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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.”

b. Wantonness and adultery destroy far too many families.

Prov. 6:26 “For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”

c. Lack of mutual respect and consideration devastate far too many families.

Eph. 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

1 Cor. 7:3 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.”

d. Undisciplined children disintegrate the tranquility of far too many families.

Prov. 23:13a “Withhold not correction from the child…”

Prov. 29:15b “…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

e. The lack of a godly focus deprives the home of a firm foundation in far too many families.

Joshua 24:15b “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

NOTE: [1] Some years ago, a young teenage girl committed suicide in the Chicago airport. She left a suicide note that read as follows:

Dear Mother,

I’ve never given you anything but trouble in all my life. You won’t have to worry about your wayward girl anymore. Mother, tell my wicked daddy I’ll meet him in hell.

[2] Dear friends, this country has for all practical purposes, lost its families. Families continue to collapse because of sin and selfishness, and the lack of a home-life based on God and His Word. We need to fervently pray for our homes and our children that Satan would not gain a foothold in them.

B. Churches Need Revival.

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