Summary: Message 38 in our exposition of Romans. This message considers the instruction to persistently pray during times of turbulence.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Navigating Turbulent Times with Persistent Prayer”
D. Think and live wisely through turbulent times 12:12
Paul offers three anchors of stability that do not prevent the storm but offer the saint a means to survive the storms of life.
1. Regarding hope - rejoicing
To navigate turbulent times we must maintain a healthy view of the future; eternity. Paul here calls it hope. Biblical hope is the confident expectation, certain assurance, eager anticipation, settled conviction that the thing or event promised by God will most assuredly come to pass.
? Our hope is centered in the Almighty God.
? The truth of the Words and promises of God reinforces hope
? The power of the indwelling Spirit stimulates hope
? Perseverance leads to intensified hope
? Prayer reinforces hope
? Realization of God’s grace strengthens hope
What can we expect or anticipate (hope) from God and why?
? Hope of eternal life and eternal inheritance
? Future Grace and glory
? Present help in trouble
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
How should we respond to a proper perception of future positive expectations?
? Walk in purity and passion in the present
? Wait patiently
? Take hold of and hold fast to your hope with courage and strength
? Keep Looking to and for Christ
? Be prepared to give an account of the hope within.
2. Regarding tribulation -- enduring
Never give up. Stay in the furnace until fully fired. The same things that give us hope give us endurance.
? The encouragement of the Scriptures.
? The power of the Holy Spirit.
? The encouragement of the saints.
3. Regarding prayer -- remaining constant
Prayer is conversation with God. Conversation with God, like conversation with people, has numerous aspects. We talk just to relate to one another. We communicate to exchange information. (Intellectual) We talk to express feelings and ideas and dreams. We communicate to confess wrong doing and apologize. We communicate to express a cry or need for help. We talk to communicate concern for others. All of these aspects make up a well rounded prayer life. A study of the Psalms is a study in conversing with God. You can find anything from a desperate cry for help to an exuberant shout of adoration. In the midst of tribulation and turbulent times Paul suggests not only an eternal perspective and endurance but also persistent prayer.
Prayer is intricately tied to trouble. Prayer for deliverance. Prayer for help. Prayer for strength.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." Psalm 50:15
Many of the NT prayers expressed his passion to see people strengthened in grace.
If any lack wisdom let them ask God. (James 1)
James instructs any who are suffering to continually pray.
The Old Testament is full of those who cried out to God.
Paul cried out to God in trouble.
Paul prayed for others in trouble.
Paul asked others to pray for him for deliverance from trouble.
Don’t be anxious about anything but by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God and the peace which surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The call to pray persistently occurs more than just this once in the Bible. The early church devoted themselves to learning, meaningful community, breaking of bread and prayers of all kinds. Paul boldly asserted his continual devotion to prayer for others and himself. Paul called on ALL believers to devote themselves to continual conversation with God.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Ephes. 6:18
pray without ceasing; 1 Thes. 5:17
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; Col. 4:2
That means that we should be in a continuous on-going conversation with God throughout our day every day.
There is much mystery concerning prayer. There is more preaching about it than there is practice of it. It should be enough to pray simply because God asks us to.
The following are just four significant reasons to communicate with God.
? Prayer facilitates intimacy with God.
? Prayer fosters humble dependence.
? Prayer furthers God’s work.
? Prayer fortifies the soul against temptation.
One of the chief struggles with prayer is what we perceive as God’s failure to answer.
God always answers our cries, just not in the way we might want Him to. God answers yes, no or wait. There are many things that may block or delay God’s response to our prayer. Some of those things have to do with our walk and some have to do with God’s will.