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Luke 11:5-13 (NLT) - Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.“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.11 “You fathers—if your children askfor a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

As Christians we understand the power of prayer.

Prayer is the means by which we are told we can move mountains, see the sick healed, invite God into the things we are doing and find peace in incredibly difficult situations.  Prayer, even when it is quiet, even when it is contemplative is still powerful.

Prayer is not a timid act, although the timid can come to God.

Prayer is the means by which things get done in the Kingdom of God and how the Kingdom of God is advanced in this world.

Prayerful people see powerful things because they understand the forces behind prayer.

A car engine is only powerful because there are things that go into the engine that make it work.

People often describe prayer as the engine that drives a church.

 It is, but just as a car engine must have gasoline, oil and coolant to make it run effectively and efficiently – There are several forces that help our prayers to be powerful and effective.  James 5:16 b - The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

The Force of Worship –

Psalm 100:4 - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. Never underestimate the power of your praise, worship and thanksgiving to God. The reason that many people have a hard time with prayer is that they come to God focusing more on their problems than on the problem solver. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray… that includes us, the first thing He set as the pattern is – Our Father in Heaven Holy is your name – your Kingdom Come – Your will be done.

All effective prayer starts with worship. Worship starts with our focus. – we take the focus off of ourselves and our situations and put it squarely on God. Worship is honoring God for who He is.

It is declaring our trust in Him. It is taking time to thank Him for what He has already done. Many Christians think that prayer is actually complaint disguised as a conversation. God knows our heart.  – Even David poured out his complaints before the Lord. The truth is that is ok. But if you are really praying to God and not just thinking through your problem your complaint will soon become confident praise as you realize who you are talking to.

The Force of Authority.

As a child of God, we are to come boldly before the throne of Grace. This means that we can boldly and confidently speak with God. Prayer is not only about speaking to God.

It is also about speaking to the person, situation or need.

Most Christians understand the concept of prayer that is speaking to God. Prayer also involves us boldly speaking to what needs spoken too.  This means that in the natural we are to address the problem. Jesus REBUKED, (in the Greek the word rebuked means scolded), a sickness from Peter’s mother-in-law.

Luke 4:38-41 - Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. 39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

Later that same day He rebuked the storm, and then later that day he rebuked 6,000 demons out of a man who was clearly in need of peace. Prayer is not passive. It is forceful and those who use it walk in authority.  Authority simply means that we are not powerless to do things.

The force of persistence.

When it comes to prayer there are many horrible ideas that are being taught. One of the ones that actually makes me angry is one that is so unbiblical yet so easily believed.  People say if you go to God about something only ask once. If you keep asking, then you are lacking faith.

While I understand the sentiment and while that SOMETIMES may be the case that is not a true biblical statement.

Luke 11:5-13 (NLT) - Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.]9 “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.11 “You fathers—if your children askfor a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

These verses aren’t teaching us to be annoying until we get our way. They are teaching us the power and force of persistence. In prayer we are to be shamelessly persistent.  Too many people give up way to early. Not only in prayer but in life.  Prayer teaches us to live a shamelessly persistent life.

The Bible says to keep asking, to keep seeking and to keep knocking10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. - Everyone.

I describe persistence as – Continual – Faithful – Insistence with positive expectancy.

A church that is powerful in ministry is forceful in prayer. The same is true for every individual believer.

There is more force behind our prayers that I will be teaching on this month. We look forward to meeting with you in person and on line. Remember it is important that we gather and worship together. While we are strong individually, we are always – better together.

Know that you are loved
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

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