Sermons

Summary: This sermon deals with what we can do when we pray. It includes an amusing story to keep your congregation's attention.

Without Prayer What Can We Do?

Philippians 1:18-26

[18]What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

[19] For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

[20] according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. [21] For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

[22] But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.

[23] For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

[24] Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. [25] And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,

[26] that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

There are certain things in life I can't do

if something important is missing.

I cannot send a letter without a stamp.

I cannot drive my car without gasoline in the tank.

I cannot take a bath without water in the tub.

This morning we will discover several things we cannot do

without prayer.

Point #1.

Without prayer,

I cannot have nonstop joy.

[18]What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

How could Paul be so sure he would continue to be glad?

He wrote this letter to the Philippian Christians...

While he was being held as a prisoner in Rome.

So how could Paul be so sure he would continue to rejoice?

It wasn't because he expected nothing bad to ever happen to him.

Paul was confident he would continue to rejoice

because prayer works.

The most important thing prayer must change

if I am going to experience continuous rejoicing...

is me.

Prayer must change my "no" into "yes".

Prayer must change my will into God's will.

Prayer must change my protest into praise.

Prayer must change what I profess into what I practice.

Transition:

Let me tell you the story of Edgar Drew and Nancy Collins.

Edgar Drew is the pastor of a church in Tennessee.

It was Saturday afternoon...

And Brother Edgar was mowing the back yard.

He had a little black kitten.

Well, the neighbor's dog scared the kitten

And it climbed up a little tree in the backyard.

Brother Edgar chased the dog away...

But the little kitten was afraid to come down.

Brother Ed coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.

The kitty would not come down.

Well, Brother Edgar is a big man!

The tree was not big enough for him to climb.

So how was he going to get that little kitten down?

Brother Edgar knew what to do!

He prayed!

Lord, show me how to get that kitten out of that tree.

Point #2.

Without prayer

I cannot receive Divine help.

[19] For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Can you see what follows prayer on Earth?

Power from Heaven!

See the order?

You and I cannot have power from heaven

without first having prayer here on earth.

James 4: 3 says:

"You do not have, because you do not ask God"

Prayer is the key that opens the store.

Jesus said:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him."

How often do you go to the Lord in prayer?

The Lord will not give you bad gifts!

What happened to Paul is very similar to what many experience.

He was imprisoned, chained and harassed by others.

How did Paul get through times like that?

PRAYER!

Paul knew many people were praying for him.

In order to see deliverance from our difficulties in life...

we must be people of prayer.

We must pray for one another!

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