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Summary: "Pray?" you ask. "Why pray?" you ask. Because prayer is our great privilege! Talk to God. Let God speak to you. Let the Christians "pray up."

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"A Wide Door for Effective Service:

Let the Christians ’Pray Up’"

Author: Dr. Neal Gray

Passage: John 17:9-23, KJV

Purpose: "Pray?" you ask. "Why pray?" you ask. Because prayer is our great privilege! Talk to God. Let God speak to you. Let the Christians "pray up."

INTRODUCTION

This Sermon Series

This message is the 5th of a 6-part sermon series titled, "A Wide Door for Effective Service." The key verse for this series is:

"I will tarry...until Pentecost; for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries." (1 Corinthians 16:9)

The emphasis for the series is this: each Christian member of this church is, in fact, a minister. The time has come for you to find a suitable and enjoyable service in your church; for you to contribute in ways more than you have practiced until now.

==> I believe strongly--very strongly--that there are many ways YOU can be in effective service in Christ’s church; and at the same time, YOU CAN BE MORE FULFILLED by doing the thing that you enjoy, but doing it for God and His people. Whatever your particular ministry may be...EVERY CHRISTIAN’S MINISTRY IS PRAYER!

People Who Have Prayed for Me

I grew up in a household where prayer was not an important thing. In fact, I can’t remember ever having prayer together as a family; not even at meals. On the other hand, that I’m sure my parents must have prayed for me, even if their prayers went something like this: "Oh God, please keep that boy from doing the damage he is surely capable of doing!"

Fortunately, my parents have always been God-fearing persons, and so I am sure that they prayed sincere prayers for me. (They are now church attending Christians, thanks be to God!) My Granny Swindell and Grandma Hollis, I am sure, used to pray for me. They are both home with the Lord now.

And, I have always known that my wife, Vicki, prays for me daily--probably she prays hourly for me! She is a godly lady, and she prays for me.

I’m also very sure that my pastor and his wife, Rev. Marvin McDaniel and Fran, pray for me often; probably daily.

And I know that MANY of you beloved people pray daily for me!

So, I have always known something about being on the receiving end of prayer. But, it wasn’t until I met a senior saint, a lady I’ll call Mrs. Allen, that I learned about the true effects of prayer. She attended the church where I began my pastoral ministry, i.e., Peniel Church of the Nazarene. She knew that I needed a lot of prayer, and she had the time, the faith, and the will to pray for me.

Rev. John Wesley’s Emphasis on Prayer

Friends, it takes prayer to change the world. And it takes much prayer to accomplish anything for God. The Rev. John Wesley recognized that when he said:

"Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God; and I care not a straw whether they be clergy or laymen. Such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer."

==> God’s hand MOVES WHEN PEOPLE AND PASTORS PRAY TOGETHER. Through prayer, God makes the impossible, possible.


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