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The Importance of Prayer

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I want us to look a 4 reasons prayer is important.
Isaiah 43:21–22 KJV 1900
This people have I formed for myself; They shall shew forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

1- The neglect of prayer grieves the Lord

Why does this grieve the Lord?
He longs to communicate with us
Because lack of prayer communicates a disinterest in Him
Lack of prayer limits the power of God in our lives
1 Samuel 12:23–24 KJV 1900
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

2- Failure to pray is a sin

Here Samuel confesses that if he fails to pray for Israel he would be sinning
Zephaniah 1:4–6 KJV 1900
I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, And upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, And the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; And them that worship and that swear by the Lord, And that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the Lord; And those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.
Here those who fail to pray are counted as equal with those who worship Baal
Colossians 4:2 KJV 1900
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

3- It is commanded by God

The word continue is the original is an imperative
Prayer is more than something we ought to do, it is something we must do
Just as God commands baptism, repentance, and a list of others…He also commands prayer
The grammar is interesting, it is not only an imperative but it is also a “present active”
Put simply, prayer is something that ought to continually happen and should be common in our lives
We read Daniel and the lions den with our kids…there was one fault of Daniel
His prayer life was in the “present active” tense
In Daniel we see prayers happening at regular times each day.
That is a great habit but the NT takes it a step further
1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV 1900
Pray without ceasing.
Prayer is to be an ongoing conversation between us and the Lord all day long.
Not just before/after or Bible reading, meals, bedtime,
It is to be a constant connection to the Lord
Ephesians 6:12–18 KJV 1900
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

4- Prayer is important because there is a devil

Paul teaches about the power of Satan in this passage.
What specifically does Paul teach us about Satan in this passage?
-Satan is a formidable foe- he is invisible; verse 12
-Satan is crafty- he is ingenious ; verse 11; Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3
Here Paul is sharing just how sneaky and decietful Satan is
There is no match for his tricks or his understanding of human behavior
-Satan is deadly- he is dangerous
He is not playing games
He is not a man dressed up in a red suit with a pitch fork
He is not a Halloween character.
His tactics are real and the consequences are dangerous
Remember what Jesus tells Peter in Luke 22-Satan has desired you that he may sift you like wheat…the “you” is plural, he desires to sift all human beings like wheat
-Our only offensive weapons against him are the Word of God and prayer
The armor of God is defensive
Only by arming the Holy Spirit with the Word of God and by praying do we have any chance of overcoming the devil
There is no more important virtue in the Christian life than prayer
Prayer is not another box on the checklist…it is the lifeline between us and our God!
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