Summary: Is there a Christian who is content with their prayer life. We all need encouragement to pray more.
I want to encourage everyone to pray
1. Definition of prayer and of intercession
i) to pray is to “ask earnestly”
ii) intercede: “to plead with person for someone else”
2. Why it is important to pray
a) Because Jesus prayed
b) Mat 14:23 After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray . It was late, and Jesus was there alone. Jesus taught us to pray
c) Mat 26: 36 Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray
d) Luke5: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
e) Luke 6: 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God
f) If Jesus prayed, if the son of God needed to spend whole nights in prayer, how much more do we need to pray?
g) Can’t realistically look at Jesus’ prayer life and expect ours to be the same … let’s look at a man … Jam 5:17,18
NKJV The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 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. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
When a believing person prays, great things happen. 17 Elijah was a human being just like us. He prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years! 18 Then Elijah prayed again, and the rain came down from the sky, and the land produced crops again.
3. A look at Elijah’s prayer life 1Kings 17:1
a) He believed / had faith 17:1
i) Ahab: The God who I serve, well I think that he is a God, I can prove it, but I’ll need to do some research … well anyway, I was praying and I thought I felt God say, it could be me, so you’ll need to judge this for yourself … but in my spirit I feel that if you continue in disobedience then there will be a drought …NOOOO!!!
ii) He was confident in his faith … faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Spend time reading the scriptures and your faith will be increased.
b) He was holy ie. He was recognisably different 17:12
c) He prayed with passion 18:42 Elijah bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
i) James tells us that what he was doing with his head between his knees was praying
ii) Posture taken up by women giving birth … intensity of his prayer
iii) We can all get a little more passionate in our prayer times
iv) Nicholas Bengu … people were scared to go into the same room with him when he prayed.
d) He prayed until the task was accomplished
i) We give up too easily
e) He responded to God’s voice 19:11-13
i) God please let me speak to someone today about Jesus … then we dont
ii) Ask God to wake you in the morning and then when he does, we don’t get out of bed.
f) He prayed what God told him to pray and he prayed through what God told him to do. 18:36-38; 41,42
i) 18:42 BUT … Just because God promises something doesn’t mean that it will just happen … we need to pray it through, that’s the pattern of scripture
4. Hindrances to prayer
a) Spiritual battle … devil knows that if he can distract us from prayer.
b) 2 Chron 7: 14 if my people , who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
i) Pride is a major hindrance … why?
a) All we pray for is oursleves
b) Not willing to confess our sins
c) Want God to do things our way
c) Mark 14: 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
i) DON’T GIVE UP. Train your flesh. Now is the perfect time. Athletes do altitude training. Christians should do winter training. If you can pray now, you can pray anytime.
5. Benefits of prayer
a) Enjoy the supernatural provision of God 17:6
b) I am changed
c) I grow … draw near to God and he will draw near to you
i) Begin to hear his heart beat
End with quotes from Leonard Ravenhill
Where are the Elijah’s of God?