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Summary: 4 reasons why prayer can make a difference

Can My Prayer Make a Difference?

(Series: Why It Matters)

James 5:15-18

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Sept. 17, 2006

*On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you believe in prayer? I’m sure most of us would say 8, 9 or even 10. But what if the answer to that question was based on how much you actually prayed last week?

*We all need to grow in our prayer life. But can my prayer make a difference? Does it matter? Without a doubt, the answer is yes!

1. So pray first of all, because it’s the proper thing to do.

*In vs. 16, God’s Word says, “Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

*“Pray for one another. . .” Over and over God tells us to pray and teaches us how. Jesus taught us by His example. Mark 1:35 lets us look into Jesus’ prayer life and says, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Then in Luke 6:12, Jesus was about to choose His 12 apostles and this verse says, “it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”

*Jesus teaches us to pray both by His example and by His explanation. Luke 11 is a great place to see the Lord explain prayer. Listen to vs. 1&2:

1. And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’’

2. So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven . . .

(God wants you to pray to Him as your Heavenly Father. And you can if you receive His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.)

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

(God wants you to pray with praise and an obedient heart.)

3. Give us day by day our daily bread.

(God doesn’t just care about your spiritual needs. He cares about your physical needs too and He wants you to pray about it.)

4. and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’’

(God wants you to pray with a heart like His: A forgiving heart, always seeking to do the right thing.)

*Next Jesus teaches us to keep praying, and He does this in Luke 11:5-8...

5. And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;

6. for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him;”

7. and he will answer from within and say, “Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you”?

8. I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

2. Over and over God tells us to pray and He teaches us to pray, so pray because it’s the proper thing to do. But also pray because the answer has been promised.

*One of the greatest promises for answered prayer is here in Luke 11. Listen to Jesus in vs. 9-13:

9. And 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!

*God made an amazing prayer promise there in vs. 13: If you will pray, He will give you the best thing He can possibly give you, He will give you Himself. And you know that if He will give you the best thing, He will give you everything else you could possibly need --Through prayer.

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