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Prayer is how we breathe, and also how we stay in touch with Mission Control. Learn to pray and you will change your world.

Luke 18:1 (NLT) One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

Always Pray

There is so Much We Don’t Know. There is more going on here than meets the eye. Have you ever read Revelation? If you do or have, you will find a dragon, a beast, a prostitute, and a false prophet. There are also creatures, angels, multitudes, elders, and wondrous things that John tries valiantly to describe. You should read Revelation and know – that is what’s going on.

We Have Too Much Confidence in Ourselves. So, what am I to do? Muddle through, blame whoever I can, and try to be happy?

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Humility is your answer, and prayer is the first and best sign of it. If my instinct is to pray first, it is clear that I worship and depend upon God. If I am my first best answer, by effort, work, etc, then I am my own god. That is PRIDE, and PRIDE is not one of God’s answers. The Bible consistently condemns pride. 

To Change Your World. Pray first, pray during and pray last. Decide that you will not live without prayer. Decide that you will learn to pray.  Be willing to pray badly, poorly, and foolishly until you have enough humility to do it well.

  • Does prayer make you uncomfortable? Why? If not, did it in the past? What changed?

Matthew 26:40-41 (NLT) Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Pray Because It’s Hard.

I Have Often Wondered if Peter’s Denial of Jesus Could Have Been Avoided. Jesus was adamant about prayer with Peter, James, and John. Jesus knew what they were about to face. Jesus understood the conversations that had happened in Heaven regarding Peter. Jesus knew through prayer, what the enemy had planned. He warned Peter, “Satan wants to sift your heart like wheat.”

And in this verse, Jesus clearly admits, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” So, clearly prayer is hard.

It’s Hard to Focus. Our minds wander. We exist in a time in history where we constantly live in a state of overstimulation. We are constantly overwhelmed and pulled in every direction. Prayer requires that we reign in our minds, disengage from the circus of chaos and engage with the courts of heaven. 

John says in Revelation, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”. He is stating that he was focused. He was entirely occupied with the Spirit.

It’s Hard to Fight. All Hell comes against your prayers and the act of praying. Daniel’s story in his book of the Bible demonstrates that Hell is not just fighting you. It fights God’s messengers who bring your answers. We must abandon peace-time theology. American Theology for far too long has assumed the battle was on other continents, other cities, and other households. In reality, the battle is on your land. It is in your very homes. There has never been peace in the Heavenlies. The war was begun in the garden of Eden. It was won at Calvary. But it is not over. There is an embedded hidden enemy that must be overthrown in the deliverance of lives and households.

  • What are some things that make it hard to spend time in prayer alone?
  • What are some things that help us focus in prayer?

James 5:13-16 (NLT) Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Pray because it matters.

Let’s Let Go of Our Will. James shows that it takes so much humility, but it’s worth it because prayer changes things. Sure, you are going to have to get over yourself. You will have to release the sins you love. That means we must stop being comfortable with our sins and begin actively struggling with them. 

Jesus Laid Down His Will. Doing so is the beginning of magnificent answers to prayer. God has better answers than we do. God’s answers are more far-reaching than ours. God doesn’t just desire to be good to you, he desires to bless people you don’t even know through His answers.

Heavenly Realities Influence Earthly Realities. Prayer works in the unseen and isn’t often quickly seen. If we pray, we want things to be resolved immediately. Why? It seems that stillness is beyond us. We don’t understand its value. We often believe that praying and waiting are doing nothing. But, when we pray we are attacking the cause of things. We are also causing things; we are starting something where there was nothing.

Luke 11:9-10 (NLT) “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Pray because it works.

You Are Not Alone. It’s not you against the world. You are not some isolated soul in a sea of souls. You have a God! A loving, kind, caring, and CLOSE God.  He is listening. He is talking. He is ready for a conversation with you, AND…

You Have Authority. You are not necessarily powerful, but the Kingdom you represent is. You can’t stop the works of darkness, but your Kingdom can. You can’t win in this world, but because of Christ and what He has done, you will never be less than an overwhelming conqueror. All I have to do is get out of God’s way, by relinquishing MY WILL, and God will break through eventually and ultimately.

Today would be a great day to learn to pray. May we all become mighty in prayer.

  • Is it difficult ask God for answers to your prayers, rather than give God directions on how to answer your prayers? Why or Why not?
  • What are some things that you could be praying about in your small group?
  • Challenge: Pray for someone this week and tell them that you have prayed for them.