Summary: A sermon from the series "Lord Teach Us To Pray." This fifth message deals with the challenges and struggle to pray.
The Struggle of Prayer
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.
Mark 14:32-42 KJV And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.  And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;  And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.  And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?  Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.  And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.  And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.  And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
-I hope that all of you have had the opportunity at least once to have been in a time of prayer where your own personal will has been so stretched that it was shaped into what God wanted.
-I am fearful that I live in a time that this sort of praying is become almost extinct. The enticements of Laodecia have overcome the willingness for us individually to really struggle in prayer as is modeled for us by Jesus in Gethsemane. Laodecia has a choke-hold on far too many in this generation. Babylon has intoxicated our “struggling” in prayer.
I can remember a few of those “struggling” prayers in my own personal life that have pushed me in the direction of the path that I know travel. There were prayers in the old prayer room behind the platform when I was 14, 15, and 16 years old. There were those prayers that I prayed in my 20’s seeking further direction of God and for Him to open doors that no man could open. There have been prayers under benches in the choir loft even since I have been involved in spiritual leadership that has helped me to gain my footing with God.
-Those prayers and others like those have become so very valuable to me. . . . Particularly now that I am looking back from the half-way point in life. Only eternity will be able to shed light on the value of those prayer meetings.
-When I say “struggling” in prayer, I do not mean it is those prayers that we are fighting with some besetting sin or with the devil or with some outside temptation. . . . When I say “struggling” in prayer, I mean those times that our will does not match up to the will and purpose of God.
• Those prayer meetings are marked with tears.
• They are marked with desperation.
• They are imprinted with fear and trembling.
• They are defined by deep emotion.
-I should think that most who make any effort to fully turn their life over to God will find a certain initial resistance to what God really longs to do within us. Far too often we choose to allow a bit of carnality and stubbornness to stifle our relationship with God.
Samuel Chadwick -- There is no power like that of prevailing prayer—of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in the sweat of blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is the cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God.
-Gethsemane was the place of the olive press. There are several different translations that shed a little more light on Gethsemane.
Rheims -- A country place (Matthew). A farm (Mark)