Summary: Growing Deeper in Prayer – Psalm 86 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(1). When You Pray.
• Come humbly (vs 1-2)
• Come daily (vs 3)
• Come intentionally (vs 4)
(2). What to Remember.
• God is forgiving (vs 5)
• God answers prayer (vs 6-7)
• God works miracles, (vs 8)
• God alone is God (vs 10)
(3). As You Pray.
• Learn God's way & Obey it (vs 11-13).
• Talk to God & Trust Him (vs 14-15)
• Be Specific in Your Prayers (vs 16-17a).
• Thank God for His help (vs 17b).
Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, and Quasimodo were all talking one day.
• Sleeping Beauty said,
• "I believe myself to be the most beautiful girl in the world."
• Tom Thumb said,
• "I must be the smallest person in the world."
• Quasimodo said,
• "I absolutely have to be the ugliest person in the world."
So they all decided to go to the Guinness Book of World Records to have their claims verified.
• Sleeping Beauty went in first and came out looking deliriously happy.
• "It's official, I AM the most beautiful girl in the world."
• Tom Thumb went next and emerged triumphant,
• "I am now officially the smallest person in the world."
• Sometime later, Quasimodo comes out looking utterly confused and says.
• "Who is Martin Fielder?” [Replace with some other ‘suitable’ person in the fellowship]
• TRANSITION: Now that has nothing to do with my message;
• But I thought you might enjoy the story!
• On Tuesday I was at the Ministers Fraternal, for the Church Leaders of the area:
• Mark Madavan from Locks Heath Church;
• Shared the New Year fact that LHFC had taken a Bible verse as a moto for the year.
• The verse he chose was on prayer.
• Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18:
• “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
• He then shared with us, how he had asked lots of people in his Church;
• Especially the older members – if they felt they prayed enough?
• Now I could have told him in advance the answer he would get;
• Because the answer was and always is’ “No!”
• That is not just true at LHFC, but true here at DRC;
• And true in every Church I have ever gone along too!
Quote: Charles Swindoll from his book ‘Strengthening Your Grip’
• “If you find it difficult to pray, then you are in good company!
• The wartime theologian and writer Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for example,
• Once admitted that his prayer experience was; “Something to be ashamed of”.
• The Great reformer, Martin Luther, anguished in prayer,
• Saving three of the best hours of the day to pray; yet he seldom seemed satisfied.
• Go down through the list of Christian greats,
• We find one after another working hard at prayer,
• But frequently you will find they were dissatisfied,
• Some of them even woefully unhappy about their prayer life.
• E. M. Bounds, Alexander Maclaren, Samuel Rutherford, Hudson Taylor,
• John Henry Jowett, G. Campbell Morgan, Joseph Parker, Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
• F. B. Meyer, A. W. Tozer, H. A. Ironside, Billy Graham,
• Great men, strong Christian examples,
• Magnificent role models,
• Yet you can hardly find one of that number who was satisfied with his prayer life.
• Oh, they laboured in prayer, they believed in prayer,
• They taught and preached prayer...”
• But like you and me, they were all strugglers, who had to work hard at it!
• So if you struggle when it comes to prayer;
• Then you are in good company!
When it comes to praying you can use the ‘carrot’ or the ‘stick’ approach:
• I guess you all know that saying;
• It is an idiom that refers to a policy;
• Of offering a combination of rewards and punishment to induce behavior.
• So there is no point hitting you with the ‘stick’;
• And telling you again and again that you must pray more!
• We all know we need to pray more!
• I think the Bible uses the ‘carrot’, the reward approach;
• That is the Bible constantly shows us the benefits & rewards of praying.
• And todays psalm is a case in point.
(1). Come to God in Prayer.
• The mighty Aztec empire was the most powerful Mesoamerican kingdom of all time.
• It stretched for more than 80,000 square miles;
• Through many parts of what is now central and southern Mexico.
• This enormous empire reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf coast;
• And from central Mexico to the present-day Republic of Guatemala.
• Fifteen million people,