This entire month we will be going over the topic of prayer, based off the book “Praying with Purpose” by Stephen Rummage.
“If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all”. Wayne Grudem. “Oscar and Helen lived out in the country near Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, about fifty miles north of Pittsburgh. A man in his late sixties, Oscar was driving his tractor too close to the edge of a ravine. The tractor flipped landing on top of him.
From the house, Helen saw it happen, but what could she do? The tractor was far too heavy for her to lift off her husband. The nearest neighbor was miles down the road. She phoned her sons, who lived some distance away. They promised to come quickly, but they’d never make it in time. Helen rushed down to Oscar’s side, petrified that he would be crushed under the weight of the tractor.
As she walked, Helen kept praying, “Lord, please send someone to help.” Suddenly, a man Helen had never seen before came up behind her and asked, “How can I help?” Helen quickly told the man what had happened. The man went into the ravine and simply heaved the tractor off Oscar. The sons arrived. The scrambled to make sure Oscar was all right. Helen turned around to thank the man, but he was gone. She looked down the road. No car was in sight. To the end of her life, Helen believed that God had sent an angel to rescue her husband.
Whether the stranger who appeared was an angel, it is certain that God worked mightily to answer Helen’s prayer.” Excerpt “Praying with Purpose” Stephen Nelson Rummage.
Luke 3:21-22 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:23 tells us that after Jesus’ baptism He started his ministry. We have also entered in the eternal service of the Lord as a believer in Christ. God has a special purpose and a plan for your life that you will discover as you pray. God tells us in Hebrews 12:1 “… and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” God has put before you a race. The race is your service to God and the purpose that he has for you and your life. It’s a special race designed just for you, your race is not going to be the same as another believers race; it is something God has designed having you in mind.
If we truly believe what the Bible says about prayer our prayer lives would be completely different. Many people ask why do I have to pray if God knows all and has a plan set? What a privilege to be involved in God’s process, He wants my prayers to impact his kingdom. It is human nature to forget the power of prayer. However, no matter how weak we feel our prayers still work. Remember the example of Elijah. Elijah was a man subject to like passions just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. (James 5:17) Then Elijah prayed for rain, but he had to persevere in his prayer because he did not get an immediate response (I Kings 18: 41-44).
It is best that we start using this powerful tool; we have no idea what our prayers can impact our church, family or community. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) You may feel that you are at the end of your rope in your life; you may look to your left, your right, you may look up and you may look down and you see no exit, however prayer is going to be your exit; our brains are wired to pray. People that do not pray do not feel complete. There has been studies where CT scans have been done on the brain of people that pray and people that do not pray, and it shows that people that pray activate a part of their brains vs. the people that do not pray
1. Why does God want us to pray?
Prayer is not done so that God can find out what we need, because Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:8 …”for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
2. Prayer is so we can have communion with Him
When you pray you express your confidence that God will work and it will also increase your communion with God. Prayer takes us to a more profound communion with God and He loves us and delights in our communion with Him.
If you make it a point to pray every day for 5 to 10 minutes a day after 21 days of doing this you have created a habit of praying. If you stop you will start missing your prayer life. Praying can increase your patience, love and even your perspective of the future; bottom line, you will be transformed.
3. Prayer gives us the opportunity to intervene in a significant manner in God’s kingdom.
Prayer can transform things. Pray fervently in your child’s room, they are faced with problems we never had to face when we were in school. The devil wants to discourage us but we need to persevere, you need to ask God and continue asking. Another reason why we should pray is to alter a situation we are facing. When we have the victory over the situation we need to give God the glory. God does not share His glory with anyone; He and only He wants to receive the glory. Will my prayer alter what God does? Yes, yes it does! Luke 11:9-10 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Jesus makes a clear connection about seeking from God and receiving.
Another example is when God’s anger burned against Israel. In Exodus 32:9-14 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” Moses intervened and God changed His mind.
Yet another example is Jonas God changed his mind and did not destroy Nineveh. How is it possible that a prayer of a sinner is going to be heard by a holy God? We do not have the right to come into His presence because of our sinful nature. The Bible states that we have all sinned; we need a mediator that stands between God and us and takes us to the presence of God. The Bible is clear that there is only one mediator between us and God; in I Timothy 2:5 “for there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus This is why my prayer can be heard, not only is Jesus a mediator but He is also praying on my behalf incessantly to God. This is how we will conquer the world; the gates of hell cannot persevere. We have to use prayer no matter what.
Even history proves to us that this is true. The Miracle of Dunkirk in 1940 where the King of England and Winston Churchill called for a national day of prayer is an excellent example. It was a miracle that Hitler did not win and overcome the allied army.