Summary: What will fervent prayer do to enable us to have Godly relationships? Let’s discover what Jesus practiced.
The struggle to pray- Illustrations unlimited. P. 422 #26.
One day a boy was watching a holy man praying on the banks of a river in India. When the holy man completed his prayer the boy went over and asked him, “will you teach me to pray?” The holy man studied the boy’s face carefully. Then he gripped the boy’s head in his hands and plunged it forcefully into the water! The boy struggled frantically, trying to free himself in order to breathe. Finally, the holy man released his hold. When the boy was able to get his breath he gasped, “What did you do that for?” The holy man said, “I just gave you your first lesson.” “What do you mean?” asked the astonished boy. “Well,” said the holy man, “when you long to pray as much as you longed to breathe when your head was under the water- only then will I be able to teach you how to pray.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
28Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
I. Fervent Prayer Purges You. (29) 1001 more
Ill. #872 p. 304; Pure rabbit burgers. There was a man driving through a new city and decided to stop at a place that had something different to eat. He saw a place that advertised, “pure rabbit burgers.” So he pulls into the lot, and goes into the restaurant. He inquires about the rabbit burgers. Are they really pure? He asks. “Almost” replies the waiter. “What do you mean?” Asks the man. “We added another animal to even out the meat.” “What animal did you add?” asks the man. The waiter says, “mule.” “How much” asks the man. The waiter said, “Oh, about half.” What do you mean, half,” asks the man. “Well, we add 1 rabbit and 1 mule!”
That is not the purity I am talking about! God calls us to be Holy for He is Holy!
Notice that Jesus’ face was affected. It even affected His clothing. God was working in Christ from the inside out! Folks, this can and will happen to us if we would approach the throne of God as Jesus exemplifies. Purging prayer will affect our faces, we should smile more! Purging prayer should affect our clothes. Maybe not in the since that you are thinking. When we are praying, God will cleanse even our clothes better than Clorox. Often though we wear things because of pride. We want to look a certain way. Or because of rebellion, we don’t care how we look, or we want to tick some one off (parents).
God wants to change you from the inside out! He wants to work a work in you that completely transforms that way you think, believe, and even appear. This is how it can happen. God shows you something that He is going to do. Obstacles get in the way, even bad things occur, but you still have that smile on your face, and peace in your heart. Why? Because God has spoken to you. And everyone knows that what God says happens. Therefore, despite your circumstances you still have joy! Your face has been changed. Just like Moses. After spending intimate time with God, He changes us!
Fervent prayer opens the door to God’s cleansing. When we are fervently praying, if we haven’t been cleansed from ….., you fill in the blank, then have we truly prayed?
II. Fervent Prayer Prepares You. (30-31)
What would you feel like if Moses and Elijah appeared to you? Can you imagine the encouragement that they brought to Jesus? How aware of the love of God was He? After all, God sent two mighty messengers down with a mighty message. Do you think He was praising God after that? Prayer should always lead to our praise. We too often forget that God has one upped Himself for us. He didn’t send us Moses or Elijah, Peter, or John. It would be nice if we could here from the little boy with the loaves. God did something better. He sent His son so that He could live in you! So in essence, He sent Himself. Jesus ended with praise. That should cause you to praise God. He is preparing you! Turn to Jer. 31:31-34. If you are not praising God before you are through praying, then have you really prayed fervently?