1.) How often have you heard this scripture..."pray
without ceasing?" (1st Thes. 5:17) How often
have you heard people talking about an active
prayer life? We talk about prayer a lot, but
many times I feel we fall short of what God
2.) In Matthew chapter 6, we find Jesus teaching His
disciples how to be reverent and sincere in
a.) First, about giving alms. He calls the
Pharisees hypocrites here because He knows
their hearts. Their giving is boastful,
b.) He then moves to prayer. He again calls
the Pharisees hypocrites. Their prayers
are not only vain, but irreverent to God.
They were not praying to be heard of God,
but of men.
3.) How does Jesus say to pray?
a.) "Go into thy closet." This is not a literal
closet but somewhere private. Get away from
b.) "Use not vain repetitions." The Pharisees
made their prayers long and drawn out and
didn’t really say anything. God knows our
hearts, our wants, and our needs. We should
pray to Him reverently and naturally.
I once heard a story of an elderly man that was living out his last days in a nursing home. Each day, as the nurses would tend to his needs, he insisted on having an empty chair sitting next to his bed. The man would look at that empty chair and talk for hours at a time each day. One day one of the nurses asked him why he wanted that empty chair. He told the nurse, "that is where Jesus sits when we talk." Eventually, the old man went on to be with the Lord. When they found him, he had passed away with his head in that "empty" chair. Many of the nurses said he left this walk of life with his head in the lap of Jesus. I think this man had a genuine relationship witht he Lord. This is the relationship we should want with our saviour.
4.) Jesus tells them how to pray.
a.) I want to point out that this is a model
prayer and not the prayer. Jesus says here
in verse 9, "after this manner therfore pray
ye." "After this manner" litterally means
"pray like this."
b.) People learn from others. Children learn by
listening and watching their parents. If our
prayer example seems religious and burden-
some our children and those around us will
follow by example.
5.) In James chapter 5:13-20, we have an example of
the power of prayer.
a.) Pray when we are afflicted, pray when we are
happy, pray when we are sick, pray for the
forgiveness of sins.
b.) James tells us that the prayer of faith shall
heal us. When we pray believing on the One
we are praying to, then and only then do our
prayers carry power.
c.) James also tells us here that "the effectual
ferverent prayers of a righteous man availeth
I.) Effectual = active (1st. Thes. 5:17 -
pray without ceasing.)
II.) Fervent = mighty, powerful, passionate.
I want to lead my life in such a way
that the devil is glad to see me go to
sleep at night just so he doesn’t have
to worry about me talking to God!
6.) God’s desire today is for us to be a church that
when we gather here together to pray the place
where we are is shaken! God wants His church to
rock the foundations of the world with prayer!
My desire is to be a man with a prayer life like
that. Is this your desire too?
7.) If you are not a child of God here this morning,
wouldn’t you like to feel this kind of power in
your life? You can. Jesus died on the cross to
give it to you. If you are lost in your sin, the
one and only prayer that you can pray that God
will hear is the prayer of salvation. Will you
pray that prayer this morning? Victory awaits
those who will!