Summary: The importance of prayer as taught and modeled by Jesus and His many disciples who have gone before us. -- 31 prayer quotes
Prayer, Prayer and Prayer
Pastor Dan Little
The Landmark Church
Binghamton, NY 13901
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. KJV
This is a new year, and I wonder if it will be as busy as last year.
It’s no secret that our lives are too busy. The pressure to become more efficient, produce more, buy more, get ahead and stay ahead is relentless. The trouble is as our this relentless pressure inflates are outer lives to such an extend that we almost no inner life left—no place for God.”
The results of this kind of life is very dark. Why? Because without a place for God we cannot live godly lives. William Carey put it this way; "Prayer - fervent, believing prayer - lies at the root of all personal godliness."
If Carey was right about the link between prayer and godliness (and I think he was and is), then is it any wonder that with increasing frequency we are hearing of tragic breakdowns between what Christians say and what they do?
What do you think of what Carey said? Is there any truth to it?
Would Carey still feel the same if he were alive today and had access to TV, personal computers, the web and unlimited information, eBooks, email, face book, etc.? Probably he would feel the same to power of 10.
Let me ask you something..
Just a few minutes ago when you heard the announcement that Sunday Evening, January 8, will be used for a time of special prayer did your flesh react the way mine did?
Mine told me that I have too much or maybe better things to do; things that will bring better and quicker results than an evening of corporate prayer. My flesh always says things like that when it hears that I am dragging it off to be at prayer either at my desk or with others.
On the subject of corporate prayer Leonard Ravenhill writes saying; “Let 20% of the chior members fail to turn up for rehearsal and the chior master is offended. Let 20% of the church members turn up for a prayer meeting, and the pastor is elated."
If you haven’t guessed, prayer is what I want to talk about today and next week as well—the first two Sundays of this new year.
We took for our Scripture reading "The Lord’s Prayer".
Contextually here in Matthew’ 6 this prayer falls in with a whole string of Jesus’ teachings that begin in chapter 5 with the beatitudes. But Luke records that Jesus used this same model prayer in another setting.
In Luke 11:1 we read that Jesus was "praying in a certain place", and after listening to Jesus pray His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded by giving them this same model prayer. How many of you think that being close enough to hear Jesus pray might make you want a lesson or two?
Pastor Robert Leroe, in a sermon on the Lord’s Prayer noted that the disciples didn’t ask Jesus how to preach or teach. Hearing Jesus pray made them aware that they needed help in the practice of prayer, and so they ask, “Lord teach us to prayer.”
The wonderful thing is that Jesus didn’t respond to the disciple’s request as if were a ridiculous thing to ask. And we know why!
Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us why Jesus was so tender and understanding of their request.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin . 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ESV
Jesus knew from personal experience as a human that the world, the flesh, and the devil were all aligned to keep humans from entering into a life of prayer. In this way (and in everyway), Jesus is a sympathetic high priest. We may ask Him such things in absolute confidence. And so He treated their request with the utmost love and respect. Being fully man He thoroughly understood everything there is to know about opposition to prayer, but in being fully God He fully grasped its importance in each believer’s life, in the church and in the world.