July 10, 2011 – Eastside Christian Church – Michal Ferber
Prayer is an untapped resource that we don’t use as often as we should.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-28
5:17 Pray without ceasing
5:16 Rejoice always
I don’t believe God meant for us to pray a prayer that never stops. But I do believe He expects us to always have Him in our thoughts and be actively thinking about Godly things. For in verse 16 it says rejoice always and then in 17 to pray without ceasing. I believe these two items are put together for a reason. We should be praising and rejoicing and worshiping and when we’re not doing that praying and meditating on Him.
Meeting Specific Needs
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 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 land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Bring Back the Erring One
if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let
him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul
from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Prayer has the power to change things. We have to have the kind of prayer life we were talking about in 1st Thessalonians in order to accomplish anything in our prayers like we read in James. What I mean by that is that we have to have a relationship with our daddy; with our Abba Father. We can go to a stranger and ask for something but chances are he/she is going to just brush us off. That’s why we need a relationship with God our Father. So he knows who’s calling on the phone.
But prayer requires something important; faith.
- confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
- belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
- the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure would be breaking faith.
- Christian Theology. The trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
Faith requires believing. Believing in the perfect will of God, believing in the power of prayer, believing in the promises of God.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
We have needs in our life; we have sickness, strife, turmoil. We have things that have stretched us in every direction. We have been so hurt in relationships that now resentment is setting in. We have things in our life that have exhausted us so much that we are burnt out; we fell like we can’t give another ounce. Walls are being built around us; bridges are falling down around us.
We have all these problems and are walking around like we don’t have a clue of how to fix things. We know the answer the whole time though.
The answer is Jesus. Jesus Christ the god man that came to this earth and showed us who to live. Who died on the cross because he loved us so much. God had to make a way for us to be right with Him. So that we can have a relationship with Him that isn’t tainted, isn’t tarnished but is whole. That is what God desires, that’s why he created us. He didn’t create us to have our own agenda but to have His agenda. God loves us and wants the best for us and it’s time that we as a church stand up and proclaim the Word of God, act like the Christ like Christians that God has called us to be.