Summary: Part 12 of Sermon on the Mount, an introduction to the Lords Prayer
Matthew 6:5 And when you pray. Prayer,what is prayer? Roger Babson "Prayer is the greatest unused power in the world." Charles Trumbell "Prayer is realising the energies of God." Phillip Brooks "prayer is in it’s simplest definition, is merely a wish turned heavenward." Samuel Coolridge "Prayer is the highest energy of which the mind is capable." and finally Billy Graham states "Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together."
World Literature Crusade conducted Schools of Prayer all over the world and they began those schools with a number of statement concerning prayer and they are: PRAYER IS:
1)the first step to knowing Jesus Christ,
2) recognizing the presence of God,
3) mans means to know God intimately,
4) laying hold of God’s promises
5) is the soul on it’s knees
6) is the path to strength and peace,
7) man’s way to understanding God’s plan,
8) doing business with God,
9) God’s gift of power,
10) man’a means to touch God,
11) serving on an executive committee for world evangelism,
12) two people in love,
13) giving God access to our need,
14) key to the miraculous,
15) the very breath of spiritual life.
It’s all summed up by saying Prayer isn’t a monologue, it is a dialogue. Our talking to God and God talking to us.
Now Jesus begins by firstly making a positive assumption,
because He says When you pray not if you pray but instead when you pray. Now the word prayer is used over 375 times in the Bible, as compared to the word sing which is mentioned 185 times and the word preach which is mentioned just over 100 times.
Christ prayed in the wilderness, on a mountain in the temple in a solitary place and in the garden.
Many of us reach for prayer as a last resort, when nothing else works pray. It’s like the story told about the three slaves in the southern states who were talking after a storm. . . Are you a strange voice? You shouldn’t be.
There are very few things which you as a Christian are commanded to do. Which is really unfortunate, it would make my life a whole lot easier if the good book said, thou shalt attend sunday school, or thou shalt attend a mid week bible study, or thou shalt give to the building fund. But then again maybe it wouldn’t help anyways.
After all Matthew 26:41 Watch and Pray, Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up., Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the spirit on Âall occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests., I Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually, I Timothy 2:8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, And Christ said, And when you pray. He really seems quite certain about it doesn’t he? There doesn’t seem to be any doubt in His mind that we would pray. But what has happened along the way?
Have we lost our desire to commune with God? Is the reason that we don’t do anything for God, because we don’t know what he wants us to do?
My first full time ministry position after College was as an Associate Pastor in Malone N.Y. and it was a miserable failure, all the way around. The main reason was because the senior pastor and I never talked to one another. We never knew what the other was up to and we never shared our dreams, we both went our separate ways and I never knew just what it was that he expected out of me.
Sometimes that is what it’s like between us and God. Is the reason we fail sometimes as a church because we fail to pray? James 4:2 You have not because you ask not. D.L. Moody, "Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure." W.W. Ayer "The quickest way to get a Church on it’s feet is to get it on it’s knees."
Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. When was the last time that happened to you, or to us? When was the last time that we shook the Empire Cinemas with prayer? Don’t worry about it falling down, if we pray this one down then we can pray another one up.
Did you catch what else happened, something even more dramatic then the building shaking? They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God boldly. Did they pray because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, did they pray because they spoke the word of God with boldness. If this church is going to set our communities on fire then first it will have to set itself on fire and prayer is the match that we’ll need.