Why Pray

WHY PRAY?

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

INTRODUCTION– THERE ARE HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF REASONS TO PRAY: FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE PRAY BECAUSE JESUS PRAYED AND BECAUSE JESUS COMMANDED US TO PRAY. THIS SHOULD BE ALL WE NEED TO KNOW THAT WE MUST PRAY. GOD IS SPEAKING TO ME ABOUT THE NEED TO PRAY AND TO EMPHASIZE PRAYER IN THE CHURCH AS NEVER BEFORE.  GOD GAVE ME THIS MESSAGE SOME TIME AGO TO ENCOURAGE ME IN MY PRAYER LIFE.  A LIFE OF PRAYER IS NOT OPTIONAL FOR THE BELIEVER IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. EPHESIANS 6:18 (NIV) TELLS US TO “PRAY IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASIONS WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS.” (NIV)  PRAYER SHOULD BE SECOND NATURE FOR CHRISTIANS- LIKE BREATHING.  WHEN JESUS THREW THE MONEY CHANGER OUT OF THE TEMPLE SAYING “… It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”  Matt 21:13

1.  THE FIRST REASON TO PRAY IS WHEN WE PRAY GOD REVEALS HIS WILL AND PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE. 

     •  PRAYER IS THE VITAL COMMUNICATIONS LINK BETWEEN OUR HEAVENLY FATHER; AND US. WHEN THAT LINK IS BROKEN OR MALFUNCTIONING THE GOD’S WILL OF IS NO LONGER REVEALED TO US AND WE ARE LEFT TO OUR OWN THOUGHTS AND DESIRES.  WE WITHOUT A COMPASS, DRIFTING THOUGH LIFE.  IN THIS STATE WE LOSE OUR FOCUS, OUR CONNECTION AND COORDINATION TO THE BODY (THE CHURCH).

•  DESERT STORM EXAMPLE: WE FIRST HIT SADDAM HUSSAN’S COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTERS- RENDERING HIS AIR FORCE TOTALLY INEFFECTIVE TO DEFEND IRAQ BECAUSE THEIR EFFORTS WERE NOT COORDINATED.  THEY KNEW THEY WERE BEING ATTACKED BUT THEY DID NOT KNOW WHERE THE ATTACK WAS COMING FROM NOR HOW TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.

•  WHEN WE FAIL TO PRAY WE OFTEN OPPOSE THE WILL OF GOD-  AT OUR WORST AND AT OUR BEST, WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND FRUSTRATE THE WILL OF GOD AND END UP FRUSTRATED OURSELVES.

•  SAUL OPPOSED THE WILL OF GOD BY PERSECUTING THE CHURCH- BEFORE CHRIST REVEALED HIMSELF AND HIS WILL TO PAUL.

•  IN 2 SAMUEL 5:17-25 WHEN THE PHILISTINES CAME UP AGAINST DAVID.  DAVID INQUIRED OF THE LORD (VS 19, 23) FIRST AS TO WHETHER TO ATTACK THE PHILISTINES ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS.  HE DID NOT ASSUME BECAUSE THE LORD HAD TOLD HIM TO ATTACK THE FIRST TIME THAT HE SHOULD ATTACK THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT CONSULTING THE LORD.

•  ISA 8:19 WHEN MEN TELL YOU TO CONSULT MEDIUMS AND SPIRITISTS, WHO WHISPER AND MUTTER, SHOULD NOT A PEOPLE INQUIRE OF THEIR GOD?

•  EPH 1:8-10 HE LAVISHED ON US WITH ALL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING. AND HE MADE KNOWN TO US THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PLEASURE, WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST, TO BE PUT INTO EFFECT WHEN THE TIMES WILL HAVE REACHED THEIR FULFILLMENT-TO BRING ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH TOGETHER UNDER ONE HEAD, EVEN CHRIST. (NIV)

•  WE ARE PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE CHURCH IN THE EARTH OF WHICH CHRIST IS THE HEAD-  IN ORDER TO BE EFFECTIVE OUR EFFORTS MUST BE COORDINATED, THIS DIVINE WISDOM, DIVINE DIRECTIVES AND DIVINE COORDINATION IS GIVEN US WHEN WE PRAY.

•  OFTEN WE KNOW GOD’S WILL BUT CANNOT SEEM TO ACCEPT IT AND SUBMIT TO IT, WE THINK WE HAVE AN EASIER WAY.  THIS BRINGS US TO THE SECOND REASON TO PRAY.

2.  THE SECOND REASON TO PRAY IS BECAUSE WHEN WE PRAY GOD SPEAKS TO US AND WE BECOME MORE WILLING ACCEPT THE GOD’S REVEALED WILL.

