

Note: Unless otherwise indicated all scriptures are taken from the NKJV


The War Within

Romans 8:7 – “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”


“If you do not win the war within you will never win the war without.” (JKC)


Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”


Live to Win

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 – “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

  • What disqualifies a person?

Results Of Fasting

Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Right priorities

Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Dependence upon God

2 Chronicles 20:3, 12 – “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”

vs 12 – “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

  • Fasting led to God’s divine intervention


The Fast that God has Chosen

Isaiah 58:6-12

6- “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:

To loose the bonds of wickedness,

To undo the heavy burdens,

To let the oppressed go free,

And that you break every yoke?


7- Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;

When you see the naked, that you cover him,

And not hide yourself from your own flesh?


8- Then your light shall break forth like the morning,

Your healing shall spring forth speedily,

And your righteousness shall go before you;

The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.


9- Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;

You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,

The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,


10- If you extend your soul to the hungry

And satisfy the afflicted soul,

Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,

And your darkness shall be as the noonday.


11- The LORD will guide you continually,

And satisfy your soul in drought,

And strengthen your bones;

You shall be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.


12- Those from among you

Shall build the old waste places;

You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,

The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.