Summary: God calls us to pray together.
BORED WITH PRAYER MEETING
S: Corporate Prayer
Th: Prayer: A Passion for His Presence
Pr: GOD CALLS US TO PRAY TOGETHER.
TS: We will find in our study of Scripture, three reasons that demonstrate why we should pray together.
The _____ reason why we should pray together is…
I. HOSTILITY (18)
II. HARMONY (19)
III. HUMILITY (20)
RMBC 21 APRIL 02 AM
ILL Notebook: Prayer (why did I invite all these people)
A couple had invited some company to dinner. At the table, the mother turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say," she replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother said.
The daughter bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”
Well, obviously this is not what the mother had in mind.
Her daughter, for the moment, made the prayer before dinner a frustrating matter.
Do you ever find prayer frustrating?
Have you ever wondered if your prayers were making a difference?
Have you ever wondered if your prayers were making it past the ceiling?
Has it ever seemed to you that prayer was not much more than a waste of time?
I am sure that many of us have had doubts like that from time to time.
When we gathered together last week, we gave consideration to the Lord’s Prayer.
The disciples had been noticing that the relationship that Jesus had with the Father was vastly different than their own.
There was an intimate fellowship.
There was a closeness that they did not have.
In fact, Jesus would bring His petitions before His Father, and things seemed to happen.
1. Because the disciples wanted what Jesus had, they asked Him to teach them how to pray.
They wanted to have that same kind of relationship.
So as a result, Jesus taught them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.”
But we must remember a weakness when it comes to prayers that we find in Scripture.
2. We must recognize that we are tempted to treat prayer like a formula.
As I mentioned last week…
We are tempted to think that if we have the right technique, and right form, our prayer will be efficient and effective.
But we must get this right…we are never, ever able to manipulate God.
We must not think that if we say the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer of Jabez, or any other kind of prayer on a repetitive basis, that our life will magically be blessed.
But we can and must learn from the prayers that we find in the Bible.
They do teach us how to pray.
This morning, though, I want us to give consideration to the importance of what we commonly call “corporate prayer.”
To describe corporate prayer, I want to offer this simple admonition…
3. GOD CALLS US TO PRAY TOGETHER.
Those of you who have a longer history here in this church, know that corporate prayer has been a topic of loving debate.
Some have been concerned that prayer’s place in this church seems at times to be an option rather than an essential.
Well, I share that concern as well…and that is why prayer is our theme this year (Prayer: A Passion for His Presence).
But it is not just prayer itself that concerns me, but the concept of praying together that must be a priority to our church family.
Today, we discover why.
4. We will find in our study of Scripture, particularly Matthew 18:18-20, three reasons that demonstrate why we should pray together.
I. The first reason why we should pray together is HOSTILITY (18).
“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
We are not covering all the possibilities of what might be bound or loosed (that is for another study).
But I do want us to note the divide that exists between the ways of heaven and the ways of earth.
Clearly, there are things we are to be against, that are to be bound.
And there are matters that we are to be for, that are to be loosed.
We do this because…
1. This is war (cf. II Corinthians 10:3-4)!
This is what Paul describes…
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We exist in the midst of spiritual warfare.
We are warring against evil authorities and powers in high places.
And we should never make the mistake that Satan is not fighting hard.