Contributed on Apr 23, 2012
Jesus commanded the disciples to "watch and pray." Paul encourages us to "be alert and always keep on praying." The same word is used for "watch" and "alert." Both are in the context of spiritual war. Like it or not, every time we engage in prayer, we eng
Prayer Keys - Alert Pray and ask in the Spirit all the time. Keep this in mind. Watch out. Keep praying. Pray for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18. Jayme Biendl, a 34-year-old prison guard, was strangled to death in the prison chapel. The chief suspect was serving a life sentence. Even in the ...read more
Contributed on Aug 24, 2011
We sometimes pray with the Spirit’s intercession. We should always pray as the Spirit leads.
Prayer Keys - In the Spirit “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 Much of this verse is easy to understand. “On all occasions” refers ...read more
Contributed on Aug 15, 2011
This most legally controversial prayer key is not an incantation giving our prayer more power. It is recognition that Jesus is our mediator (1 Timothy 2: 5), our advocate (1 John 2:1), and our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Prayer Keys - In Jesus’ Name “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 I started this list of prayer keys back in the 80 s. I doubt any ...read more
Contributed on Feb 11, 2012
When we pray in public, we should not be concerned with tongues. We should be concerned with clearly making our requests to God. In public, we should pray in a language everyone understands.
PRAYER KEYS - WITH UNDERSTANDING “So what shall I do? I shall pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind...” 1 Corinthians 14:15. A breakdown in communications can be frustrating. A man trying to move a sofa by himself got it stuck in the door, so he called a friend for ...read more
Contributed on Feb 16, 2012
Humility is being totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self. When I am totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self, I pray as God wants me to pray.
PRAYER KEYS - HUMILITY One Christmas afternoon, a pastor's wife dropped into a chair and said, “Boy! Am I ever tired!” Her husband looked over at her and said, “I’ve been on my feet for most of two days. I led two special services last night, three today. I’ve ...read more
Contributed on Jul 30, 2011
Time for a true confession. Mine won’t compete with celebrity scandals on TV or show up on papers at the checkout line. I confess that I struggle with doubt. I struggle with the thought that it is possible to not doubt. Doubting seems so natural.
Prayer Keys - Not Doubting “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James ...read more
Contributed on Nov 3, 2011
This is the first time Jesus taught his first disciples about prayer. His first lesson was, “Spend time alone with the Father in prayer.” If we don’t follow his first lesson, we are not following the example or the command of Christ.
"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." Matthew 6:6 A little boy was saying his bedtime prayers when his mother passed by his room and stopped to listen. “Bless Mommy and ...read more
Contributed on Oct 22, 2011
Legalistic fasting is not a prayer key. It is just going hungry. Spiritual awareness that prompts us to pray may also prompt us to fast. May God make us more spiritually aware. May his spirit prompt us to pray, even to the point of forgetting to eat.
Prayer Keys - Fasting by Mark Stepherson “But when you fast, put oil on you head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:17-18 Did you ...read more
Contributed on Jul 25, 2011
BOLDNESS, not arrogance, is blessed. God gives bold access to the throne of grace and welcomes bold prayers from humble Christians.
Prayer Keys - Boldness Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence [boldness], so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb. 4:16 This is another verse where I prefer the King James Bible language that says, “boldness.” Boldness is a ...read more
Contributed on Nov 10, 2011
When we pray as the first church prayed, God will empower us as he empowered the first church and our altar calls will look like Peter’s altar call.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer...” Acts 1:14 “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day,” Acts 2:41 When he went to the Brooklyn Tabernacle, it was a ramshackle building with only a handful attending. They were ...read more
Contributed on Mar 1, 2012
Jesus himself thought praise was so important that he began and ended the model prayer with it. “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name... for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” Surely our prayers are incomplete wi
Prayer Keys - Praise “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalms 34:1 Vultures and hummingbirds are both birds, but the similarity doesn’t go much beyond that. If you watch an old western, when people on the trail see vultures ...read more
Contributed on Jan 9, 2012
Jesus often prayed privately. When he said, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” He did not get what he wanted, but he got what he needed. He had the strength to face what was to come. The time to choose submission is now. If we wait, we may not desire to
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 Our list of prayer keys uses Matthew 26:39 as the text for submission. I generally use the ...read more
Contributed on Feb 23, 2012
Abiding in Christ, a relationship more intimate than being at home with a loving family, is our source of life. Christ’s words abiding in us should be so familiar to us that when we encounter the false we know it. These are two keys to empowered prayer.
Prayer Keys - Abiding in Christ and Christ’s Words Abiding in Us “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you,” John 15:7. For this prayer key, I prefer the “old fashioned” King James Bible language. Abiding ...read more
Contributed on Jul 17, 2011
Prayer is talking and listening to God. We must not be too busy to listne. God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. He speaks to us that way, too.
Focus on God “Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps 46:10 In 1517, an obscure Catholic priest named Martin Luther placed his life in God’s hands when he nailed his 95 theses, his 95 arguments against the ...read more
Contributed on Jul 19, 2011
Everything we do is to be for the glory of God. Whether we eat or drink or worship or evangelize or pray or work or play, it is to be for the glory of God. For the glory of God is a pure motive for prayer. James 4:3 warns about asking with wrong motives.
For the Glory of God “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31 Do you ever get those e-mail quizzes that go around? Most of them are about trivial things. How well would you do on this four question trivia quiz: 1. Who was ...read more
Contributed on Sep 15, 2011
If we want to learn to pray, we must learn to obey. If we want to pray well, we must obey well. If we want to become prayer warriors, we must become obedient children.
Discuss this sermon at http://prayerkeys.blog.com/obedience “[We] receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him,” 1 John 3:22. Not just once again, but twice again I was reminded last Sunday that God’s timing is remarkable. When he is ready to ...read more
Contributed on Aug 6, 2011
A holy life is characterized by being separated from the world to God. A holy life is characterized by godly sorrow for sin. “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer.” A holy life is characterized by effective prayer.
Discuss this sermon at http://prayerkeys.blog.com/holiness/ “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer,” 1 Timothy 2:8. A priest was building a trellis for a climbing rose beside the church. He did not think the rickety things at the local garden center were worthy of being used ...read more
Contributed on Nov 18, 2011
Selfishness paralyzes prayer. God will cause us to accomplish more through sincere prayer than we ever could on our own through murderous rebellion, warring, and quarreling. When the church in Acts prayed, they received power and God received glory. When
Prayer Keys - Pure Motives “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do ...read more
Contributed on Oct 7, 2011
Praying ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL is not an incantation to pull God to our will, but a guide to pull us to His will.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us,” 1 John 5:14. Praying according to God’s will is a key to effective prayer, but how do we know God’s will? It may be easier to know what is not his will. ...read more
Contributed on Oct 27, 2011
Please forgive me for stating the obvious, but persistent prayer is hard work. It drains us. It is hard, but it is eventually worth the effort.
Prayer Keys - Persistence “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 Have you seen that cartoon with the pelican having a frog for dinner? His dinner is not agreeing with him. In fact, his dinner is violently ...read more
Contributed on Sep 19, 2011
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name,” John 15:16. A prayer key sermon that can also serve as a witnessing sermon.
Prayer Keys - Bearing Fruit “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 One Wednesday, we looked at the second prayer key in this verse, asking ...read more
Contributed on Oct 17, 2011
As we repeatedly expose ourselves to scripture, as we anticipate receiving help, strength, joy, and other blessings from the Bible, as we experience the hope of his promises, we will learn to delight in God’s law and in God himself. Then we will pray with
Prayer Keys - Delight in the Lord Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4 Our relationship with God should bring us more satisfaction, more pleasure, more joy than any other relationship or possession we have. To be honest with you, that is only ...read more
Contributed on Feb 23, 2012
“Returning thanks for blessings already received increases our faith and enables us to approach God with new boldness and new assurance.... As one meditates on the answer to prayers already granted, faith waxes bolder and bolder, and we come to feel in th
Prayer Keys - Thanksgiving “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6. Rudyard Kipling was one of the few writers of his day who had opportunity to enjoy his success while he ...read more
Contributed on Aug 29, 2011
When we pray fervently, all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is focused on praying as the Spirit leads. We may fool ourselves with the other prayer keys, but not this one.
Prayer Keys - Earnestness “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:17-18 George Washington and ...read more
Contributed on Jan 9, 2012
If God reveals to you that he is going to do something, you should believe it and not doubt it. If God reveals to us that he will do a marvelous thing when we step out in faith, we should step out in faith. If we don’t step out in faith, we will miss the
Prayer Keys - Faith “‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore ...read more
Contributed on Oct 13, 2011
BE SPECIFIC when praying. Specific prayers emphasize our need and God’s power. Specific prayers may even clarify our calling.
Prayer Keys - Be Specific “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Lk 18:41 Praying specifically is a key to effective prayer. The blind man’s first request is for Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asks him specifically, “What ...read more
Contributed on Dec 15, 2011
Prayer keys are not ways of manipulating God. Rather, they are like a boat hook. If I am in a row boat and cast a hook to shore, does pulling move the shore to me or does it move me to the shore? Prayer keys do not pull God to our will. They pull us to Go
“These people come near to me with their mouth & honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13 Before saying anything else to introduce sincerity as a prayer key, I want to repeat something about ...read more
Contributed on Feb 1, 2012
It's easy to think that business meeting is boring, but church business is God's business. We may be too casual with God's business. Every vote should be bathed in prayer. We should pray until the answers come.
“The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and said...” Nehemiah 2:4-5a. This is not part of the original series, but it offers us an opportunity to apply what we have been studying. Last week, we voted on the disbursement of gas ...read more
Contributed on Oct 4, 2011
Introducing a 30 part series on prayer keys. These are not incantations manipulating God to submit to our will, but guides leading us to submit to God’s will. "Lord teach us to pray."
A 30 part study of prayer keys during our Wednesday night prayer meetings? You may think it will become boringly repetitive. No, No, NOOOO! During this study, we will hear how Mary, Queen of Scots, feared the prayers of John Knox more than the combined armies of Europe. We will hear Jonathan ...read more
Contributed on Mar 15, 2012
An interviewer asked Billy Graham if he had it all to do over again, would he do anything differently. He answered, “I’d travel less and pray more.”
Prayer Keys - Conclusion “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us... to pray.’” Luke 11:1 Mickey Mantle’s father was right handed and his grandfather was left handed. Between them, they ...read more