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Summary: Since prayer is the pressing priority of the hour, we need to know how we should go about it.

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Prayer, The Pressing Priority

Text: Acts 6: 4

Intro: After Jesus concluded a prayer cession, one of His disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11: 1c). The teaching that followed is what is commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer,” or “The Model Prayer.” As one might assume, prayer was no casual practice in the life of Jesus. He had much to say about its necessity in the Christian’s life.

If we would be real honest with ourselves, we’d probably have to admit that prayer often takes a backseat in our everyday practice. Our attitude towards prayer could probably be described as more of an afterthought than an appointment. We all know of course, that this is not the way it should be. We should not only plan to pray, but practice prayer.

Today I want to focus on what the Bible has to say about the way we should pray. Prayer is not merely high-sounding monolog. It is heart to heart communion with God. Since prayer is indeed the pressing priority, let’s examine how we should go about it.

Theme: The Word of God teaches us to:

I. PRAY ALWAYS

I Chron.16: 11 “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”

Luke 18: 1 “And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

I Thess.5: 17 “Pray without ceasing.”

NOTE: [1] The Amplified Bible translates this verse as follows:

Also [Jesus] told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward—faint, lose heart and give up (The Lockman Foundation, The Amplified Bible, published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; The Amplified New Testament, pg. 116).

[2] I fear many Christians’ problem these days is that they find it easier to give up than to pray. God help us not to be passive, but praying. And as we pray, may we pray persistently.

I look at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

Reader’s Digest, Jacob Riis.

II. PRAY AGGRESSIVELY

NOTE: [1] Sidlow Baxter has said, “...Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons—but they are helpless against our prayers" (Sidlow Baxter).

[2] John Knox, the founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, prayed with such power that Mary, Queen of Scots once commented, “I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men” (Mary, Queen of Scotland).

A. We Cannot Be Bashful In Prayer.

Matt.7: 7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

Heb.4: 16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

B. We Must Continually Do Battle In Prayer.

1. Paul said that we must recognize that we fight a spiritual adversary.

Eph.6: 12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

2. Paul then advises us to put on our spiritual armor.

Eph.6: 11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

3. Finally, Paul says that we must pray always.

Eph.6: 18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

NOTE: [1] We must be careful to remember that prayer is a great weapon in the arsenal of the Christian.

Andrew Murray said, “God’s child can conquer everything by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian or hinder him from the use of it” (Sammy Tippit, Fire In Your Heart, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 30).

[2] Fervent prayer enables the Church to take ground from the enemy, as is mentioned in the following statement:

Rulers who try to destroy the church will be rendered helpless in the face of prayer. The praying church is the church that will invade Satan’s territory and return with the spoils of victory. It is the praying church that will win the world to Jesus. We need congregations who make prayer a priority (Ibid, pg. 31).

[3] Prayer must become the first priority of the Church in these last days.

The Western world today does not need better preachers. We need better pray-ers. Samuel Chadwick said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray” (Ibid, pg. 33).

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