Summary: This message urges a return to passionate, powerful, and personal prayer, due to the tremendous needs of our churches and our world.
Poignant Purpose for Passionate Prayer
Text: Col. 4:2; James 5:16b
Intro: In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he urges them to “continue in prayer.” The word translated “continue” meant that the Colossians were “to give constant attention…unremitting care…” to the practice of prayer.
Paul went on to exhort the saints at Colossae to “watch” in prayer. The idea here is to give “strict attention to, to be active, to take heed…” to one’s prayer life in the sense of being awake and alert.
How often we pray dull, listless prayers. However, I fear the reason for our ineptitude in prayer is not so much that Christians do not know how to pray, as it is that they do not have an intimate relationship with God. If there is no fire on the altar of one’s heart, the incense of prayer will not rise to God. Along this line, King David said, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Ps. 141:2).
Dear folks, is the fire of God burning on the altar of your heart today? Is your walk with God seen merely as your Christian duty, or does it voluntarily flow from a heartfelt devotion to God? If there is no spiritual fire on the altar of your heart, there will be no fervency in prayer. That is what James was talking about in our secondary text this morning.
Far too many of our prayers are self-centered rather than Savior-centered. Too many of our prayers are ventures in self-pity rather than sincere petitions and praises to almighty God.
Folks, Christians must rekindle the practice of passionate prayer. We must return to prayer that is possessed of spiritual purpose and godly perspective. We need to get back to praying with a burden, rather than feeling burdened with what we perceive as the duty of prayer.
Spurgeon once said,
The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of the first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.
Today, I want to share three reasons God’s people need to return to passionate prayer.
Theme: We need to return to passionate prayer because…
I. THE NEEDS are ENORMOUS
A. Families Need Rescuing.
1. Families are supposed to be representative of a heavenly relationship.
Eph. 5:31 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
2. Too often modern-day families resemble a hellish relationship.
a. Verbal biting and bickering diminish far too many families.
Gal. 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”