Summary: In honor of the series, Answered Prayers Presented by Roma Downey on TLC, Pastor Johnnie Moore (former campus pastor of Liberty University) offers this powerful sermon on why our world needs the Church to pray more with faith our prayers will be answered.
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Let me ask you a question….
Do you believe God answers prayer?
Do you believe that God can still part a Red Sea, that God can still heal the sick, that he can cause the blind to see, cause the lame to walk, and cause the most hardened hearts to change?
Do you believe that God can still turn people like Saul into someone like the Apostle Paul?
You know what … I do, and I want my life to be reflective of the power of God… a God who not only CAN answer prayers but who DOES answer prayers.
I want to talk to you this morning why we should pray and how we should pray and beg you to pray more.
I want to take a moment today and teach you about prayer. I have four simple points:
WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?
1. Prayer is like spiritual breathing.
If you stopped breathing you’d stop living. Prayer is basically our spiritual breath. It’s how we stay connected with God. It’s how we talk to him and how he leads us and he responds to us.
The New Testament teaches that prayer isn’t just something we do occasionally; it’s something we do continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing.”
You can pray because you want to or pray because you need to, but if you don’t pray your soul will never be healthy.
The 19th century British preacher, Charles Spurgeon once noted, “you don’t expect a plant to grow without air and water, how can you expect your heart to grow without prayer?”
When Jesus walked the earth, He was God. If anyone had an excuse not to pray it was Jesus; he already had everything He needed and all the power and provision in the world.
Yet the Gospels note that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” (Luke 5:16)
2. Prayer is how God changes us but it is also how he changes the world.
You might remember Roma Downey from the hit CBS show Touched by an Angel or – more recently – all the amazing Christian shows she and her husband Mark Burnett have been producing, television series like THE BIBLE and the feature film SON OF GOD.
She has a television series called Answered Prayers on TLC. It’s literally all about moments of divine intervention when God supernaturally steps into our lives, when he answers our prayers, when he saves us.
Friday she wrote a power article on Fox News, which said:
“If you believe in the power of prayer, would you please pray more?
More and more, I’m convinced that the world would be a much better place if we took prayer more seriously. Prayer is not just a spiritual practice, it’s the means by which God changes our lives and changes the world.
Prayer isn’t just helpful, it’s important.
Prayer is a responsibility each of us has to bring more of Heaven into this often broken world.
See, I believe that God doesn’t just hear our prayers, but that he answers them. I believe God is not just aware of us but that he is deeply concerned for us.
I believe that he intervenes in miraculous ways more often than we think, and that coincidence is often God’s way of remaining anonymous.
God is not only real and alive, he’s also at work in our lives. He is “a friend that sticks closer than a brother;” he is an “ever present help in our time of need,” and with him “all things are possible.”
I’ve never been more convinced of God’s power and I’ve never been more convinced that he answers prayer.”
Roma’s words that “prayer brings more of Heaven into this broken world” really struck me.
It reminded me of the The Book of Nehemiah, which records the story of the Israelites going back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall around the city even while they remained in captivity at the hands of the fierce Babylonians. A conquering kingdom would NEVER let their captives rebuild their city, but Nehemiah 1:4 says that an Israelite – who worked for the King of Babylon – began to “fast and pray before the God of Heaven.”
When he started praying the world started changing.
Maybe this world is crazier and crazier because the church prays less and less.
3. Jesus told us we should pray.
When you ask “why should we pray” I shouldn’t forget to remind you that Jesus instructed us to pray. Luke 11:2 says, “when you pray, say: ‘Father hallowed be your name ….’”
Did you notice that word: “when”
He didn’t say “if”
He said “when.”
If you’re Christian you’re a praying person.