Sermon on Sunday, November 4, 2012 by Pastor Thomas Tate
HAVING AN EFFECTICE PRAYER LIFE
- Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
- “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
Resistant to Counsel
- “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
- “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. “They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Then they will cry out to the Lord, but He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time because they have practiced evil deeds.
Then the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.
- You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:21-24
According To His Will
- This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
In Jesus’ Authority
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
- “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
- When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.
Sermon-basesd Bible Study Questions
1. Describe your prayer life, good or bad. What are some of the things that hinder your prayer life? For those of you that are doing well share how you prioritize and practice prayer and what motivates you.
2. Why do so many rely on the pastor to pray for them but don’t pray themselves regularly? Read James 5:16-18. What do we have in common with Elijah? What does this say about our potential of having a powerful prayer life?
3. Read 1 Peter 3:7-9. With half of marriages ending in divorce and the other half not being so happy (many not all) how does this relate to our prayer life? Could this and the lack of good attitudes listed in these verses partially explain the decline in the Christian churches? (Explain) How can we turn this around?
4. Read Proverbs 1:24-31. Why does the Lord say He will not answer? How would you feel if someone asked for your counsel regularly but rarely followed it? Would you want to keep giving it?
5. Read Micah 3:4. Why does God not listen to our cries out to Him sometimes? Do you ever feel like He is not listening or don’t feel comfortable approaching Him?
6. Read Jeremiah 11:9-11. Discuss Zach’s track’s description of worshipping of false gods; “To what do you gladly sacrifice your time, energy and money? What do you think about most? What do you love and enjoy most? Your answer to these questions reveals your functional “god”. This is what you live for. And unless your honest answer is “God”, you aren’t living for that which you were created.”
7. Discuss what makes an effective prayer life: Faith, obedience, doing His will, praying in Jesus (name) authority, persistence and humbleness. What does each one mean to you?