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Summary: The Neglection of prayer is a sin.

THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF PRAYER

LUKE 18:1

INTRODUCTION: OF ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE OF SIGNIFICATE VALUE IN OUR LIVES, PRAYER SHOULD BE CHERISHED THE MOST. HOWEVER, MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT FOR MANY OF US PRAYER IS OFTEN RELEGATED TO THE BOTTOM OF OUR PRIORITY LIST. WE LIVE IN AN AGE WHERE CHRISTIANS WILL SPEND MORE TIME IN GOSSIP THAN WE DO IN PRAYER. WE SPEND MORE TIME ON THE INTERNET THAN WE DO IN PRAYER. WE SPEND MORE TIME INVESTING OUR MONEY THAN WE DO IN PRAYER. WE SPEND MORE TIME LANDSCAPING OUR HOMES THAN WE DO IN LANDSCAPING OUR PRAYER LIFE. WE INVEST MORE TIME POLISHING OUR CARS THAN WE DO POLISHING OUR PRAYER LIFE. BUT I MUST REMIND YOU TODAY, THAT ALL OF THESE TANGIBLE ITEMS CANNOT SUSTAIN YOU IN THE MIDST OF TRIBULATION. PHYSICAL POSSESSIONS ARE TEMPORAL AND CAN VANISH IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE. BUT PRAYER PROVIDES SPIRITUAL MAINTENANCE FOR THE UPKEEP OF OUR SOULS. SO IF THERE IS ANYTHING OF VALUE IN THIS WORLD IT IS THE SIGNIFCANCE OF PRAYER.

I.TEXT

JESUS INFORMS US THAT MEN OUGHT TO ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT FAINT. VERSE ONE IS THE PRELUDE TO SEVERAL PARABLES. BUT ALLOW ME TO LIFT THIS SINGLE VERSE FROM IT’S CONTEXTUAL SETTING AND PLACE IT IN AN ATMOSPHERE THAT WILL ASSIST US IN ASSESSING PRAYER LIFE.

IT MUST BE NOTED THAT GOD’S PEOPLE ARE A PEOPLE OF PRAYER. COMMENTATOR MATTHEW HENRY STATES THAT, “WE SIN IF WE NEGLECT TO PRAY.” PRAYER SHOULD BE OUR CONSTANT WORK. IF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IS GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, WE MUST BE A PRAYING CHURCH. IF WE ENDEAVOR TO HAVE HOLYGHOST POWER IN OUR LIVES, WE MUST BE ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF PRAYER. IF WE ARE GOING TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE NEXT MILLENIUM, WE MUST PRAY!

NOTED AUTHOR R.A. TORREY IN HIS CLASSIC BOOK ENTITLED, “THE POWER OF PRAYER” ENSIGHTFULLY STATES, “PRAYER IS THE KEY THAT UNLOCKS ALL THE STOREHOUSES OF GOD’S INFINITE GRACE AND POWER. ALL THAT GOD IS, AND ALL THAT GOD HAS, IS AT THE DISPOSAL OF PRAYER.” HOWEVER, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS I HAVE DISCOVERED SOME SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE; AND THAT IS, THEY WANT THE POSSESIONS OF HEAVEN BUT DO NOT WANT TO UTILIZE THE KEY, AND THAT IS PRAYER.

IF WE ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES, HOW MANY OF US ACTUALLY SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH GOD? I MEAN WHERE WE GET ALL BY OURSELVES, AND JUST HAVE A HEART TO HEART TALK WITH THE MASTER. I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT JUST SAYING SOME WORDS THAT SOUND GOOD, BUT MEAN NOTHING. DO YOU PUT YOUR HEART AND SOUL INTO YOUR PRAYER? PRAYER IS NOT SOME RITUAL TO BE DONE HAPHAZARDLY, BUT IT’S A PART OF OUR VERY BEING, THAT IS TO BE DONE ON A DAILY BASIS. ACTS 1:14 STATES, “THESE ALL CONTINUED WITH ONE ACCORD IN PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION,” MEANING THEY PRAYED EVERYDAY.

II. WHO DOES GOD HEAR?

THE QUESTION IS ASKED, WHOM DOES GOD HEAR? GOD HEARS HIS THE PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS. WHO ARE THE RIGHTEOUS? THOSE WHO ARE CALLED BY HIS NAME, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN GOD WILL NOT ANSWER THE PRAYERS OF HIS OWN CHILDREN. WHENEVER YOU LIVE AND OPERATE OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD, HE WILL NOT ANSWER YOUR PRAYER.

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