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Psalm 55:16-17 THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER
Intro: Ill. The context of Psalm 55. David relates his troubles, 1-14, and then he spells out the doom of the wicked, v.15. After feeling downcast and defeated, David remembered the privilege of prayer. Too many believers forget the tremendous, glorious privilege that belongs to us as children of God. We have a privilege that is unequaled by any other in the world. Tonight, I would like to talk to you about the privilege of prayer. Allow me to share with you why prayer is a privilege.
I. Psa. 55:17 PRAYER ALLOWS ACCESS TO GOD
A. When we pray, we are addressing the Creator - (Ill. The false gods - Psa. 15:1-9. Ill. To whom we are praying - Eph. 3:20; Isa. 40:12; Col. 1:16-17.
B. Prayer Brings Us Into His Presence - Heb. 4:16 (Ill. Eph. 2:6 - I am in Jesus, when I pray, the Son intercedes and the Father sees me through the filter of His Son and He hears me. This literally allows me access into the throne room of Heaven!)(Ill. He is always there for us - Ill. Little boy and the kings garments!)
C. Our Access Is By Royal Invitation - (Ill. Ancient kings were largely unapproachable - Ill. Esther chapter 4) God invites us to come before Him - Psa. 50:15. Ours is a great privilege!
II. John 15:17 PRAYER IS AVAILABLE TO ALL BELIEVERS
A. Prayer is not just the activity of the spiritual giant. Prayer is open to all saints, without exception!
B. Many great Bible prayers fell from the lips of the ordinary:
1. Hannah - 1 Sam. 1:1-20
2. The Publican - Luke 18:13
3. The Dying Thief - Luke 23:42
C. Never feel that you have no right to pray! God calls on you to pray, your family needs you to pray, your community needs you to pray, this church needs you to pray! (Ill. Young servant girl and newspaper ministry!)
D. Prayer is a privilege that deserves to be exercised!
III. Jer. 33:3; Isa. 65:24 PRAYER ANTICIPATES GODS ANSWER
A. Prayer is a privilege because has promised that He will hear and that He will answer!
B. This should give us confidence when we pray - John 14:13-14; 16:23-24. (Ill. We are not just talking to the air!)
C. Ill. God desires to answer our prayers more than we want them answered, Ill. Luke 12:32. That is why the prayer of faith is possible - James 4:2-3.
IV. Matt. 17:20 PRAYER ACHIEVES THE IMPOSSIBLE
A. Ill. The Context! Prayer has the ability to unleash the supernatural in this natural world!
1. Elijah on Mt. Carmel - 1 Kings 18:36-38 63 word prayer!
2. Abraham for Sodom - Gen. 18:23-32
3. Moses for Israel - Exodus 32:1-14
4. Jesus for the Multitude - John 6:11
5. The Thief for His Own Soul - Luke 23:39-43
C. How many of us are living "impossible" lives tonight because of the supernatural power of prayer?
D. Never say God cannot do it! Prayer is a privilege because it has the ability to achieve the impossible! - James 5:15
V. 2 Thes. 3:1 PRAYER ADVANCES THE KINGDOM OF GOD
A. Our prayers can be effective in places where we cannot go physically. (Ill. Prayer in Ohio intervene in India!)
B. This is why prayer warriors are needed and why they are essential! Ill. Matt. 6:5-6. True power lies not in the preacher, the church, etc. The real power source is those who know how to use the prayer closet!
C. Prayer opens door, hinders evil, touches the sick, convicts the sinner. Prayer works! Our need is for more people to PRAY! (Ill. Paul was a prayer warrior! Rom. 1:9; Rom. 15:30. He believed in the power and the potential of prayer. (Ill. Literally everything we do must be bathed in a sea of prayer!)
D. Being useful in His kingdom makes prayer a great privilege!
VI. 1 Kings 18:1-39 PRAYER ADVERTISES GODS GREATNESS
A. Ill. The Context. When Elijah prayed and God answered, the people glorified the Lord. Prayer advertises His greatness as few other things can!
1. Prayer Declares His Grace - He allows sinners access.
2. Prayer Declares His Goodness - He is willing to hear and answer.
3. Prayer Declares His Greatness - Prayer says, "He is worthy to be bowed down before." Rom. 14:11
4. Prayer Declares His Glory - It is through the avenue of prayer
that God reveals Himself, His purposes and His ways to man. Prayer
unleashes the power of Almighty God on the earth! (Ill. Matt. 18:19)
C. Prayer is a privilege because it gives us an opportunity to exalt our HeavenlyFather! By their simple willingness to place their faith in God, the saints honor Him!
Conc: Ill. Voting. It is the privilege of the American citizen. I exercise that privilege because I want to impact our government. Prayer is the privilege of Gods saints. When we exercise this great privilege we can impact earth and Heaven. We can reach beyond today and touch tomorrow. Prayer is a great privilege, lets exercise it at every opportunity!