Summary: This sermon is not a "how to" sermon but a "need to" emphasis on prayer.

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

“Why Bother?”

1 Thessalonians 5:12-20

V. 17 “Pray continually”

Is prayer effective as a painkiller?

Anita Manning, USA TODAY provides the following information how "Americans have found a no-cost painkiller they say is as effective as prescription drugs: prayer.

"More than half of those who responded to a USA TODAY/ABC News/Stanford University Medical Center poll released Monday say they use prayer to control pain. Of those, 90% say it worked well, and 51% say "very well."

"Among a dozen therapies, including bed rest, massage and herbal remedies, only prescription drugs were as successful as prayer in easing pain: 89% report that such drugs work well and 51% say "very well.""

While I will not advocate for or against prayer as a painkiller, I do believe the words of a chorus sung many years ago in Salvation Army churches around Canada:

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of

More things are wrought by prayer than this world knows,

With prayer we forge a chain

A chain of gold around the earth

That binds us to the feet of God.”

Today marks The Salvation Army’s Global Day of Prayer. In an effort to honor this emphasis we will consider prayer. We will not be addressing the “how to” of prayer but the “need to” of prayer

Why bother? Because

1. Prayer connects us to God

Our custodians are working wonders! They are task-oriented with multiple jobs to do and are determined to finish them before the day is out. I remember seeing the expression on a custodian’s face one day when she turned on her Harley (vacuum cleaner) and couldn’t get it to work. She checked the switch; she examined the nozzle and attachments, but still no power. When I chuckled she knew what had happened. I had pulled the cord out of the wall socket! She laughed; I plugged it back in and away she went!

There was a current flow through the whole building supplying power to computers, lights, heating systems, and magnetic door stops. All that energy flowing through a building of 24,000 square feet and yet one small vacuum didn’t work. Why? The vacuum wasn’t plugged into the source of power. The connection of simply putting the cord into an electrical wall outlet changed that and the work could continue.

A person who reads the Bible but doesn’t pray is a spiritual hermit (a recluse or removed from interacting with people). If you read the Bible but don’t pray, you are not interacting with God. On the other hand, a person who prays but doesn’t read the Bible is a chatter-box (one way conversation is so hard to sit through). It is easy to be a spiritual hermit or chatter-box. God attempts to offer words of love and instruction, of advice and warning but we easily miss the whole experience and pay no attention. Other times some think they’re hearing voices and say, “What was that?”

I read this week of three pastors who quickly stated that God told them to divorce their wives which they did without question. Now, if they had spent some time interacting with God, they would have known that God did not tell them to divorce their spouses.

It is the result of an incomplete connection to the heart and mind of God.

The connection is only complete when God speaks to you and you speak to God. Jeremiah 33:3, “{You} call to me and {I} will answer.” We call it prayer.

Jesus reminds us in John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15)just as my Father knows me and I know the Father." To have this deep, intimate experience and knowledge of God, one must cultivate the relationship and spend much time together. If current is to flow in a relationship and there is to be connection, it requires listening and talking, an interaction of thoughts and desires.

Rosalind Rinker wrote, “Prayer is a dialogue between two persons who love each other…Prayer’s real purpose is to put God at the center of our attention and forget ourselves.”

Prayer is not a time-slot plugged into our planners but an experience of God plugged into our hearts.

Prayer not only connects us to God but

2. Our connection to God connects God to our communities

Isn’t it rather amusing that when a baby is born “some people” (women!) know who that baby is like! “He looks just like his dad! She’s got her mom’s eyes! He’s the spit of his cousin, 27 times removed! (Must be a gift!)

What a compliment is offered when someone says, “I wanted God in my life because when I met “Derrick” I knew “he” had something that I needed. Then I found out “he” has God. And I decided that if that’s what it means to have God then I want him too!”

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Worship Music Video
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion