Why we need to PRAY!

We recently finished our expository study of I Thessalonians in church.  It was a fantastic time of digging into God's Word and exploring this book in depth.

One of my favorite sermons was the one on prayer.  Prayer is a topic I enjoy studying, discussing and thinking about.  It is such a powerful thing in the life of a Christian - and often underused.  God says we have not because we ask not - and then models that we must surrender our will to that of the Father just as Jesus did in the garden before His death.

Nothing is too large to ask of the Lord, and nothing is too small.  But either way, we must ask knowing that He is the One who gives and takes away, and we do not have to understand His ways to be thankful or rejoice over His dealings with us.  He is God.  We - are not.  Prayer increases our faith because we do not know how to pray ... the Holy Spirit intercedes for us because He knows the true motives and desires of our hearts, and He alone is able to reconcile our prayers with the desires of a holy God.  What a beautiful gift the Lord has given His children with this promise!

My notes and thoughts are brief, but they help me remember the wonderful truths of why God created prayer, why it is imperative in the life of a Christian, and we we must engage in prayer with the Lord - continually.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice Always
Joy is a CHOICE.
Rejoicing and thanksgiving should be a continual part of our day - regardless of our circumstances.
A Christian should be marked by JOY.

Pray Continually
Be prayerful - pray without ceasing - do NOTHING without prayer
Prayer is "practicing His presence"
'Without ceasing' means - an attitude of prayer ... all the time
Turn everything into a prayer
We should always be praying - or on the verge of praying

Purpose of prayer
We have a duty to pray WITH each other and FOR each other.

For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.  But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.  I Sam 12:22-24

Persistency of prayer 
Pray without fainting
Continue praying as long as necessary

Why does God makes us wait for answers?
to change us
increase our faith
purify our motives
increase our thankfulness
reveal to us if we are praying the right way - do we really need/want what we think we do? (genuine desires)
it fosters a greater gratitude for God's provisions

Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan. ~ John Bunyan

The fewer the words the better prayer. ~ Martin Luther

Prayer is an effort of will. ~ Oswald Chambers

Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees. ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.  ~ William Carey

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