Summary: God has offered to us intense intimacy and amazing power through prayer. The key to our churches being kingdom minded and eternally effective is are we willing? Are you willing to invest in the most the chruch can do.
Intro: Remember that the church is not built strong and healthy by accident. It is also no accident that there are so many churches that are not strong or healthy in the 21 century. I believe there is one major reason that the church in the west is so weak and unstable. It is a lack of prayer.
Jesus Himself said, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all the nations.” Why my family of faith if Jesus Himself said My house shall be a house of prayer is there so little prayer in His house? I will put forth an answer that I believe. We have so little prayer because we think so little of God!! Your view of God will directly impact the importance of prayer in your life.
If we are ever going to become the healthy stable church that Jesus desires and designed us to be it will not come about unless we are His house of prayer.
Andrew Murray, pastor and missionaries son, said, “In relation to his people, God works only in answer to their prayer.”
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 “and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 15 My eyes will now be open and My ears attentive to prayer from this place.”
God said if My people will pray. Are we willing? Willing to enjoy his presence and power in our life?
There is a story told about a church that bought a new organ, and they invited a talented musician to play that organ during the dedication recital for that organ. The organist came and sat down at the organ to begin playing. And as soon as he touched one of the keys there was silence - nothing. A custodian there at the church knew what the problem was; the organ was not turned on. So a minister stood and called on someone to pray, and as the person prayed the custodian went to work and then jotted down a note and slipped it into the hands of the organist. The note simply read: “After the prayer, the power will be on.
3) A Healthy church is devoted to praying (Acts 2:42) (Working on our relationship to God)
a) You will pray if you have received Jesus as Lord and Savior
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray
Prayer is purposely designed to deepen our relationship with God and like a magnet draw us nearer to Him. Prayer hinges on your willingness to trust God. It hinges on your willingness to humble yourself and let Him have control. Prayer is a way of us saying I have trusted you with eternity Jesus so now I trust you with each new moment. Prayer is practicing the presence of God.
Prayer is recognition of our powerlessness without God. John 15:5 ““I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
Little Suzie finished her prayer and said:
Dear God, Before I finish, I want you to take care of mommy, take care of daddy, take care of my sister and my brother and please, God, take care of yourself, because if you don’t we’re all sunk. Amen! God is waiting on us as living stones and a united body to trust Him.
b) You will pray if you believe God has something to say to you
Your view of God will affect your practice of prayer. If you don’t think much of God you will not do much with prayer. If you see God the way He is painted in the Bible and 3d rendered by Jesus you will understand the absolute necessity of prayer. Jesus who was sinless and perfect spent much of His time in communication with His heavenly Father.
Prayer at its simplest is talking to our heavenly father. It’s however is not that simple. For any good communication requires good listening. We are often taught to speak to God, to let our requests be made known. However we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Mark 9:7 “This is my beloved Son listen to Him.” This is why we must throw away our pride and listen to God!
Jeremiah 6:10 (NIV) "To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it."
Zech 7:11-13 (NIV) "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen... So the Lord Almighty was very angry. "When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the Lord Almighty."