Summary: I want to talk about the privileges of prayer; what is the payback from a life of prayer?
Room With A View: The Privileges of Prayer
We started a series on prayer four weeks ago. We called it a Room With A View. This room has served to assist me in illustrating the various topics during this series – eg. Our need to pray to God, various challenges and distractions that we often face when we pray, And, last week we used it to help us see the basics of how to pray.
We chose a “Room” theme based on a statement Jesus made in the middle of one of his teaching times with His Disciples (and others). In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed them about prayer: Matthew 6:5-8 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
On the First week,
We talked about how past successes detract our attention from focusing on God – ie. TROPHIES.
The Following week,
We talked about how when our life gets shattered and bitterness sets in, prayer can lift us up and bring us peace in the midst of life’s circumstances – ie. BROKEN MIRROR.
We went back to the basics and talked about “how to pray.” ie. EMPTY NOTEBOOK.
I want to talk about the privileges of prayer. What is the payback from a life of prayer?
When Christ died on the cross, immediately we were given the right to go directly to Him. No longer did we need a surrogate, no longer did we need someone to represent us, now we can go boldly to the throne. That is an amazing privilege. These are privileges that cannot be taken lightly.
And I want to liken these ‘privileges’ to wrapped ‘presents’ or ‘gifts’ that God gives us. While you are in your ‘room with a view’ – the quiet place of prayer – God can make you the recipients of many gifts that he gives as a result of praying to Him.
You see, last week, we looked at the model prayer of Christ, the example of how it is that we pray. We talked about the upward look (our reverence of who God is), the downward look (our response through confession and through His word), the inward look (which is our requests) and the outward look (our readiness to face the world.)
Today, we look at the requests we make and God’s response to our prayers. We talk today about the tangible benefits of a life full of prayer. With these presents, while they sit here, ready for our use and our enjoyment, if we don’t actually open them, we will not receive the blessing in our lives.
So often in life, we talk about the importance of prayer from a theoretical, mystical viewpoint. We talk about prayer but we sometimes fail to notice the very real benefits that come from that life of prayer. And, to be sure, there are many benefits. Today, I want to share four of those benefits that come through the privilege of prayer.
Present #1 - His Provision
You can run to God in prayer and be assured that, every time you pray, your prayers fall – NOT on deaf ears – but on ears that both hear & understand your needs, but also feels your heart’s cry!
Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
How often in life do we need someone to cling onto when things just don’t make sense? When life throws you a curve ball with your job, your health, your kids–that you feel totally out of control.