Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 9 September 2018.
Growing Our Prayer Life
The best way to learn how to pray is by praying. It is one thing to learn the theory, but it is another to learn by doing it. Prayer is communing with God, and in the process of fellowship with God, we know Jesus more intimately. The Bible tells us in James 5:16-18, “Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.”
Prayer is a privilege to receive the impossible, and the demonstration of the power of God.
can go wrong with our prayer?
· We have not because we ask not (James 4:2). If we have a need, do we ask God? Bring our needs to the Lord; our God is a generous Father in Heaven who loves His children.
· We ask for the wrong reasons (James 4:3). Our Heavenly Father will not give something outside His will. As parents we do not give our children dangerous items to play with. When we come to God and ask, James 1:6-7 says that we must believe. If we doubt, we will not receive anything from the Lord.
· We pray without faith. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please God, everyone who comes to the Lord must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Ask God in faith.
Have we met God in prayer?
1. Prayer is not a ritual but a relationship. It is about coming to our Heavenly Father. There is no specific formula in the mechanics of prayer, for prayer comes from our heart. In the journey to receive answers to our prayer, we will grow spiritually and be transformed to become more like Jesus.
2. Prayer is the opportunity to receive God’s possibility. The King of Aram was at war with Israel and wanted to destroy Israel. Elisha’s servant feared when the army surrounded the city. But Elisha prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around them (2 Kings 6:15-17).
3. Prayer builds up our faith. Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed we can speak the mountain to be removed (Matthew 17:20). Faith can be as small as the tip of a needle but it can puncture God’s reservoir. Faith is like a small wire to be plugged into the power source. It takes faith to invite God’s power.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask of think according to the power that works in us.” God wants to assure that He is bigger than our problems. God can do what we ask for or think about. He is not only above all that we ask or imagine, but He is beyond our request. God can do much more because of His love and grace towards us. Romans 8:32 “God did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?” Trust in God’s love, care and power for us His children.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continuously without ceasing and in everything
give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ’s Jesus.” Prayer opens the eyes of our heart. Prayer reaches the spiritual realm which naked
eyes cannot see. When we pray
continuously, we activate the work of the Holy Spirit (Parakletos),
aligning us to the ways of the Lord.
This is why we need to pray unceasingly. Prayer will cause us to walk with the Holy
Spirit and be filled with His presence. Praying in the Spirit helps us in our
weaknesses and the Holy Spirit searches the heart, and intercedes for us according
to the will of God (Romans 8:26). Jesus
the Son is our mediator and the Holy Spirit is praying for us to bring it to
God the Father.
Prayer pleases our Father in Heaven; what we are is a gift to God. Pray for the Kingdom of God, pray for God’s people, pray for other people’s needs, pray for the lost, the sick, the government and the nations. There are many more things to pray for outside our own life. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. Take care of our Father’s business and He will take care of ours.
Hebrew 10:19-25 - Christ’s sacrifice, once and for all, lets us have the boldness to enter the Most Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through Jesus Christ. We have been washed by the Blood of Jesus and made righteous in His sight.