Summary: We are too content to live in the realm of the natural instead of the supernatural. My message today is only for those who long to see God do greater things.

Purpose: To explain the right reasons to pray.

Aim: I want the listener to pursue a deeper prayer life.

INTRODUCTION: My message today is only for those who long to see God do greater things. My message today is only for those who are tired of the lukewarmness that we so often feel in our own hearts that allows us to go from one day to the next, one week to the next, and one month to the next without seeing God do very much out of the ordinary. We are too content to live in the realm of the natural instead of the supernatural.

We need to get our priorities in order! The best way to do that is to focus on Jesus and the best way to do that is to learn about Him in the Bible and pray to Him regularly. "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2, NAS)

I want to do something very different this morning. Instead of just talking about the importance of prayer, I want us to also participate in prayer together. So, I have asked the other pastors here to lead us in prayer at different times during this morning's message.

When we get to our text in Luke 15 Jesus had just finished teaching His disciples a pattern for prayer that is often called the Lord's Prayer. Then Jesus continues by giving some more instructions about prayer. He begins with a very short story which teaches us to:

Vs.5-8 I. Pray Earnestly "because of his persistence"

The purpose for this story is very simple: pray with boldness.

"The word [persistence in verse 8] can even mean "impudence." It conveys the ideas of urgency, audacity, earnestness, boldness, and relentlessness--like the persistent asking of a desperate beggar." [1]

The first man in the story had an important need. A friend of his arrived late at night from out of town, perhaps unexpectedly, and he had no bread to serve him. He went to his friend's house at a late hour and begged for three loaves of bread.

At first his friend refused because it was so late and he would have to disturb his entire family. Maybe he had young children who had just fallen asleep. Parents understand how hard it can be to get a baby to sleep so waking them could cause a real problem

The second man decides to help his friend because he desperately needs the bread, otherwise he wouldn't have bothered him so late at night.

We will pray earnestly only when we see that the need is great.

Our biggest problem is not unanswered prayer, it is unasked prayer.

We don't pray more because we don't feel the need to pray more. When we feel a desperate need in our lives we WILL pray. Jesus pointed out that this was the failing of the church in Laodicea: "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked," (Revelation 3:16--17, NAS)

I would like to ask Pastor Derick to come and pray that God would open our eyes so that we can see how much we need Him.

"Restore our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:4--6, NAS)

Vs.9 II. Pray about Everything " ...knock"

"The tenses of the verbs are important here: 'Keep on asking ... keep on seeking ... keep on knocking.' In other words, don't come to God only in the midnight emergencies, but keep in constant communion with your Father." [2]

Paul picked up on this idea in (Philippians 4:6, NAS) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Jesus commanded us to make sure that our hearts are at home with Him: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full" (John 15:4--11, NAS)

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