Summary: This message details four properties of prayer that make it so important in the life of the Christian with reference to one’s relationship with God.
The Properties Of Prayer
Text: I Thess.5: 17
Intro: Though the Christian practice of prayer is possessed of certain qualities and characteristics that make it an act of worship toward God, I don’t want us to be misled by the title of this message. When I refer to the properties of prayer, I do not mean that prayer is simply some sort of religious formula or ritual that magically guarantees us an audience with Almighty God. Prayer is not about enticing God to listen to our needs, but it is acting in faith upon God’s willingness to meet our needs, and to commune and fellowship with us—those He has redeemed and loved with an everlasting love. Prayer is not merely a religious sounding monologue. Rather, it is to be a relationship, involving loving and honest dialogue between the believer and His God.
Most of us know relatively little about the warp and woof of prayer. While most Christians would affirm the value and need of prayer, their lack of its consistent practice would seem to belie their affirmation. If ever there was a time to get serious about seeking God’s face in prayer, it’s the present. If you think the things we’ve already seen take place in this administration are scary, wait until you see the convulsions that are yet to come. Call me a fear monger if you will, but our world in general, as well as our nation in particular, is on the brink of total chaos. Yes. It’s time to pray.
All of this having been said, let’s talk about the properties of prayer.
Theme: Prayer is to be:
A. This Is Seen In The Altar Of Incense’s Construction.
Ex.30: 1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim (acacia) wood shalt thou make it.”
1 Thess.5: 17 “Pray without ceasing.”
NOTE:  The Altar of Incense, a picture of prayer, was made of acacia wood, which is among the hardest and most durable woods known to man. There are some other interesting facts about this tree:
This tree yields the gum arabic of commerce, from incisions cut deeply in the bark…The wood is very hard, close-grained…It grows in dry places, where no other tree can live.(1)
 Notice that Smith says that the acacia tree produces gum arabic. I discovered that this gum is used “for stabilizing emulsions.”(2) You know what, when practiced in faith, prayer will bring stability to your heart and life. Prayer is one of God’s stabilizing agents.
 There was another thing that Smith said about the acacia tree that I found interesting. He said that this tree grows “…in dry places.” This reminds me of what is often true of most Christian’s prayer life. Our prayers are often routine and passive until we find ourselves in a spiritually dry place. Whether we like it or not, our prayer life tends to grow in the spiritual deserts of life—the dry places. Only prayer and faith in God can take you through some of the more difficult hardships and wilderness wanderings of this earthly sojourn.
B. This Is Seen In God’s Command For Continuance.
Ex.30: 8 “And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual (“continuance…constant…constantly”(3)) incense before the Lord throughout your generations.”