Summary: We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we a
Core Values: A House of Prayer – James 5:15-18
15 And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
Matt 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we are, if you were to describe our church in 12 words, the core values would be it. The core values we’re going to be speaking of for the next few months are establishing a foundation for New Mercy Community Church – Prayer, Holy Spirit, Evangelism, Equipping, Relationships, Love, Family, Sound Doctrine, Character, Excellence, Worship, and Missions. Today we’re going to talk about prayer.
Scripture is filled with exhortations and commands to pray:
· Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, "you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart"
· Psalm 10:17 says, "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,"
· Isaiah 30:19 "The Lord will hear your crying, and he will comfort you. When he hears you, he will help you"
· Isaiah 55:6 "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
· Psalm 91:15 God Himself says, "He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."
Folks, the need of the hour is powerful, persistent, passionate, prevailing prayer. The need is far greater than most of God’s people realize. The moral fiber of our nation has crumbled. Real love and compassion have become almost non-existent. Confusion and upheaval have swept across this country like a tidal wave. Even the so-called religious community is showing some alarming signs of spiritual ambiguity. According to Barna Research, A minority of born again adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth. If ever Christians needed to learn to prevail in prayer, it is now.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you remember nothing else from this message, please remember this: When prayer fails, Satan prevails. The demons of Hell rejoice when the child of God is prayer-less. Satan knows well that prayer-less Christians are power-less Christians.
Christians are embroiled in one of the most heated and holy battles of all time the battle against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph.6: 12b). If we are to prevail, we must fight the good fight of faith; we must pray. The souls of lost men and women literally hang in the balance. While lost souls teeter-totter on the brink of destruction, Christians are largely unconcerned and prayer-less.
· We should be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, "Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask."
· She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies? She said, I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all. So he sat back down.
· They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies? She said, I told you that you cant have any. Now sit down & be quiet.
· Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?