Faithlife Sermons

Just a Prayer Meeting (1)

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Matthew 6:5–9 (KJV)
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Introduction
Next Sunday night David Dipboye will introduce the next VBI course by preaching on our need to admonish one another
The following Sunday night we will have a family meeting, Vision Night
Last week of January we will offer some electives like we did last year to help encourage support to the foster care ministries
A couple weeks later a Send Off for the Smiths where they will head to the airport after the service
Been talking to Stephen and Stephanie Cofield about about a special elective course for married people later in Feb
Still plan to continue in Lamentations on Sunday nights
Could I ask you to continue to be faithful to Sunday night services.
Each of the things mentioned I believe are good and needed for us as a church.
By having a variety of different types of meetings on Sunday nights we are able to address more areas in the life of the church without asking for another night of the week.
I hear two things about Sunday night services.
They are on life support nationwide
If you turn it into a “just a prayer meeting” you will kill it
I have been reading a book about the weekly prayer meetings of the mid-to-late 1800s at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The title of the book is “Only a Prayer Meeting.” I became convicted upon reading the first few sentences. "What a company we have here to-night! It fills my heart with gladness, and my eyes with tears of joy, to see so many hundreds of persons gathered together at what is sometimes wickedly described as “only a prayer-meeting.” It is good for us to draw nigh unto God in prayer, and specially good to make up a great congregation for such a purpose. We have attended little prayer-meetings of four or five, and we have been glad to be there, for we had the promise of our Lord’s presence; but our minds are grieved to see so little attention given to united prayer by many of our churches.”
This this thought make me quite sad.
I do not know a recipe for revival. But I am certain that a lack of prayer leads to the death of a church and rightfully so.
Prayer demonstrates dependency. The shape of our prayer life is determined by the size of our dependence.

Corporate Prayer

What do we mean by corporate prayer? Simply, we can go to prayer to God, together. We can and should say “we” when we are together.
Different than a public prayer.
On a couple of occasions, I have open up City Council meeting with a public prayer. I did not know if they people were in agreement with me.
There should be agreement.
There should be affirmation. (yes, amen, are wonderful ways to demonstrate togetherness)
Praying together builds unity. The Spirit plants the same desires in our hearts: for the church to grow in love, for the lost to be found, for the broken to be made whole, and for God’s glory to be revealed. As we listen to each other pray we get the opportunity to say, “amen!”
First thought about prayer may be this. Matthew 6:6 “6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
As I finished these nots I received a phone call that was an invitation to join a group of pastors for prayer. My thought was Ill just do it here from my office.

Example of corporate prayer in the Bible

Could give OT examples, like the corporate prayer of confession in Nehemiah 9:33-34 “33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly: 34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.”
Though it shouldn’t, I could see OT examples being dismissed
After Jesus ascends to Heave,n Acts 1:14 “14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
Luke describes their life together like this Acts 2:42 “42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Col 1:3 “3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,”
I guess they could survey everyone and ask if they prayed but that doesn’t seem to be what is happening.
1 Timothy 2:1 “1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
Paul is using almost every word we have for prayer here.
His purpose is to highlight the need for prayer in the church
Paul encourages Timothy to lead his church in prayer, including prayers for government and worldly leaders.

Model Prayer

Matthew 6:9 “9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
The Lord's Prayer as an invitation not only to pray but to pray together with other believers.

What are to learn to avoid in prayer

Matthew 6:5 “5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
This verse teaches us that praying together must never be motivated by the desire to be admired by other people for how good we are.
Matthew 6:66 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
This verse teaches that private prayer is indispensable and that praying together should never take the place of praying alone
The rest of the verses in this chapter about prayer uses plural pronouns
This serves to caution us
Matthew 6:7 “7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Let’s not use careless words.
Let’s not use empty words and repetition. This can include cliches.
Matthew 6:8 “8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Reminder that God is our father and not an ATM
God knows what we truly need. Matthew 6:32 “32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”

Prayer Rooms ◦ Van ministry & kids ministry. Greg & Juan. ◦Missionaries. Spanish room. Grant and Travis ◦ Services. Trent. ◦ Salvation of lost loves ones. Youth room.

After we separate into different rooms

I am going to ask that you do not deprive me the blessing of your prayers
You can and should ask for the same.
We are truly helped through prayer
2 Corinthians 1:11 “11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”
Do you not feel, sometimes, my brother, or my sister, that you are very stupid when you are studying your subject? I know that I do; and then I say to myself, “This will not do, sir, this will not do; you cannot go to the pulpit in this way, you must wake yourself up, you must get to your knees, you must draw nigh to God somehow, it will not do to go into the pulpit like a dead man, to talk of a dead gospel to dead hearers.”
We will help people find and follow Jesus.
To all who are spiritually weary and seek rest;
to all who mourn and long for comfort;
to all who struggle and desire victory;
to all who sin and need a Savior;
to all who are strangers and want fellowship;
to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness;
Wisdom in how to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers
Willingness to open our lives in true hospitality.
2. Wisdom for ministry
Understanding of God’s Word
Clarity in the work
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