An hour a day Sweet Hour of Prayer
Sweet Hour of Prayer; NV 7/29/01 AM
OS: A An ole Mule driven to its knees…
A time when Jesus was driven to His knees - (B, C Mark 14:32-38)
I. D We’ve all been there before.
A. We can all identify with both positions found in this text.
1. We’ve had times when we could do nothing but pray.
2. We’ve had others request our prayers on their behalf.
B. Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt when He found His disciples sleeping? He was facing the most horrific event of His life! (The Cross/Separation from God)
1. His concern was for them, not Himself.
2. Vs. 38, (lit) You must watch, and you must pray, so that you do not enter into temptation…
3. There is some praying that we have to do on our own.
C. The words of Jesus pierce like a knife, “Could you not keep watch for one hour?”
1. Don’t you realize what is fixing to take place? Don’t you care what I am going to endure? Do you think yourself strong enough to stand on your own?
2. Try to grasp the moment…
II. Just one hour…are we so different today?
A. Society crumbles around us. Morality in this country continues to plummet far below any measurement of our history.
1. Men and women of all races turn to everything and any person other than God for satisfaction.
2. Drug/Alcohol abuse, and every other abuse imaginable is prevalent in not just the big cities, but in our own neighborhoods.
3. Things such as homosexuality are now open, and accepted among the people and the leaders of our nation.
B. The souls of those whom Jesus died for are on the line.
1. Oh, that we would pray an hour a day, and change our world.
2. Do you think Jesus might ask, “Don’t you realize what is taking place around you? Don’t you care that I gave My life for every soul? Do you think yourself strong enough to stand on your own, and make a difference in this world without Me?
3. Oh, that we would pray for an hour a day and change our world.
C. Why give an hour of my time each day for prayer?
I. E First of all, because prayer works…out there and in here.
A. “Where there is an absence of prayer there will be an absence of power.”
1. Prayer works out there in the world.
2. Prayer works in here within our heart.
3. I can think of a lot of changes out there and in here that’s worth an hour a day!
B. F Inside – What we do for the Lord is entirely dependant upon what we are in the Lord. (Look for something God does without prayer)
1. * Prayer is the way you defeat the devil Luke 2232 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (TEXT)
2. * Prayer is the way you get forgiveness for sin. Luke 1813 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
3. G Prayer is the way you acquire wisdom James 1 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
4. One of the greatest obstacles to prayer is our fear of and unwillingness to change.
5. Oh, that we would pray for an hour a day and change ourselves.
C. H Prayer works, not only in here, but out there.
1. * Prayer is how the sick are healed James 5:13-15
2. I Prayer is the way to being restored to a relationship with God James 5:16-20
3. J Prayer is the way we get laborers out to the mission field Matthew 98 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
4. *Prayer is how we accomplish the impossible. Mark 1123 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
5. Oh, that we would pray for an hour a day and change our world.
D. We must believe in the power of prayer!
II. K I don’t have the time. Time is money.
A. We do live busy lives. But, not nearly so busy as Jesus.
1. The Gospels record only fifty-two days of His life, but what a whirlwind of activity is chronicled in those few hundred hours!
2. * A Great example is in Mark 1:21-39
3. Jesus wasn’t too busy to pray, He was too busy not to pray!
L I got up early one morning and rushed into the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered. He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn’t show me. He said, “You didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided, “My child, you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
If we would just pray for an hour a day and change our world.
III. M Maybe, because, I’m not so sure about God in the first place.
A. “Why would any of us ignore the God of the universe, bending low to offer us the pleasure of his company? One reason may be simple ignorance – we do not really understand how personal God is. The more abstract and impersonal you can make Him, the less demanding He will be.”
B. The personal nature of God seems to be a struggle for many of us.
2. * John 14 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
3. * John 17 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
4. We tend to see the Creator rather than the Father waiting longing and watching for His prodigal son to return home.
5. We tend to see God as the One who holds the world in His hand, not the Father whom we have within the Temple of our bodies making His home within us.
6. I want to go home, sit on the front porch in that swing, and spend an hour with my Daddy. (same desire if we really understand the Father in heaven.)
C. Could it be that this personal, close, next to me God is just a little too much for my lifestyle? Could that be the real barrier to prayer?
N It’s amazing how much we pay when we fail to pray
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Oh, that we would pray for an hour a day and change our world.
Jesus said to the church in Laodicea…
O Rev. 3 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
If you need to make a change today in your life now is the time.