Summary: No matter how difficult our circumstances may be… it is in this process of prayer and faith that will build us stronger and, in the end, make our lives more blessed and enjoyable.
EFFECTIVE AND FERVENT PRAYER
Adapted from - LET THESE BE OUR PRAYERS
Sermon Central – 09.17.06
San Raphael, Prieto Diaz
My wife and I were married in 1971 and there was a popular country song entitled “I never promised you a Rose Garden”… Being married has had it’s challenges and likewise living a Christian life is not a “bed of roses.” We are not exempt from troubles and trials in our journey, as Christian.
1. Difficult people
2. Health problems
3. Circumstances beyond our control
One thing I have learned (over and over) is that every problem I have had to face has passed through God’s hands and has this purpose:
To bring us to the end of trying to rely on our own resources, and to rely exclusively on God’s riches.
The Apostle Paul stated this truth in a letter to the church at Thessalonica.
Text: II Thes. 1:11 - 12
Paul (no doubt) was a prayer warrior in that he was “always praying”. It’s almost too hard to believe that a person could live their life in continuous prayer for someone else…
Perhaps this is an area in which our church is missing it.
These final days we are living in are short, difficult and uncertain. I’ve spoken with many pastors from all over this part of the country and every one of them are very concerned with what they see happening.
In some cases the church is little more than a giant machine with all kinds of programs and merely performing in one church service after another. In the meantime, the day to day personal needs of the people are being overlooked by the individual people and the church at large.
I am hearing reports of churches becoming more and more relevant with the people while the need for being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb is neglected. Godly living may no longer be as important to the congregation as is tolerance and permissiveness. The liberal views of the world are replacing the Ten Commandments not just in our schools and court houses, but in our churches as well.
Why are these things happening? Because the church is forgetting how important prayer is to it’s people and the people of it’s community.
1. What is Prayer? PRAYER IS:
Faith Expressed with words straight from the heart.
PRAYER is - Making deliberate contact with God.
It is an Invaluable Discipline
It is also a whole host of other things such as,
1. outpouring of praise
2. confession of wrong
3. request for help
4. declaration of need
5. statement of thanks
6. intercession for others
• Through prayer, we draw near to God
• Prayer is the discipline of the mind and heart, and is seldom easy. 1Thes. 5:17 - We are urged to “pray without ceasing” – meaning we’re to have an attitude of prayer everyday of our lives.
2. Why Is Prayer Important?
• It refocuses our perspective
• It brings peace to our fears and anxieties.
• It transfer our burdens to God’s hands(Matt.11;28-29)
• It upholds our friends and loved ones who are in need.
In this chapter Paul:
1. expressed a thanksgiving for their faith (v.3)
2. acknowledged their perseverance/endurance (v.4)
3. reassured them that God is just (5-9)
4. encouraged them in the hope of the Lord’s coming (v.10)
In verses 11-12 he prayed for the people, and we can see the prayer life of Paul. Paul knew what he was doing so look closely with me.
Verse 11 says that we are to “always be worthy of the calling”
• Instead of asking to remove problems/hardships, Paul prayed that God would make us the kind of children He wants us to be.
• “Calling” here is meant, the ultimate glory for our lives. Ah-h-h- NO PRESSURE, PAUL…
• The prayer HERE IS that, by the sanctifying work of God through the Word and the Spirit and even through their trials, the people would live in a manner that was consistent with God’s calling on their lives.
• However, this passage doesn’t mean we don’t have to think about our sufferings or those of our families and friends. It just that we are going to have to trust God.
Verse 11 also tells us “to fulfill all of His goodness”
• our own goodness would not be good enough
• But we must pray that all good intentions that are of God should be accomplished
You see prayer is not primarily about us…it’s about Him!
As well, we need the “work of faith to be fulfilled with power”
• If we expect to see anything change through our prayers we will need to ask God to strengthen our faith in Him and give to us the ”power” to pray.