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THE PLACE OF PRAYER

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Luke 18:1 THE PLACE OF PRAYER
Intro: From the beginning of time, men have prayed, Gen. 4:26. In all types of places, at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed.
Christian and heathen alike have spent massive amounts of time in the pursuit of prayer. However, few people have made prayer their supreme priority. Those who have, stand out as bright lights in a dark world. Many have chosen to pray when it was convenient, or when the were undergoing a time of great stress and trial, Yet, it is clear from this verse that Jesus wants prayer to hold a preeminent place in our lives.
This morning we are going to consider the Place Of Prayer. We are going to see that God expects us to be in constant contact with Him.
Before we begin to talk about the place prayer ought to hold in our lives, we need to understand exactly what prayer is. Knowing what prayer is will help us to see that it deserves an elevated place in each of our lives.

What is prayer?

1. Prayer Is An Invitation To God

- Not coercion, not coaxing, but simply inviting God to take over. It is me admitting my weakness and His power. (Ill. Jairus - Mark 5: 22-23)

2. Prayer Is Work

- True praying is not for the lazy. You see, true prayer may require you to get up early, or stay up late. A prayer is never really finished until it has grown feet and gone to work. (Ill. Widow who raised 15 children!) (Ill. The Cities of Refuge - Deut. 4:41-42)

3. Prayer Is A Battle

- Satan does not fear nor withstand our prayerlessness, but he will bitterly oppose our prayer efforts. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the battle between good and evil.

4. Prayer Is Power

- (Ill. Moses, Daniel, 3 Hebrews, Elijah, Paul and Silas, Edwards, Mueller, Etc.) Prayer is the greatest power we have upon this earth.

5. Prayer Is A Developer

- Prayer is that essential ingredient that completes the character. It is impossible to grow in grace without the aid of prayer!

6. Prayer Is The Christian’s Wardrobe

- While dwelling in the cold world, the praying Christian need never fear becoming cold. The praying church will never become a museum for frozen saints.

7. Prayer Is The Fragrance In Christian Activity

- (Ill. Artificial flowers) True prayer envelopes all that we do in the breath of Heaven.

8. Prayer Is Communication With Heaven

- There is an unbroken line between earth and the Father. When we pray, we are brought into His presence, we are in touch with God Himself.
With these facts in mind, let’s look together at the place of prayer.

I. PRAYER MUST BE A PRIORITY

A. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible

Romans 12:12 KJV 1900
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV 1900
17 Pray without ceasing.
- Luke 18:1, Rom. 12:12; 1 Thes. 5:17. (We are to remain in a constant spirit of prayer. )
B. Many in the bible have placed a high priority on prayer:
1. Job - Job 1:5
2. Abraham - Gen. 12:7, 8; 13:4, 18; 22:9
3. Moses - Ex. 33:11; Exodus 17:11
4. David - Ill. The Psalms are filled with many references to David’s prayer life. Ill. 2 Sam. 12:22-23. Prayer is also the secret of David’s fearlessness.
5. Elijah - 1 Kings 17:1; 18:36-38
6. Daniel - Daniel 6:10
7. Jesus - Matt. 14:23, 26:36-39; Mk. 1:35; Lk. 6:12, 9:18, 29, Etc. Jesus relied on prayer. Ill. If the Son of God had to pray, how much more people like us?
C. Jesus takes it for granted that His people are going to pray - Matt. 6:5
D. Is prayer a priority in your life? It should be, for it is your lifeline to the Father - Ill. Jesus Matt. 11:25-26.

II. PRAYER MUST BE A PREREQUISITE

A. Importance of Seeking God’s direction

We should do nothing in any area of life without first taking the time to saturate the matter in prayer.

Matthew 6:33 KJV 1900
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
B. Even Jesus preceded His activity with prayer.
1. Before feeding the 5,000 - John 6:11
2. Before raising Lazarus from the dead - John 11:41
3. Before His trial and crucifixion - Luke 22:41-45
4. Before becoming sin on the cross for us - Luke 23:34
C. Especially in the realm of spiritual activity is prayer important! When we attempt to perform spiritual work in the power of the flesh, we are doomed to failure, or self-glorification. However, if we will carry out God’s work in the power of prayer, we will certainly succeed and He will get all the glory! (Ill. J. Wilbur Chapman and his prayer warriors; Ill. D.L. Moody and his pray-ers)
D. The Preparation gained in the closet of secret prayer is far more valuable than that gained in the study!

III. PRAYER MUST BE PRACTICED

James 5:16 KJV 1900
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Does Prayer Change Things? Chapter Four: The Practice of Prayer

The acrostic “A-C-T-S” is useful as a pattern for prayer. Each letter in the acrostic represents a vital element of effective prayer:

A—ADORATION

C—CONFESSION

T—THANKSGIVING

S—SUPPLICATION

A. It isn’t enough to know prayer formulas, rules and promises. To make prayer truly effective, we must practice prayer. We must get ourselves busy in the business of prayer! (Ill. There are too may needs and too little time!)
B. When we are not in the custom of praying, we may need to pray desperately and not know how - (Ill. 2 men and mad bull!)
C. Weak praying begets weak living! We must be diligent in our praying if we want to be effective for the Lord.
D. On a scale of 1 - 10, how would you rate your prayer life?
Conc:

On a scale of 1-10, How would YOU rate your prayer life?

How would GOD rate it?

Ill. African villagers and "You have grass in your path." What place does prayer hold in your life tonight? Let’s agree together right here that we will make praying our top priority!
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