The importance of Prayer.#1 – by Pastor George Lehman
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare wheel?
I’m trusting God to release in you a fresh hunger and desire to want to pray.
Romans 10:13 (Amp) – For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
This is a God-given weapon.
Ephesians 6:18 – “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
How important Is prayer to you?
If prayer is important to you, how often do you pray?
Far too many Christians don’t pray continually.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (Amp) – Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly].
It is so important that you do it even when you don’t want to.
Don’t be surprised:
When you don’t grow spiritually.
When you don’t have victory over issues and habits in our lives.
When you live with hurt, bitterness, in unforgiveness and lack of unity.
1 Timothy 2:8 (LB) – So I want men everywhere to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from sin and anger and resentment. (Leave the tight grip on this world and hold on to God.)
Deuteronomy 4:7 (NIV) – What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
Why preach a sermon on prayer? Simply because it is the most neglected discipline in so many lives.
If there ever was a time that God is calling His bride back to prayer. It is today! Not just any old prayer but the…..
James 5:16b prayer…
James 5:16b (Amp) – The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working).
People are scared to pray why? Because they pray for people and not to God.
Jesus looked at the hypocritical, pointless, worthless prayers of the Pharisees…
…and taught His disciples something important about prayer.
Matthew 6:6-13 (Msg) – 6“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace. 7-13“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
Prayer reveals our dependence on God.
Lack of prayer reveals our lack of trust in God’s ability to answer our prayers.
“If people had eating habits similar to their prayer habits, one would be fearful of their physical condition.”
– Dick Eastman
Jesus valued prayer highly:
It wasn’t only Christ’s habit, but
His resort in every emergency.
When perplexed, He prayed;
When hard pressed, He prayed;
He received direction when praying.
When tempted, He prayed;
The success of His ministry was as a result of His prayer life.
That’s why real men of God are men of prayer.
Colossians 4:2 (NIV) – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
This verse is God’s promise to an unfaithful Israel.
Hosea 10:12 lays out a great call to believers.
Hosea 10:12 (NKJV) – Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
It’s a prayer that returns to the prayer closet.
Are you ready to commit yourself to pray with life changing power?
Here are seven power points of prayer:
#1 The preparation of Prayer – ‘break up’.
Psalm 139:23-24 (LB) – 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Prayer begins with a heart and mind that have been prepared, softened, and planted with the word of God.
#2 The hindrances of prayer – ‘fellow(unploughed) ground’.
2 Timothy 3:7 (NIV) – Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
The condition of our hearts determines our growth and our fruitfulness.
Jeremiah 4:3 (LB) – The Lord is saying to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Plow up the hardness of your hearts; otherwise, the good seed will be wasted among the thorns.
A prepared heart is a powerful praying life.
#3 The urgency of prayer – ‘for it is time’.
Psalm 69:13 (Amp) – But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord. At an acceptable and opportune time, O God, in the multitude of Your mercy and the abundance of Your loving-kindness hear me, and in the truth and faithfulness of Your salvation answer me.
It is always the right time to pray.
The whole of time is God’s arena to work on behalf of and through His faithful ones.
#4 The focus of prayer – ‘to seek the Lord’.
Psalm 105:4 (NIV) – Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Both the Old and New Testament says it as a “setting of the mind and heart” on God.
1 Chronicles 22:19 – Now devote your heart and your soul to seeking the Lord your God.
Colossians 3:2 (Amp) – And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
#5 The persistence of prayer – ‘till’.
“If you do not feel like praying, it is a sure indication that you should start praying immediately.” – Billy Graham
Luke 18:1 (LB) – One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must keep praying until the answer comes.
#6 The dynamic presence of Christ in prayer – ‘He comes’.
God’s attitude to our prayers.
Isaiah 65:24 (LB) – I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
God always answers prayer.
Hebrews 4:16 (Amp) – Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Guard your heart from grumbling:
Job 30:20 (LB) – “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer me. I stand before you and you don’t bother to look.
#7 The abundant answers to prayer – ‘rains righteousness on you’.
The rain of God is symbolic of God’s favour, blessing, strength and prosperity, goodness and breakthroughs.
Isaiah 58:11 (Amp) – And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
Colossians 4:2 (Amp) – Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
It is prayer that both releases the rain and allows us to receive the rain of God.