Summary: This is the third message in the series on prayer. This message speaks of the cost involved with praying.
Luke 11:1 KJV And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Jeremiah 29:13 KJV And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
l. INTRODUCTION – LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY
-The third element of grasping, or perhaps discovering, the elements of prayer involves the costliness of prayer.
• How much does it cost to learn the pray?
• How much effort will be exerted in our lives for this incredible blessing of simply being able to pray?
• How much am I personally willing to trade for a prayer life that touches heaven?
• How long will it take to become a man of prayer who is able to move within the realms of the Spirit?
• How much am I willing to truly give to the “spirit” of prayer?
-Prayer cannot be measured by miles. Prayer cannot be measured by knots. Prayer cannot be measured with the sounding of the fathoms. The array of prayer cannot be understood by the instrumentation of space travel. Prayer is not measured by the boundaries of maps.
-However, prayer can be measured in the willingness of a man’s spirit to truly pay the price in prayer. Prayer can be measured by one’s self-sacrifice of an easy comfortable life.
-Prayer can be measured by a response to God’s demand of obedience. Prayer can be measured by “groanings” that cannot be uttered. Prayer can be measured when one will be willing to pour out the bitterness of the soul.
-Pray can be measured when men who have been wronged are willing to take their complaint to God instead of men. Prayer can be measured when a man is willing to pray through his own discouragement and seek God’s anointing.
-Prayer can be measured when a man is willing to allow himself to be transformed by the Spirit. Prayer can be measured when we seek for God to remove the spiritual barrenness from our lives.
-Prayer can be measured when it is pursued in dealing with tragedy. Prayer can be measured when it is sought as a refuge.
-Ultimately from all of these examples we find that prayer is drawn out of a man’s spirit when he is forced to pray the price. Prayer involves a costliness.
-While most are willing to pay a certain price for tangible goods, prayer is different in that often the things that we are praying for are not tangible goods. Our praying if often for the unseen.
-Prayer that is motivated by the materialistic is often self-centered and not what God really has in mind for the Church. For we find that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but rather righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).
ll. THE REAL COST OF PRAYER
Seneca -- There is nothing so costly as to those things that we purchase by prayer.
-When we initially run across this saying, there is somewhat of an immediate dismissal of such a statement. We dismiss it because we revert back to the words of the Lord, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
-In consideration of these words, we wonder what could be more difficult than simply asking and what could cost less than simply knocking on the door of heaven?
-Yet in the whole theology of prayer there is a much wider scope of this one single instruction given by the Lord. When we began to consider the costliness of prayer several things find a need to be addressed.
A. The Cost of Time
-A man who develops a life of prayer will be forced to embrace the cost of time. Frequently we use Daytimers, Palm Pilots, and other methods to facilitate time management. In fact there are many in this generation who find that time is of much more value to them than money or possessions would ever be.
-A very wise man is the man who truly understands this principle. Those who are the most concerned about their time are the men who effect eternity the most.
-Whether we wish to make this analogy or not, every man, if he is breathing is currently spending his life on a sort of death row. We all are awaiting the grave. Therefore, this concept of time has to be carefully spent in means that are effective.
-When one generally divides his day, he thinks, I have a certain amount of time allotted for work, for rest, for recreation, for meals, and so on. In the process of defining the schedule, men often leave out the necessity of prayer, meditation, devotion, and reading.