Sermons

Summary: I’m no good at Praying (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

Reading: Nehemiah chapter 1 verse 1 to chapter 2 verse 10

Ill:

• It was the late American pastor and author Donald Barnhouse;

• Who stunned his congregation one Sunday by declaring; “Prayer changes nothing”.

• The church was packed full of people,

• Yet you could have heard a pin drop.

• Now his comment was deliberately designed to make folks think.

• The point he wanted to make was; “It is God who THROUGH prayer changes things!”

Ill:

• I like the story of the 72 year old woman;

• Who went to bed one night and prayed this prayer;

• “Please God give me the skin like a teenager’s”

• The next morning she woke up covered in acne!

Ill:

• A more series story is told about a particular region of Africa,

• Where the first converts to Christianity were very diligent about praying.

• In fact, the believers each had their own special place;

• Outside the village where they went to pray in solitude.

• The villagers reached these “prayer rooms”

• By using their own private footpaths through the brush.

• When grass began to grow over one of these trails,

• It was evident that the person to whom it belonged was not praying very much.

• Because these new Christians were concerned for each other’s spiritual welfare,

• A unique custom sprang up.

• When ever anyone noticed an overgrown “Prayer path,”

• He or she would go to the person and lovingly warn, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!”

We have recorded in Nehemiah chapter 1 & 2 some insights to help us pray better:

• Until I started preparing for this sermon;

• I never actually realised how much prayer pervades (saturates) this entire book!

• Prayer is one of the overriding themes of the book;

• It is the secret to Nehemiah’s success.

• The prayer we read in chapter 1 is the first of 12 different prayers recorded in the book.

• In fact the book begins with prayer in Persia and closes with prayer in Jerusalem.

Now your homework today is to read those 12 prayers:

• (Only take you about 15mins):

• You will see an incredible variety in his prayers;

• e.g. chapters 8 and 9 contain prayers that are filled with adoration.

• e.g. chapter 12 is full of thanksgiving;

• e.g. chapters 1 and 9 contain prayers of confession.

• e.g. chapters 1 and 2 contain prayers of Petition (requests).

• Those 12 prayers also contain prayers of anguish, joy, protection, dependence & commitment.

• Nehemiah is a book or rather a story of compassionate, persistent, personal & corporate prayer.

• As you read the book you will discover that prayer gives Nehemiah perspective;

• It also widens his horizons, sharpens his vision and dwarfs his anxieties.

So really if you want to get to grips with prayer:

• You ought to go home and at least read (better still study);

• The book of Nehemiah!

Ill:

• (1st). The closest finger to you is the thumb.

• Pray for those that are closest to you. Pray for your parents and your brothers or sisters.

• (2nd). The next finger is called your index finger. It is used for pointing.

• Let this finger remind you to pray for those that point you in the right direction.

• Pray for your teachers at school, your Sunday School teacher, and your pastor.

• (3rd).The next finger is the tallest finger.

• This finger reminds us to pray for our leaders.

• Pray for the prime minister and other leaders in our government;

• And those who are leaders in our town.

• (4th). The fourth finger is the called the ring finger.

• Did you know that this is the weakest of all the fingers?

• Just ask any one who plays the piano and they will tell you that is true.

• Let this finger remind you to pray for those who are sick.

• (5). The next finger is the smallest finger.

• The Bible says, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought."

• Let the little finger remind you to pray for yourself.

• So the next time you are talking to God, and you can't think of anything to say,

• Let the "Five Finger Prayer" help you.

Back ground:

• If you don’t know who Nehemiah was let me just give you a bit of background info.

• In the year 586BC Babylon (was a world military super power);

• It had invaded Judah (Southern kingdom) and took away the Jewish people into captivity.

• They became slaves in a foreign land.

• They actually deported the people in three stages;

• During the third stage the Babylonians not only took the people,

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion