The phrase – “all we have left to do now is pray” – is one of the worst sayings in the life of a Christian. Tonight we talked at Fusion about how that shows the smallness of our depiction of God if we honestly believe that prayer is a last resort after we have done all we know how to do. So often, once we have tried everything in our power, we approach God as a last effort. We treat prayer more as a spare tire than a steering wheel.
We all believe prayer works. Are do we? If we truly believed prayer worked, how much a part of our lives would it be? How much is it currently a part of your life?
If we looked at how much we used it, we might not say that prayer truly works.
Tonight we looked at the story of Moses interceding for the people of Israel in Ex. 17:8-16. The story shows that when Moses relied on God, Israel won in battle. The moment when his hands lowered, the people failed. This story has an interesting application for our prayer lives today – when we rely on God, amazing things happen. When we focus on our efforts, we always fail.
When you have your hands lifted up in prayer (Lam. 3:41):
- You can’t see your problem as well
- You depend on God to watch over the situation
- You need others to help support you
- You can’t get credit for the outcome
What does the Bible say about prayer?
- Jn. 15:7 – whatever you wish
- Jn. 14:13-14 – I will do it
- Ps. 5:3 – eagerly watch
- Phil. 4:6-7 – guard your hearts and minds
- Mt. 7:7-11 – how much more will your Heavenly Father
- Ez. 22:30 – found no one to stand in the gap
- 2 Ch. 7:14 – humble ourselves and pray
- 1 Thess. 5:17 – pray without ceasing
- Matt. 6:5-6 – pray in your inner room
- Eph. 3:20 – far more abundantly than what you ask
Prayer doesn’t need more proof, it needs more practice.
What does the Bible actually say that happens during prayer?
- Christ is interceding for us (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34)
- Satan’s power is diminished (Eph. 6:12; Col. 2:15; 2 Cor. 10:4)
- Angels are ministering (Heb. 1:14)
- Spirit prays through us (Rom. 8:26, 27)
- The Father hears us (1 Jn. 5:14, 15)
A favorite quote of mine is this: “Let them roll up their sleeves, keep them off their knees, and Satan isn’t even concerned with them.”
Tonight, we planned out our prayer focus for the week. We committed to being strategic and specific in our prayers. We want to do business for the Kingdom of God, and not merely the preferences and comforts of our own kingdom.
Let me ask you: based upon the time you spend in prayer, do you truly believe in God’s power to work through it?
The following is a poem/prayer from the amazing book, Valley of Vision, called “In Prayer:”
In prayer I launch far out into the eternal world,
and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
over all evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments, never appears so inconsiderate as then.
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my hear going after thee with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to the.
Blessed be the strong ales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear,
and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what thou art doing for thy church,
and I long that thou shouldest get thyself a great name for sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life,
and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to thee with all my heart,
to be thine for ever.
In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands,
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, thy kingdom to come, with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.
Help me to be all prayer
and never to cease praying.