Sermon Illustrations

Six Chairs of Prayer

Chair One: My attitude towards prayer is that it is not important. I have no motivation to pray and no desire to pray. Nothing is happening in my life in regards to prayer.

Chair Two: My attitude towards prayer is that it is optional. I have a motivation and a desire to pray but my prayer life is so sporadic and inconsistent that it only produces guilt and frustration.

Chair Three: My attitude towards prayer is that it is important. I am praying everyday but my prayer life is shallow and self-centered. It is all about me and what God can do for me opposed to how God can work through me. There is not much of an intimate relationship with God being developed because I am doing all the talking and I am simply asking Him for things.

Chair Four: I take a quantum leap to chair four from chair three. My attitude towards prayer has grown from being important to being necessary. I am starting to develop a relationship with God that has some depth. It is a matter of trust. I am starting to journal and my prayer life is very consistent and I am combining prayer with other spiritual disciplines like listening to God, personal worship, fasting, and spending time in God’s word.

Chair Five: My attitude towards prayer is that it is critical for an individual. I have now taken on the ministry of intercession where I am taking other people’s requests to God on their behalf. This is not a “once in a while” thing but it has become a daily ministry of intercession for me.

Chair Six: My attitude towards prayer is that it is critical for any group of believers. I now join other intercessors to do some spiritual warfare praying and I am starting to see that our great God is capable of transforming a congregation or a community or a campus.

In which chair are you? I still struggle to get in chair 5 and 6 but it is definitely worth it.

(Col 4:2 NIV) Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

(Col 4:3 NIV) And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

Portions adapted from Dean Trune in "Living Out Our Passion for God"

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