Summary: One of the most important things that we can do as Christians is to learn to pray. We need to trust in our Heavenly Father who is good, and loves to give good gifts to His children. There is power in prayer!
iPRAY – BUILDING A HOUSE OF PRAYER
OPENING: Foursquare pastor’s convention report. Excited about new season & coming harvest!
INTRO TO TOPIC: For some reason, the smallest meeting in every church is the prayer meeting. Why is that? Perhaps it is because people have tried to pray in the past and haven’t seen results, or they don’t really believe that prayer changes things, or they simply don’t know how to pray. I want to change that! The title for our series is “iPray” which reminds us that God wants all of us to be people of prayer.
QUOTE: “Prayer meetings in the church have become relegated to a few old ladies who have nothing else to do… (but) Prayer is meant to be one of the most exciting aspects of a life of faith. It has the power to transform lives, change circumstances, give peace and perseverance in the midst of trials, alter the course of nations, and win the world for Christ.” (Myles Munroe).
“The sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants… Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:6-7, NKJV).
• Jesus quoted this Scripture, and Matthew (21:13), Mark (11:17) and Luke (19:46) all recorded it in the New Testament. That tells me this is an important truth!
• Not just a house of preaching or praise and worship, the church is a house of prayer!
QUOTE: “Without prayer, we cannot live the Christian life. Prayer means power. More prayer means more power. Prayerlessness is disobedience, for God’s command is that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The place where the Christian stops to refuel is prayer.” (Leonard Ravehnill, Revival Praying). We need a revival of prayer and seeking God in the church!
THE BIG IDEA: One of the most important things that we can do as Christians is to learn to pray. We need to trust in our Heavenly Father who is good, and loves to give good gifts to His children. There is power in prayer!
• My hope is that when you go home from church today that you will say, “iPray!”
THE CALL: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6). Christianity is all about a personal relationship with Jesus!
1. THE STORY OF HONI THE CIRCLE MAKER: (Show Video Clip)
It was the first century BC and a devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation, the generation before Jesus. The last of the Jewish prophets had died off nearly four centuries before. Miracles were such a distant memory that they seemed like a false memory. And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if the people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.
With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi began to turn like a math compass. Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain. “Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children.” Then it rained. (The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson).
2. THE STORY OF ELIJAH: (James 5:16-18).
• The story of Honi reminds me of Elijah, an Old Testament prophet who prayed for rain:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
• God didn’t answer Elijah or Honi’s prayers because they were special!
• Our Heavenly Father is a good God and loves to give good gifts to His children.
• Why don’t we see miracles? “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2b).
• Jesus said, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24).