What Prayer Can Do for You

Matt. 7:7-11

 

Introduction:

1.    Daniel chose to spend the night in the lion’s den rather than go one day without prayer.

2.    1 Thess. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”  GW “Always keep on praying.”

3.    Luke 18:1 “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart”

4.    Acts 2:42 And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

5.    Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

6.    Why all this emphasis on prayer?  Why did God want us to concentrate on praying day after day?

7.    How can we help but stop praying sometime?  He is not speaking of unceasing prayer but of the neglect we are all tempted to do.

 

8.    Christians prayed so fervently because they saw the value in prayer—a value I hope all of you will see

 

Jesus saw value in Prayer

1.    Mark 1:35 And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.

2.    Luke 5:16 He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

3.    Luke 6:12 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. (before selecting the twelve)

4.    Prayed at the garden for three hours

a.     Luke 22:42 "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."

b.    Matt. 26:42 "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done."

5.    Prayed at the cross

a.     Luke 23:32 "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

b.    Luke 23:46 "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit."

 

6.    If Jesus needed to pray how much more so do we

What Prayer can do for you:

 

1.    It can help you in times of temptation:

 

Matt. 26:41 "Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

The devil is not playing with our souls; he means business.

 

James 4:7,8 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Satan trembles when he sees

The weakest saint upon his knees.

 

Heb. 4:15,16 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. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

 

2.    It can help you in times of trouble:

 

1 Pet. 5:7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

Phil. 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

     In every difficult situation, it is faith in God in our prayers that helps us ride out the storm.

 

3. It can help you grow spiritually

 

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

·        Prayer is the greatest precautionary measure you can take against falling away from the living God.  Neglect of private prayer is generally the first step people take when they become indifferent; it’s not long until they forsake the worship altogether.

·        Eph. 6:19 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

 

 

 

4.    It can help you in your work for Him

 

2 Cor. 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

Nehemiah 1:3-11 Nehemiah cried out to God!

 

"...Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons -- but they are helpless against our prayers."

 

If we are ever to recapture the zeal of the 1st century church, it will begin with prayer.

The church of Jesus Christ can do anything that God intends for the church to do through Him that strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).  But without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

 

5.    It can reassure you

 

·        Sometimes we just need to be close to the One we love. We need to tell Him we love Him, to thank Him, to praise Him, to take my burdens to Him.

·        Sometimes we need reminding that He’s there—available and willing.

 

Prayer is a great reminder that I have a “Father” in heaven.

Matt. 6:8 “for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.”

Matt. 6:32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

Matt. 7:7-11  we have a good Father

Prayer is man’s response to God’s willingness.

 

Nothing is more reassuring than seeing prayer answered.

Prayer is how we connect with our Father in heaven. We can connect anytime anyplace.  We need God every day and every hour.

 

 Conclusion:

 

When I don’t know how to pray, God gave me His Spirit to help me.

Rom. 8:26,27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

 

God wants to hear from you.  He wants to be close to you and love you.

Draw close to Him.