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Reflections: On Prayer

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Three "P's" of Prayer

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Sign says “Prayer Meeting”

Add illustration here of empty room, dust on table and chairs (expand)
As the church - the body of believers- the Ekklesia, we have the honor to go to our Lord in prayer personally and corporately as the body.
Jesus warned the people regarding prayer that you need to be persistent in your prayer from Lk18:1-8 (story of persistent widow)
Paul spoke of being diligent in your prayers
Ephesians 6:18–20 NASB95
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
or look at being devoted in our prayers
Colossians 4:2 NASB95
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
and then add
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB95
17 pray without ceasing;
To be unending in our prayers.
Tonight we are looking at prayer and what I will call the “3 -P’s of Prayer”
Privilege of prayer
Power of prayer
Practice of prayer
In the light of Jesus concern, and Paul’s exhortation lets get into thit.

I. Privilege of prayer

Why do you think prayer is a privilege?
Prayer is not a privilege for some.
Proverbs 28:9 NASB95
9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
From the one who turns from God and does not heed to God’s Word.
Or then there is the one whose lifestyle separates them from God
Isaiah 59:1–2 NASB95
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
Is
It is not limited by God’s ability for He is able, it is about our willingness to come to Him as He asks, commands.
To those who come by the way of Jesus as their high priest it is a privilege
Hebrews 2:17–18 NASB95
17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Jesus our high priest came first
in the flesh
in the temptations
in the suffering
in the aid of those who are tempted!
Hebrews 4:14–15 NASB95
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Because He came through the heavens, came in the flesh, was tempted and can sympathize with our weaknesses we are able to draw near!
Why beyond that?
Galatians 3:26 NIV
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
We have such a privilege in prayer when we are children of God by faith! And from there there is power in prayer.

II. Power of Prayer

We could spend the rest of evening on this by itself, couldn’t we? But the goal tonight is to reflect on prayer so we will touch on the power of prayer here for just a few minutes.
First there is continued forgiveness for sins.
1 John 1:7–8 NASB95
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9–10 NASB95
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
----- talk about blessed assurance!
To the erring, wandering Christian the instructions are to repent and return, I’ll bet you prayer would be involved.
Acts 8:22 NASB95
22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
How about a peace of mind, through prayer?
Prayer is the antidote to anxiety
Philippians 4:6 NASB95
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
We take our prayers, our supplications, our requests as well as our thanksgivings to God in prayer
By doing so we can be assured again of His protection
Philippians 4:7 NASB95
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
and then you can reflect on the things this series is all about
Philippians 4:8–9 NASB95
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Bet you thought I was going to forget these verses tonight, didn’t you?
Speaking of the power of prayer still, we find strength
Ephesians 3:14–16 NASB95
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
our prayers for each other can be effective and powerful
Eph
Ephesians 3:20 NASB95
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Where do we ask things of God? In prayer!
We need the power of God in us, working through us if we want to live for Him. He has given us His Spirit so as to accomplish His work under His authority and under His power and for His glory.
How about that through prayer it opens doors of service for us
1 Corinthians 3:5 NASB95
5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
Paul asked for prayer for his continued service, we should pray for those who serve us tool
Colossians 4:3 NASB95
3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;
--- open doors, pray for open doors for the Word, that hearts can be pierced and lives be reborn!
How about prayers for boldness? (Summarize Act4:23-31) - - - - below not on slide and keep it that way (passage too long to put in)
Threat, then release led to prayer
In prayer asking for confidence
In prayer that lead to earth moving, Holy Spirit filled so can speak in boldness
I mentioned Eph6:18-20 earlier and we read it, but part of that prayer is for boldness
Ephesians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Boldness to lead to being able to guide people in wisdom. Wisdom is not knowledge, but insight that makes the best use of the knowledge you have. And if you are lacking, by faith you can pray and ask.
James 1:5–6 NASB95
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7–8 NASB95
7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Wisdom, given generously! Just for the asking by faith
There is healing in prayer.
James 5:16 NASB95
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Sick healed, sins forgiven when we pray for one another.
There is tranquility and peace found through prayer.
When we know and acknowledge God’s sovereignty
Daniel 4:17 NASB95
17 “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men.”
and we are called to pray for them as it says in Rom13:1ff or in
1 Timothy 2:1–2 NASB95
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Tit
so that
1 Timothy 2:3–4 NASB95
3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
So as Christians we have the privilege to go to the Lord in prayer that is powerful so we should put it into practice shouldn’t we?

III. Practice of Prayer

A man after God’s own heart said:
Psalm 55:17 NASB95
17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.
Praying often, but there are other examples too.
Daniel 6:10 NASB95
10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Even when it was not popular or even allowed to pray, Daniel prayed, he cared about God and what God thought more than what man thought or what man could do to him.
Prayer should be a practice in our lives, if it is not your practice, you can start today to make it your practice.
Practice often, practice spotaniouly
Luke 6:12–13 NASB95
12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:
Jesus went off and prayed all night before an important decision.
Paul and Silas prayed in a hard situation
Acts 16:25 NASB95
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
Nehemiah in the spur of the moment.
Nehemiah 2:4–5 NASB95
4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
OR in the heat of battle
1 Chronicles 5:20 NASB95
20 They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.
Prayer in practice, improves your private and your professional life.
It is a wonderful privilege
It is powerful
It should be practiced
So let us come boldly in prayer to the throne of grace
Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Lead to invitation - come receive mercy, find grace
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