Summary: So many people do not use one of the greatest resource that the believer has, and that is prayer. Do you think of prayer as something to use only in an emergency? Do you believe you have a better hold on your life than God could? Do you want any thing out
Intro: Prayer, which allows the believer to communicate with God each day and at any time, is one of the most neglected resources we have in God.
The average believer oftentimes considers prayer the last resort, only used when life gets out of hand.
In this message, let us learn why we should pray, and hopefully we will all find the power in prayer.
Right now you may be asking, why pray?
1. Because God wants you to pray. (1-2).
A. James writes in this passage the reason there is so much conflict in our lives. Conflict comes because God is left out of our decisions and we follow our own understanding concerning problems, thus, our problems continue to increase. Lust, which comes from the desire of men to do their own thing and rather than following God, they follow their emotions or wants and therefore, each day we simply add to our issues, without finding a solution to them (1).
B. James then proclaims that often what we desire so much, or what we want so much, or what our fleshly lust leads us to attempt to obtain proves to be unprofitable. Many of us would have to admit our desire for things is a task we seem to never complete, and we never feel content with what we have. I always tell the people in my church, because of man's lust, we have so many garage sales, yard sales and junk sales. Let us learn that prayer is God's way for us to gain things. We find that often we strive to obtain fulfillment, contentment or happiness, yet this never comes because we do not ask God for it. (2).
C. In Luke 18:1-14, Jesus shares two parables about praying. In the first one, in Luke 18:1-8, because a widow asked diligently to be heard by the judge, she ultimately received the support of the judge. In the second, in Luke 18:9-14, two men went to the temple to pray, the one saw prayer as a stage to taut how great he was, the other saw it as his opportunity to ask God for forgiveness, help and cleansing. When prayer becomes important and a priority in our life, it works out for God's glory.
D. In I Timothy 2:1-2, Paul encouraged Timothy to pray for himself, to pray for others, also called supplication, to ask for God's will to be done or intercession, and although prayer is asking God for something, we can use the time we spend speaking with God as a time to say to Him thanks for His grace, mercy, love, and time.
2. Because it is God's Way for Us to Gain Things. (3).
A. What are you asking God for when you pray? The reason I am asking you this is that many of us have ceased praying, because we are asking for the wrong things. God says no, or makes us wait a while, this causes many to think that prayer is not effective. As James says, you do ask, but ask amiss or with the wrong attitude and asking for the wrong things. We should ask God for that which helps us to serve Him better. Don't ask God for a million dollars, ask Him for a job or the financial well being to pay your bills. Don't ask God for a fancy car, just one that will get you from one place to another. Rather than asking God for something that you will lose interest in tomorrow, ask God for opportunity to witness, for more love for your neighbor, for more care and concern for the souls of men (3).
B. James later shares in James 5:16b, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Literally, this part of the verse shares, the faith-filled prayer of a committed believer will experience the power of God in his life. God always answers our prayer; yes, no or wait. When prayer is understood as a means to communicate to God your desire, but also a means to show your faith in God to others, you will come to the conclusion-Pray before all else fails!
3. Because It Is Our Way Out of Trouble. (3).
A. Once again we look into what James says in our text, many times we are led by our fleshly desires, which do not reflect the will of God for us. Thus, we may adopt an attitude of pride, feeling that we are in charge of our lives. When we are led by the flesh, and not the Spirit of God, we multiply the problems in our life or we get ourselves into trouble spots. We should remember that prayer is not just for trouble spots, but praise God prayer is for all occasions and for all situations. When life is tough, go to God, and when life is going great, go to God! (3).