Summary: Jesus said "When you Pray" but what does that mean for us in 2007? And how do we put it into practice?
And then Jesus looked over the crowd and said Matthew 6:5 And when you pray. Prayer, what is prayer? Roger Babson “Prayer is the greatest unused power in the world.” Charles Trumbell “Prayer is realising the energies of God.” Phillip Brooks “prayer is in it’s simplest definition, is merely a wish turned heavenward.” Samuel Coolridge “Prayer is the highest energy of which the mind is capable.” and finally Billy Graham states “Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together.”
A number of years ago World Literature Crusade conducted Schools of Prayer all over the world and they began those schools with a number of statement concerning prayer and they are: PRAYER IS:
1)The First Step To Knowing Jesus Christ,
2) Recognizing The Presence Of God,
3) Mans Means To Know God Intimately,
4) Laying Hold Of God’s Promises
5) Is The Soul On It’s Knees
6) Is The Path To Strength And Peace,
7) Man’s Way To Understanding God’s Plan,
8) Doing Business With God,
9) God’s Gift Of Power,
10) Man’s Means To Touch God,
11) Serving On An Executive Committee For World Evangelism,
12) Two People In Love,
13) Giving God Access To Our Need,
14) Key To The Miraculous,
15) The Very Breath Of Spiritual Life.
It’s all summed up by saying Prayer isn’t a monologue, it is a dialogue. Our talking to God and God talking to us.
Now Jesus begins by firstly making a positive assumption,
because He says When you pray not if you pray but instead when you pray. Now the word prayer is used over 375 times in the Bible, as compared to the word sing which is mentioned 185 times and the word preach which is mentioned just over 100 times.
Christ prayed in the wilderness, on a mountain, in the temple in a solitary place and in the garden.
Many of us reach for prayer as a last resort, when nothing else works pray. It’s like the story told about the two old guys talking one more after a storm had ripped through their town. First guy says “Quite the storm last night?” to which his friend replied, “Yep, reckon God heard a lot of unfamiliar voices.” Are you a unfamiliar voice to God? It shouldn’t be.
There are very few things which you as a Christian are commanded to do. Which is really unfortunate, it would make my life a whole lot easier if the good book said, thou shalt attend a small group, or thou take your turn in the nurser, or thou shalt give to the building fund. But then again maybe it wouldn’t help anyways.
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Never stop praying. 1 Timothy 2:8 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy., And Christ said, And when you pray. He really seems quite certain about it doesn’t he? There doesn’t seem to be any doubt in His mind that we would pray. But what has happened along the way?
Have we lost our desire to commune with God? Is the reason that we don’t do anything for God, because we don’t know what he wants us to do?
My first full time ministry position after College was as an Associate Pastor in Malone N.Y. and it was a miserable failure, all the way around. The main reason was because the senior pastor and I never talked to one another. We never knew what the other was up to and we never shared our dreams, we both went our separate ways and I never knew just what it was that he expected out of me.
Sometimes that is what it’s like between us and God. Is the reason we fail sometimes as a church because we fail to pray? James 4:2 Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. D.L. Moody, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” W.W. Ayer “The quickest way to get a Church on it’s feet is to get it on it’s knees.”
Acts 4:31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. When was the last time that happened to you, or to us? When was the last time that we shook this building with prayer? Don’t worry about it falling down, if we pray this one down then we can pray another one up.