Summary: Introduction: Our salvation is so great that most of us never enter into an understanding of its full significance. The word salvation is a word that refers to many of God’s activities on our behalf. For example, it is used to refer to our initial experi
Prayer and Our Great Salvation
Text: “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1 NIV).
Our salvation is so great that most of us never enter into an understanding of its full significance. The word salvation is a word that refers to many of God’s activities on our behalf. For example, it is used to refer to our initial experience with God when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and also to describe the ultimate consummation of God’s gracious work in us and for us when Jesus Christ comes again. Salvation is also used to describe the total process by which the Holy Spirit seeks to reproduce within each believer the character of Jesus Christ and in which the believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit to become truly Christian in every area of life.
Today we focus our attention on another of the great gifts that God uses to bring about our full redemption from sin as a present experience. Last Sunday we looked at how God has provided the Scriptures so that his children can be delivered from sin’s destructive power. Today we look at God’s gift of prayer as part of the divine means that is made available to those who experience salvation. Ignoring this means by which it is possible for us to experience full salvation is to impoverish our lives today and deprive us of spiritual rewards beyond Christ’s second coming and the resurrection of the dead.
I. The experience of salvation begins with a prayer (Luke I 8:1 3-14).
That the Christian life begins with prayer can be illustrated by the account of the tax collector who cried out to God for mercy, was heard, and experienced justification. To have Jesus Christ in your heart, you must invite him to come in, for he will not be an intruder or an unwelcome guest (Rom. 10:10-13).
II. The experience of full salvation is made possible by prayer.
Salvation of the soul from the penalty of sin is just the beginning of God’s great salvation for us. He wants to save us from the power and practice of sin. We know that God has given us the Scriptures to deliver us from evil and to make possible a fruitful life (Ps. 1:1-3). God declared to Joshua that attention to his Word would provide him with the key to success (Josh. 1:8). Peter said that the Holy Scriptures provide food for the nourishment of believers’ souls (1 Peter 2:1-2).
Today let us focus our hearts and minds on the exciting truth that our heavenly Father has designed prayer to help his children experience salvation in the present. After the gift of faith and a personal relationship with him, there is no greater gift that our Father God has given us than the gift of prayer.
Some people see prayer as a duty, and it is. Some see prayer only as one of God’s commandments to us; if you think of it as a commandment, be assured that it was motivated by God’s love for us. Others see prayer as a necessity like food and air.
Let us recognize and respond to prayer as a divine invitation to come into our heavenly Father’s throne room so we may receive the blessings he has for us. Prayer will equip us to live on the highest possible plane and to experience life in its richest quality.
Prayer should be recognized as an opportunity for communication with God in the form of dialogue rather than a monologue. It is much more important to hear what our Father has to say than to merely voice our petitions.
A. Prayer brings an awareness of God’s nearness (James 4:8). This can bring great comfort and inspire confidence as we realize that God waits like the father of the prodigal son for us to come home.
B. The prayer of confession brings the assurance of forgiveness (John 1:9). To confess means to agree with God. Sin is a present reality because all of us are less than perfect. God wants to forgive us, cleanse us, and make wonderful fellowship possible.
C. The prayer of humility brings mercy and grace for every time of need (Heb. 4:16). Our Savior is compassionate because he has suffered as we have; he is able to minister to our deepest personal needs.
D. The prayer of petition and thanksgiving brings peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:6-7). Children of God are encouraged to make every need and every problem a matter of earnest prayer to the loving Father.
The prayer for pardon brings conversion, cleansing, and acceptance. Call on God now, for he has promised to hear you and bless you. He will not turn you away. God is waiting to show you grace and mercy.