Faithlife Sermons

21 Days of Prayer Intro

21 Days of Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Next week, Aug 8 we begin 21 Days of Prayer. What do we mean by that? Church of the Highlands (AL) started this - our DS caught on …. According to the Church of the Highlands,
21 Days of Prayer is a time where we intentionally seek God every day in prayer as we believe for Him to move in powerful ways.
That’s what we’re doing for 21 days.
Again, starts next week. We’re going to be praying with churches across the nation. Today is an introduction.
Before I explain how it will work, I have question. What is your initial response to the challenge (I’m challenging all of us) - primarily that of prayer? Need to be honest with yourself, because your reaction reveals much about your attitude toward prayer, and ultimately your attitude toward Scripture and God himself.
A less than favorable attitude toward prayer reveals there is a problem, and the problem is never on God's end. The problem could be a lack of maturity, a lack of Biblical knowledge and truth, a lack faith and belief, a lack knowing what true prayer really is. It could be sin. Spiritual warfare. Lazy. We could go on - evaluate - but a less than favorable attitude toward prayer reveals there is a problem - if that’s you, present that to Lord. Be honest with God - “I have a problem with prayer. Please reveal what it is.”
How does this work? Each day (personal prayer) go to their website
download the App (Pray First).
You’ll find resources for prayer - download the prayer guide …. Each day you’re encouraged to watch the video posted that morning (includes worship, prayer and teaching). I’m not a big fan of their music …. Each day, the church provides a topic, guest speaker - we’re all praying together with other churches. The Church will be unified in prayer - power in that! That’s the gist of it for 21 days.
Worried about theology? The DS said over the last 7 or so years there’s only been about 6 times he disagreed with some theological statement.
Each Sunday morning, I’ll share my own lesson regarding prayer. Ephesians after. Wednesday nights - open church (corporate prayer!). Email me your questions about prayer - maybe address on Sunday morning.
My goal is to challenge us, stretch us, teach us regarding prayer. I may say some tough things about prayer and our response to prayer - none of it is designed to discourage - but to encourage. No matter what - keep praying.
21 Days of Prayer is a time where we intentionally seek God every day in prayer as we believe for Him to move in powerful ways.
What is arguably the number one reason the people of God (i.e. churches) become stagnant or ineffective in Kingdom work? What might be the number one reason we don’t see people saved? The number one reason we fail to have victory of the demonic and fail to see people delivered from sin and Satan? What’s arguably the number one reason Christians fail to exercise the power, the influence, and the authority that Jesus promised - or to use the gifts of the Spirit that God promised?
I would argue that it is a lack of prayer - private and corporate prayer.
Ironically (I hear this all the time), most Church leaders and workers would say that biggest problem we have in the Church is a lack of volunteers, a lack of leaders, a lack of finances - and on it goes. All true, but underneath all that is a lack of prayer.
But there’s something perhaps a little deeper than the mere lack of prayer. I think a lot of it comes down to a lack of belief - faith. All funnels down to belief. Either believing a lie about God or not believing a truth about God - regardless our prayer life suffers. And
When our prayer life suffers, so does the church, and so does the world.
We’re called to live by faith - So much hinges on faith …. So much hinges upon prayer.
Curious, do you believe the following or not?
Do you believe God loves you, has a plan for you, and wants to give you eternal life?
Do you believe God has your best interest in mind and wants you to be free from sin & guilt?
Do you believe God wants you to pray, to talk with Him, to enjoy relationship with Him?
Do you believe God wants to listen to your prayers and He wants to answer?
Most would say yes thus far.
Do you believe you have the authority to cast out demons?
Do you believe you have authority to heal diseases and sickness?
Do you believe you have authority to perform miracles?
Do you believe you have authority to prophesy (speak on God’s behalf)?
Do you believe you have the ability to do whatever Jesus did?
Now, we don’t command God. We don’t have the power and authority in and of ourselves.
Why is it easy to believe Jesus wants to save us, but we don’t believe all the weird stuff?
Luke 9:1–2 ESV
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
John 14:12–14 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
I think the Church has a belief problem, and if we have a belief problem we have a prayer problem.
Maybe, we have a prayer problem and a belief problem, because we have a humility problem.
James 4:6–10 (ESV)
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
2 Chronicles 7:13–14 ESV
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The author of “The Kneeling Christian” wrote this -
“Let us never forget that the greatest thing we can do for God and for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent: it can do anything that God can do!
When we pray God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of prayer - of the workers’ prayers or of those who are holding up his holy hands. We all know how to pray, but perhaps many of us need to cry as the disciples did of old, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” The Kneeling Christian
That’s what many of us need to do during this month - humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Jesus to teach us to pray - help us to believe - learn or perhaps learn anew how to pray. Some need to learn to believe again.
Will you commit to joining me and believers across this nation for 21 days of prayer?
If we have a humility problem - if we have a belief problem - then we will have a prayer problem. And if we have a prayer problem, who suffers?
If you don’t know Jesus Christ ….
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