Temple Baptist Church - 12-4-2013
A. We are commanded to pray corporately. One of the foremost essentials of the both the believer and the local church is that of prayer.
Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
B. We, here at Temple Baptist Church, pray often. We have prayer meeting each Saturday night at 6:00 PM. We take prayer requests before Sunday School begins and we pray. We take requests and we pray in men and ladies’ prayer rooms before the service. We pray to begin each service. We pray several times in the process of the service and dismiss each service in prayer.
C. Do we pray for the power of God and His blessings upon us or do we pray out of ritual? That is where we find the Jews at the Temple in the days of Christ. Pray should never be a formality but communion with our heavenly Father!
1. I find in our verse for tonight a perilous possibility: ceasing to pray. We work things out in our own strength and wisdom. One of the problems that we face today is that we are good at “religion.” We know “how” to do things; we are organized and our worship services have become liturgical instead of spiritual: form without “fire!”
2. I fear that prayer in the churches in general has also become liturgical.
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
3. I am not saying that we should not continue to ask for things when we pray.
Luke 18:2-8 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: (3) And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. (4) And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; (5) Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. (6) And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. (7) And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (8) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
4. We often hear people reciting the Model Prayer in unison and I am not totally opposed to it but it was given simply given to the disciples as a model of how to pray. Is is erroneously called “The Lord’s Prayer” by most but the Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17 when our Lord Jesus Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
D. We are to pray individually. Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
E. It is important that we spend time in pray both in our “prayer closet” and “without ceasing!”
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
F. Paul said to “continue in prayer.” This expresses the possibility of God’s people ceasing to pray. Prayer is a privilege and answered pray is a blessing!
1. People do not get their prayers answered because they simply do not ask! James 4:2b … ye have not, because ye ask not.
2. People do not get their prayers answered because they ask them selfishly! James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
3. People do not get their prayers answered because they do not believe God! Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
4. People do not get their prayers answered because they give up! Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
5. People so not get their prayers answered because they are not seeking God’s will! 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
6. People do not get their prayers answered because of sinfulness! Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
7. People do not get their prayers answered because of a wrong marital relationship! 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
8. People do not get their prayers answered because of they are lost! Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
1. Prayer is to be personal. Everyone needs to spend time in prayer.
2. Prayer is to be focused. We are to pray specifically.
3. Prayer is to be regular. Closet prayer.
4. Prayer is to be continual. Pray w/o ceasing.
5. Prayer is to be expectant. Pray believing.
6. Prayer is to be communal. Seeking a personal communion with God.
7. Prayer is to be spiritual. Praying in the Holy Ghost.