Summary: This is a short "devotional" sermon about prayer based on Oswald Chambers’ May 27 devotion in "My Utmost for His Highest." Good for prayer meeting.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PRAYER?” 1 Thess. 5:17
INTRO – Oswald Chambers devotional for today, May 27 – “Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught.”
I. Be sure that you have a correct concept about prayer.
A. What is your mental concept about prayer? In other words, when you think of prayer, what immediately comes to your mind?
a. Prayer meeting?
b. Quiet time?
c. Person kneeling?
d. Picture of praying hands or painting of old man praying over his bread?
e. Preacher praying during a worship service?
B. Chambers – “The correct concept of prayer is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts.”
a. Blood flows; breathing continues.
i. Both are constant
ii. Both are life-giving
iii. Both must continue for life to continue
C. Our prayer life must be constant and continuous.
a. Constantly flowing from our hearts to the Father’s presence.
b. It gives life to our hearts as we constantly fellowship w/ the Father.
c. It gives life to others as we stay in a right relationship with G.
D. When prayer stops, our spiritual growth stops and our f’ship with G stops.
a. “Third Watch” episode last night – Paramedic Bobby got shot by a drug addict. Took him to ER, but could not save him. Heart stopped. Blood stopped flowing. Breathing stopped.
b. Same true in our prayer lives.
II. Be sure that “nothing stops the offering up of prayer.”
A. “Third Watch” – Another character is Bosco, a NYC cop. Tough young guy who always is on the edge. Last night, chased the drug addict who shot Bobby up a flight of stairs in a park and tackled him to arrest him.
i. Word “arrest” means “to stop.”
ii. Bosco arrested the criminal – stopped him from running and stopped him from committing another crime.
B. What are the “Bosco’s” of your prayer life – those things that stop you from offering up prayer?
i. Lack of priorities
ii. Lack of confession & repentance
iii. Lack of faith
iv. Lack of accountability
v. Lack of experience
C. “…maintain the habit of offering up prayer in your heart to G all the time.” – Chambers
i. Don’t let anything arrest your prayer life.
ii. REVIVAL – “Jon, don’t keep praying for it if you’re not going to live for it.”
III. Be sure to pray expecting God to answer.
A. “Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer.” I’ve never thought about that. “He had the unlimited certainty of KNOWING that prayer is ALWAYS answered.”
i. Need to remember Jer. 33:3.
B. Poignant moment in “Third Watch” episode last night. Another character, Kim, was Bobby’s paramedic partner. Very close friends with him. After he died, she was outside the hospital. About to go back inside when a taxi pulled up and her mother got out. Called to her. Kim stopped and began to weep. Ran to her mother, crying like a little child. Her mother was there, cradled her in her arms while Kim wept uncontrollably.
i. We can expect God to be there for us every time, answering every prayer, holding us close, whether we are weeping or laughing.
C. Jesus said, “…everyone who asks receives…” (Mt. 7:8).
i. “God answers prayer in the best way – not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want may not always immediately follow.” - Chambers