•  IN THE GARDEN OF GETHESMENE JESUS STRUGGLED FACING THE CROSS, WHICH REPRESENTED THE WILL OF GOD AND PRAYED “NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE…”

•  WHEN GOD TOLD JONAH TO PREACH TO THE CITY OF NINEVEH JONAH REFUSED TO ACCEPT GOD’S DIRECTIVE WITH DISASTROUS RESULTS.   WHEN JONAH BEGAN TO PRAY IN THE BELLY OF THE GREAT FISH GOD HEARD HIS PRAYER AND DELIVERED HIM AS HE BECAME WILLING TO SUBMIT TO GOD’S WILL.

•  PAUL SPENT THREE YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS WITH GOD BEFORE BEGINNING HIS MINISTRY. IT WAS THERE WHILE IN PRAYER HE WAS GIVEN REMARKABLE VISIONS OF HEAVENLY THINGS THAT MADE HIM WILLING TO SUFFER GREAT TRIALS AND PERSECUTIONS.

•  WE DO NOT FIGHT THE WILL OF GOD JUST BECAUSE WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT; WE FIGHT THE WILL OF GOD BECAUSE OUR OLD NATURE DOES NOT WANT TO SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF GOD.

•  Rom 8:7-8: (tniv) the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.  LIVING BIBLE: For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

•  ISA 55:8-9: “FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, NEITHER ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS,” DECLARES THE LORD.  “AS THE HEAVENS ARE HIGHER THAN THE EARTH, SO ARE MY WAYS HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS AND MY THOUGHTS THAN YOUR THOUGHTS. (NIV)

•  2 COR 10:3-5: FOR THOUGH WE LIVE IN THE WORLD, WE DO NOT WAGE WAR AS THE WORLD DOES. 4 THE WEAPONS WE FIGHT WITH ARE NOT THE WEAPONS OF THE WORLD. ON THE CONTRARY, THEY HAVE DIVINE POWER TO DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS. 5 WE DEMOLISH ARGUMENTS AND EVERY PRETENSION THAT SETS ITSELF UP AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST. (NIV)

•  WHEN WE PRAY EARNEST, SPIRITUAL PRAYERS OUR OLD NATURE IS SUBDUED; OUR SPIRITUAL MAN IS STRENGTHENED AND WE BECOMING WILLING TO ACCEPT GOD’S WILL AND TO DO WHAT JESUS COMMANDED US TO DO.

3.  THE THIRD REASON TO PRAY IS BECAUSE AFTER HAVING LEARNED THE WILL OF GOD THROUGH PRAYER AND ACCEPTED THE WILL OF GOD THROUGH PRAYER, THEN WE BEGIN TO PRAY THE WILL OF GOD AND OUR PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED ROUTINELY AND WE TAKE OUR PLACE IN THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVERS!

•  MATT 7:9-12:9 “WHICH OF YOU, IF HIS SON ASKS FOR BREAD, WILL GIVE HIM A STONE? 10 OR IF HE ASKS FOR A FISH, WILL GIVE HIM A SNAKE? 11 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! (NIV)

•  JOHN 15:7-8: IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU WISH, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU. 8 THIS IS TO MY FATHER’S GLORY, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT, SHOWING YOURSELVES TO BE MY DISCIPLES. (NIV)

4.  CONCLUSION-  GOD WANTS US TO PRAY AND WANTS TO ANSWER OUR PRAYERS BUT WE MUST begin to WALK IN OBEDIENCE TO HIS WILL, AND PRAY ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.  God is not going to answer prayers that are contrary to his will and purpose.  NANCY LEE DEMOSS IN HER BOOK “TRUE WOMAN” Our society has bought into the philosophy that there is (or ought to be) a remedy (preferably quick and easy) for every unfulfilled longing. http://truewoman.com/?id=1661

     •  Daniel 9:2-7 (NKJV) records a prayer that daniel prayed while still an exile in babylon that is a good example of how to pray: I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolation’s of Jerusalem. 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6 Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. 7

     •  EM BOUNDS IN HIS BOOK “THE WEAPON OF PRAYER” SAYS IN DEALING WITH MANKIND, NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT TO GOD THAN PRAYER.  FAILURE TO PRAY IS FAILURE IN ALL OF LIFE.  IT IS FAILURE OF DUTY, SERVICE AND SPIRITUAL PROGRESS.  IT IS ONLY BY PRAYER THAT GOD CAN HELP PEOPLE.   HE WHO DOES NOT PRAY ROBS HIMSELF OF GOD’S HELP.”  HE GOES ON TO SAY “WE MUST PRAY TO GOD FOR LOVE FOR GOD TO EXIST.  FAITH AND HOPE AND PATIENCE AND ALL THE STRONG AND VITAL FORCES OF PIETY ARE WITHERED AND DEAD IN A PRAYERLESS LIFE.

     •  THEN God always has the right answer to our prayers.  HIS ANSWER CAN BE: “No,” “Slow,” “Grow,” or “Let’s go.”

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