Summary: Obvious by important things God desires from our prayer life
WHAT GOD IS LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PRAYER LIFE
Moody Crusade: Two men came up afterwards with arms around each others shoulders and laughing, ‘Mr. Moody, you won’t believe this. We have worked with one another for 13 years and we didn’t know that we were both Christians until we both showed up at your crusade’.
Moody replied, ‘That is some of the worst news I have ever heard. I don’t think either one of you is really saved if you can be together for 13 years and it not be known what your convictions are about Jesus Christ’.
That is the opposite of what Paul said about the church at Rome.
• The church in Rome not only had people who knew each other were believers but their testimony made it throughout the known world.
1:8 First I thank my God thru Jesus Christ for you all that your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
• Paul was hearing wonderful things about the church in Rome as people traveled from there thru the cities he was ministering in or had planted churches in. ALL ROADS LED TO ROME
• He was not hearing about their big buildings, their huge budgets, their large attendance, their bus or chariot ministries, their great preachers but Paul was hearing about their FAITH.
People may look at the church in America and say, ‘What beautiful buildings, great financial resources, creative ministries, but Paul would ask, ‘WHERE IS THE FAITH?’ ‘WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE OF TRUSTING GOD, believing His promises, standing on His Word?’
• We might ask why such faith would exist? What would bring it into the life of a church? What is next shows us how it arrived there. What would make that kind of faith a part of Holly Brook Baptist Church?
FAITH THAT COMES AS A RESULT OF PRAYER
1:9 For God, Whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
10 always in my prayers making request,
Every time Paul would hear about the church he would pray for them, the more he prayed the more he heard that God was at work there and the more he would pray and the more he would hear and the more he would pray and …..A VICTORIOUS CIRCLE
• What Paul says in these next few verses only gives us this clue about why the church in Rome had such a strong faith but it also shows us how Paul prayed and what God would have in our own prayer life.
• Paul had a tremendous prayer list: Hard to imagine how long it must have been, names, places, churches, people….
• For God ..is my witness as to… The first thing to realize about our prayers is that God hears them. He knows when we pray but He also knows if we don’t pray. HE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT OUR PRAYER LIFE IS LIKE
WHAT IS GOD LOOKING FOR? Some obvious things that concern Him:
GOD IS CONCERNED WHETHER YOU PRAY: For God is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request….
1. Statistics tell us that the average person spends about 30 seconds a day in prayer.
How strong would your marriage be or any other relationship you have be if you only spend that
much time each day encouraging it?
a. 30 seconds is not a prayer life any more than
Try to determine how much you really pray.
• Take out the prayers of formality(open/close meeting, grace at meals)
• Take out uninitiated prayers(someone might ask you to lead in prayer)
• Take out wish list prayers: We call it prayer and we hope that God has certain things on His heart as we do on ours but to be honest we pray many self-serving prayers.
Lincoln once spoke to a young boy and said, ‘Son if a dog has four legs and a tail and you call the tail a leg then how many legs does he then have? ‘I guess he would have 5’ ‘NO, it does not matter what you call the tail, it is still a tail’.
There are lots of things we call prayer, we assume as God’s will, we tell God this is something He should really want to do and that it would be great for His kingdom but God won’t rename those things and call them prayer if they really aren’t.
PHIL 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Real prayer is separate from what we think prayer to be.
Notice how Paul prayed: He prayed for people, for blessing in people’s lives, and when he did pray for himself it was that he might be successful in reaching people with the gospel and that he might have power in ministry.