Summary: A church must continue to give itself to prayer in every situation of life.
Ephesians 6:18 KJV Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
I. INTRODUCTION -- PRAYER
A. Quotes on Prayer
Guy H. King—No one is a firmer believer in prayer than the devil; not that he practices it but that he suffers from it.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones—Prayer demands no special dress. Prayer demands on special place. Prayer demands no special eloquence. Prayer demands no special scholarship. Prayer never struts. Prayer seeks no applause. Prayer defies definition. Prayer eludes explanation. Prayer is birthed in time, but it grasps eternity. Prayer strengthens the weak and weakens the strong. Prayer touches the power of the world to come. It avails because it prevails. Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the power of our prayer life.
Leonard Ravenhill—There are, I am sure, acres of undiscovered truth about prayer in the Bible. Prayer is the most unexplored area of the Christian life. Payer is the most powerful weapon of the Christian life. Prayer is the most hell-feared battle in the Christian life. Prayer is the most secret device of the Christian life. Prayer is the most underestimated power in the Christian life. Prayer is the most untaught truth in the Christian life. Prayer is the most demanding exercise in the Christian life. Prayer is the most neglected responsibility in the Christian life. Prayer is the most conquering outreach in the Christian life. Prayer is the most opposed warfare in the Christian life. Prayer is the most far-reaching ministry in the Christian life.
B. Personal Thought on Prayer
It has been at least 20 years ago that I was encouraged to do a particular activity with my own personal prayer life. With that admission, I am realizing how quickly that time passes by and that the clock never slows down its march. A good friend of mine, Brent Rashall, who at the time was assisting his father in the Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, told me that there are elements in a place of prayer that we can literally move things. Obviously being those things that are the will of God.
He told me that there are times in prayer that you will get down and begin to pray and after a little while, you break into that realm of the Spirit where Heaven almost seems to be at attention. These times are always marked by tongues and a strong sense of the presence of God.
What happens to most of us when we get into this particular place of prayer is that we spend about 5-10 minutes there and then end our prayer meeting. We do that because we have received much encouragement in our own spirit and feel as if God has answered our prayers to which there is enough evidence that this has happened. But there is an element of going beyond this little episode. It is moving beyond that place of encouragement and literally began to push back the forces that oppose us, our families, and the apostolic Church.
I can distinctly remember him telling me that when you find yourself in that place of prayer to refuse the temptation to stop your prayer. There is a place in the world of the Spirit that we can become an incredible force for God and see Him accomplish so much. The challenge for most of us is that we far too often underestimate the power of our own prayers. The devil does his best to discourage our efforts at pressing beyond. In fact if he can keep us prayer-less, he will resort to every trick he has in his proverbial bag.
-Let me encourage you to press your prayers as you never have before. There are mighty things that can happen when you do this:
• This kind of prayer is mountain moving prayer (Mark 11:23).
• This kind of prayer is what enlarges us in our distress (Psalm 4:1).
• This kind of prayer refuses the hindrances of the edicts written by kings (Daniel 6:10).
• This kind of prayer avenges us of our adversaries (Luke 18:1-7).
• This kind of prayer releases captives from their prisons (Acts 12:5).
• This kind of prayer is a continuing prayer that bolsters hope and waits out tribulation (Romans 12:12).
• This kind of prayer does not cease (1 Thess. 5:17).
• This kind of praying wrestles down blessings and transformation (Genesis 32:24-28).
• This is the kind of praying that causes us to receive the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table (Matt. 15:25-28).
• This is the kind of praying that will get bread at midnight (Luke 11:5-8).
-This is the kind of prayer that puts you on the front-lines of the battle.
• It is crying prayer.
• It is loud prayer.