Summary: I pray because my Savior Jesus prayed.

Title: That’s Why I Pray

Place: BLCC

Date: 1/8/17

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5.17

CT: I pray because my Savior Jesus prayed.

FAS: Play "That’s Why I Pray" video by Big and Rich

[Screen 1]

LS: I’m begging for forgiveness

I wanna make a difference

Even in the smallest way.

I’m only one person, but I can feel it working

I believe in better days.

That’s why I pray.

I love the message of this song. I first heard it about 4 or 5 years ago and still crank it up sometimes as I pray.

Prayer is mentioned over 600 times in the New Testament alone. Must be pretty important. I am in my second week of the series on prayer. Today we are looking at “Why We Pray”.

The Bible does not beat around the push and just suggest we pray every once in a while or before we eat or before we go to bed. These are all good, but that is still short of what God’s word says we are to do.

Our main text today comes from 1 Thess. 5.17. Shouldn’t be too hard to memorize this one. Two words: [Screen 2] PRAY CONTINUALLY. How do we do that? Well, what I say and you can disagree with me because I don’t have a scripture to back this up. This is my own commentary I have in my head which could be foggy since my wife gave me a shirt this Christmas that says my brain is 75% full of old song lyrics. She is probably right.

But I believe this short text means we are to live our life as a prayer. By this I mean everything we say and do should be focused on God and His Son and their will on my life. Tall order for two little words I guess, but I tend to think that way.

So as I listened to the Big and Rich song I saw how it gave rise to reinforce this belief I have about prayer. I also see it as very biblical as well, which is really where my belief comes from.

The chorus:[Screen 3]

-Begging for forgiveness.

That is found in Matthew 6.10. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. We hit this last week. Our prayers should always keep this in mind.

[Screen 4]

-I wanna make a difference.

Wow don’t we all want to do that. Shouldn’t that be what we are about here at BLCC, making a difference not just trying to prove a point?

Ephesians 6.18-20. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

It says we are to pray for all people. We are to prayer in the Spirit. We are to pray that what we do will make a difference and get the gospel to other people.

[Screen 5]

-Even in the smallest way.

You may feel like there is nothing you can do. You feel too small or not skilled enough to make a difference. But don’t forget what Jesus says in Matthew 13.31-32. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.

God can use our smallest amount of faith demonstrated in a prayer in enormous ways. Never forget that. [Screen 6]

-Only one person but I can feel it working.

What can I do as only one person? James 5.16, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

He didn’t say the prayer of the church or the prayer of the preacher. He is talking about us all as one person who does his or her best to follow Jesus Christ.

Pray for the one… what you wish you could do for everyone. Look for the chance to put your prayer into action for one person. That’s is where community comes in. That is what church is about. That is what the body of Christ is about. All of us as members of the body doing and praying for our one will reach an amazing number of people as a church and as the body of Christ. Our ones add up to many.

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