Summary: When we take the time to pray, God unleashes His power in the world.
A small boy was in his sand box playing and digging in the sand. He finally struck a rock as he dug in deeper. He kept on digging and found it to be a huge rock that he could barely move. He struggled and fought to get the rock out of the box. With one final effort he used all his strength to get the rock out of the box. All it did was roll back and smashed his fingers. So he just sat there and cried. All of a sudden he felt a big shadow come over him. As he looked up through is tear filled eyes he saw his dad. He explained to his dad that he used everything he had to get the rock out of the box but failed. His dad said, “You did not use everything you had. You did not ask me to help”.
1 Timothy 2.1-8 (ESV)
I. When We Pray, God Works on Us
“God's plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God's method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. ” ? E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
A. Prayer is a Change of Perspective
1. Stop looking at ourselves
2. Start seeing as God sees – how we can pray for enemies (Matthew 5.44)
• Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19.41) – he saw what was coming and felt compassion for the PEOPLE
• Paul and Israel – Romans 10.1
3. How do we see others?
a. As not worthwhile?
34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
B. Prayer is a Change of Productivity – Spiritual Emphasis – 2.1-2
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
II. When We Pray, God Works on Others – 2.3-7 – Mini-Gospel – [2 SLIDES
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
A. God’s Heart (3-4)
1. Salvation of all people – Revelation 5.9-10
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
2. Knowledge of the Truth (John 8.31-32)
B. God’s Gift (5-6)
1. One God – One Mediator
2. One Sacrifice
• God did for us what we could not do for ourselves – DBR
C. God’s Mission (7)
1. Make many disciples
2. We preach – God convicts – 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16.8
D. Our Response – (8)
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
III. God Works When We Pray
E.M. Bounds – Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God.
A. God Has Chosen to Act in Conjunction with Our Prayers
1. He freed Israel from Egypt when they cried out – Exodus 2.23 (ESV)
23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
2. He Forgave Israel When Moses Interceded – Exodus 32.10
3. He Gave Hannah a Child When She Prayed – 1 Samuel 1.20
4. He Spared Jerusalem when Hezekiah Prayed – 2 Kings 19
5. He Strengthened Jesus in Gethsemane When He Prayed – Luke 22.43-44
6. There is Power in Prayer –but it must be prayed – James 5.16 (NLT)
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.