INTRO: Oh, how praying rests the weary; prayer can turn the night to day. Can you imagine the great servants of God without prayer? Think of Daniel, and it is difficult to think of him without thoughts of his praying. Think of David, and recall that the psalms are, for the most part, prayers to be sung. Think of Paul, and recall that virtually every letter mentions his petitions of prayer. Yes, prayer does rest the weary. It does have the power to turn the night to day. Let me share with you more lessons about prayer from Gods Book.
I PASSION OF PRAYER (INTENSITY IN PRAYING)
A. Lk22:44 - He prayed more earnestly
1. this prayer was most certainly passionate - intense
2. Jesus blotted out of His mind worldly distractions and put Himself totally into His praying ... serious prayer about a serious matter
3. Rom 10:1 and 1 Thes 3:10 - hearts desire praying exceedingly
B. How passionate are your prayers?
1. passion in prayer springs from deep desire, deep concern
2. prayers out of hearts desire are more than ritual utterance
3. Jas 5:16 - effectual fervent prayers - is prayer serious to you?
II PRUDENCE IN PRAYER (IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE TO PRAY)
A. Gen 28:3 - God Almighty bless thee
1. when youve done all you can do, then what? Quit?
2. unbelievers might ... but believers in God can do more!
3. El Shaddai ... ancient Jewish people put their hope in Almighty God
B. Just think a moment about God
1. Ps 24:1 - earth is the Lords ... Ps 50:12 - the world is mine ... Ps 90:2 - thou are God ... Acts 17:24 - God that made the world
2. now, doesnt it make good sense to petition El Shaddai?
3. Mt 19:26 - but with God all things are possible
III PRAYING FOR PEOPLE (INTERCESSION)
A. Jno 17:20,21 - ...but for them also
1. this longest prayer of Jesus ... is in behalf of other
2. it tells one much of the sort of person one is - how open hearted one is, or how selfish one is
3. Lk 22:31,32 - but I have prayed for thee
B. For whom shall we pray?
1. for the lost - Rom 10:1 & Col 4:3 (not that they should be saved in their sins - but that opportunity for their hearing and obeying would come - that circumstances will be such that they will be receptive)
2. for kings, for all men - 1 Tim 2:1,2 (that circumstances for the furtherance of the gospel will persist)
3. for brethren - Rom 1:9 (this was certainly Pauls habit)
4. our prayers should reach out and take in others!
IV PARDON IN OUR PRAYERS (CAN WE FORGIVE OTHERS?)
A. Mt 6:12 - forgive us ... as we forgive ...
1. relationship of being forgiven to as we forgive prevails in Jesus teaching
2. Lk 23:34 - this idea filled His final prayers
3. Mt 6:14,15 - it is useless to seek and ask Gods forgiveness if we will not be forgiving
B. Is there someone you need to forgive? and have not forgiven?
1. Mk 11:25 - God expects a forgiving initiative in us
2. prayer is a vital reflective time in which we may examine our relationship to others ... if we become forgiving in prayer, we will find an otherwise rocky relationship becoming smoother!
3. pardon and praying belong together in our lives in Christ
CLOSE: Prayer will enlighten our lives ... and will chase the shadows from them. But praying must become a serious and thoughtful part of our lives if it is to do so.
Cecil A. Hutson
18 January 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)