Summary: Some "musts" for the Christian when it comes to the matter of prayer. 1- We must find God’s place 2- We must listen to God’s Word 3- We must respond to God’s will
INTRO. - ILL.- Shortly after the US Supreme Court outlawed prayer in public schools, a pupil in class heard her teacher sneeze and said, "God bless you." The teacher said, "Cut that out or we’ll both be in trouble."
ILL.- One person said, "Now that there’s no more praying in schools, kids will have to go to motels to read the Bible. And if this keeps up, the Gideons will have to go underground."
ILL.- Comedian Bob Hope said in 1970 at Miami University, "It was a little easier to get through school in my day. The questions were just as hard, but praying was still legal."
Thank God that praying is at least still legal in our churches!What’s so important about prayer? Prayer means nothing to some people because they don’t believe in the Lord, but it should mean a great deal to the Christian!
Jonathan Edwards said, “Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.” Prayer is or should be a normal part of daily living for the Christian just like breathing is.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote: "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" In other words, why do you pray? Do you pray for the Lord to direct you in life or just to help you whenever you get into trouble?
Why should we pray? Here’s a good reason.
ILL.- Wednesday, Jan. 9, 08, MEMPHIS, Tennessee - If there is one place to avoid while on the lam in a zoo, it is the tiger pit. One stray dog learned that lesson the hard way and was recovering from puncture wounds to its neck and shoulders.
"This is one lucky animal," Memphis Zoo spokesman Brian Carter said of the dog. The 50-pound female retriever mix darted inside a service entrance to the zoo on Tuesday and led workers on a brief chase before it bolted over a 4-foot-high visitors railing and a retaining wall at the tiger exhibit.
She swam across a 12-foot-wide moat to the interior of the exhibit and was quickly attacked by a 225-pound female Sumatran tiger. The open exhibit’s main walls are 18 feet high.
"The exhibit is designed to keep the animals from getting out but not for keeping animals from getting in," zoo spokesman Brian Carter said. "You can jump off a cliff but you can’t jump up a cliff."
Zoo workers, who were close on the dog’s trail, used fireworks and air horns to distract the two tigers in the exhibit and get them into their night enclosures behind the exhibit’s viewing area.
One tiger, born in captivity, had the dog in her grasp for several minutes, Carter said. "She didn’t have the experience of live hunting, but she certainly had the instincts," he said. After emergency treatment by zoo veterinarians, the dog was taken to the Animal Emergency Medical Center in Memphis where she was reported in good condition Wednesday. "She’s resting comfortably," said clinic manager Clarita Atkinson. "She’s fairly unscathed for the amount of damage that could have been done."
Brothers and sisters, that was one lucky dog! We would say she was a blessed dog. And what happened to that dog sometimes happens to us in life. Without realizing it we sometimes find ourselves in a cage of lions and tigers.
I Peter 5:8-9 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
The devil doesn’t always look like what we might consider him to be. He can take on a good looking appearance, but nevertheless, he’s still evil and he’s still out to destroy. And we have only ONE defense. "RESIST HIM, STANDING FIRM IN THE FAITH."
The faith of Christ is the ONLY way to resist the evil one! Without Christ in our corner it would be like you or me trying to fight Muhammad Ali when he was in his prime! And there is no way that any of us would have had a chance in that fight.
PROP. - Let’s think about some "musts" for the Christian when it comes to the matter of prayer.
1- We must find God’s place
2- We must listen to God’s Word
3- We must respond to God’s will
I. WE MUST FIND GOD’S PLACE
13On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.
ILL.- One of his neighbors, the mother of a ten-year-old girl, noticed that the child often visited Albert Einstein’s house. The woman wondered at this, and the child explained: “I had trouble with my homework in arithmetic. People said that at No. 112 there lives a very big mathematician, who is also a very good man. I asked him to help me. He was very willing, and explained everything very well. He said I should come whenever I find a problem too difficult.”