Summary: What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better,... From the beginning of time, men have prayed, Genesis 4:26. In all types of places, at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed. Christian and heathen alike have spent mas
Illustration: A heart-broken little girl began to kneel and pour out her heart to God in the altar at her local church. She did not know what to say. As she wept speechless, she began to remember what her Father had told her, "God knows your needs even before you pray, and he can answer when you don’t even know for what to ask." So she began to say her alphabet. A concerned adult from that church knelt beside her and heard her sobbing and saying her ABC’s and inquired what exactly she was trying to do. The little girl told this caring adult, "I’m praying to God from my heart." But the adult answered, "It sounds to me more like your are saying the alphabets!" "Yes," she said, "But God knows more about what I need than I do, and he can take all these letters and arrange them in just the right way to hear and answer my prayers!"
Introduction: What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better,... From the beginning of time, men have prayed, Genesis 4:26. In all types of places, at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed. Christian and heathen alike have spent massive amounts of time in the pursuit of prayer. However, few people have made prayer their supreme priority. Those who have, stand out as bright lights in a dark world. Many have chosen to pray when it was convenient, or when they were undergoing a time of great stress and trial. Yet, it is clear from this verse that Jesus wants prayer to hold a preeminent place in our lives. Today, we are going to consider learning the place of Prayer in our lives. We are going to see that God expects us to be in constant contact with Him.
Before we begin to talk about the place prayer ought to hold in our lives, we need to understand exactly what prayer is. Knowing what prayer is will help us to see that it deserves an elevated place in each of our lives. What is prayer?
1. Prayer Is An Invitation To God - Not coercion, not coaxing, but simply inviting God to take over. It is I admitting my weakness and yielding to His power. (e.g. Jarius - Mark 5: 22-23)
2. Prayer Is Warfare - Satan does not fear nor withstand our prayerlessness, but he will bitterly oppose our prayer efforts. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the battle between good and evil. [Ephesians 6: 12 & 18 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”]
3. Prayer Is Power - (Ill. Moses, Daniel, 3 Hebrews, Elijah, Paul and Silas, Edwards, Mueller, Etc.) Prayer is the greatest power we have upon this earth.
4. Prayer Is A Developer - Prayer is that essential ingredient that completes the character. It is impossible to grow in grace without the aid of prayer!
5. Prayer Is The Fragrance in Christian Activity - (e.g. Artificial flowers) True prayer envelopes all that we do in the breath of Heaven.
6. Prayer Is Communication With Heaven - There is an unbroken line between earth and the Father. When we pray, we are brought into His presence; we are in touch with God Himself.
With these facts in mind, let’s look together at what should we do in order to have a prayer life.
Background: Look at Luke chapter 17: 20 – 37 (the coming Kingdom of God) & Luke 18: 9 – 14 (comparison of 2 people’s prayer).
I. PRAYER MUST BE A PRIORITY (v 1 – 3)
A. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible - Luke 18:1, Rom. 12:12; 1 Thes. 5:17. (We are to remain in a constant spirit of prayer. e.g. Fisherman and storm)
B. Many in the bible have placed a high priority on prayer:
1. Job - Job 1:5
2. Abraham - Genesis 12:7, 8; 13:4, 18; 22:9
4. David – e.g. The Psalms are filled with many references to David’s prayer life. [Illustration: 2 Sam. 12:22-23. Prayer is also the secret of David’s fearlessness.]
5. Elijah - 1 Kings 17:1; 18:36-38
6. Daniel - Daniel 6:10
C. Jesus takes it for granted that His people are going to pray - Matthew 6:5