Summary: Sermon on prayer
Prayer is without doubt the most underrated and unused force in today’s world. I am convinced that everyone prays sometime or the other.
We pray when the tragedy strikes. We pray when that unexpected phone call comes that threatens to turn our world upside down. We pray when life seems to spin out of control. If the only time you pray is when something is wrong than you are missing the whole point of praying.
Do you ever long for a closer relationship with God?
Do you ever wish that God would be more of a reality in your life?
Do you wish that you had a friend that would be closer to you then even a brother?
We all struggle with prayer. It is hard to have a one sided conversation with someone who never talks back in an audible voice. We struggle with how to pray.
Lorene Workman’s granddaughter came over to spend the night. The next morning as they were talking, Workman asked her grandchild if she said her prayers last night before going to sleep. The little girl replied, “No, Granny. I got down on my knees to pray, but I got to thinking that God might be tired of hearing the same old prayer every night, so I crawled into bed and told him about Little Red Riding Hood. Mature Living, Feb. 2000, p. 6
I have to wonder if God wouldn’t be pleased to hear from some of us even if all we did was tell Him a story!
We continue today with the series based on the names found in Hebrews 11:32-34. All the people in this series have done something by faith in their lives. Today we look at a story from the life of Samuel the prophet.
The story is found in I Samuel 7:1-14.
Samuel prayed a prayer of faith. He prayed a prayer of faith on behalf of Israel. One of the greatest privileges we have is to be able to pray a prayer of faith.
There are two very clear statements about praying a prayer of faith found in the Bible.
Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
James 5:15, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned he will be forgiven.”
What are the characteristics of the prayer of faith? Today we will look at them based on the story of Samuel.
Prayer: God, we come to you this morning with one question, ‘can you hear us now?’ More than anything we want to be so connected to you that we never have to ask that question. May we learn from your Word today. Cause us to walk in your ways. Allow us to connect with you today in a new and real way until the signal strong and the connection is clear and static free. Amen
There are some characteristics that must be in place if we are to connect to God with a prayer of faith. Let’s look at them together.
1. Daring to be disciplined. “Ready”
If we have learned anything in this series it is that God never gave up on Israel. Time after time they would disobey Him and He would punish them. In the story lesson today we read that Israel “mourned and sought after the Lord.”
“And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Astoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.’ So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.” I. Sam. 7:3-4
There are some things that you and I must do if we are to be “ready” to pray a prayer of faith. We dare to be disciplined by God.
a. Remove the things that hinder your spiritual life.
Don’t allow anything to remain in your life that pulls you away from God and His word. God will have a relationship with you that will be incredible and life changing but He wants all of you. He is not interested in your weekly effort to show up at church if you are not showing up everyday to walk with Him in relationship.
Ask God to help you identify the issues in your life that are detrimental to your faith. Once you have identified them take the next step which is to repent of them.