Summary: Based on Roman 12:12 - This sermon encourages listeners to develop a stronger prayer life.
“HOW TO TURN ON YOUR PRAYER LIFE”
FBCF – 9/13/20
INTRO – Max Lucado is such a great writer. Wrote this about prayer: “Most of our prayer lives could use a tune-up. Some prayer lives lack consistency. They're either a desert or an oasis. Long, arid dry spells interrupted by brief plunges into waters of communion…
Others of us need sincerity. Our prayers are a bit hollow, memorized, & rigid. More liturgy than life. And though they are daily, they are dull.
Still others lack, well, honesty. We honestly wonder if prayer makes a difference. Why on earth would God in heaven want to talk w/ me? If God knows all, who am I to tell Him anything? If God controls all, who am I to do anything?...
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it & not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” (From He Still Moves Stones)
So, where do you start if you’re going to preach a sermon on prayer? Which Scriptures do you use?
- The Lord’s Prayer?
- One of Paul’s prayers in his NT letters?
- Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17?
- One of David’s many prayers in the Psalms?
- And there are many others that we could mention – Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Nehemiah, & the list goes on…
The answer to this question is that any & all of these are great passages that we could read & study if we wanted to have more understanding of prayer so that we would have more practicing of prayer. There are tons of Scriptures in the Bible & many prayer warriors that we could study.
What this tells us is our application for this sermon: Prayer is a major part of any person’s life who desires to be close to God.
- Adrian Rogers – “Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God. What fools we are if we do not learn to pray!”
A few things I want you to know as we get into this message:
- First, I’m not going to guilt-trip you if you’re not spending large swaths of time on your knees in agonizing prayer.
- Secondly, I don’t want you to feel beat up if you are really struggling w/ your prayer life – not sure how to do, when to do it, how long you’re supposed to do…
- But on the other hand, I don’t want you to feel like you’re let off the hook either if you’re not sincerely putting forth some effort to try & grow in your prayer life.
o Remember title of this series – “My Spiritual Growth Toolbox” – Toolboxes are used for work – for jobs that need to get done.
o The job we are working on in this series is our spiritual growth & maturity. And prayer is one of the major tools we need to learn to use so we can accomplish this job.
EXPLANATION – So grab your Bibles & open them to Romans 12:12.
The book of Romans is the Magna Carta of Christian theology & discipleship. It’s Paul’s strongest writing on who God is, who Jesus is, what salvation is all about, & how we live it out in our lives. Basically, divided into 4 sections:
- The need for righteousness (being right w/ God)
- The provision of righteousness (God give us what we need so we can be right w/ Him)
- The explanation of righteousness (the unpacking of what it means to be right w/ God)
- The living out of righteousness (how do we do live out this righteousness in our everyday lives?)
That last section is purposefully different from the rest of the book. Those first 3 sections cover 11 chapters & are deep & weighty, worthy of lots of digging & studying. This last section, ch. 12-16, is much more practical & relevant to our everyday lives as Christ-followers. Many of the verse are straight-to-the-point instructions on important, daily issues.
- For instance, look at the verses surrounding v. 12 (v. 9-21).
Right in the middle of all of these instructions we find this one small, but powerful statement: “Be constant in prayer.” That word “constant” is full of meaning for us:
- To be devoted to; persist; attend constantly; remain faithful to; to spend much time in; to be faithful to; to keep hold of
APPLICATION – First of all, before we go any further, the most important prayer you can pray right now if you never have is a prayer for salvation.