Summary: Would you like to be able to have more power in your prayer life? To be able to pray like the prophet Elijah did? The Bible says that he was a man just like us, and if his prayers availed much, then ours can, too!
WITH JESUS IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER #1:
INTIMACY WITH GOD
Dear God: Please send a new baby for Mommy. The new baby you sent last week cries too much. Debbie, 7
Dear God: Who did you make smarter? Boys or girls? My sister and I want to know. Jimmy, 6
Dear God: How many angels are there in heaven? I would like to be the first kid in my class to know the answer. Norma, 8
Dear Lord: Thank you for the nice day today. You even fooled the TV weather man. Hank, 7
Dear God: I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father. Thank you. David, 7
Dear God: This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains. So far he doesn’t have any. Angela, 8
OPENING STORY: The Power of Prayer
(remember Elijah said there would be no rain?)
“41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go and enjoy a good meal! For I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!" 42 So Ahab prepared a feast. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and fell to the ground and prayed. 43 Then he said to his servant, "Go and look out toward the sea. "The servant went and looked, but he returned to Elijah and said, "I didn’t see anything." Seven times Elijah told him to go and look, and seven times he went. 44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, "I saw a little cloud about the size of a hand rising from the sea. "Then Elijah shouted, "Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ’Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’" 45 And sure enough, the sky was soon black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Now the LORD gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.” (1 Kings 18:41-46).
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE ABLE TO PRAY LIKE THAT?
YOU CAN! (James 5:16b-18a).
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. ELIJAH WAS AS HUMAN AS WE ARE, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured.”
PRAYER is the detonator to the dynamite of God’s power! We do the praying, God does the detonating. But if that’s true, then why don’t Christians pray more than they do? And when they do pray, why don’t they see more answers to their prayers? Maybe its because they simply don’t know how to pray!
IF I WANTED TO LEARN HOW TO PRAY:
If I wanted to learn how to play basketball, I would try to get ahold of Michael Jordan.
If I wanted to learn how to sing, I would track down one of the tenors or some other great singer.
If I wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, I would look for an expert in that field.
If I want to learn how to pray, who should I go to?
The Bible says, “Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1).
HOW DO WE PRAY? (Matthew 6:6-13).
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:
Love Relationship: - Our Father in heaven,
- if we don’t pray, we don’t know God’s love or the revelation has grown cold. This is the foundation in prayer.
- a great pastor named Dave Koop described it like there being a magnet / restlessness inside of us - a longing to connect with our Creator. But what do we do when we get restless? We try other things to satisfy - channel surfing, sports, eating, etc! None of these things will lastingly satisfy us.
- do you know God’s love? No one has to force me to spend time with my wife Liza - I love being with her, because I know she loves me.
QUOTE: “The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer. Prayer begins in a personal relationship with the living God as well as a personal, conscious fellowship of love with Him.” (Andrew Murray).