¡§WHY PRAY?¡¨ Eph. 3:14-21
INTRO ¡V Play ¡§Let Us Pray¡¨ by Steven Curtis Chapman.
¡§I¡¦m praying for you¡¨ ¡V How many times do we say this to someone?
As a church, right now we are praying for Brooks, Bonnie, Youth choir, bldg. program, VBS, Jeff & Carol Evans, Chechens, Richard & Christi Price, salvation of lost people around the world.
As individuals, might be praying for spouse, kids, grandkids, church, pastor & staff, co-worker, friend, personal concerns, health issues, spiritual problems, persistent sin struggles.
But WHY PRAY?
Obvious that P believed in prayer. His letters are full of prayers for the people he cared for and ministered to. Jot these down and listen to them:
„X Rom 1:8-10; 10:1
„X 1 Cor. 1:4
„X Eph. 1:15-23
„X Phil. 1:3-6, 9-11
„X Col. 1:9-13
„X 1 Thess. 1:2-3
„X 2 Thess. 1:11-12
„X 1 Tim. 2:1,8
„X 2 Tim. 1:3
And as when we focus on this prayer in Eph. 3, we see 4 reasons to pray:
I. TO BE IN GOD¡¦S FAMILY ¡V v. 14-15, 17a
A. (show family portrait) This is the Daniels family.
a. This family derives its name from me. I derived the Daniels name from my father, who derived it from his father, who derived it from his father, and on through the family tree.
B. Nothing like being a part of a family.
a. Relationships so important.
b. Share good times and bad.
c. Share laughter and tears.
C. And while you don¡¦t have any choice about which earthly family you are born into, you do have a choice about being born into the family that derives its name from the God of all creation.
a. ¡§I¡¦m so glad I¡¦m a part of the family of God¡¨
D. Here is God¡¦s plan:
a. HE put the plan in place
b. HE loves you and desire a rel. w/ you
c. HE sent Jesus
d. HE calls to you through the Holy Spirit
e. HE will save you, IF you will call to Him in prayer and ask Him to make you a part of His forever family.
f. Christ will dwell in your heart when you pray and place your faith in Him.
II. TO BE STRENGTHENED W/ THE SPIRIT¡¦S POWER ¡V v. 16
A. HS given to us the moment we pray to be a part of God¡¦s forever family. The Spirit¡¦s presence in our lives is evidence of our salvation.
a. But the POWER of the Spirit in our lives is the enablement for living the Xn life (Warren Wiersbe).
B. (drill w/ battery pack) W/out battery pack in, still looks like a drill.
a. Can accomplish some things ¡V use as a doorstop, paper weight, hammer, throw it at someone who is asleep in church.
C. But it is not until it is connected to its power source that it truly accomplishes the purpose for which it was created.
a. Connection takes place inside and affects the entire tool.
D. What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit empower your inner being?
a. ¡§It means that our spiritual faculties are controlled by God, and we are exercising them and growing in the Word. It is ONLY when we yield to the Spirit and let Him control the inner man that we succeed in living to the glory of God¡¨ (Wiersbe, p. 32).
b. We MUST pray and seek the empowerment of the Spirit to live the Christian life.
E. Many people seem to think that this just happens, or that they don¡¦t have to do anything or live in a certain way to be powered by the Spirit.
a. But sin disconnects us from the power source (take out battery pack).
b. We grieve the Spirit, quench the Spirit, and resist the Spirit.
III. TO BE ROOTED IN CHRIST¡¦S LOVE ¡V v. 17b-19a
A. I love gardenias. Love the smell. Reminds me of a Southern summertime.
B. But as beautiful as these are, as fresh as these are (cut just this morning), they are dying.
a. They¡¦ve been disconnected from the roots.
b. They¡¦ve been disconnected from the source of their life.
c. Even though there is water in this bowl, it is still not enough to keep them alive. They will not live ¡V PERIOD!
C. As believers, we must be rooted and established in Christ¡¦s love.
a. Gk. word means, ¡§to be strengthened w/ roots, firmly fixed, constant.¡¨
D. You can disconnect from Christ¡¦s love and still look alive, smell alive, act alive.
a. But you are slowly dying and will soon show it in your life.
b. Flowers already turning brown.
E. Jer. 17:5-8 ¡V ¡§This is what the Lord says: ¡¥Cursed is the one who trust in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.¡¦¡¨
IV. TO BE FULL OF GOD ¡V v. 19b
A. Few weeks ago, called out to a house fire in the wee hours of the morning.
B. Put on air pack to go in and fight fire.
a. Was able to stay inside house for about 10 minutes w/ air pack on.
b. Began to run out of air.
c. Got out of house.
d. Tried to go back in w/out air pack, but could only stay inside for about 30 seconds.
C. ¡§to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God¡¨ means ¡§to be filled full, to be fully supplied that you may fully participate in all the rich gifts of G.¡¨
CONCLUSION ¡V ¡§The church is dying on its feet b/c it is not living on its knees.¡¨ (Leonard Ravenhill)
How we need a church full of folks who are a part of God¡¦s family and are praying diligently:
- To be strengthened w/ the Spirit¡¦s power
- To be rooted in Christ¡¦s love
- And to be full of God!