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Luke 18:1 THE PLACE OF PRAYER
Intro: From the beginning of time, men have prayed, Gen. 4:26. In all types of places, at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed. Christian and heathen alike have spent massive amounts of time in the pursuit of prayer. However, few people have made prayer their supreme priority. Those who have, stand out as bright lights in a dark world. Many have chosen to pray when it was convenient, or when the were undergoing a time of great stress and trial, (Ill. Geneva Aviation Codes and prayer on a stricken airliner.) Yet, it is clear from this verse that Jesus wants prayer to hold a preeminent place in our lives. Tonight, we are going to consider the Place Of Prayer. We are going to see that God expects us to be in constant contact with Him.
Before we begin to talk about the place prayer ought to hold in our lives, we need to understand exactly what prayer is. Knowing what prayer is will help us to see that it deserves an elevated place in each of our lives. What is prayer?
1. Prayer Is An Invitation To God - Not coercion, not coaxing, but simply inviting God to take over. It is me admitting my weakness and His power. (Ill. Jairus - Mark 5: 22-23)
2. Prayer Is Work - True praying is not for the lazy. You see, true prayer may require you to get up early, or stay up late. A prayer is never really finished until it has grown feet and gone to work. (Ill. Widow who raised 15 children!) (Ill. The Cities of Refuge - Deut. 4:41-42)
3. Prayer Is A Battle - Satan does not fear nor withstand our prayerlessness, but he will bitterly oppose our prayer efforts. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the battle between good and evil.
4. Prayer Is Power - (Ill. Moses, Daniel, 3 Hebrews, Elijah, Paul and Silas, Edwards, Mueller, Etc.) Prayer is the greatest power we have upon this earth.
5. Prayer Is A Developer - Prayer is that essential ingredient that completes the character. It is impossible to grow in grace without the aid of prayer!
6. Prayer Is The Christians Wardrobe - While dwelling in the cold world, the praying Christian need never fear becoming cold. The praying church will never become a museum for frozen saints.
7. Prayer Is The Fragrance In Christian Activity - (Ill. Artificial flowers) True prayer envelopes all that we do in the breath of Heaven.
8. Prayer Is Communication With Heaven - There is an unbroken line between earth and the Father. When we pray, we are brought into His presence, we are in touch with God Himself. (Ill. Tin Can Telephones)
With these facts in mind, lets look together at the place of prayer.
I. PRAYER MUST BE A PRIORITY
II. PRAYER MUST BE A PREREQUISITE
III. PRAYER MUST BE PRACTICED
Conc: Ill. African villagers and "You have grass in your path." What place does prayer hold in your life tonight? Lets agree together right here that we will make praying our top priority!