Summary: This sermon discusses the need for Prayer and the mthods to revitalize our prayer life.
THE HABIT OF PRAYER
Rom 12:12, Mat 6:5, 6, 7-8, Mat 6:9, Psa 100:4, Mat 6:10, 11, Phi 4:19, Rom 8:32, Jam 4:2
Phil 4:6, Mat 6:12-13, Psa 139:23-24, Pro 28:13, Mat 5:23-24, Jam 1:9, 1 Tim 2:1, Mat 6:14,
November 18, 2003
I. (Rom 12:12 NIV) Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
NCV 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times
II. Today we re going to talk about HOW TO REVITALIZE YOUR PRAYER LIFE.
A. Jesus died to make a relationship with God possible. Prayer is part of that relationship. But for many people, they re prayer life is dull and boring and something they avoid. So how can we revitalize it?
B. The first step to revitalize your prayer life is to APPROACH PRAYER WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE.
C. The passage of scripture that we re going to be looking at is Matthew 6:5-8. (Mat 6:5 NIV) Verse 5 says "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
D. THE FIRST ATTITUDE YOU NEED TO APPROACH PRAYER WITH IS HONESTY "BE REAL." Don t try to impress others like the Pharisees were trying to do. The Pharisees were people who would stand on the street corner, literally and raise their hands and their face to the sky and carry on in a very public way, trying to impress other people.
1. Scripture says don t be like the hypocrites. Don t try to impress other people. Sometimes in group prayer, somebody comes off with a big speel of stuff You can tell their desire is to impress other people. Don’t be like that. If you are asked to pray in public just talk to God.
2. Don t try to impress God. Don t pray what you think God wants to hear. Remember He already knows your heart and your thoughts and you re not fooling him. Just speak to Him with what s on your heart.
E. SECONDLY, BE RELAXED. (Mat 6:6 NIV) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
1. You need to relax, you need to go some place where you can be alone, where you can be quiet and take those deep breaths, and remove distractions and concentrate.
2. The two main excuses most people give for not praying is that they don t have time and they don t have a place to go. Susanna Wesley, who was the mother of John and Charles Wesley back in the 1700 s had 19 children. If anybody had an excuse for not praying but a need to pray it was her.
3. Susanna would spend an hour every day in prayer. Where does a mother of 19 go to escape? Nowhere! What she would do is take her apron and flip it up over her head and spend an hour in prayer. Her children knew not to disturb her in that time because mother was in her apron praying.
4. If Donna was in our house with an apron on and flipped it over her head my kids would be sure that she had completely gone over the edge.
5. They wouldn t think she was praying. But if Susanna Wesley could spend an hour a day with 19 children and right in the middle of all that was going on, none of us have an excuse. None of us are that busy. Be encouraged that you can find a place to pray everyday.
F. Next, BE REVEALING. (Mat 6:7 - 8 NIV) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
1. The New English version says it like this, 7 "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
2. When you talk to the Lord, just talk. That s what prayer is with the Lord. It s conversation between two people who love each other. When Donna needs something from me, she doesn t come to me and say, "0 Thou most honored of men, I needeth some money for groceries if thou wilt bless it to me." And, I would die if she did.