Summary: People today are not committed and devoted to many thigns. As we read about the early church in the book of Acts we see that they were devoted to prayer, are we devoted to prayer.
“Are You Devoted to Prayer?”
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempters snare
By thy return sweet hour of prayer
What awesome words to a song, and I hope you caught the words and do when we sing. I believe prayer is the greatest tool a Christian has. I also believe prayer is the most neglected and misunderstood aspect of Christians lives.
Many people feel that saying a prayer before their meals each day is enough prayer for the day. Many people feel that saying, “now I .ay me down to sleep, if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take” is enough communication with God for the day. I have heard of grown adults who honestly that is the depth of their prayer life.
Prayer is more than what we say before we eat our meals, prayer is more than praying a quick prayer before bed; prayer is communication with Almighty God. Prayer is a privilege and it is something we should take seriously.
We can easily come to church and sing sweet hour of prayer, but most people don’t spend a sweet few minutes in prayer with the Lord.
As we can clearly see from the book of Acts, the early church was also devoted to prayer.
Over the past several times I have preached I have pointed out that the early church was devoted to the study of God’s Word, and to fellowship, they were also devoted to prayer. As one reads the stories and testimonies found in the book of Acts you can see prayer was a important part of every decision that was made, prayers were lifted up regularly for each other and for the lost. As I have preached this series of sermons of being devoted I have learned one thing and that is that we can try to implement all sorts of programs expecting growth, and sometimes those things are needed. There are times things need to change in the church to better reach a changing culture, but we do not change the message. The main thing that we must realize is that a church will grow when and only when the people who are a part of the church devote themselves to the study of God’s Word, to fellowshipping with one another and to praying. That is the best church growth advice I have found.
We as the church have a duty and an obligation to each individually devote ourselves to those things. I ask you this morning to do some self examination and ask are you devoted to prayer?
Text: Acts 2:42-47
I. Praying With the Right Attitude
It is important for us to remember that our attitude in prayer does matter. I believe that a lot of people come before God and they pray with the wrong attitude. This does not good. When we pray we need to make sure that our motives and attitudes are right before the Lord. I believe that each person who calls themselves a Christian has an obligation to spend time in prayer, but we should not pray simply out of obligation. Parents you would not want your children communicating things to you simply because they felt that they had to, and God does not want us to communicate to him because we have to, but because we want to. I don’t know about you, but I feel privileged that out God has given us a way to communicate with Him. Our God has given us a way to lift up our burdens and requests. When you pray make sure that you have the right attitude about coming before the Lord. Remember that coming into the presence of God is a scary thing, and that we need to have a healthy respect for God when we pray. I have heard people pray so casually as if they do not realize that they are in the presence of a Holy God and being in His presence deserves a healthy fear. We should not take it lightly, but we should make sure before we expect anything from God that we have the right attitude.
a. Humble – Matthew 6:5-8
We need to makes sure that when we pray we pray with humility. Jesus told a parable called the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Jesus said, that one of them lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed, “I thank God I am not like this man a sinner”, and the other beat his chest and prayed, “Father have mercy on me, a sinner”. Jesus then asked which do you think left justified before God? We may think that we could not be like that now, and that is a bit extreme, but let me ask what attitude do you have when you pray for people living in sin? Do you pray, “God I pray for those sinners and thank you that I am not like them”. In some sense we can be thankful that we do not live a sinful life, but it is not our job to come before God and tell him who is right in his eyes and to glorify us, because we are all sinners fallen short of God’s glory. If you want to truly be devoted to prayer then you need to make sure that you have humility when you pray, considering others better than yourself. There is no such thing as a prayer that is pride-filled. Those prayers are not heard by God. Are you devoted to prayer?