the beginning of time, men have prayed, Gen. 4:26. In all types of places,
at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed. Christian
and heathen alike have spent massive amounts of time in the pursuit of
prayer. However, few people have made prayer their supreme priority. Those
who have, stand out as bright lights in a dark world. Many have chosen
to pray when it was convenient, or when the were undergoing a time of
great stress and trial, (Ill. Geneva Aviation Codes and prayer on a stricken
airliner.) Yet, it is clear from this verse that Jesus wants prayer to
hold a preeminent place in our lives. Tonight, we are going to consider
the Place Of Prayer. We are going to see that God expects us to be in
constant contact with Him.
begin to talk about the place prayer ought to hold in our lives, we need
to understand exactly what prayer is. Knowing what prayer is will help
us to see that it deserves an elevated place in each of our lives. What
1. Prayer Is An Invitation
To God - Not coercion, not coaxing, but simply inviting God to
take over. It is me admitting my weakness and His power. (Ill. Jairus
- Mark 5: 22-23)
2. Prayer Is Work
- True praying is not for the lazy. You see, true prayer may require you
to get up early, or stay up late. A prayer is never really finished until
it has grown feet and gone to work. (Ill. Widow who raised 15 children!)
(Ill. The Cities of Refuge - Deut. 4:41-42)
3. Prayer Is A Battle
- Satan does not fear nor withstand our prayerlessness, but he will bitterly
oppose our prayer efforts. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the battle
between good and evil.
4. Prayer Is Power
- (Ill. Moses, Daniel, 3 Hebrews, Elijah, Paul and Silas, Edwards, Mueller,
Etc.) Prayer is the greatest power we have upon this earth.
Is A Developer - Prayer is that essential ingredient that
completes the character. It is impossible to grow in grace without
the aid of prayer!
6. Prayer Is The Christians
Wardrobe - While dwelling in the cold world, the praying Christian
need never fear becoming cold. The praying church will never become a
museum for frozen saints.
7. Prayer Is The Fragrance
In Christian Activity - (Ill. Artificial flowers) True prayer
envelopes all that we do in the breath of Heaven.
8. Prayer Is Communication
With Heaven - There is an unbroken line between earth and the
Father. When we pray, we are brought into His presence, we are in touch
with God Himself. (Ill. Tin Can Telephones)
With these facts in mind,
lets look together at the place of prayer.
I. PRAYER MUST BE A
A. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible - Luke
18:1, Rom. 12:12; 1 Thes. 5:17. (We are to remain in a constant
spirit of prayer. Ill. Fisherman and storm)
B. Many in the bible have
placed a high priority on prayer:
1. Job - Job 1:5
2. Abraham - Gen. 12:7,
8; 13:4, 18; 22:9
3. Moses - Ex. 33:11;
4. David - Ill. The Psalms
are filled with many references to Davids prayer life. Ill.
2 Sam. 12:22-23. Prayer is also the secret of Davids fearlessness.
5. Elijah - 1 Kings 17:1;
6. Daniel - Daniel 6:10
7. Jesus - Matt. 14:23,
26:36-39; Mk. 1:35; Lk. 6:12, 9:18, 29, Etc. Jesus relied
on prayer. Ill. If the Son of God had to pray, how much more people
C. Jesus takes it for granted
that His people are going to pray - Matt. 6:5
D. Is prayer a priority
in your life? It should be, for it is your lifeline to the Father -
Ill. Jesus Matt. 11:25-26.
II. PRAYER MUST BE A PREREQUISITE
A. We should do nothing
in any area of life without first taking the time to saturate the matter
B. Even Jesus preceded
His activity with prayer.
1. Before feeding the
5,000 - John 6:11
2. Before raising Lazarus
from the dead - John 11:41
3. Before His trial and
crucifixion - Luke 22:41-45
4. Before becoming sin
on the cross for us - Luke 23:34
C. Especially in the realm
of spiritual activity is prayer important! When we attempt to perform
spiritual work in the power of the flesh, we are doomed to failure,
or self-glorification. However, if we will carry out Gods work
in the power of prayer, we will certainly succeed and He will get all
the glory! (Ill. J. Wilbur Chapman and his prayer warriors; Ill. D.L.
Moody and his pray-ers)
D. The Preparation gained
in the closet of secret prayer is far more valuable than that
gained in the study!
III. PRAYER MUST BE PRACTICED
A. It isnt enough
to know prayer formulas, rules and promises. To make prayer truly effective,
we must practice prayer. We must get ourselves busy in the business
of prayer! (Ill. There are too may needs and too little time!)
B. When we are not in the custom of praying,
we may need to pray desperately and not know how - (Ill. 2 men and mad
C. Weak praying begets
weak living! We must be diligent in our praying if we want
to be effective for the Lord.
D. On a scale of 1 - 10,
how would you rate your prayer life?
Conc: Ill. African
villagers and "You have grass in your path." What place does prayer hold in your
life tonight? Lets agree together right here that we will make praying our top
Sermon By Alan Carr
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