Prayer is a Privilege
What is Prayer 2 - The Privilege of Being Connected NV 6/10/01 am
OS: One day, three men were hiking and unexpectedly came upon a large raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so. The first man called out to God, praying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river." Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river. It did, however, take him about two hours, and he almost drowned a couple of times. Seeing this, the second man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river." Poof! God gave him a rowboat. He was able to row across the river in about an hour, but it was rough, and he almost capsized the boat a couple of times. The third man had seen how things worked out for the other two, so when he prayed to God, he said, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools. . . and the intelligence . . . to cross this river."
And poof! God gave him a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards - then walked across the bridge.
Dear God: Who did you make smarter? Boys or girls? My sister and I want to know. Jimmy, 6
A What is Prayer?
“Prayer is an unnatural activity. From birth we have been learning the rules of self-reliance as we strain and struggle to achieve self-sufficiency. Prayer flies in the face of those deep-seated values. It is an assault on human autonomy, an indictment of independent living. To people in the fast lane, determined to make in on their own, prayer is an embarrassing interruption.” Bill Hybels in To Busy Not To Pray
I. Prayer is a Necessity (Last Week)
A. Jesus has returned to the Father, God has commanded, and we live our lives by chance if we fail to pray.
II. B Prayer is a privilege because it is our connection with God Almighty Himself.
A. As American’s we like the idea of “Connection”.
1. From Cell phones to the internet being connected is the “in” thing of our day.
III. I want you to see this morning why prayer is a privilege, not a regiment.
A. If prayer time is not a blessing then you’ve missed part of what prayer is all about.
B. To miss our prayer time is to mess up our whole day. Everything is just not right, and we’re all balled up in a knot because we have not had that time with the Father.
C. Being a Christian has to do with relationship. Relationship is impossible without communication. So prayer, of all things, must be a priority in our lives.
TS] Prayer is a privilege because…
I. C When we pray we are connected with God who is in charge of the Universe.
A. If you want to get something done you go straight to the top!
1. “Let me talk to the one in charge”
2. It’s great to know someone on the inside who can get you in, and give you a tour of those areas that most people don’t get to see.
B. Remember when you’re thinking about prayer, this is your opportunity to speak with the One who is able to do anything!
1. * Ephesians 3:20
2. *Matthew 19 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
3. Luke 18 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
II. D When we pray we have the privilege of communion with the Father. Here is the greatest message of prayer. The very presence of God.
A. The presence of God is always available to the willing heart.
1. Jesus, “I will be with you always, even to the very end of the age.”
2. *Acts 17 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
3. E Hebrews 13 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
B. We cannot know God without His presence.
1. F John 17 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
C. Unless we have experienced His presence we do not recognize His absence.
1. David as an Example. Psalm 139 (Presence) Psalm 51:11, fear of absence.
D. The greatest privilege of prayer is that it is our time to be with the Father.
1. Don’t be afraid of the changes that are sure to come to your life as you spend more time in His presence.
III. G When we pray we have the privilege of allowing our will to be conformed to His.
A. God is already working in our lives to align our will with His.
1. *Philippians 2 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
B. Time with the Father will correct our thinking.
1. Everybody wants to be in the know!
2. Prayer is surrender--surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.
3. Have you ever gone to God in prayer to ask a specific thing but come away from that time of prayer having asked something totally different?
C. There is a battle going on within each of us.
1. Good, evil, are both pulling for our time.
2. Only when we are in focused prayer with God are we secluded from all those other things.
H Don’t consider prayer to be a Christian discipline, but rather think of it as a wonderful privilege. You can talk to God, who is in charge of the universe, any time you want. Communion with the Father is available.