Summary: Do we really believe that God is a prayer-hearing & a prayer-answering God? In our modern society maybe we become Christian humanists who believe that as humans we can do anything if we take the time to plan carefully & implement the plan.
IS ANSWERED PRAYED A MIRACLE.
A young boy was telling the pastor that his mother said his prayers for him each night. "What do you mean, your mother says your prayers for you?" the minister inquired. The youngster replied, "When mom tucks me in she always says, Thank God he’s in bed.
Prayer is a place of refuge that is provided by the Lord to His Children. Often in the bible we see words like shelter or our secret place when the bible talks about praying to the Lord.
Psalm 32:7. You are my hiding place: you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
We all want a place to go when we’re stressed or sad, tired or lonely, fearful or tempted, disappointed or discouraged; a place where we can unload our burdens and get some relief. When we go to prayer we are to be seeking the face of the Lord. I think to often we go to the Lord seeking his hands.
Let’s say we need a favour. Who are we going to ask, a friend or a stranger? Naturally we’re going to ask a friend because we have a relationship with them. The closer the friend the more we may feel inclined to make bigger requests. That’s why we need to constantly nurture our friendship with God. Friendship is a two-way street. God is the initiator but we’re given an opportunity to reciprocate. If we come to God ONLY when we’re in trouble and not on a daily basis what kind of friendship is that? We’re just using God because this relationship is only one way.
When we feel insecure and inadequate we need a refuge or a shelter. We need a retreat and prayer can transport us to such a place!
Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, & He will make your paths straight."
If we get sick, we can call the doctor or go to the emergency room. If a natural calamity destroys our property, we can fill out an insurance claim. If company comes unexpectedly & we’re short on food, we can go to the supermarket. If our clothes wear out, we can go to a clothing store. If we run out of money, we can use plastic. If we don’t have enough to make ends meet, we can get a loan or go to the food bank. If we’re having relational difficulties, we can go to a counsellor. Now when you think about what is available it is no wonder that people say with all of this, who needs God? Most of us here probably don’t think that way. We all know that we need the lord! Each week we gather in His name to sing songs of worship and praise. We take time to read and study the Bible and we pray believing in the power & importance of prayer. Maybe we feel that since we think that we can’t pray that we don’t have a regular time of prayer. Maybe we think that since everyone else is going to be praying then the lord doesn’t need our prayers? Do we really believe that God is a prayer-hearing & a prayer-answering God? In our modern society maybe we become Christian humanists who believe that as humans we can do anything if we take the time to plan carefully & implement the plan. There are people in today church societies who believe that God no longer has the power He had in Bible times?
In Woody Allen’s Love and Death, Napoleon walked by his lady’s room & heard voices. "I was praying," the lady explained. "But I heard two voices," Napoleon said. "I do both parts," she replied. Do we take care of both parts? We talk to God & then tell Him what His answer should be? Then, if He doesn’t do what we ask, we just don’t pray?
I hope that we all understand that we don’t pray because we believe in prayer; we pray because we believe in God. If we do believe that He is the all-powerful God of the Bible, who hasn’t put His power on hold then we will pray. You see, the power of prayer is the power of God.
Psalm 115:3 declares, "Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him." God does whatever He pleases & He doesn’t need our vote - nor does He wait for our veto.
So if we’re going to talk about prayer, the first thing we need is to realize the awesomeness of God. Some have been taught that the only reason we pray is to change ourselves. But the Bible does not teach that as a reason to pray. Instead, the Bible teaches that prayer affects God & that prayer can affect circumstances. The background for today lesson is that 5 kings got together to fight against the Gibeonites because they made a treaty with Israel. Joshua and the Israelites marched all night. Then in Verses 12-15 we have a miracle. Joshua prayed and the sun and the moon stood still. Time froze. Is this hard to believe? Well that depend on what you think of God. Do you believe that God created everything? If God is the creator then can’t God Sovereignty act over everything that he has created to allow him to interfere so that his purpose will be accomplished?