Sermons

Summary: Prayer is communication with God on a personal level. #1 in a 4-part series.

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Title: How Can I Begin An Effective Prayer Life?

Series: Prayer Changes Things

Text: John 15:5-8

Introduction

In the small town we lived in, the volunteer fire department’s telephone was answered by the policeman on duty, who would in turn sound the fire whistle to rally the volunteers to duty. One Saturday morning my father, the town chief of police, had just come on duty when the fire department phone rang. He picked up the phone and said, "Fire Department."

A voice on the other end of the line frantically said, "Send the fire truck!" Then the caller immediately slammed the phone down.

My dad stood stunned, not knowing what to do. In a few minutes the phone rang again. Quickly he picked it up and said again, "Fire Department!"

Again the voice cried, "Send the fire truck!" Again the caller immediately hung up.

Realizing that someone’s house was possibly at stake, he rushed outside and scanned the sky to see if he could see smoke and therefore send the fire trucks in that direction. While outside he also devised a plan as to how to keep the caller from hanging up so quickly if she called back. Sure enough the phone rang again and he went running inside. Picking up the phone he quickly asked, "Where’s the fire?"

The lady on the other end screamed, "In the kitchen," and slammed the phone down again. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 110.)

Does this story describe your prayer life?

I. PRAYER IS A CONVERSATION BETWEEN YOU AND GOD.

Note: Prayer is not a one-sided conversation with a God who is “out there somewhere.” God desires your fellowship and love. He also wants you to know and experience His love and presence. But much of our prayer life should be in listening, not in speaking; for it is only in listening that we receive an answer from God.

Illustration: Quotes

Ø Great minds talk about ideas; mediocre minds talk about things; small minds talk about other people. (Proverb. Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 1836.)

Ø Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln. (Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 1845.)

Ø If nobody ever said anything unless he knew what he was talking about, what a ghastly hush would descend upon the earth! Sir Alan Patrick Herbert. (Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 1852.)

Ø Man has been given two ears and only one tongue that he might listen twice as much as he speaks. Walter Colton. (Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 1858.)

Ø The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in one language is priceless. (Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 1876.)


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