Summary: Understanding the power of prayer!
Humor about prayer:
A Direct Line….
In the 1963, President Kennedy had a hot-line installed in the Oval Office to head off the possibility of Nuclear disaster by means of a direct connection with the Kremlin. By simply picking up the phone, the leader of the other large SuperPower would pick up his immediately as well. It was a direct line. No call waiting, no busy signals, no answering machines….someone was always there to pick it up.
1. Prayer flies in the face of our too busy lives because it demands we stop and seemingly do nothing.
a. It is alien to our human nature.
i. We want to fix things….And when we pray, we ask God to fix things.
ii. We want to do things…And when we pray we wait on God to do things.
iii. We want control…And to pray is an admission that we are NOT in control!
b. And all of these things lead us to anxiety, because deep down inside, we know we are not in control!.
c. Phil. 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Key Passage)
d. It is amazing how much anxiety we will live with before we will pray.
e. Sometimes we prefer to worry because we feel as if we are “emotionally involved” rather than turning it over to God in prayer which would seem to imply that we aren’t as involved in the situation.
2. What is Prayer?
a. Talking with God –one good friend to another.
b. “Prayer is surrender to God – surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw a boat hook out from a boat and catch a hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.” (Stanley Jones)
c. Prayer is Listening to God - The prayer of Samuel “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”
- If prayer is that easy, why do we find it so hard to pray?
3. Prayerlessness – a prayerless life is filled with hopelessness, anxiety and despair.
a. It is hard for God to release His power into your life when YOU put your hands into your pockets and say, “I can handle it on my own.”
iii. We are prayerless because …
5. distraction (got little kids?)
6. Wrong beliefs about prayer
9. Unsure on how to pray
10. Doubt God’s power or willingness to answer
11. Unanswered prayers in the past
iv. Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power.
v. They feel defeated, overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around.
1. It is amazing how many of us are willing to settle for lives like that!
b. No one has to live like that!
4. Because God is ready to hear you!
a. The scriptures are filled with passages telling us that our almighty, omnipotent God is ready, willing and able to answer the prayers of His followers.”
b. God’s power can change circumstances and relationships.
c. God’s power can help us face daily struggles
d. God’s power can heal psychological and physical problems.
e. God’s power can remove marriage obstructions.
f. God’s power can meet financial needs.
g. God’s power through prayer can encourage the discouraged.
5. Skeptics say that answered prayers are only coincidences, but isn’t amazing how many coincidences occur when one begins to pray?
a. George Mueller’s answers to prayer…who he was and what he did…..During the last year of Mr. Mueller’s life, among the gifts (for the feeding of the orphans) recorded were 7, 203 loaves of bread; 5,222 buns; 20 boxes of soap; 9 tons of coal; 26 haunches of venison; 112 rabbits; 312 pheasants; 5 bags of oatmeal; 26 cases of oranges; 5 boxes of dates and 4,013 pounds of meat along with hundreds of other items. Additionally he had prayed for the financial needs of the orphan houses and had during the course of his lifetime received over 2 1/2 million dollars--always making his requests known only to God. All of these gifts were needed to help care for and feed the thousands of orphans under his careful wing.
i. Mr. Mueller testified that in his lifetime 50,000 specific prayers were answered. Years before he died, about he middle of his career, he affirmed that up to that time 5000 of his definite prayers had been answered on the day of asking.